Buying a home can seem complicated....we'll make sure it's not
Know the Road Ahead
Get familiar with the basic steps in the process and what you'll need to have and do to help along the way.
First Time Buyer Programs
There are lots of programs designed to help first time buyers. Let's learn about a few.
It's just the start
Buying your home is just the beginning of the journey. What happens after you get those keys?
Know the Road Ahead
As your agent, we'll be there to help with every step, but you should take a few moments to understand the basic steps. This will help make your journey smoother.
Is Buying Right for You?
There's no simple answer to that question and in the end only you can decide what's right for you and your family. But here's a simple financial calculator to help you see the numbers involved.
Select the right Agent for you
Ok, I know that doesn't match the step number in the HouseLogic infographic, but we really believe that as soon as you've decided to look at buying, you should find an agent. Why? Because we can help you with most everything else on the list. It's actually kind of our job! That's what an agent should do. We work on your behalf and with your interests in mind FIRST!
Step #2 (again)
Criteria and Budget
Once you've decided that buying is right for you, next you'll have decide a few things:
What's your budget?
(Check out our budget and mortgage calculators)
Do I want a townhouse, condo, or a single family home?
What style(s) of homes do I like?
How are the schools
rated in the areas I'm interested in?
(Even if you don't have kids, keep this in mind as it may become a factor later if you decide to sell your home)
Those are only a few of the questions you'll need to ask yourself, but you get the idea.
There are a lot more steps, but we'll be here to help with all of them.
To help you understand a little more about the basics of all the steps, please visit HouseLogic's site for a great overview of each steps. It's a really good resource for many of your questions.
First Time Buyer Programs
There are many programs offered by different organizations, lenders, builders and other institutions that are designed to help first time home buyers just like you. Here are a few programs that you might want to look at. You will also want to talk to lenders about what programs they might offer.
Down payment Assistance
For both first-time and move-up home buyers, our NC Home Advantage Mortgage™ provides qualified individuals with stable, fixed-rate mortgages and down payment assistance up to 5 percent of the loan amount. The Agency also offers an $8,000 down payment assistance option—the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment—just for first-time buyers and military veterans who meet additional eligibility criteria.
Repayment of all of our down payment options is required only if you sell, refinance or transfer your home before year 15—the down payment assistance is forgiven at 20 percent per year at the end of years 11-15, with complete forgiveness at the end of year 15.
For more details, visit:
The HouseCharlotte program provides 5, 10, or 15-year, deferred, forgivable loans to qualified applicant’s . Funds can be used to cover downpayment, closing cost, and interest rate buy down.
Funding up to $10,000 for families with household income at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI) purchasing within Charlotte City limits.
Funding up to $10,000 for Public Service Employees with household income at or below 80% AMI purchasing within Charlotte City limits.
Funding up to $7,500 for families with household income above 80% AMI, up to 110% AMI purchasing within Charlotte City limits.
PILOT PROGRAM – Up to $17,000 for families with household income at or below 80% AMI purchasing in select High Cost City of Charlotte NPA’s.
For more details, visit:
A USDA loan is a mortgage that offers considerable benefits for those wishing to purchase a home in an eligible rural area. USDA home loans are issued through private lenders and are guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Purpose of the USDA Loan
The USDA loan’s purpose is to provide affordable home ownership opportunities to low-to-moderate income households to stimulate economic growth in rural and suburban communities throughout the United States.
Some of the primary benefits of USDA loans include:
$0 down payment
Competitive interest rates
Low monthly mortgage insurance
Flexible credit requirements
For more details, visit:
Remember, these are only a few programs that are available. Talk to us or your leader about other programs that might be available to you.
It's not the finish line. It's just the start.
Getting those keys to your home is so exciting! Enjoy it and be proud of yourself, you did it!
But..this is just the beginning of your home ownership journey. Keep these things in mind for what's ahead.
