How Big of a Home Do You Really Need?

Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to buying a home. Larger homes are more expensive than their smaller counterparts, obviously. For some, a big house can also be a burden when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. It can also be difficult to keep a bigger home tidy, despite the extra square footage for storage space. Then again, you don’t want to settle on a small home only to find that you feel cramped and claustrophobic. There are many factors that contribute to how big of a home you actually need. Read on to find out how to determine the amount of space you really need for your family and lifestyle. 

Think About How Long You’ll Be in The Home

Will the house you’re buying now be your “forever home” or your “for now” home? Of course there’s no way to know for sure what the future will bring, but think about the parts you can control for the time being. Do you plan on starting or growing your family in the next few years? Is there a possibility you could move to a different area? Could things change where your job or career is concerned? If the answer to any of these is yes, then it’s likely that you won’t be in this home for more than five years or so. It’s more than okay to buy a house that suits your current needs, knowing that you might only live there for a few years. Your “for now” home can serve your needs while also helping you to build equity. It might even help you by netting you a big enough profit to serve as a down payment on your next home. 

Determine Your Priorities

Watch any house-hunting show on television, and you’ll hear a lot about “entertaining space” and all the dinner parties the homeowners assume they’ll be throwing once they’re in their new home. In reality, how often do you really have guests over? Don’t spend more on a house for space that might only be used occasionally. Think about what you might be giving up for that extra space that could very well go unused. You can use the money you save when buying a smaller home for something like a travel fund or extra savings for a bigger home later on. And if location is your main priority, buying a smaller home can help you get into the perfect area for you on a smaller budget. 

Pay Attention to the Floor Plan

Even in the largest of homes, a choppy, poorly designed layout can make a space feel cramped and dark. A smaller house can feel much friendlier and more spacious with the right floor plan and enough natural light. “The total square footage of a house can be deceiving,” says Patrick Ryan, senior vice president and managing broker of a Chicago-based realty firm. “Features like a long hallway may increase the total, but they are spaces you pass through, not a true destination within the home.” If the majority of your square footage is used on things like hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms, what are you really gaining? Think about the rooms in which you’ll be spending the majority of your time, like a living room, den, or kitchen. If there’s plenty of space there, you’ll be perfectly happy. 

Consider Your Financial Situation

Maybe you’re in the beginning of your career and looking forward to a higher income in the next few years. Perhaps you’re nearing the end of your career and your income has plateaued; it may even decrease upon retirement. Either way, it’s best not to buy a home that costs the maximum amount you can afford. The last thing you want to do is feel burdened by a mortgage that’s at the very top of your budget, possibly leaving you “house poor” in the end. When you think about the cost of a home, you also need to factor in things like maintenance, insurance, taxes, and more. Going with the biggest house you can afford could actually make it unaffordable when you add these things in. The last things you want from homeownership are endless stress and empty pockets. 

Friday Five // January 24th, 2020

Hooray! It’s Friday once again, which means it’s time for the Friday Five, our weekly roundup of five fun events taking place in the Charleston area this weekend. Take your pirates and mermaids out for a day of fun, spend the night singing at the top of your lungs or gazing at the stars, and more. And as always, no matter what you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company hope you have a very happy and safe weekend! 

If you’re looking for some fun this Friday night, head downtown and get to Daps Breakfast & Imbibe for Karaoke at Daps. Daps is one of Charleston’s absolute best spots for breakfast, brunch, and amazing wines, beers, bubbles, and breakfast cocktails and punches. Karaoke starts at 7pm. Drink specials will be available all night. Belting out fun tunes encouraged. Talent not required. 

Do you have what it takes to be a top-notch detective and catch a criminal? Find out this Saturday by participating in Charleston Detective Day hosted by CluedUpp, the exciting outdoor detective game that’s like a giant version of the board game Clue! This weekend’s Detective Day will transport you back to the 1920s with a Peaky Blinders-inspired theme. More than 100 teams will compete to catch a “killer.” Can you and your team of detectives stalk the streets, solve the clues, and crack the case in time? Check the link above to sign up and for more details!

