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Five Amazing Communities Near Greenville, SC

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Ready to move to or around Greenville, SC but want to avoid that high cost of living? Hamilton & Co is here to help! Thank you to Hamilton & Co for sponsoring this article!

It’s no secret Greenville, SC is a city on the rise. “Best Small City in America,” “Best Food City in the US,” and “Happiest City in America” are just a few of the many accolades our city has received in recent years.

But rising popularity means rising house prices and overall cost of living.

If you’re considering a move – either local or from out of state – but are intimidated by the rising cost of housing, this article is for you!


Spring Real Estate Advice from Dan Hamilton

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Expert real estate agent Dan Hamilton shares his advice—not just for home buyers and sellers this spring but also homeowners looking to hold onto their current home. Thank you to Hamilton & Co for sponsoring this article!

The spring real estate market is about to pick up fast! In fact, it already has.


Dan Hamilton’s Guide to Upstate Neighborhoods

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Looking for the best Upstate, SC neighborhoods? Greenville, South Carolina has a lot going for it: Great local and state parks, a budding food scene, lively arts and entertainment, plenty of family friendly fun, quality schools, a cost of living below the national average… the list goes on. In this guest article by partner realtor Dan Hamilton, he offers an overview of some of Greenville’s gems–its quaint communities and neighborhoods. Whether you’re already settled into a community you love or you’re looking for a new one, learn a little more about the neighborhoods that make Greenville special!


Dan Hamilton’s Guide to Amenity-filled Greenville, SC Communities

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Every day, new families are calling the Upstate home! Greenville is growing in popularity, and city developers, architects, and homebuilders are working hard to keep up with the demand. Last year, Dan Hamilton of Greenville’s top-rated real estate team, wrote a blog post diving into some of Greenville’s most amenity-filled communities, helping readers in search of all-inclusive lifestyles find their dream home.

In this updated post, Dan is sharing FIVE new communities with you (and not just new to you, but new to the Upstate!) that feature gorgeous homes AND amazing amenities packages.

Hamilton & Co 2023

If you see a community you like or are considering a move in the future, give Hamilton & Co. a call at 864-527-7685!

We do more than just buy and sell houses; we are experts on all things Upstate and love answering your questions.

Whether you’re a seasoned local or someone eyeing Greenville as your future home, I hope you’ll find this updated guide to amenity-filled communities helpful! – Dan


The Riverstone community by Ryan Homes knows how to do amenities! This new neighborhood is conveniently located and has just about everything you could want in terms of amenities.

Hamilton & Co 2023

The resort-style pool and clubhouse are perfect for relaxing on a hot summer day. Walking trails along the Reedy River make the perfect outing for you and your furry friend. Families will love the neighborhood’s riverfront pavilion and playground. Finally, you won’t be needing a gym membership! State-of-the-art gym equipment, tennis courts, and a recreational field are all available to Riverstone residents.

Hamilton & Co 2023

If you and your family are still looking for entertainment beyond Riverstone’s robust amenities, you’ll be happy to know that the community is only 10 minutes away from everything Downtown Simpsonville has to offer, and just 20 minutes from Downtown Greenville.

Riverstone is zoned for Greenbriar Elementary, Hughes Middle Academy, and Southside High.

Hamilton & Co 2023

Riverstone is a new community, and their beautiful craftsman and farmhouse style homes are still for sale starting from the mid-$300s. If you are interested in touring a model home in this community, I’d love to set up an appointment for you! Get in touch with me by filling out this form on my website or by calling my office directly at 864-527-7685.

Pine Valley

Pine Valley Retreat is another beautiful new-build community in the Upstate, and they have a new phase that just released! Located in the heart of Boiling Springs, residents have everything they need at their fingertips, including quick access to I-85.

Our clients who have purchased in this community were impressed with both the style of home and the amenities package. Pine Valley residents enjoy access to a beautiful amenity center with a pool, clubhouse, playground, pickleball court and more!

Psst…if you’re looking for communities with pickleball courts in particular, check out my latest blog post where I share court locations across the Upstate!

Families in Pine Valley are zoned for Sugar Ridge Elementary School, Boiling Springs Middle School, and Boiling Springs High School.

Homes in Pine Valley’s newest phase begin in the low-$300s. Builder D.R. Horton offers multiple floor plans and price points to make the homebuying process simple and customizable! If you are interested in learning more about this community or in setting up a tour, let’s get in touch!

Brookside Farms

Another popular D.R. Horton community, Brookside Farms offers residents spectacular views of both the Blue Ridge Mountains and Paris Mountain. Plus, this community is less than 10 minutes away from charming Downtown Greer.

Hamilton & Co 2023

In addition to TWO pools and a playground, Brookside Farms features winding nature trails and a peaceful pavilion for relaxing on a sunny day. Active residents will love the neighborhood’s bocce ball and pickleball courts!

Looking for entertainment outside your neighborhood? Brookside Farms’ proximity to Downtown Greer means you’ll have access to some of the Upstate’s most popular shopping, dining, and local entertainment.

Hamilton & Co 2023

In addition to various private and charter school options, families in Brookside Farms have the choice to send their children to Crestview Elementary School, Greer Middle School, and Greer High School.

