A Guide for First Time Home Buyer
featuring Guidance from Mary Burr Newsome
Welcome to Charlotte
Charlotte is ranked as #14 best city to live in the US. Known as the Queen City, Charlotte has become a darling of the South. Lower cost of living, beautiful weather, the mountains and the ocean within a few hours’ drive, and an up-and-coming food scene, Charlotte is an affordable home for anyone who loves close-knit communities and the outdoors.
Valuable Guidance For Home Buyers
Trends in the Charlotte Real Estate Market*
- Overpricing is over! Do not overpay for a home today. Sellers are still trying to ask for over market values but they are not getting them. Make sure to have an agent that pulls recent comparable closed homes for you. Whether a buyer or seller agent, we all see the exact same data. Do not just offer list price, do your homework on the home.
- Overpricing is NOT the same as Paying a Higher Price for Location or Condition of Home.
- With interest rates higher, a great option today is to buy down the interest rate. You can buy it down yourself or include a Seller Buy-Down inside your Offer. This is why it is important to use Local and Experienced Mortgage Lenders, they can offer unique strategies to help you.
*Last Updated October 2022
Tips for First Time Home Buyers in Charlotte and surrounding counties
- YOUR FIRST STOP: Always start your Home Shopping Process by starting with a trusted Mortgage Lender first! Find out what is your comfortable budget and do not shop outside of it. Why look at homes that you can not afford? I also suggest to use Lenders that are local. People who know your local market and will pick up the phone. I find that my clients enjoy using commission based lenders vs big banks because the mortgage lenders are quick to return phone calls and stay engaged in helping you get to the closing table.
- MAKE A LIST OF YOUR NEEDS: Before home shopping, make a list of “needs” and “wants” in a home. You will waste a lot of time searching for the “perfect” home. Your goal needs to be to find a home that meets your “needs.” As you begin home shopping, you may add more items to your needs list or your want list. The western world has created this imagine that we must buy “the perfect home.” This adds so much stress. You are simply looking for a home that matches your current needs.
- PUT ON YOUR HGTV GOGGLES: Often my first time home buyers love to look in parts of the city where the cost of living is very high for the price per square foot. Do not be afraid to ask your agent about upcoming areas of town that are growing. Do not be afraid to look at homes that need a little work. The investment in these homes leads me into my 4th tip.
- THINK AHEAD: Always think about the RE-SALE when you buy! Even if you absolutely love it for you, think— ‘Would someone else love it in three years? Five years? ‘ I often caution buyers about this when they begin to look at 3 bedroom, 1 bath home. The resale value of that is low. Think to yourself: What clientele is looking for 3 bedrooms and only 1 bath? Ask yourself, is this a smart investment? As a buyer agent, I always talk with my clients about the investment and re-sale of the property.
- All agents are not created equal. Interview agents before selecting one.