Shake off the winter doldrums and head to West Ashley with your kiddos this Saturday for Pirates and Mermaids at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens! Last year’s event was such a success that they’ve decided to do it again. Whether you’re a scalawag sailing the open sea or a beautiful mermaid swimming gracefully below, you can enjoy a pirate-led scavenger hunt, balloon twisting, face painting, treasure digging, hanging out with Ariel, playing on a pirate ship, and more! Don’t forget to come dressed up as your favorite pirate or mermaid and participate in the costume contest. The event is free with basic garden admission, which is $20 for adults, $10 for children ages six to twelve, and free for children five and under. All guests can receive buy-one-get-one admission with the donation of a canned food item for the Lowcountry Food Bank. 

January is the perfect month in Charleston for visiting Drayton Hall and admiring the breathtaking night sky from the beautiful landscape. Join Drayton Hall and Lowcountry Stargazers this Saturday evening for Stargazing on the Ashley at Drayton Hall. From 5pm until 7:30pm, The Palladian Circle, Drayton Hall’s group of emerging contributors, presents an evening of stargazing from the legendary Southern estate in the Ashley River Historic District. Hot Toddies will be served by The Toddy Shop of Charleston, and guests will be invited to gaze through telescopes set up on the clear, wide open and unlit Drayton Hall landscape. Space is limited! Register for this event at the link above. Admission is $20 for Members and $30 for Non-Members. 

It’s David Bowie’s birthday month, and the Bangkok Lounge wants to help you celebrate it the right way! The Bangkok Lounge is a seven-night-a-week karaoke lounge location at 353 King Street in Downtown Charleston. Head there this Sunday from 7pm on to celebrate David Bowie’s Birthday Party and get ready to sing all your favorite Bowie songs! They’ll have a makeup artist on hand to paint your face just like David Bowie’s iconic look on the cover of his album Aladdin Sane. You have a couple of days to practice singing your favorite Bowie songs at the top of your lungs. Will you belt out “Life on Mars?” Maybe you’re partial to “Rebel Rebel” or “Heroes.” Or will it be more of a “Space Oddity” or “Let’s Dance” kind of night? Any way you shape it, it’ll be an amazingly fun night! 

Friday Five // January 17th, 2020

It’s Friday once again, which means it’s time for the Friday Five, our weekly roundup of five fun events happening in the Charleston area throughout the weekend. Wonder at the marvels of space, sample delicious foods at the beach, celebrate the anniversary of a famed writer, and more. No matter what you choose to do, as always, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company hope you have a very happy and safe weekend!

This Saturday is SPACE Night at Fatty’s Beer Works on Meeting Street, following Atmospheric Science and Meteorology Day. Members of the Lowcountry Stargazers will be on hand, setting up highly advanced telescopes for constellation and exoplanet viewing. Moms and Dads, bring the kids and show them the wonders and beauties of our galaxy unseen with the naked eye. There will also be hands-on experiments and demonstrations using 3D models of the solar system and other astronomy wonders. An ambient space funk set will be performed by Fatty’s Fog Machine suspended in air over 15 feet above your heads, using low silhouette lighting to enhance your space experience. These events are designed to re-energize your children’s scientific and engineering interests to a new stratosphere. If you or your children are interested in STEM topics, you won’t want to miss this out-of-this-world event!

The Taste of Folly Cocktail Competition and Street Festival is back for 2020 this Saturday from 10am until 4pm. Stroll the streets of Folly Beach as you enjoy cooking demonstrations, a hot dog eating contest, a chili cook-off, an oyster shucking contest, Server Olympics, live music, a kids’ area, and many more food-centric activities. Admission is free for Folly residents with a valid ID, and $5 for all other adults. Children ages 12 and under are free. Please leave pets, coolers, outside beverages, skateboards, and bikes at home for everyone’s safety.