Homes in this sought-after community are just starting to be built, and begin in the low-$300s. Floorplan, finishes, square-footage – you name it, you customize it at this stage of the homebuilding process! If you are interested in learning more about Brookside Farms, let’s connect! I’d love to get you set up with a tour of the community.

O’Neal Village

A self-proclaimed “close-knit family” in Greer, O’Neal Village is a mixed-use community featuring a variety of single family homes, townhomes, retail space and more!

Nestled in the foothills, O’Neal is less than 15 minutes from Downtown Greer and minutes from beautiful Lake Robinson.

O’Neal was built with nature in mind, and the community’s outdoor-focused approach has resulted in a host of convenient amenities for its residents.

Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the neighborhood basketball court and fitness center. The Wicker Park, community garden, and outdoor amphitheater are all enjoyed by the community. A fenced-in dog park provides the perfect environment for your furry friends to run wild.

The Village Square at O’Neal Village features a host of local businesses including Barista Alley, House 509 Bistro & Wine Bar, Haven Ridge Church, Little Me Academy, and more – all within walking distance of your home!

Skyland Elementary, Blue Ridge Middle School, and Greer High School, along with a variety of private and charter options, are available to O’Neal residents. Plus, Little Me Academy is a fantastic preschool option within the O’Neal community!

O’Neal Village is constructed by a handful of local builders and is currently in Phase IV of its development. Homes range in both size and style from single family homes to townhomes, with prices ranging from $190,000 to the mid $400,000s.

A number of our clients at Hamilton & Company have decided to call O’Neal home. If you would like to learn more about the community or connect with me for a tour, contact me directly at 864-527-7685 or fill out the form on my website.

Update: Hartness Community

I’ve previously shared about Hartness, but wanted to cover it again as it’s changed a lot in the last year! It has been in development for over a decade, and this amenity-rich community has an emphasis on getting outdoors.

Hamilton & Co 2023

Hartness offers a variety of custom home layouts of many sizes from townhome up to spacious estate.You can even rent in the Hartness Community!

Hartness offers its residents amenities comparable to other Upstate communities including tennis courts, green spaces, a playground and basketball courts. The community exists alongside a 150-acre Nature Preserve through which 15 miles of biking and walking trails run. Residents have access to a beautiful, serene lake and paddleboards and kayaks to explore it with.

The Village Center at Harness is home to The One5 Restaurant, Spa H, Hotel Hartness, Patterson Kitchen + Bar, and more.

Hamilton & Co 2023

When you do choose to venture beyond all of the conveniences Hartness offers, you’ll find yourself just 10 minutes from Five Forks shopping and dining and 20 minutes from Downtown Greenville.

Children in Hartness often attend Oakview Elementary, Northwood Middle, and Eastside High School.

If you are interested in learning more about building a custom home in Hartness or would like to be notified when a home goes on sale, contact me directly at 864-527-7685 or fill out the form on my website.

Hamilton & Co 2022

Whether you are new to Greenville or have lived here your whole life, I hope this guide has been helpful!

The neighborhoods highlighted in this guide are just a few of hundreds across the Upstate. If you are interested in a list of communities personalized to your interests, budget, and needs, reach out to our team at 864-527-7685. From local lender recommendations, Greenville tours, and free home shopping tools, we go above and beyond to provide our friends and clients with the tools they need to call Greenville home.

Dan Hamilton’s Guide to Pickleball in Greenville

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In this article, top rated real estate agent, Dan Hamilton of Hamilton & Co, takes a break from offering Greenville real estate advice to share his personal experience playing pickleball, where to find the best courts in Greenville and how to get started! Thank you to Hamilton & Co for sponsoring this article.

Pickleball has taken Greenville by storm! Though this popular sport has been around for over 50 years, it really began to gain traction during the pandemic, offering a safe, low-impact social sport for people of all ages. Now, there are courts in almost every town across the Upstate, and you’ll see dozens of avid players out on any given afternoon. I myself have become a huge fan of the sport and enjoy taking my sons out to play.

If you are interested in playing pickleball yourself or want to get your family involved, keep reading! In this article, I’m sharing a few of the many places in Greenville, South Carolina to find pickleball courts, plus a couple coming to the Upstate very soon. I also share a bit of my experience getting into the sport and how you can get started too!

Find a Place to Play Pickleball

You may find yourself wondering where to even go to play Pickleball. Greenville is full of courts ready for you!

Hamilton & Co 2023

Timmons Park

Perhaps the most well-known pickleball courts in the Upstate reside in Timmons Park. The park, located on 121 Oxford Street in Greenville, has 8 hard courts surrounded by a tall fence. These are not modified tennis courts but regulation-size courts and free to play. There are also restrooms and water access for players.

Hamilton & Co 2023

Timmons is a great place to start if you’re new! After my initial pickleball lesson (more on that later), I attended open play here with a friend and loved my experience.

There are always people to play with any time of day, and the environment is open and relaxed. Be warned though, you’ll spend time waiting for a court, especially after work hours. Timmons gets busy!

Southside Park

Another great place to play pickleball is Southside Park. Southside Park is located in Simpsonville on 417 Baldwin Road. The park has 12 hard pickleball courts and are free to play when not reserved for an event or tournament.

