Drew Dellinger - Experienced Real Estate Advisor & President of Inlet Living, INC

April 26, 2019

Closing & Recording

Image result for closing day

Closing here in the Grand Strand area can get a bit frustrating when it's time to take possession of your home. Unfortunately, the process is a bit different than what you are likely familiar with.

Over the years I've experienced many issues with our closing process here in Horry & Georgetown County. Those instances led me to write a quick article addressing the closing and recording process.

In this area, unfortunately, we are a little behind on the times. We are one of the only areas in the state that still operate using "recording" guidelines. So, what does this mean for you?? In a nutshell, there is a 2 part process to how your closing will be handled. 

First, the seller and you will sign closing documents (In most states this would make the sale final and the attorneys would disburse funds to the seller. However, it's just the start of the closing process in our area.)

The second step referred to as "recording", is what will allow me to transfer keys so you can physically gain access to the property. Recording happens when the deed has made it's way to the courthouse and the on-site title abstractor updates and records the deed transfer in your name. The timing is what so often causes an issue. Attorneys only send their courier to the courthouse once a day. Most attorneys send the courier midday and the abstractor usually records the deed between 3:00-5:00 pm. So please keep in mind if either you or seller sign closing documents in the afternoon, it will be the following day between the hours of 3:00 & 5:00 before you can physically take possession of the property. This can cause a nightmare for some, I know! Especially if the closing gets delayed by a day or so and falls on a Friday. Imagine signing your closing documents and paying for utilities through the weekend, however not being able to gain access until the following week (Monday). Trust me, I don't like the process and think it needs to be adjusted for consistency across the country; however, it's not me who can make that call, unfortunately. The attorneys are the ones who will eventually have to make this change. Please know, I do everything possible to get you in the property as quickly as I'm allowed! One precaution I'm able to take is setting the closing date earlier in the week. You'll notice in your contract I always set closing for Monday-Thursday to prepare for any unexpected delays. Another precaution I take is making sure the attorneys are aware ahead of time if you or sellers are closing by "mail-away". (Mail-Away is when you or the sellers are signing from another location and returning the package back through Fed-Ex). If either party is closing by mail-away there is a very good chance you will not take possession until a day after signing. As we have 2 separate attorneys in most cases (buyers attorney & sellers attorney) it's extremely important the attorneys coordinate everything the appropriate way. If either the seller or you are closing by mail away, it is almost certain recording will happen at least a day behind the closing. 

**Please Note for mail aways** If you are financing your property and closing by mail away there is a 100% chance recording will not happen until the following day at best. The lenders will not allow closing documents to be signed and executed prior to the closing date. So, the best case scenario would be you receiving the closing documents one day early, signing, overnighting back the same day, and attorneys having everything ready to head to the courthouse the following day before noon. Please keep in mind this is the best case scenario!

Long story short, when it comes to you taking possession of the property I always tell my clients to expect the worst and hope for the best. I just don't want you to not be prepared should something happen. It's best to have a hotel lined up and make sure the movers understand the furniture may stay on a truck overnight just in case there is a delay in the process. I understand this isn't an easy task, but from experience, I have found it's best to be prepared for the issues before they happen.

I know this seems to be way more complicated then it should be! Remember, I don't like it any more than you do! But since I can't change it, I feel it's my duty to have you prepared for the worst case scenario. Please call me with any questions or concerns and I will certainly do my best to help!