This Sunday marks the 211th anniversary of the birth of the late, great Edgar Allan Poe, celebrated American writer, editor, and literary critic. What better way to celebrate than by heading out to his namesake restaurant, Poe’s Tavern on Sullivan’s Island from 11am until 10pm? Grab your friends and family and celebrate Poe’s Birthday Party with delicious fish tacos, burgers (the Annabel Lee burger is our personal fave), fries, and of course, balloons and birthday cake! Who knows? You may even see a likeness of Mr. Poe himself. 

Oyster lovers will want to head to Bowens Island this Sunday for the 10th annual Fields to Families Oyster Roast at Bowens Island Restaurant. Combine a beautiful venue, delicious food, fantastic music, and a fun time with volunteers, farmers, and new and familiar faces, and you get fun for everyone! This event is an annual fundraiser for Fields to Families’ produce rescue programs. From 2pm until 5pm, you can enjoy oysters with plenty of side dishes prepared by local chefs, some sweet treats, bubbles, corn hole, and much more. Coolers are welcome, and alcohol is allowed. Adult tickets are $30 each, and children 12 and under get in free. There will also be F2F goodies like t-shirts, honey, and a chance for you to win a raffle drawing. 

The Holy City Vintage Market returns to The Park Cafe this Sunday from 9am until 3pm with vintage galore and more. From faux furs and cozy sweaters to denim jackets and jeans, the Park Cafe’s lot will overflow with your favorite vintage vendors and the most affordable and sustainable goods in town. Every shop’s curator has a different eye, so every collection is unique and bound to resonate with someone, whether you’re subtly dipping your toes into the vintage pond for the first time, or on your thousandth vintage gem. No matter if you prefer classic mid-century silhouettes, mod, eye-catching ’60s, or casual ’90s grunge, there’s something for everyone. If your perfect find needs a few alterations, Undead Threads’ Jackie, a master tailor, will be on hand to administer her special touch. The Park Cafe will be serving up brunch, including shirred eggs with cauliflower and kale cream, poached eggs, and a parmesan baguette. Don’t forget to sip, shop, and repeat. 

How to Get Your Lingering Listing Sold Once and for All

The holidays are officially over, and it’s time to concentrate on finally getting your home sold. If your listing has been lingering on the market for longer than you expected, there are a few things you can do to try to garner more attention and possibly snag a buyer this month. 

Consider your motivation. 

What is your motivation for selling your house? Do you need to move soon, or are you flexible? Is the amount of money you want to make on your home flexible too? Or do you need to make a certain amount in order to buy a new home? Reevaluate your reasons for selling, as things might have changed since you first put your home on the market. Thinking hard about your motivation to sell can help you make decisions that might help you sell your home faster. But if you don’t have an urgent need to sell, you might be fine with letting it stay on the market. 

Ask your agent to do a new CMA.

If your house has been on the market for a number of months, you may want to have your Realtor® perform a new comparative market analysis (CMA). There’s a good chance other homes have sold in the area in that period of time, and their sale price might have an effect on the value of your home. If this is the case, you can come up with a price reduction strategy to help pique buyers’ interest.

Tour other similar homes.

Ask your agent to take you on a tour of other houses for sale that are similar to yours. Even better would be houses that are already under contract. This way, you can see what they’ve done (or not done) to their houses to help them sell. It never hurts to get secondhand ideas! 

Think about taking it off the market until spring.

If you don’t have an urgent need to sell your house right away, you might want to think about taking it off the market for a little while. The market tends to pick up a lot in the spring or early summer, so taking your home off for now and reintroducing it when sales pick up could be a beneficial move. 

Consider making improvements.

Take a look at any feedback you’ve gotten from showings. Is there something that’s come up more than once that you can fix or improve upon? Even if you haven’t gotten any negative feedback, have a talk with your real estate agent to see what they think you might be able to improve around the house. Small things like upping your curb appeal or having a professional stager come in and evaluate things can help a lot!

Evaluate your marketing plan. 

Sit down with your agent and go over your marketing plan. What has been successful? What platforms have you not gotten any hits from? Is your agent actively marketing your home or just waiting on interest to come in? Is your home being presented in an alluring way with professional photos? Take a look at what’s worked and what hasn’t, and adjust accordingly. 

Keep in close contact with your agent.