Crowds are quite a bit lighter than at Timmons, so much so that you’ll want to bring a friend or two to make sure you can put together a game. This is a great option if you already have friends to play with and don’t want to wait for courts!

Northside Park

Northside Park in Greenville (101 West Darby Road) offers 6 brand new pickleball courts to residents of Travelers Rest and beyond.

Hamilton & Co 2023

As weather got hotter this summer – and Timmons got more and more crowded – I shifted to playing my matches here earlier in the morning before work. The facilities are amazing and the competition is stiff for those looking to up their game!

Similar to Southside Park, you won’t find quite the crowds here that you would at Timmons, so be sure to come with a group.

The Pavilion

Cooler temperatures are on their way, but if you’re still looking to beat the heat, you can play pickleball in one of a few indoor courts in town! My favorite is the Pavilion. Their three courts are open 7 days a week, but unlike open play at the outdoor courts, these courts need to be reserved. As a result, you’ll typically need to bring your friends with you to play!

There are only a few indoor courts available in town right now, and I hope more will be built soon!

New Courts Coming Soon

Greenville is working quickly to accommodate the massive demand for new pickleball courts with a number of exciting projects. Here are just a couple of the businesses coming to the Upstate in the next few years that put a major focus on pickleball:.

PKL Park

Unity Park is getting an upgrade with “PKL Park!” Set to be completed next summer, the park’s new facilities will have 8 professional-grade pickleball courts. But that’s not all! The complex will also include four small restaurants, a full bar, a stage for live music, a 20-foot television wall, and a huge green space for outdoor activities.

Facilities like this will make pickleball a great day-long social activity for the whole family!

Hamilton & Co 2023

The Pickle Yard

Downtown Greenville isn’t the only area investing in new pickleball facilities. Much like PKL Park, Mauldin’s “The Pickle Yard” will feature pickleball courts, 3-4 food concepts, a beer garden, a stage for live entertainment, and outdoor seating.

The sport and social facility is part of a larger entertainment initiative called “Maverick Yards.” The impressive development also includes over 40 new townhomes for rent and is being considered by many to be Mauldin’s new city center.

This facility is anticipated to open next year!

How to Get Started

One of my favorite things about pickleball is how simple it is to get started. Pickleball enthusiasts are friendly and extremely inviting to beginners. I’ve seen new players show up to the court with nothing and been given everything they need right on the court (though I don’t suggest doing this!).

Before you arrive to open play for the first time, I suggest purchasing a good pair of shoes (plain running shoes are fine to begin with), a paddle, and a set of pickleball balls (they look like wiffle balls). That’s it!

Hamilton & Co 2023

I think it’s fairly easy to get up to speed quickly and have competitive matches, but the rules of the game are a little different than you might think. What I did – and what I suggest to others – is started out by taking a two hour lesson, just to learn the basics of the game and how to keep score.

Upstate Pickleball, led in part by my friend John Moore, is a great place to invest in an introductory lesson! From there, you can continue to hone your skills with clinics or jump into open play at Timmons or another court around town.

Contact Hamilton & Co

The Upstate’s amazing communities are full of family-friendly activities. As Greenville’s top-rated real estate team, it’s our job to understand how each community compares and offer our clients up-to-date information that will lead to informed real estate decisions.

Give me a call at 864-527-7685. I’d love to answer your real estate questions and set you up with the tools you need to call Greenville home. – Dan

Learn more about Kidding Around Greenville partner, Dan Hamilton!

Dan Hamilton’s 5 Hacks to Beat the Real Estate Market

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With mortgage rates staying high, housing inventory staying low, and home prices steadily rising, many families find themselves stuck in their homes and unable to move.

Whether you’re looking to get out of renting, being forced to move with a job, or are just looking for a change of scenery, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed by today’s real estate market in Greenville, South Carolina. Dan Hamilton, Hamilton & Co, is here to outline 5 ways you can work around today’s tricky real estate market factors. As a real estate agent for over 20 years, Dan has utilized each of these strategies with his clients. Keep reading, some of the solutions may surprise you! Thank you to Hamilton & Co for sponsoring this article.

Dan Hamilton 2023

2023 Housing Market: A Snapshot

Before I jump into some creative solutions, I want to offer a quick overview of the real estate market as I see it in South Carolina right now, focusing on three metrics: housing inventory, listing price, and interest rates.


Inventory, or the number of active listings on the market, is stable month to month but still very low. While we have recovered from the pandemic’s all-time low inventory with an almost 50% jump year-over-year in Greenville, inventory remains tight considering buyer demand and the larger picture.

House Price

The median sales price for homes in Greenville year-to-date is $305,000, which is a 1.8% increase from this time last year. To put that in perspective, home values in Greenville jumped 18.1% between 2021 and 2022. This year’s increase in home value is much more in line with typical year-over-year appreciation. I expect to continue seeing reasonable increases in home prices this fall, but no major jumps like we’ve experienced in the last couple years.

Interest Rates

Lastly – and probably the most present on people’s minds – are interest rates! Though I know this is an unpopular opinion, “high” interest rates are likely here to stay. While inflation stays high and a stalemate between buyers and sellers exists, I don’t expect the Federal Reserve to drop interest rates; in fact, they will raise them again this fall. As I’m writing, 30-year fixed rates are sitting around 7.14%, and they may have changed by the time you’re reading this!