Posted in Closing Process
Aug. 3, 2017

"The Pre-Approval" Common Mistakes

"The Pre-Approval" Common Mistakes

"The Pre-Approval"
Image result for pre approval

What is a pre-approval and why is it so important? Well, let's first start by defining the pre-approval. A pre-approval is nothing more than a good faith letter by your chosen lender that states you are pre-qualified to buy a "house" at a specific amount providing you give ALL requested info while being completely honest with your income, debt, situation, etc. Another missing piece that is oftentimes not relayed to the buyer is the importance of no changes in your income, debt, and situation from the time you receive your pre-approval letter to closing. Also, a very important key ingredient...Are you providing your lender with allinformation? I.E. Are you planning to buy a home out of state however you are using your current job to verify income? You need to disclose as much as possible to your lender up front. In my career I have witnessed unfortunate outcomes for buyers that could have really been prevented should they have correctly covered all their basis up front. Below I'm going to go over some common errors made when getting pre-approved. When reading through these below issues please consider there are pre-paid, non-refundable, expenses that you will incur throughout the home purchase process. You could end up costing yourself thousands with the below mistakes. Prepaid expenses could cost you many stressful hours & roughly $1,250 - just to end up extremely disappointed and back at square one. Please read through the problems below where I'll cover these expenses and the importance of considering an experienced Realtor and LenderI also want you to consider talking with me before contacting a lender. Each bank does have different loan products and their specialties may differ from one to another. You may be better served in dealing with a bank that specializes in a specific property class or loan type. 

Problem 1: "The Self Pre-Approval"
This is probably the #1 most common pitfall I see from potential buyers - and rightfully so! These days you can't possibly search a real estate site without seeing some sort of mortgage calculator allowing you to see what purchase price you can "afford" monthly. I certainly understand it may be misleading when these calculators tell you can afford a $200,000 house based on what kind of monthly payment you can dish out. Please understand that just because you know you can afford $1,200 a month doesn't mean the banks going to hand over $200,000 just because you explain to them you have been paying rent of $1,200 a month for the last 2 years. I'm not here to go over lending guidelines because I'm not a lender and don't even pretend to keep up with the guidelines a lender has to keep up with. However, I've seen folks waste many hours and money shopping for a house only to be seriously let down when they are ready to make an offer and are unable to get pre-approved for the house they have pre-approved themselves for.

Problem 2: "My Pre-Approval Qualifies Me For ANY property Up To My Approved Amount"
So like many, you didn't miss the first step and have applied with a local lender to obtain your pre-approval letter. Great!!! You are well on your way to becoming a new homeowner. But, please work with a qualified Realtor to make sure you are searching for a property that you are actually qualified to purchase. There are many factors to consider before you start your home search. Just like the self pre-approval, this missed step can cost you time & money just to be let down when you find out the specific property you have found does not qualify for the terms and conditions of your pre-approval. Things like property type, insurance, property condition, roof age, and location can all play a major part in whether or not you are going to be able to make it to the final closing stage without issues. Again, please Contact Me so we can go over your options in making sure you are not wasting valuable time searching for the wrong home! 

Problem 3: "Approved Now, Denied Later"
Now this one really wows me! I have seen deals fall apart just a few days prior to closing because a buyer decided to withhold small details from their lender. Folks commonly think just because they have received a pre-approval from the bank they are ready to buy a home and never look back. Before I get into the amount of time & money you could potentially cost yourself when fudging your numbers, let's first go over what a "lender" really is....

GOOD & KNOWLEDGEABLE Lender is a very important piece to the puzzle no doubt! But, please understand that a lender is not the one that will handing over the money to purchase your next home. A lender's duty is to crunch your numbers, situation, & terms to "pre" qualify you for the bank's terms for lending money. The actual approval process doesn't even begin until you have agreed and signed a purchase contract between you (the buyer) and the seller of the house you have chosen. Once your lender receives a contract they will begin to obtain the necessary paperwork for processing and most importantly, underwriting. Underwriters..... I'm sure we have all heard that word a time or two. Underwriters are the backbone of your final loan approval. For those who have not yet been through the purchase process. The underwriters will and can find every detail you thought you could withhold from your lender in the beginning stages. These underwriters are going to ask you for absolutely everything and in many cases you are going to be extremely stressed out from the process early on. Again, please work with an experienced teamwho can help you through these stressful times! They can relieve a lot of the unnecessary worry from you and allow you to stay focused on only a few things instead of ALL of the important steps and complications that could arise.