First things first! You've got to get those utilities setup and ready to go. You can, and should, get this process started before you close. Make sure to call all the basic utility providers and get your account setup and ready to activate the day you take ownership.
To make it a little easier, we'll help you figure out who the standard providers. Also, we'll work with the owner's and their agent to make sure that service is maintained until you take ownership. In many cases, if the home has service disconnected, it can make the process more difficult for you or make it take longer.
Here are some of the standard utilities & services you may need to consider:
Water and Sewer
TV, Phone and Internet
Naturally this list will vary based on the needs of your specific home. Use our centralized provider search tool. It will make the process much less painful.
Also, for budgeting purposes, many of these providers may require a deposit based on your credit rating and history. This can surprise many new home buyers if they haven't budgeted for it.
We highly recommend that you get a home warranty with the purchase of your new home. Most of the repairs and items covered in these warranties, are typically NOT covered by your home owners insurance.
When you work with us as your agent, we'll do our best to make this part of the negotiating process.
However, if you didn't get a warranty as part of the buying process, you can almost always get one after the fact. Some folks may be leery of purchasing 3rd party warranties, but you'll see in the years to come, it's not a matter of IF something will go wrong. It's a matter of WHEN.
The average home warranty is in the $400-$650 range. Compare that to some of the average costs for some common repairs/systems.
Heating/AC replacement - $6,500
Hot water heater replacement - $1,500
Electrical Repairs - $1,500
Plumbing Repairs - $1,200
Kitchen appliance replacement - $1,600
Repair, Replace, Remodel
Even if you have a home warranty, there will be things that break, go wrong, or you just want to change. In that case you'll need someone you can trust to do the job right. Depending on the job, it could be one or of many of these:
Lawn and Landscape Contractor
Whatever the case, you'll need to develop a list of vendors that you can trust, before, you need them. We'll help you with some recommendations, but you should also talk to your friends and neighbors to help you find the right professional and company for your needs. Check out the section below on the NextDoor web community for your specific neighborhood. It's a great resource for home owners.
Home Owners Association
If your new home is in a neighborhood that has a Home Owners Association (HOA), you need to become familiar with the rules and regulations of the community. These are commonly referred to as the CCR's (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions). You should have or will receive a copy of the CCRs prior to the purchase of your home.
These are rules and guidelines put in place to protect all the owners and their property, and that's a good thing. But...you should absolutely read and become familiar with the rules, requirement, standards, etc. Being aware of the specifics could prevent any problems or conflicts for you in the future. Some common things to be aware of are:
Architectural and aesthetics (paint color, siding, etc.)
Building additions (utility or storage sheds)
Adding a fence (allowed or not, style, color, height)
Landscape changes (trees, bushes, shrubs)
Allowed animals and dog breads
Allowed vehicles in driveway (work truck, trailer, boat)
If you end up in violation of your CCRs, you will most likely get a letter from your HOA management company that will explain what the violation is and give you a time-frame to get it corrected.
It most cases it's not a big deal. However, things can go downhill quickly if there is a problem and it's not addressed or resolved. The HOA can fine you or in extreme cases even put a lien on your home or even start foreclosure proceedings. So, be aware and if there is a problem, deal with it quickly. If needed, you may even want to contact a legal professional to assist with the issue.
The Nextdoor web-site is the best way to stay informed about what’s going on in your neighborhood—whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, planning a local event, or sharing safety tips. There are so many ways your neighbors can help you. This web community gives you an easy way to connect with them.
How do the numbers add up?
When you're trying to decide to buy a home or rent, there are a lot of different factors involved. One of those is obviously the dollars and cents of it.
Depending on your own specific situation and reasons for considering buying your own home, the numbers may be really important or maybe secondary. Whatever the case, you should have a basic idea of what the financial impact is over time.
Use this basic Rent vs Buy calculator to give you a rough idea.*
* The information and numbers here are given as general educational information and in no way are meant as financial or legal advise. Please contract your mortgage professional for specific personal and professional advise.