Find your way home

Tired of being sold to? Need  advice and guidance that doesn’t waste your time? Lexie Barnum is your trusted real estate agent, working for you every step of the way.

Buyers

Make an informed decision and become an empowered buyer.

Sellers

Discover how to get the most return on investment for your property.

businesses

Find the right commercial property. Buy or sell your business.

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Real Estate FAQs

First and foremost, you need to be pre-approved for a mortgage. How can you find a home if you don’t know how much you can borrow? A pre-approval letter from a lender will move your home search in the right direction. It also sets realistic expectations with the home search. Finding your perfect home doesn’t have to be a stressful process. With a pre-approval from a mortgage lender, we can narrow your search down and eliminate homes that are outside of your budget. Pre-approval also signals to me and potential sellers that you are a serious buyer. 

Want to get started? Download the buyer’s checklist today.

This is an important question for buyers and sellers!

Buying a home can be a complicated process, especially if you aren’t pre-approved for a mortgage. If there aren’t any bumps in the road, it can take 3-4 months from the moment you search online to closing escrow. Under normal market conditions, it can take anywhere from 30-45 days to complete the escrow period.

However, there are a lot of factors that can affect how long the buying process takes. The No. 1 factor being market conditions. When there is a lot of sales activity, buying a home can take longer because there’s more competition for properties and transaction process gets backed up with upticks in business. This has a domino effect with every facet of real estate — the loan underwriting process could stall, property appraisers aren’t readily available, the seller and the buyer are taking longer to negotiate.

When there is an increase in demand for homes, prices increase. There are a number of factors that can affect a seller’s market.

In areas like the Lowcountry with ongoing development and an influx of new residents, home prices inevitably rise before new homes can be built. Other economic factors include lower interest rates, which create more buyer; or a brief spike in interest rates, which encourages lukewarm buyers to go ahead and purchase while the market is hot.

Interested in selling your home? Download our seller’s guide today!

When home prices are declining and there is a reduced real estate demand, welcome to a buyer’s market.

This happens when interest rates are higher than normal — reducing the number of people who qualify for a mortgage. Home prices drop to meet the market conditions — and buyers can find better deals.

A brief drop in interest rates also can affect a buyer’s market. This enables buyers to qualify for mortgages.

In the Lowcountry, buyer’s markets can happen when there are a ton of new development cropping up. With a lot more homes, this can sometimes lower the prices of older homes nearby, especially if they lack updates and features found in newer homes.

As a buyer, working with a real estate agent shouldn’t cost you anything. The seller normally pays the entire commission — which ranges from 5-6% of the house sale price, split between the seller’s agent and yours.

The listing agent represents the sellers and charge a fee to market their property and represent their best interests. The property will also be placed in the local multiple listing service (MLS), where other agents in the area (and nationally) will be able to search and find the home for sale.

The buyer’s agent are compensated by the seller’s agent for bringing home buyers to the table. When the home is sold, the listing fee is split between the two real estate agents/brokers.

Firstly, I am not a financial advisor nor am I a mortgage lender. However, from my experience in real estate, many home loan programs require a FICO score of 620 or better.

Buyers with higher credit scores represent less risk to the mortgage lender, which can result in a lower down payment requirement and better interest rates. On the other side of the equation, buyers with lower credit scores may need to bring more money to the table (or accept a higher interest rate) to offset the lender’s risk.

Lexie Barnum

Your Trusted Lowcountry Real Estate Agent

I am passionate about helping buyers and sellers achieve their goals with confidence by providing a combination of industry knowledge, cutting-edge technology, creative marketing, and some good, old-fashioned Southern hospitality. 

I strive for a positive customer experience. I treat my clients like family, paying close attention to all the details and ensuring they understand what’s happening at every stage of the process.

I am a licensed REALTOR for Signature Real Estate Group with more than 7 years of experience and I have a strong background in luxury homes and condos. I am a native to the Lowcountry. When I’m not working, you can find me in the kitchen cooking for my family and friends. Or I’m cheering my son, Caimen, on at one of his football games!