A Guide for First Time Home Buyer
featuring Guidance from Alison Alston
Welcome to Charlotte
North Carolina’s largest metropolis and commercial centre is Charlotte. The Levine Museum of the New South is located in its uptown, contemporary city centre. The NASCAR Hall of Fame, the U.S. National Whitewater Center, the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA, the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, and more are all located in Charlotte. Numerous institutions of higher learning, cultural hubs, and healthcare facilities are just a few of the features that make Charlotte an excellent city to live and work.
Valuable Guidance For Home Buyers
Trends in the Charlotte Real Estate Market*
We are thankfully starting to see a more stabilized market. Price increases are slowing down some, our average number of days on market has increased to a more healthy 27, however we still have a significant shortage of inventory.
With all of the population growth Charlotte has, and continues to, experience, it is going to be a long time before our supply catches up to demand in our region. Rising interest rates are certainly affecting the market, with fewer bids per home for sale, however home prices are still up with the median sale price rising 13.3% year over year in October.
Tips for First Time Home Buyers in Charlotte
- Step one is to find a real estate professional who is experienced, has excellent knowledge of the area, and is someone you feel comfortable having an honest conversation with. They should be willing to spend time walking you through the home buying process, provide recommendations for great lenders, and really listen to your needs and help educate you and guide you through the process.
- Before you start seeing homes, speak with a lender and go through the pre-approval process. It’s critical to discover what you can afford BEFORE you fall in love with a dream home. Your lender should take the time to sit with you and walk you through the process from start to finish. They should work with you and provide you with a loan estimate that is based around the monthly payment that is comfortable for you as well as how much you need for your down payment and closing costs. Start there and back into the overall budget, not the other way around. Be honest and don’t stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone.
- Stick to your budget! If you are going to be looking at homes that need some work, build those costs in and make sure you can save about 1% of the home’s value each year to help cover short and long term maintenance. This is likely the largest financial investment you are going to make, so take care of your investment and protect it by maintaining it.
- Ask your realtor for recommendations for people to help with the maintenance on your home if you aren’t comfortable taking care of everything yourself. Make sure you discuss whether or not a home warranty is a good option for you. Your real estate professional should provide you with a helpful list of things to do throughout the year to keep your home in its best shape, such as changing your HVAC filters regularly.
- Be honest with yourself, and anyone else financially involved in the process with you. Be clear about what your must haves are, what you’re willing to compromise on, and stick to your budget.