To summarize, house prices and interest rates will stay roughly the same throughout the remainder of the year (with slight increases), and I don’t expect a big change in inventory.

Dan Hamilton 2023

Making It Work For You

Feeling overwhelmed? I get that. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to work around some of these big market factors. Let’s get into a couple that may work for you.

Solution #1: Buy Now, Sell Later (Cash Offers)

One of the biggest challenges facing homeowners today isn’t selling – it’s finding a home once you’ve sold! And with most homeowners holding onto a home with a 3-4% interest rate, there really isn’t a lot of motivation to get moving.

But what if you could buy your next house before you sell your current home, taking the uncertainty out of the equation? My real estate team Hamilton & Company has a variety of solutions that allow our clients to “buy now and sell later.”

One option allows me to offer you cash upfront for your home – no strings attached – and let you walk away without hosting a single showing or going to the trouble of listing your house. Unlike the cash offers of many of my competitors, this is a “full-appraisal offer,” meaning I pay you what your home is worth and nothing less. That’s hard to beat!

Another option…our investor can buy your house from you now at a small discount, fix it up, resell it, and then pay you again when they close – you get a portion of the profits!

I offer a number of full-appraisal cash offer solutions through my team at Hamilton & Company. The best way to find out if you qualify for one of these offers is to give me a call and talk me through your specific situation. You can schedule a call here or shoot me an email at Info@MyGreenvilleHome.com.

Solution #2: Sell Your Home for More (by investing in high ROI improvements)

If you’ve considered a move recently, chances are you have also considered updating your home to improve its desirability. But since you won’t be around to enjoy those home improvements, you’re really only interested in the renovation’s ROI, or return on investment. That means you should be strategic with your renovations, only investing in improvements that are sure to raise that sale price! The home improvements with the best ROI typically are those that add functional space and square footage to your home.

If you aren’t moving this year but will soon, consider investing in a long-term improvement like finishing your home’s basement or attic or converting a half bath into a full bath. Families looking for quicker improvements should consider bathroom and/or kitchen remodels (with an emphasis on function over aesthetics), a fresh coat of paint, or a project that improves outdoor quality of life like a patio.

If you’d like to learn more about maximizing your renovation budget, check out my article on the best home renovations to consider before listing your home. I also offer my clients a customized renovation evaluation as part of my free home consultation.

Dan Hamilton 2023

Solution #3: Buy a Home and Keep the Seller’s Interest Rate!

The best way to avoid high interest rates? Ignore them altogether! Qualified buyers can do exactly that with something called an Assumable Mortgage.

An assumable mortgage allows you – the buyer – to purchase a home and “assume” the interest rate of the seller. That means you could actually purchase a home at an interest rate as low as 2-3% if you found it on the market! As amazing as this deal sounds, not all homes (or buyers) qualify for an assumable mortgage. Conventional mortgage holders, for example, cannot qualify, but VA, FHA, and USDA loans can!

The best way to figure out if this is a legitimate option for you is to set up a call with me where we can talk through your options.

Solution #4: Tap Into Your Current Home’s Equity

If you’re one of those families I mentioned earlier who’s current home has a low interest rate, you don’t necessarily have to sell it in order to buy a new one!

Rather than selling your current home to pay for your next home’s down payment, consider tapping into your home’s equity with a home equity loan. A home equity loan uses your current home as collateral and the amount is determined by your personal equity in the home. Once you’ve moved out of your current home, you can rent it and offset the cost of the initial, lower mortgage.

This solution doesn’t change the fact your new mortgage is set at that higher rate, but it does allow you to reap the benefits of expanding your real estate portfolio and creates a lower average interest rate.

Solution #5: ARM, Creative Financing

I’ve already explained a way to obtain a lower than average mortgage rate using something called an assumable mortgage. But there are many more forms of “creative financing” out there that help buyers get houses every day. Let’s take a minute to break down a couple more…

  • Adjustable Rate Mortgages: Adjustable Rate Mortgages, or “ARMs,” introduce a set period of time where your interest rate doesn’t change. For example, if you did a five-year ARM, your rate would be fixed for five years and either increase or decrease to match the average rate at the end of that period. This is a great option in a market like ours, because rates are likely to be lower in coming years.
  • Seller-Financed Temporary Buydown: A temporary buydown is when a party involved with the real estate transaction pays a large sum up-front to “buy down” the buyer’s interest rate for a set number of years. In this case, that party would be the seller. This allows the buyer to either ease into that larger monthly payment or refinance at the end of the buy down period when rates will hopefully be lower. A Seller-Financed Temporary Buydown can be negotiated into your contract by your real estate agent, and can last for as little as one year or up to 5 years depending on your negotiation.
Dan Hamilton 2023

The Bottom Line

As an agent with over 20 years of real estate experience, I’ve seen a lot of different housing markets. While I wouldn’t characterize today’s market as a “bad” or “impossible” one, I definitely think it comes with its challenges.

In this article, I’ve shared just a few of the unique solutions I’ve used to help real clients sell and buy homes this year in Greenville. But most of these are highly specific solutions to unique problems.