Problem 4: "The One They Lost"
Being a higher volume Realtor, I've seen this one far too many times. Seeing my clients miss out on a good deal that is absolutely perfect for them, really upsets me. I don't mean it makes me mad...I mean it pains me to see the emotional struggle they go through when this happens. Until a buyer goes through this they don't see the importance of having that pre-approval before they start home searching. Had they taken 15 mins up front to fill out a simple loan application this wouldn't have happened. Some buyers never forget about "the one they lost"! I'll never forget about the time I asked a buyer if they were pre-approved and they replied "yeah we're good, we've already talked to our bank". I worked with these clients for a couple months so they could purchase their dream home. Literally, this home was one they had wanted for many years. They we're just waiting on this particular home to hit the market and it was theirs. Well, they received word through a source that the seller was going to be selling the home soon. Again, they told me "they were good"! So, I reached out to the seller for them and sure enough they were ready to list the home. In just a few days we had the home listed and ready for an offer. My buyers were so excited, and of course I started typing up the purchase contract for them. In going over the financial contingency section of the contract I asked them to send me over their pre-approval, as it states in the purchase contract you must attach provide proof of funds, lender info, loan type, etc. Here's where they dropped the bomb....."Well, we don't have a letter they just said we were good". At this time I found out they weren't pre-approved at all. They spoke with a bank about their numbers and they said they should be okay. These buyers were already in a bad position as the house had already received a lot of market attention in just a few short hours. Well, long story short, these buyers found out after a loan application it was going to be a few weeks before the bank could issue them a pre-approval as there were some things they needed to get cleared up. My buyers did end up getting approved, but unfortunately it was couple weeks too late. The home already had multiple offers and the seller had accepted a final highest and best offer. 

Folks the moral of this story is to please get a pre-approval, it's way too easy not to! You may think you are different then these buyers and not yet quite ready to purchase a home. Well, please absorb one question for me. Are you like MANY OTHERS who are looking for a deal on the perfect home? Of course you are! But, so is everyone else who is actively home shopping. And please keep in mind, some of these other folks have already been burned once before and lost out on what they found to be the perfect home. If a good deal hits the market it WILL NOT last long in our area. Like you, people want to live here! The 24-48 hours it takes to obtain a pre-approval may end up causing you to miss out of the perfect one!!

So, here's my obligation to you. If you follow my plan and allow my "Advanced Home Search Service" to work for you - Together we will make sure you don't miss out on that perfect home! Let's make sure you aren't left in the same position as my buyer clients above. Hey, a pre-approval, help of a REALTOR (see below), and my "Advanced Home Search Service" is completely free to buyers. Why on earth would you not take advantage of it?!

Problem 5: "The Closing Expenses"
Now this is another one that can cause a huge problem when trying to successfully close your loan. Imagine making it through all the above mentioned steps with your hard work only to find out 48 hours before closing you don't have the needed funds to close. Many buyers are under the impression closing cost are wrapped into the loan amount or included in the amount you originally planned to put down. Folks please understand your closing cost could potentially cost you more than your planned down payment amount! You really need to contact an Experienced Realtor or Lender to go over these expenses up front and make sure you have the ability to afford not only the purchase price, but also closing expenses! 

So what could these hiccups end up costing you? Here's a short list of some of the expenses you could cost yourself should the offer & purchase process not be held properly. Examples of prepaid expenses are as follows: Appraisal = $500, Inspection = $400, CL-100 Letter = $100), Title Search = $250

Want FREE HELP to make sure you are properly covering ALL steps & taking the needed precautions? Please consider this......

I know in some cases folks are under the impression it's going to cost them directly or think without me they have the ability to negotiate a better deal without an agent. This common myth couldn't be farther from the truth! My services are completely free to you and in MANY cases can end up saving you thousands by the time we close.

"One of the MOST overlooked steps in the buying process "The Buyer's Agent"

There Are Many Benefits Of Using A Buyer's Agent!

Now of course the best part are the benefits you'll receive at absolutely zero cost to you. However, there are many more perks associated with using the right agent. Agency in the state of SC is structured to make sure both parties are treated equally and fair. Having the assistance of a local Realtor can help you in many ways and it's absolutely free on top of that! How is the buyer agents commission paid?... Well, it's ALREADY set up in a MLS listing to be paid by the seller and the price DOES NOT change just because you decide to deal with the listing agent directly! How great is that?!  Free helpful service that could potentially help save you (with the right agent) a ton of money in the process.