Speak with your agent about once a week for a progress report. They should be filling you in regularly about what’s going on and what they’re doing to try to sell your home. If your agent isn’t checking in with you and keeping you in the loop, it might be time to interview other agents.

Friday Five // January 3rd, 2020

It’s the very first Friday of 2020! Let’s make it a good one. Find something awesome to do in the Friday Five, our weekly roundup of five fun events taking place in the Charleston area this weekend. Walk in the footsteps of history, enjoy delicious oysters for a good cause, and more. As always, no matter what you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company hope you have a very happy and safe weekend!

January is Museum Mile Month in Charleston. Our Museum Mile features the richest concentration of cultural sites open to visitors, consisting of six museums, five nationally important historic houses, four scenic parks, and a Revolutionary War powder magazine, as well as numerous historic houses of worship and public buildings. This month, the price of one pass ($25 for adults, $10 for children ages three and up) will allow you access to up to 13 sites. Tickets may be purchased at the Visitor’s Center throughout the month of January.

Bring the whole family to Drayton Hall this Saturday for Daily Life at Drayton Hall—Interactive Learning for Kids. Get an inside look at what daily life would have been like at Drayton Hall in the late 18th century. Participate in hands-on activities and speak with interpreters about the many important jobs that took place on this well-known plantation. Learn how the Drayton family and the community lived and worked, how children were educated, how jobs and trades were taught, and more. Tickets are $12 for non-members and $10 for members when you register in advance. Get same-day tickets for $22 for adults and $15 for children. 

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum hosts its 2020 Pay What You Can Weekend this Saturday and Sunday. In lieu of the standard $24 admission and $5 parking fees, guests are encouraged to pay any amount of money they can afford in order to visit. “The ‘Pay What You Can’ weekend has become a tradition for Lowcountry families,” says Patriots Point Executive Director Larry Murray. “Budgets are tight after the holidays. This is a great way for people to enjoy time with their families without having to worry about the cost. We are also proud to serve as a wonderful learning opportunity to students who are out on winter break.” Families can pay whatever they feel comfortable paying for both admission and parking this weekend. Each ticket includes access to all three historic vessels, the Medal of Honor Museum, and the Vietnam Experience Exhibit. As always, active duty military in uniform and children under six are free.

The holidays may technically be over, but we’re still in a festive mood here in Charleston. If you’re not quite ready to stop celebrating the holidays, you might want to join the Holiday Pub Crawl this weekend. Back by popular demand, the Original Pub & Brewery Tours of Charleston celebrates the season with a fun and festive twist, complete with local flare and good cheer. Bring your friends and family on an adventure to historic taverns and pubs to feast on appetizers and holiday treats, while tasting a pint of local craft beer, Christmas ale, or beverage of choice. This is a unique spin on a historic city tour through the oldest pubs and taverns that can often be hard to find. As you visit four historic pubs, a local guide will regale you with tales of pirates, prohibition, patriots, and presidents who once walked the streets of Charleston. Reservations are required. Cost is $38 per person and includes appetizers and holiday treats. Drinks are available for purchase at each stop on the tour. Crawls depart at 1pm, 4pm, and 7pm daily. A portion of all proceeds from the tour go to benefit MUSC Children’s Hospital.

Head to Bowens Island this Sunday for the 2020 Save the Light Oyster Roast! Enjoy all you can eat local oysters, served steaming outside and under the restaurant in an enclosed area; chili from 82 Queen; hot dogs and trimmings from Swig and Swine; chicken bog and desserts; wine from Southern Wine; beer from Southern Eagle Distributors; as well as soft drinks and water. Multi-genre, toe-tapping dance tunes will be provided by Shakin’ Martinis. Bring extra cash for the raffles and merchandise sales, including lodging and dinner basket, hats, t-shirts, and more. All-inclusive tickets are $45 in advance at the link above, or $50 at the gate. All proceeds are used to support the restoration and preservation of the Morris Island Lighthouse. 


Screen Shot 2021-06-07 at 2.13.38 PM copy.png

Leverage Seal 1.png191