The best way to figure out one of these options (or another one I couldn’t cover here!) might work for you is to set up a short call with me. I’ll learn about your unique situation and put together a customized solution that fits your needs, timeline, and budget. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, set up a time to talk with me using my calendar linked here. I promise, this call is quick, free, and zero obligation.

Let’s help you realize your real estate goals this year – high interest rates or not!

Contact Hamilton & Co

If you’re looking to buy or sell and you think one of these outside-of-the-box solutions may be a good fit for you, give me a call at 864-527-7685. I’d be happy to break down these options and more, helping you find an answer to your tricky real estate questions.

Learn more about Kidding Around Greenville partner, Dan Hamilton!

Dan Hamilton’s Guide to Greenville Retirement Communities

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Are you a retiree looking for retirement communities in Greenville, SC? Or maybe you and your family have just moved to Greenville and have parents eager to follow you to the area? In this article, our Real Estate Partner Dan Hamilton shares some of the best retirement and age-restricted communities in the Upstate, comparing amenities and explaining buying and leasing options.

Dan Hamilton and his team of real estate professionals at Hamilton & Company offer unparalleled customer service to their real estate clients and free advice on living in Greenville to their community.

Hamilton 2023

Interested in buying or selling real estate in the Upstate? Contact Dan today to learn more. New to Greenville and want to learn more about the area? Check out Dan’s YouTube channel where he shares weekly real estate advice and Greenville news.


Debunked: 7 Myths About Buying New Construction Homes

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Did you know purchasing new construction can look a bit different than buying an older home? In this article, Dan Hamilton, Hamilton & Co. Real Estate Founder, debunks 7 common myths about new construction, explaining how a new construction transaction works and why it might be a good choice for your family. Thank you to Hamilton & Co for sponsoring this article!

Dan Hamilton 2023

House hunting can be an overwhelming process, and an especially difficult one when home prices are high and inventory is low like it has been the last couple of years. In light of today’s market standards, many of our clients at Hamilton & Company – especially our first time home buyer clients – are turning to new construction as an alternative to previously owned homes.

Myth #1: New construction is more expensive than previously-owned homes.

While there is typically less room to negotiate on the price of a new construction home up-front, they are definitely NOT more expensive across the board. Let’s look beyond the price tag for a moment…

New construction homes mean NEW. New roof, new plumbing, new flooring, new heating and air conditioning…new everything!

When you purchase a new construction home, you don’t have to worry about the HVAC breaking a year in or having to replace the roof. Renovations and cosmetic upgrades don’t have to be factored into the purchase price of the home because everything is new and, if you are building your home from scratch, everything is hand-selected by you!

Canva 2023

In the rare case something does break or need to be replaced, new construction homes have home warranties that cover the cost of most repairs. These warranties will vary depending on the community you are purchasing in, so if you are home shopping, be sure to ask your real estate agent about the home warranty options before going under contract.

Finally, new homes are outfitted with some of the best energy efficient technology on the market, including energy-star appliances, insulating techniques, airtight, multi pane windows and more. Built up to the latest construction standards, new construction homes will heat and cool more efficiently, saving you money each month on energy bills.

While it’s impossible to say definitively that one type of home is more or less expensive than another, it is a safe bet to assume new construction homes involve less up-front cost for repairs, are more energy efficient, and can be a more affordable option across the board.

Myth #2: New Construction is more difficult to finance than pre-existing homes.

Contrary to popular belief, new construction can actually be easier to finance than pre-existing homes.

Like any home purchase, a new construction purchase will involve you meeting with a lender and obtaining a loan (unless you plan to pay cash, of course). You can bring your own lender into the new construction deal, but many communities already partner with lenders that you can work with. These lenders are familiar with the builders, the home construction, and the company as a whole, making the financing process move more smoothly.

Plus, there are typically incentives involved when you work with a community’s lender rather than an outside lending source. This can make it easier for you to secure financing and get a better deal on your mortgage.

Here in Greenville, we’ve seen a huge increase in new construction incentives as the market has leveled out, with some communities offering up to $40K in incentives!

So, while the financing process may look a little different with new construction homes than with pre-existing ones, it is not always more difficult. It can often be simpler!

Myth #3: New construction takes FOREVER to finish!

It’s true…new construction timelines often fluctuate depending on available labor, supplies, and other factors, many of which are outside the control of the builder. On our team, we’ve personally seen many of our clients deal with delayed move-in due to their homes not being ready.

However, we’d still say these delays are the exception to the rule rather than the norm. According to the 2021 U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction, home construction takes about 7 months on average, and this lines up with what we see here in Greenville.

Dan Hamilton 2023

But you don’t have to wait that long if you don’t want to. The nice thing about new construction is that you can often jump into the process at whichever point suits you as the buyer.

Many home builders start building a home long before they have a buyer. Construction on speculative homes, or spec homes, may already be underway or nearly completed by the time you start your transaction.

While many buyers purchase nothing more than a piece of land and build their dream home from the ground up, you can really purchase a home at any stage of development. If you are looking to move in the next month or two, for example, you could purchase a home that is nearly complete, add your personal design touch, and be ready to move in on your timeline.

