First-Time Home Buyers
If you are a first-time home buyer, use the guide below for helpful hints and tips and learn how to avoid common mistakes when buying your first home in the Carolinas.
- Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
- Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You'll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
- List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wish list - things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically you probably will not get everything on your wish list.
- Representation by a Professional: Hire your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller. This includes new construction too. The agent in the model home works for the builder, not you.
- Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
- One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
- A list or file of the properties that your agent has shown to you.
- Paper and pen for taking notes as you search.
- A camera to snap pictures of homes you have toured to help you remember your favories and features you really liked.
- Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
- Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
- Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:
- Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
- Have a survey performed to ensure you know exactly what property you are purchasing.
- Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. We are here to guide you and educate you to make the best investment decision for you. Reach out today to have a complimentary buyer consultation with one of our real estate professionals.