Must have tips for buying Charlotte real estate in 2018


Owning a home can be exciting and scary at the same time. Perhaps you’re a career driven individual who has built up his or her financial security, and investing in real estate is your next venture, or a college grad ready to cut ties with roommates…Whatever the case may be, seller’s markets can be a financially dangerous terrain for first-time home buyers who have little or no knowledge of real estate.

Experts are optimistic that the Charlotte real estate market will boom in 2018 just like it did in 2017 without interruptions. For the record, most of the major players in Charlotte prospered last year. Home prices skyrocketed, new apartments hit the market in the thousands, and an array of new hotels sprung open for business.

Yet plenty of new construction is in the pipeline with cranes dotting the Charlotte skyline. But beneath the veneer of strength is a few cracks: low housing inventory coupled with rising prices squeezing buyers and dampening market growth in spots. The vacancy rate went up 22% (up to four times the city average) for several apartments opening uptown.

With all of these happenings in this market landscape, you can still make an informed decision with the following tips:

Keep your lust in check

Let’s say you want to own a mansion with marble floors, glistening in the eyes of visitors, but the truth remains we need to focus on what we can afford. Don’t look at properties you can’t afford.

Properties you can afford should be the first and only options on your mind. Going with this approach, you can tame your lust and keep yourself in check from spending more than originally planned, and ultimately avoid major financial trouble by overspending.

Talk to a mortgage specialist first

Don’t go on this journey without quality help…A loan officer referral with the company that specializes in home mortgage lending or the a lender from the bank where you do business is ideal. Be very honest in your discussions and never embellish any financial details; the loan officer can only provide accurate guidance if you provide accurate information. Be honest and upfront to ensure you get the best possible advice.

After this meeting, you should have gathered ample knowledge to know where you stand. In case you can purchase right away, you will dollar amount that you can spend and you will be ready with a pre-approval letter to make your offer.

At the start of the conversation, it is not necessary that you divulge your credit history and other vital stats for them to be verified. For most loan officers, they will provide the information needed to get started on your search without any verification whatsoever. And if the loan offer or mortgage broker refuses to do this for you, look for another one.

Factor in the additional costs

Plenty of homeowners attempt to purchase real estate without knowing how much they can spend or how much they can afford for a monthly mortgage payment. That said, even more people fail to understand how much they spend on additional expenses related to their new home.

As a homeowner, you will have to contend with additional expenses, which you never had to pay if you were renting, such as property taxes, maintenance, repairs electric, water, etc. On top of the new expenses be sure you can afford your phone service, car insurance, gas, car payments, clothes, groceries, etc. Don’t forget that many home purchases are followed by “making the home yours” which includes painting, gardening, and other household goods which add up fast. It’s important that you know how much you can spend when you consider all additional costs and don’t overspend putting your ability to pay for necessities at risk.

Know your worth

The dream of owning a house can get us so wrapped up in the heat of the moment without considering what the banks think we are worth. Even if you know you can make the necessary payment, the banks may still not agree. Therefore, as a matter of urgency, know your worth before taking any action.

Once you’re pre-approved, do all you can to maintain it! What that means is that you will have to resist doing anything to negatively impact your credit score. Loans fall through daily due to negative impacts to credit scores after the pre-approval yet before closing the loan. Credit pulls, new car purchases, and derogatory marks can all kill your dream purchase, so we recommend holding off on all major purchases and being intensely focused on your credit while locked into a pre-approval. It could cost you several thousands of dollars and you may lose the contract on the house if you have a derogatory mark prior to closing your mortgage, so better to be safe than sorry!

Hire an agent

Having someone with great expertise to help with all the real estate lingo is a necessity if you’re serious about buying a quality home that matches your needs. Real estate agents are trained to have an understanding of your market. With an agent, you get authentic, relevant, and timely information. A real estate agent can help you schedule a tour and negotiate a good and safe deal. Again, these experts are obligated to abide by ethical rules that are both beneficial for you as the buyer.

So what should you look out for when hiring a real estate agent?

That’s a very good question and so many answers apply. The first thing is to ensure that your real estate agent is a Realtor. Realtors are held to a higher standard and a strict code of ethics and they have an access to MLS, which is where real estate listings are stored. They are licensed so beware if the agent is not registered.

Secondly, look for an agent that you have good rap

port with and can give you a listening ear. There are situations where real estate agents keep taking clients to the same type of homes, even when the buyer has shown their intent to see other types of homes. If your agent doesn’t listen to you, then find another agent who does. There are so many real estate agents available in any market and they should have your best interests at heart, even if it is not aligned with theirs.

Along the same lines, it’s critical to look for an honest agent. Do you get an honest opinion about a property from your agent? Both the good and bad. Does your agent play the role of devil’s advocate, or does he/she try to talk you into buying every home that’s available even when it doesn’t match your taste or needs? Though it may cost your agent the sale, they’re working to help you get your choice of home within your budget. They should take a long term approach since purchasing a home is typically a long term decision. If this role cannot be played objectively by your agent, then you should start to look elsewhere.

Let's draw your attention to one of the most crucial points…Never sign a Buyer Agency Agreement, unless you have spent a significant amount of time getting to know your real estate agent. You might be told it’s a company policy and it’s required that you do so, but do not sign it unless you are sure you can trust your agent for the long haul.

So many real estate agents have great backgrounds in home inspections, home construction, home design, etc. These professionals have the right knowledge when it comes to buying a new home.

There are so many answers to the above question, but the ones we mention happen to be very important and can help you land that great relationship when you finally decide to hire an agent.

Don't skimp on the inspection

Before closing on the sale of a home, it’s important that you get a certified home inspector to have a look at what you’re about to buy. If you’re using a lender, this will be required and coordinated by your lender, however you’ll most likely be responsible for the fee for the inspection. Know the shape of the house before you go ahead to sign that 15-30 year mortgage.

Due to inexperience, many home buyers would step into a seemingly beautiful home, purchase it without thinking of the inspection and later find out things like mold in the wall, gas leaks in the water heater, and so much more. It’s advisable to spend that extra cash to avoid buying something you would regret later.

Research. Research. Research.

Dig out the facts because you can’t predict the future. When you sign the contract, the house is not the only thing you have to invest in, the surrounding area is also an important factor to be considered, because it does effect the future value of your home. To this end, research the future development plans, value of the neighboring area, and zoning laws.

Furthermore, carry out your research on essentials like good school districts, parks, low crime rate, etc. Remember, buying a home is a long term decision for most, and there’s many factors in your life that will change in the future, so plan ahead.

Final thoughts

Home ownership requires special considerations that renting simply doesn’t involve, so be prepared. That is not to say that it isn’t worth it because home ownership is best long term financial investment for most. There will also be utility costs, such as water, sewer, and electricity. Additionally, you’ll have to pay for insurance and taxes related to your home. The honest truth is that all of these costs quickly add up, and if you’re not prepared financially, you could end up in a situation you never thought possible, where you cannot keep up with your debt. The best you can do is to put into good use the tips mentioned here. In all, you will have found a perfect place that you can truly call yours and at a price that is affordable.

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