Please use my services to your advantage. I'm here to help.


Here's a simple example breakdown:

6% Commission ALREADY in listing in the MLS to be paid by the seller. Here's an example of how our commission is generally split.

3% for Buyer's agent

3% for Listing agent

If listing agent represents both sides in what's known as "dual agency" in SC. He/She would then be entitled to full 6% commission. THIS DOES NOT CHANGE JUST BECAUSE YOU USE ONE AGENT!

I understand you may just be shopping and are currently in the preliminary stages of your home search. Please know, I'm not here to bug you. I do understand you may not be ready to talk with a Realtor. This email is nothing more than a quick explanation of how our state guidelines are in place to help you. So for now, just go ahead and enjoy the benefits of my website and service..... I'll be here when you need me. No question is too small. I'm here for you!

Now that we have covered the importance of your pre-approval, let's get you started in the right direction. Click Here to start the application process!

(Please leave the property address blank and as TBD on this application)

**Each borrower please list a separate e-mail and cellphone number**

This advisement has been presented by Drew Dellinger of Garden City Realty. For more info on myself ,team, accolades, & to see my past client reviews please visit the links provided below.

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July 25, 2017

Local Golf Discounts

Considering Retirement at the beach? Love Golf?  Well, there's no better place to retire than the Golf Capital Of The Country. Here's the BEST part....Myrtle Beach is not only the Golf Capital of the U.S. It's been ranked year-after-year as one of the most affordable golf destinations in the U.S.

Coming from someone who LOVES golf and knows all the area courses, prices, and communities. I wanted to write a quick informative article, one golf nut to another. The Grand Stand is home of over 100 area courses. With a handful of local courses toping charts in Golf Digest as the years "best 100 courses" in the world. The best part.....Ownership of property here gives you the ability to throw around the title "Local" for access to the best deals. The Myrtle Beach area has been good to me and its locals over my 13 year residence. Locals have the opportunity to take advantage of all the best deals with golf, restaurants, and entertainment. The main purpose of this article is to let you know there are area memberships available, ranging from $42-$350 a year. I myself have a membership called "Prime Times". This is a membership for local's costing $200 a year. The membership also gives you discounts on merchandise and numerous restaurants. I encourage you to check out their website, PrimeTimesCard.com. This membership gives you priority access to great pricing and perks for 22 local golf courses. Per round cost, ranges anywhere from $20-$58 depending on course and time of play. The membership works off a point accumulation system. Every time you play you earn points redeemable for a free round. The rates I listed above are for your green fees and cart. That's right right folks! Cart is included in this price. I myself like to take advantage of the afternoon rates ranging from $20-$35. I also HAVE to mention guest rates with this membership. If you are anything like me, you have developed quite a few golf buddies over the years. I myself receive calls monthly from my fellow junkies wanting to come down to the beach for a stay and play. Well, with the Prime Time Membership your guest get to play for your same rate plus a $3-$5 guest fee. You can't beat it! Especially seeing as how these course's are highly ranked year-after-year. Here's your editor's picks for the best bang for you buck: Pawleys Plantation, River Club, Burning Ridge, Pine Lakes, Wild Wing Plantation, and Long Bay Club. Now the premium courses included in the membership are must plays all ranking at the top for the areas BEST! With the point accumulation can be as easy as play two rounds and get one FREE. Just mentioned the other's for those like me always looking for the BEST deals. Either way comparing our area to others on the coast makes Myrtle Beach a No-Brainer for a "Golf Junkie" like me. Where else are you going to get THIS MANY high quality courses with this pricing? If you have any other questions related to golf in the area, please don't hesitate to ask. There is SO MUCH other valuable info I could give to help better serve you! Below is some info better explaining the membership mentioned in this article. 

