Buying a home in the Charlotte real estate market (just as anywhere else in the nation) is a process that has unfortunately become increasingly complicated and stressful for home buyers over the years. It’s easy to get attached to a home emotionally, but there are a lot of unknowns during the home buying process that can cause stress for home buyers. Before you can call “home” the property you chose to purchase, you will have to be able to negotiate an agreeable sale price between you and the seller, have the property appraise for at least what you are offering for it, order a home inspection and termite inspection to determine if the property is in good condition, hire an attorney to do a title search to verify that the current owners can convey the title to you free and clear of any encumbrances, and most importantly, you will need to be approved for a loan to purchase the property. Read about the home buying process here. Most people place home ownership high on their list of goals to achieve in life, so the fact that there is some stress involved in the process of buying a home should not make you shy away from it. To minimize stress associated with the process of buying a home, here are a few recommendations we would like to suggest:
Find a Realtor with whom you “click”. For most people, buying a home is the largest investment they will make in a lifetime. Having a skilled and knowledgeable Realtor by your side to help you make sounds decisions is critical. Your Realtor must be sensitive to your needs, responsive to your inquiries and you should never feel like you are going at it alone. Your Realtor should be highly involved in all the steps leading to your goal of home ownership.
There is no “right” time to buy, just as there is no perfect time to sell. As soon as you find a home that you feel would be great for you and your family, don’t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market conditions by waiting longer. In doing so, you risk losing out on a great home. The housing market usually doesn’t change fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won’t stay on the market long. You can take our word of it!
You should avoid asking friends and family members for their opinion in regards to a home you would like to purchase. It’s natural to seek reassurance from your circle of influence for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a “good” decision. You should focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family — the people who will be living in the home.
You should accept right away that no house is ever perfect. If a home is in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.
Don’t kill negotiations by asking for too much. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take and you should aim for win-win negotiations or you may end up losing what you are after – the house – altogether.
Remember that a home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You should always take in consideration external elements affecting the desirability of a home. Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself (room size, kitchen, etc.) that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.
Always plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home to do your homework. You should first find out if you can be approved for a mortgage, and if so, for how much (your budget). Balance your finances to determine how much money you have available to pay for the costs involved in buying a home (down payment and closing costs). Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make it much less attractive to sellers and most likely won’t be accepted.
You will need to factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
You will need to come to terms and accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial decision and commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home in the first place and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.