Category: First-Time Homebuyer

27 Jul 2017

How much can you afford?

Shopping for homes before realistically evaluating your monthly capacity to service a mortgage is like falling in love with a golden retriever puppy before you’ve read the rental property contract clause about pet ownership. And that’s no fun, my friends. “Many times we see buyers falling head-over-heels in love with a home only to realize it’s way over their budget," says Vice President of Loan Origination for Allen Tate Mortgage, Lisa Green. So for all of us who’ve been told not once, but maybe more than a few times that we have champagne dreams on a beer budget, this process is for you. Don’t hit the panic button just yet— here’s how to make sure your new home doesn’t break...
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13 Jul 2017

Is now the time to buy?

Roommates driving you nuts? Tired of trying to decipher what in the world your upstairs neighbors are doing to make so much noise? (Surely they’re bowling, right?!) Maybe it’s time to stop renting and start looking for your first home. Most first-time home buyers are surprised at just how easy it is to afford a home— you may even be paying less for your mortgage each month than your monthly rent...
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15 Jun 2017

Wanna buy a home? Here’s step 6: Conquer the closing

After completing the inspection and appraisal, all that’s left to conquer is the closing. And we know what you’re thinking … you’ve already been through enough, and that you can’t possibly survive anything else. But you can. And you will--the end is in sight, future homeowner! In our final installment of this home buying series, we’ll walk you through how to survive the closing process. This isn’t our first rodeo--but it is yours--so stick around and we’ll give you the lowdown. Here’s a list of some of the costs/fees associated with the closing process: Loan Origination Fee This is the fee you pay to your lender to prepare your mortgage for closing. Underwriting Fee This fee is also paid to your lender and covers the cost...
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9 Jun 2017

Wanna buy a home? Here’s step 5: Offer accepted

Shut the front door. Your offer was approved! Cue your best Katy Perry “Roar” karaoke performance, right?! Wrong--or not just yet. You’ve still got the appraisal and the inspection to ace before you can belt out the chorus to your favorite anthem. Ace the appraisal Typically--unless you’re independently wealthy, and wouldn’t that be fabulous--three parties have to agree on the sale price of a home: The buyer, the seller and the lender. And since the lender’s got a lot of skin in the game, they’ll want to make sure your home is actually worth what you’re paying for it--which is the reason for an appraisal. An appraisal is performed by a third party on behalf of the buyer and lender to determine that...
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2 Jun 2017

Wanna buy a home? Here’s step 4: Making the offer

When you’ve found the one you want to call home, it’s time to take things to the next level by making an offer. So let’s get started by examining the art of the offer. Step 1: Understand the market If you’ve been house hunting for some time now, you’ve probably figured out whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market. If it seems like the ‘for sale’ signs are literally multiplying overnight, you’re in a buyer’s market, and on the flip side, if real estate signs in yards are as sparse as country music fans at a Guns N’ Roses concert, you’re in a seller’s market.   Understanding which housing market you’re in helps you present realistic offers. In a seller’s market there’s...
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26 May 2017

Do you wanna buy a house? Here’s step 3: Pick the right one

Ah, the fun part--finally. We’ve got a lot to cover to get you ready to ace the home search process like a pro, so we’ll get right down to it. Step 1. Make your wish list Wanted: Charming 1950’s-style bungalow. Open floor plan, updated kitchen and bathrooms and space for furry friends to roam around outside needed. Must be within walking distance to grocery stores, shopping and restaurants. When you close your eyes and think about what your future home looks like what do you see? Whatever you desire, write it down--and don’t forget to bring this along with you during the house hunt! Here’s some common factors you might want to consider while you create your list: Style: Is there a particular look...
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19 May 2017

Do you wanna buy a house? Here’s step 2: How much can you afford?

We see you, potential homebuyer. Once you decided to stop renting and start looking for a place to call your own, you’ve been crusin’ through Pinterest’s home section like it’s your job. And good thing your dream home board has unlimited storage because you’re definitely saving every other pin, all the while adding to your ever-evolving can’t live without list. While compiling no less than 4,756 photos of updated, craftsman-style, open floor plan bungalows is certainly a fun step in the home buying process, a more important exercise in this stage of the game is figuring out just how much house you can afford.  Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds--here’s how to make sure your dream home doesn’t...
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12 May 2017

Do you wanna buy a house? Here’s step 1: Choose the right Realtor

Congratulations! You’re about to embark on one of the largest financial decisions in your life as you purchase your first home. And with experts predicting rent prices only increasing, not to mention the fact that current mortgage rates are very low, historically speaking,  affording a home has never been easier on your wallet. And here to give you the lowdown on the whole process, comes a series of blogs designed to help you successfully maneuver through your first home buying experience. First up on your checklist is finding the right Realtor for you--because, after all, your Realtor is your biggest ally, your confidant, and your self-appointed BFF for the next six to nine months. In other words, choose carefully. Why you need a...
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11 Apr 2017

Millennials: Is it time to buy your first home?

First, your brother did it, and then your colleague from work. And this past weekend, your best friend decided to take the plunge. So maybe it’s time for you to do it, too. Because this year, one-third of all homebuyers will be Millennials. We get it; you’re swamped with student loans and building your professional career. So maybe buying a home hasn’t been at the top of your to-do list. And frankly, buying a home is a big step – at any age. It’s exciting, but can also be a bit overwhelming. Renting is easy. No yard work or maintenance, close to everything, maybe even an awesome gym, pool and coffee bar. Aside from the occasional roommate issue, what’s not to love? So how...
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16 Jan 2017

Real estate 2017: Still looking good

Wonder what’s in store for the Carolinas’ real estate market for 2017? No major changes, but that’s a good thing, according to the experts. In 2016, Allen Tate Company ended the year with 22,194 closed sales units and $5.45 billion in closed sales volume, a respectable increase over 21,565 closed units and $5.16 billion in closed volume in 2015. That’s a trend Allen Tate President and CEO Pat Riley is comfortable with – the kind of steady growth that helps normalize and sustain the market. In the January-February edition of Carolinas Market Update, Riley talks about factors that helped define the past two years – and are expected to continue in 2017. “Low inventory will propel higher than average price appreciation (5-6 percent). Builders...
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