Whether you’re purchasing a plot of land or a nearly completed home, planning in advance is key.

  • Know how long your builder expects the construction process to take.
  • Determine if the timeline aligns with your needs.
  • Ask about material inventory and other factors that may shift the completion date of your home.

Your real estate agent can also be a huge help here. When we represent clients in a new build transaction, we negotiate on their behalf every step of the way. We can help get your questions answered and get you moved in on time!

MYTH #4: New construction is made of poorer quality than pre-owned homes.

With today’s building codes and construction standards, building construction principles are about the same regardless of the new build. Whether you’re purchasing a pre-fab townhome or building a custom home, a minimal standard of quality is required. Not only is there a minimum standard for new builds, but that standard has become more demanding, not less, over time. New homes are:

  • more energy efficient.
  • more earthquake and wind resistant.
  • less expensive to repair than older counterparts.
Canva 2023

While old homes often have charming details that are associated with luxury, they are also full of code violations that just wouldn’t be allowed in home construction today.

If you’ve purchased an older home, you know this to be true! Home inspection reports on older homes often come back riddled with warnings. As real estate agents, we have to walk our clients through these reports, helping them understand what is worth noting and what is merely due to age.

No such issues with new construction! With new builds, everything inside and out meets and often succeeds modern standards and codes. Any issues you may find in a report would be addressed quickly by the builder prior to move-in.

The quality of your home’s finishes may depend on your budget, and more expensive custom homes will surely have more luxury details than spec homes. However, when it comes to home construction, standards are high for new construction regardless of budget.

MYTH #5: You can’t perform a home inspection on new construction.

Speaking of home inspections, there is a huge misconception out there that you cannot perform a home inspection on new construction.

Quite the opposite! Performing a home inspection is a critical part of the home buying process for new builds. In fact, multiple home inspections will be performed throughout the building process in addition to a final inspection you as the buyer may order.

Dan Hamilton 2023

Local municipalities thoroughly inspect new construction as they are the ones who will provide a certificate of authenticity. This certification is required before you can move into your new home.

Your builder will also perform a final inspection prior to signing off. In addition to these inspections, you can hire a third party to ensure the home was built according to the local building code. You don’t have to wait until the end of the building process either! You can hire an inspection at any point in the building process. Your real estate agent can help you hire an inspector and will review your report with you.

So not only are you allowed to order a home inspection on a new build, but new construction is often subjected to multiple inspections, far more than pre-owned homes.

MYTH #6: You don’t need a real estate agent to purchase new construction.

Builders typically do not require you to have a real estate agent when entering a new construction deal, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one, ESPECIALLY if you are a first time homebuyer.

As with any real estate transaction, you want a knowledgeable professional on your side and negotiating on your behalf. Your realtor will make sure you get the best possible price, contract terms, add-ons, warranties, target completion dates, and more. With new builds, your realtor isn’t just there for the actual transaction, they are with you through the entire building process.

Most new construction communities have a real estate agent on duty to assist you with anything you need. While these agents are knowledgeable and more than capable of helping you, their ultimate loyalty lies with the building company that hires them. Bringing your own agent to the real estate transaction ensures you have representation looking out for only your interests.

Builders are typically more than happy to work with your real estate agent as long as you include them early in the process.

When it comes to commission, the cost is often part of the builder’s budget, so you don’t have to worry about that either!

Entering any real estate transaction without professional representation is a bad idea, but it is especially damaging with new construction. Since the transaction period for new construction is so much longer than with pre-existing homes, it is vitally important that you are represented the whole way through.

MYTH #7: New homes lose value faster than established homes.

Buying a house is NOT the same as buying a car!

A car loses value as soon as it’s driven off the lot, but the same can’t be said for real estate. Real estate is an example of an appreciating asset, or an asset that increases in value over time.

Dan Hamilton 2023

Both established homes and new construction are appreciating assets and increase in value after their purchase. In fact, new construction often increases in value more quickly than established homes due to one important factor:

Home values in a new community increase as more homes are added to that community. As the neighborhood develops (and businesses open up around the neighborhood), home prices increase quickly in value. If you have shopped for a new home before, you’ll notice the final home in the community is often much more expensive than the first. This is to account for the dramatic increase in value!

Real estate does not lose value except in very rare economic situations; it appreciates over time. And new construction often appreciates more dramatically in the short run than established homes.

Bottom Line

Hopefully this article has helped you debunk a few misconceptions about new construction in Greenville, SC.

If your family is considering a move in the next couple of years, a new build may be a great option! New construction is energy efficient, affordable, and customizable to your family’s needs.

The best way to decide what type of house fits your needs best is to talk with a trusted real estate agent. At Hamilton & Company, we sit down with each of our clients to discuss their wants and needs in a home, their design style, location preferences, budget and more. All of these factors will help us understand what homes to tour with you.

Contact Hamilton & Co

Are you interested in learning more about new construction homes in Greenville? Contact Hamilton & Company! We have relationships with dozens of builders and communities across the Upstate and would be happy to help you navigate the purchase of a new build.

Learn more about Kidding Around Greenville partner, Dan Hamilton!