    Prime Times Benefits:

  •  Reduced rates on 22 of Myrtle Beach’s premier courses starting at $33 per round
  •  FREE rounds – as easy as Play 2, Get 1 Free. See the point's structure for accruing and redeeming points.
  •  $50 Gift Certificate redeemable at any Prime Times Signature Course Golf Shop (only available for new, annual Prime Times Cards - not on upgrades or renewals)
  •  Special 9-hole rates and After 1:00 p.m. rates. After 1:00 p.m. specials do not accrue points.
  •  Special savings for up to 3 guests every time you play
  •  Clinics and fittings held throughout the year
  •  Signature Cardholder events
  •  Discounts at the Mel Sole Golf School
Posted in Murrells Inlet
June 25, 2017

7 Reasons To Buy Your Next Home In Murrells Inlet!

7 Reasons To Buy Your Next Home In Murrells Inlet!
"Inlet Living"

Murrells Inlet is an area too often overlooked in the home search process. When most think or search for homes in the Myrtle Beach area they don't think or look too much outside the city limits. This is understandable because of the hype associated with Myrtle Beach. However, there are so many beautiful areas just outside the city limits that well deserve extra attention. One is the Murrells Inlet area, known to locals as simply "The Inlet". Below are 7 key reasons to put The Inlet at the top of your home search list.


1. Quiet-

Summer months around the Grand Strand can cause us locals quite the headache. From traffic to lack of parking for beach access; there are many reasons we avoid certain areas during tourist season. The Inlet offers all the fun and entertainment you will find in Myrtle Beach, minus the frustration associated with Beach Traffic. Why you might ask? Well, It's pretty simple really. Less hotels and rental property = Less tourist vacationing to the area.


2. Private Beaches

Murrells Inlet is home of the beautiful Huntington Beach State Park. Known for it's picturesque landscapes and rich history, this park also has a huge stretch of beach that only park members have the privilege to enjoy. For a minimal daily or yearly membership price, you and other locals can enjoy the private beach access not found in the city limits.


3. Golf

Well, you golf lovers sure are in for a treat. Murrells Inlet is home of some the area's most sought after golf courses. From private country clubs to famous names, living in the area you won't experience any lack of punishment brought upon from the brutal game we love.


4. The Food

Also known as the “Seafood Capital Of South Carolina”, Murrells Inlet is the place to go when looking for some delicious freshly caught Atlantic Ocean seafood. After eating at the area's well known restaurants you too will understand where the famous name comes from. If the exquisite food isn’t enough to sell you on the area, wait until you experience all the live entertainment that takes place on the beautiful Murrells Inlet Marshwalk. The time spent enjoying very talented well-known artist from all over the east coast, with a backdrop of the gorgeous marsh, is one you will never forget.


5. History-

Murrells Inlet is an area so deep in rich history it could take you many years to explore it all. Known for it’s old rice plantations, written history dates back to the early 1700’s. Most of the trees and plantation homes still exist to this day and some have been developed into what's known as the most sought after neighborhoods in the entire Grand Strand. I encourage you to check out homes in the Private country club community Wachesaw Plantation, located on the banks of the intracoastal waterway. Also, check out homes along the beautiful coastline @ Garden City Beach of Murrells Inlet or Hermitage Plantation & Mt. Gilead situated along the the famous Inlet Marsh. 

6. Retirement-

Murrells Inlet is a great place to spend your later years! Endless activities, less traffic, beautiful beaches, great food, and extremely cheap living make Murrells Inlet the perfect retirement destination!  Here's some great communities to start your home search - The BaysStonegate, and Seasons @ Prince Creek


7. Schools-

If you have kids and are on the fence about choosing your next area for relocation. You may want to consider the award winning schools in Murrells Inlet. Murrells inlet is home of the well known Waccamaw "Warriors" St. James “Sharks”.

Posted in Murrells Inlet
May 2, 2017

Dellinger recognized again in April

Dellinger takes top listing producer again in April!

