Buying a home in Raleigh, N.C. is both thrilling and a bit unnerving, especially if you’re a first time home buyer. Both experienced home buyers and first time buyers alike will benefit from the frequently asked questions below. Before you begin your Raleigh home search, it is recommended that you get prepared for the journey by educating yourself.
Buying a home is not like what you see on HGTV, it takes more than 30 minutes.
Q: Should I buy or rent?
A: We can start by answering this question with a question. How long do you plan on living here? If you plan on moving within 2 years, the answer may be for you to rent. Raleigh is not a fast-appreciating market in most cases, though some neighborhoods do very well. If you are renovating a home to live in as an investment, then that can change the answer. When you write a rent check, that money is gone forever. When you buy a home, you are investing your money in your home and can gain specific tax advantages such as using the mortgage interest you pay as a deduction to your taxes.
Q: I’ve never purchased a home before. Where should I begin?
A: Actually, you’ve already started the process. Research and reading articles is a great way to become a home buyer. The highest priorities to focus on before you begin searching for specific areas, neighborhoods, or homes would be to:
- Familiarize yourself with your personal finances.
- Learn about the Raleigh, NC real estate market.
- Carefully review your budget and begin to eliminate as much debt as possible.
- Have any down payment and earnest money ready when the time comes to act and make your offer. If you will be receiving a gift from a family member to help with your purchase then be sure to fully document the funds for your mortgage lender.
Your next step is to contact us. As your home buying specialists, we’ll protect your interest and manage the details of the real estate transaction on your behalf to your complete satisfaction.
Q: What costs are involved in the process?
A: There are fees (AKA Closing Costs) associated with obtaining a mortgage as well as various costs that go along with a home purchase. Your mortgage lender will provide you a Good Faith Estimate of the costs associated with getting your loan. Other costs will include paying for inspections like structural/ mechanical, radon, and termite as well as obtaining a survey and setting up utilities. For more details about the home inspection process, read this brochure.
Q: When should I apply for a mortgage?
A: We encourage you to apply early in the process. Having a loan pre-approval will improve your negotiating power enabling you to save time and money when you are ready to make an offer. The last thing we want you to do is fall in love with a home only to find out you can’t buy it.
Q: With all the bad news about mortgage products and home foreclosures, how do I avoid making a big mistake when deciding which type of loan to select?
A: Once we meet and review your finances along with your home buying needs, you should select a lending consultant. We can recommend several trusted lending professionals or you can choose your own. Having the utmost confidence in your lender is important and you feel completely at ease with them. They should speak to you in easy-to-understand terms. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to hold off signing things until you know what you are signing and feel comfortable with it. More and more lending professionals are recommending fixed interest rate loans and interest rates are still very attractive. Of course, the type of loan best suited for you depends on the following factors:
- How much money do you have for a down payment?
- How long do you plan to live in the home?
- Do you qualify for an FHA or VA loan?
- Will you need money for home renovations or updates?
Q: How many homes should I see before I make an offer?
A: A lot of that may depend on you and your personal goals. It has been our experience that home buyers average 10 to 12 homes before making a decision. Seeing too many homes can be overwhelming and we can help with the following:
- Create an organized list of your needs and wants
- Stick to that list while choosing homes to view. If you exhaust your search and can’t find what you want, then revisiting your requirements is a likely next step. Our knowledge of the area is important because if what you want does not exist, then it’s up to us to tell you. Because more homes are on the market here in Raleigh, NC, your choices are plentiful and the time for you to buy is right now!
Q: What do I need to know about working with a real estate agent when buying a home?
A: When buying real estate, you may have several choices as to how you want a real estate firm and its agents to work with you. For example, you may want them to represent only you (as a buyer’s agent). You may be willing for them to represent both you and the seller at the same time (as a dual agent). Or you may agree to let them represent only the seller (seller’s agent or subagent). Some agents will offer you a choice of these services. Others may not. Learn more about these options here. LET’S GET STARTED!
Are you ready to schedule your home buying consultation? If so, contact us today and together we will review your needs and your budget to help you find the right Raleigh, NC home for you!