Category: Buying

24 Jan 2019

How to find a real estate agent

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You’ve made up your mind, you’re ready to buy or sell a home. But where do you start? First up on your checklist is finding a Realtor®. But not just anybody, you need to find the Realtor that’s right for you. After all, this person is going to be your biggest ally, your confidant and your self-appointed BFF throughout the home buying process. Choose wisely. Why do you need a real estate agent? Sure, you have the option to buy or sell a home without the assistance of a licensed Realtor, but this isn’t your parent’s housing market. Thanks to the vast amount of information available to you via the Internet, you can search for homes while simultaneously binge watching your favorite show...
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6 Dec 2018

What is a good credit score to buy a house?

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One of the keys to unlocking your dream home is understanding the state of your financial health, not wealth. If you will be using a lender to finance your home, you will need to know what is a good credit score to buy a house. While income, savings and downpayment are important, it’s your credit score that will qualify you for a loan and help determine the kind of interest rate you will pay. Before we dive too deep into what is a good credit score to qualify for a home loan, let’s start with the basics to help keep your head from spinning. What is a mortgage? This doesn’t have to be complicated. A mortgage is a loan issued by...
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28 Nov 2018

How to buy a house in 2019

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If you’ve never purchased a home before, the thought of buying your first home can seem like a daunting process. In 2018, we saw low housing inventory levels coupled with buyers’ insatiable demand for affordable housing create a pretty strong seller’s market. Experts are predicting a more balanced market for 2019, citing rising new housing construction to help create a more favorable housing landscape. So how do you navigate the road to home ownership? Here’s everything you’ll need to know about how to buy a house in 2019: Review your credit score Unless you’re paying all cash for your new home, mortgage lenders will want to see a copy of your credit report. Why? Because your credit report is a pretty clear indicator of how responsible...
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18 Oct 2018

8 signs you’re ready to buy a home

Owning a home is a big responsibility but also an exciting endeavor. So when you find that house, how do you know you're ready to buy that house? Here are eight signs to help you know if it's a dream or a reality. 1) You’ve got your financial act together. Clean credit report, check. Little or no debt, check. And, there are other ways your financial house should be in order before you can make your move. Do you make enough money or have income from other sources that make the house affordable? Do you have funds for the downpayment and closing fees? It all adds up. Can you cover it? 2) You’re ready to settle down for a while. Before you tour the house that’s...
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3 Jul 2018

10 things you must do after closing

From decluttering to packing to labeling and organizing your belongings, there’s a lot that goes into packing up one home and moving to another. But what about all the items that need to be accomplished after you sign your name on the dotted line? Overwhelmed with odds and ends? Use our complete guide to make sure no task is left undone. 1. Turn on the lights Don’t get caught in the dark. Make sure to transfer power, water and gas (if applicable) to your new address. It’s a good idea to go ahead and get on the schedule for cable and internet service, too. 2. Plan for moving day If you have small children or pets, you’ll need to do some planning ahead of time...
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5 Jun 2018

Benefits of shopping local when it comes to a mortgage lender

In today’s fast-paced, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it real estate market, buyers need all the help they can get. Many prospective buyers exasperated from losing bidding war after bidding war are looking for something—anything—that will help their bid stand out. So if you’re about to pick up a pen to compose a heart-wrenching letter to the seller of your dream home, read this first. Would it surprise you to find out that shopping locally for a mortgage is actually one of the best things you can do when it comes to having your bid accepted? “A lot of people think that the highest bid is the one the seller automatically chooses— and ultimately there’s a lot more to it than that,” says Allen Tate Mortgage’s...
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12 Apr 2018

Learn how to buy a home with gift funds

Remember when you were little and Grandma or Grandpa asked you what you wanted for your birthday? You likely handed them a JCPenney or Sears catalog with one or two (or 10, if you’re being honest) dog-eared pages of toys you’d like to add to your growing collection. These days the answer to that same question is probably a little easier: You’d like cold, hard cash. Why? Because being an adult is expensive, Grandma. And because you’ve been dying to give your roommate a 60 day notice and get your own place. Using gift funds to purchase your first home? Then you need our guide. Who can you receive a gift from? If you’re going the Fannie, Freddie, or VA Mortgage (conventional loans) route,...
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5 Apr 2018

4 tips to make moving a breeze

A lot of you are on the move in the Carolinas. And moving can be, as some of the old timers here would say, “a job of work.” While it does take time and some heavy lifting, with some planning, your move can go smoothly and you’ll be in and settled at your new home before you know it. Just to be sure, we talked to some people who had recently moved, and asked them to share their first-hand tips on how to make moving a breeze. Clean out First, before any packing starts, purge. Then go back and purge some more. This task is easy to work in if you are selling a house and getting it ready to go on the...
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23 Jan 2018

Thinking about buying a home? Do this first!

For many, the first stop on the train to homeownership is looking for homes online. But what if I told you that thought process was all wrong? Contrary to popular belief, smart homebuyers resist the urge to start thumbing through properties on their favorite home buying app before they have all their ducks in a row. Wanna be like your smart counterparts? Keep reading and ace this whole home buying thing. Build up your savings This might seem like an overly obvious first step, but many first-time buyers don’t realize just how much savings they’ll actually need. Beyond the down payment— which can range between zero to 20%, with a myriad of options in between depending on what loan program you can...
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4 Jan 2018

Ten Reasons to List Your House This Winter

Cold enough for ya? Well, don’t worry, you’re in the Carolinas, and it’s unlikely to last. We just hope for enough cold in the winter to keep the bugs down in the summer. So why, I was wondering, are Carolina homeowners reluctant to list their homes in the winter? I put the question to Allen Tate Realtors President, Phyllis Brookshire, who gave me the answer, along with ten darn good reasons to list now, before Jack Frost gives way to Peter Cottontail. 1. Low Inventory From July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017, North Carolina’s total population increased by nearly 117,000 individuals. This number surpassed last year’s total population increase, and marks the largest single year increase in the state’s population since 2010. In...
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