In 2016, Dellinger was top selling agent of the third quarter. Likewise, he was top listing and selling agent of November. For 2017, His current volume is roughly 3.5 million in closed sales YTD with another 1 million currently pending. Dellinger specializes in many outlets of the business including: Luxury, vacation, investment, and residential. Drew is a member of the Coastal Carolinas Association of REALTORS (CCAR), the South Carolina Association of Realtors (SCAR), and the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). He is also reviewed as a top 5-Star Rated Agent by past clients. Dellinger serves in various community activities and organizations including; Fellowship of Christian Athletes Board Member, Coastal Conservation Association volunteer, and Belin United Methodist Committee Member. He can be contacted at 843-446-2893 or Drew@emaildrew.com

Posted in Murrells Inlet
Feb. 8, 2017

Why You Should NOT "FSBO"



Posted in Murrells Inlet
July 21, 2016

Common Myths - Buying A Vacation Home; AKA "Investment Property"

Common Myths - Buying A Vacation Home; AKA "Investment Property"

This idea of investment property could mean something different from one person to another. To me an investment is something that turns a profit. Hey, I'm sure we can all agree on this! However, the time line may be this biggest misconception I come across.

I receive many inquiries from folks looking to buy a house or condo, close to the beach, and offset all expenses (including mortgage) by placing the property on a vacation rental program. Well, before we dig into the concept of buying an investment property. Let me briefly go over "all expenses". All expenses to me are going to be every dime you saturate into your property on a yearly basis. Too often folks are so concerned with offsetting the routine expenses like the mortgage, taxes, insurance, and utilities - They completely forget about cost to maintain a property taking rental abuse or the cost of special assessments as they come. As a general rule of thumb you should plan to set aside and additional 10% of your gross income for upgrades & repairs needed to keep your property producing a solid rental income year after year.  As time passes renters will start to consider your property "dated" without continuous upgrades and repairs. A great example would be a new coat of paint, new carpet, updated appliances, or a needed HVAC system. If you have a house how about that new roof, landscaping expense, or siding that needs attention. Special assessments can surprise folks as well....Although you pay into your monthly HOA, there may be a building expense that needs to be assessed to all the homeowners in the building. Same as the house I mentioned, there will be exterior upgrades & repairs that need to be addressed to maintain the curb appeal to make sure your building is a renter favorite year after year. None of us want to stay in that dated/rough looking building when we take our family on our yearly vacation, right? Ever been on an iffy elevator? Well, I know I have and would have a tough time getting my wife and kids on and off one for a week long vacation. Those elevators take a lot of abuse. I mean they are continuously running many months out of the year. With use like that, it's only a matter of time before repairs or updates need addressed and I assume this isn't cheap!

Now, the purpose of this article is to give you an informative approach when looking at investment properties. There are agents out there that might leave the details above completely out of the equation to make a sell. Well, this is not my style to say they very least! I'm never trying to sell anything! This isn't good for my reputation and residual business for my long term career. It should be our responsibility as agents to inform folks of all the details and not assume they are real estate savvy enough to figure it out themselves. Now, please know I'm not writing this article to challenge your experience or knowledge. Trust me, I don't have all the answers! I just approach every potential client with the intention of being as helpful as possible through the process. I feel it is our responsibility to "inform" not "SELL" anything! An agent should be there to help you the whole way through.

All that said, you can find a property that will offset routine expenses and a portion of your mortgage. But, please don't forget about the other associated long term cost. I’m here to prepare you so you know there’s a possibility of receiving that unexpected phone call from owner services, mid summer, bearing the terrible news your HVAC system has just gone caput and they are sending someone out to replace it that same day at a cost of $5,500. Are you prepared to pay for that expense at the drop of a hat?

Now let's quickly go over my approach to what an "investment property' is to me...

What about the value of the tax break you’ll receive,  potential appreciation in value over the next 10 years, or even the value of the vacation use for you and your family? How much do you typically spend on your yearly family vacation? I do think there is tremendous value of buying a vacation home; AKA “investment property”. It's just all about how you rate value and ROI.

Still have questions? You should! I always encourage them. If you want any additional info on buying or selling in the area, just give me a buzz...I'd love to hear from you! 843.446.2893



Here's a quick rental cashflow for a unit sold in Surfside....