The 4 Home Renovations that Are Most Likely to Pay Off: Dan Hamilton’s Guide

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Whether you’ve got your sights set on selling your house soon or you’re thinking about resale further down the line, there are certain renovations that increase home value and appeal to buyer. In his Guide to Strategically Investing in Your Home, our partner realtor Dan Hamilton discusses some of the home improvements that he and his team have seen that result in payoff for sellers.

Home Renovations That Pay Off

Are you looking to sell your home in the near future and want to make sure you get top dollar for your investment? Or maybe you don’t plan to sell anytime soon but would like to enjoy some home updates that will pay off down the road. No matter what your situation, investing in home improvements will pay off. 

But not all home improvements are created equal. Renovations that increase home value pay off big time at the closing table and others aren’t worth the effort. In this article, we’re going to break down the home improvements that statistically result in the highest return on investment (ROI) as well as some general design and renovation advice for homeowners concerned about their house’s value.

One last thing before we get started…if you are a homeowner interested in selling your house, we encourage you to STOP, fill out this form, and then keep reading. As the Upstate’s TOP ranked real estate team (don’t believe us? Check out our Google reviews!), we’d love to offer you personalized advice on the best way to prepare your home for sale through a free home evaluation. During this meeting, our listing agents break down the best way to get your home in your location ready to sell at top dollar. This service is completely free and you don’t have to commit to our team to take advantage of it! 

These Home Improvements Have the Best ROI

First thing, we’re breaking down some of the home improvements that statistically get you the most bang for your buck. Keep in mind, the specific figures used in this article are estimates and will vary by region, supply availability, real estate market, time, scope of project, and many other factors. 

#1: Minor Bathroom Remodel

Bathrooms and kitchens are some of the best places to spend your renovation budget. On average, it costs about $10,500 to replace the tub, tile surround, floor, toilet, sink and vanity fixtures in a bathroom. Typically, projects of this size result in a $10,700, or 102%, return on investment (ROI). 

If you have the money and desire to redo an entire bathroom, by all means consider it! Updated bathrooms make potential homebuyers feel clean and at home rather than like they have intruded on someone else’s space. However, a similar effect can be achieved at a lower price point.

If your tub is in bad condition but you don’t want to splurge on a new one, consider reglazing your current piece. Caulking does wonders for your bathroom, especially your shower, and is a truly simple DIY project. Finally, replacing handles, faucets, and light fixtures will absolutely transform your space – and many can be bought at a good price on Amazon. You can also repaint your current fixtures for an even more cost-effective glow up.

Hamilton Bathroom Renovation

Finally, no matter what projects you decide to tackle in your bathroom, remember a deep clean will go a long way in making the space feel clean and inviting. 

#2: Landscaping

Homeowners who invest in outdoor landscaping are estimated to receive a 100% return on investment, calculated with a $4,900 budget. This budget is meant to be split between the actual landscaping work and hiring a designer to ensure a high quality and effortless curb appeal.

If you want to skip paying for a designer, many local garden centers offer either free design services or classes and seminars. Here are some popular Greenville nurseries and garden centers that may offer similar services.

When designing on a budget, focus on high impact areas of your property like the front door and merely maintain the rest of your yard. Clearly edge all natural areas, weed the lawn, and perform other small tasks that will improve the overall look of your yard, leaving bright and colorful designs for those high impact areas. The best designs are simple – focus on clean lines, bright spots of color, and creating a beautiful scene that appears easy to maintain. 

Landscaping is so important because it contributes to your home’s first impression. A strong first impression increases interest in and traffic to your home when you decide to list it. We’ll talk more about the importance of curb appeal later. 

#3: Minor Kitchen Remodel

Along with bathrooms, your kitchen is one of the best places to spend your renovation budget if your concern is a return on investment. Statistically, a $15,000 kitchen remodel (focusing on cosmetic and not layout changes) will result in about a 99% return on investment, or $14,600. Remodeling your kitchen will brighten and modernize your space, warmly inviting potential buyers to picture themselves gathering in the room.

Though kitchen remodels are valuable investments that usually pay off, they often exceed a typical pre-list renovation budget. There are a few lower cost ways to create a similar impact depending on the current state of your kitchen. If you do not have the budget to reface cabinets, just replace hardware! In most cases, this is another simple DIY project. If you have a kitchen island, consider adding a statement pendant light or a hanging pot rack to create visual interest.

Finally, if you are going to invest in one “larger project” in your kitchen, definitely consider upgrading your laminate countertops to granite or quartz. This is an upgrade most homebuyers expect to see these days, even in older homes. 

#4: Replace Windows

This home renovation is especially important if your home is 20 years or older! Replacing windows (specifically 10 3×5 windows) costs around $9,700 and will result in almost 90% return on investment.

However, if you plan to continue living in your home, your return will be even greater! Old windows are drafty and poorly insulate your home. By contrast, new windows will vastly improve your home’s energy efficiency, keeping your monthly energy bill lower.

Aesthetically, new windows will create clean lines inside and outside your home, and those new window panes will sparkle in the sun! The change from a curb appeal perspective is really amazing. Here are some other amazing benefits of new windows beyond increasing your home value. 

If you are looking to improve current windows rather than replacing them entirely, you have a few options. Repainting your window trim and sills and cleaning the glass can make your windows appear newer and cleaner. As far as energy efficiency, there really is no comparison to newer windows, but there are a number of easy fixes you can try.

Replacing your windows is a sizable purchase with few budget workarounds. However, this improvement will be a huge selling point for your house! Even if you do not plan to sell in the near future, investing in new energy efficient windows will save you money every month on your energy bills and is definitely worth considering if your home is older.

Other Improvements and Design Trends to Consider

Now that we’ve shared 4 popular and investment-savvy home improvements for you to consider, we’ll take a moment to review some honorable mentions and noteworthy design tricks. This section will even help inform your design decisions should you choose to pursue one of the home improvement projects listed above.  

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) 

LVP is a cost effective, high quality flooring alternative to hardwood or tile. Dent and scratch resistant, water-resistant, and overall cheaper and more durable than hardwood, LVP is quickly becoming the most popular flooring in houses. If your home is filled with various types of flooring (hardwood, laminate, tile, carpet, etc.), installing LVP may be a good option for increasing your home’s value and creating interest with buyers. 

Organic Shapes and Natural Elements

A huge design trend this year involves incorporating organic, rounded silhouettes and natural textures into your home. When designing your home, consider incorporating rattan, wood, and other natural elements into your living space and softening hard lines with rounded furniture. 

Aim for spaces that are light and airy and consider light wood floors and white walls. Wood ceiling beams can add warmth and coziness to a room and can be mirrored by another wood element on a mantel. Accent chairs or dining chairs can feature natural materials like rattan or leather, too. Organic elements like these, along with highly textured accent pillows and a plant or two, soften a room and create visual interest. If a room’s furniture is angular, you can introduce a round side table and a circular statement light fixture. 

Impeccable design is not a requirement to sell your home (especially in the aggressive seller’s market we are experiencing). However, incorporating a few new design elements is a very simple way to elevate your space, either for your own continued enjoyment or for interested buyers. 

Master Suite Design 

We’ve already mentioned that kitchens and bathrooms are some of the most important rooms in your home to update prior to selling. One other space that deserves a little TLC is your master suite. A calm, luxurious-feeling master bedroom will help potential buyers fall in love with your home. 

If you utilize window treatments in your master bedroom, consider investing in a high quality curtain. Curtains should drape all the way to the floor and be positioned on a rod halfway between the top of the window and the bottom of the ceiling. When installed this way, curtains make a small room feel larger and, especially in bedrooms, make the space feel so expensive and luxurious. 

If you have plans to sell your home but are overwhelmed by the design element, we understand! Check out this interview with our friend Kim Dunn, owner of Staged 4 You by Kim, the Upstate’s largest and most experienced home staging service. Give her a call (or call us at 864-527-7685 and we’ll make a personal introduction) to learn how she can transform your home, earning you up to 25% more at the closing table!

The Importance of Curb Appeal 

We’ve covered a lot! Before we wrap things up, we wanted to circle back to the exterior of your home. Your home’s curb appeal is its first impression; if people don’t like the way your home looks from the outside they won’t want to see the inside. That is why it is so important to tighten up your home’s exterior appearance. 

We already discussed landscaping and window replacement as two major ways to improve your home’s outdoor appearance. Here are a few final exterior improvements to consider if you are serious about upping your home’s curb appeal: 

  • Power wash your driveaway and any additional pathways.
  • If you don’t have a walkway to your front door, consider adding a stepping stone path. These make great additions to your backyard as well!
  • Clean or replace exterior siding. You can hire a professional to assess the state of your siding and decide which would be best for your home. 
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint (or stain as appropriate) to your front door and clean or replace any glass panes. Make that entryway shine! 

The Bottom Line

If you plan to live in your home for years, make improvements and design choices that make you happy. However, if you plan to sell in the near future or are concerned with the overall value of your home, being strategic with your budget and your design choices is important. Keep your plans classic, (slightly) on trend, and appealing to a wide audience rather than leaning into personal style choices. Choosing the right project and being strategic with your design will ensure you increase the value and desirability of your home.

Are you interested in selling your home? Hamilton & Co. is the Upstate’s highest ranked real estate team. We have a team of real estate experts ready to walk you through each step of the home selling (or buying) process! Whether you’re moving down the road or across the country, need to purchase sight unseen or want to spend the weekend touring homes, we’re here to help. Visit our website at MyGreenvilleHome.com and learn more about the home buying and selling processes, or give us a call at 864.527.7685 and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Dan Hamilton’s Greenville, SC Holiday Bucket List

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In this article, Top Rated Real Estate Agent and Team Leader Dan Hamilton takes a break from offering Greenville real estate advice to share his must-see Greenville events this holiday season. Keep reading to discover his family’s favorite Greenville traditions!

I have lived in Greenville since I was 5 years old, and Christmas has always been a special time in the city. This year, I’m sharing some of my family’s favorite Greenville holiday events and Christmas traditions that we never miss.

I’m just sharing a few of my favorite events here, but if you’re looking for more ways to spend time with your family this holiday season, check out my team’s holiday guide. Whether you’re looking for a Christmas Tree Farm, a Christmas Parade, or a New Years Eve Party, the Hamilton & Co. Holiday Guide has you covered with over 70 Greenville Holiday Events!