Category: First-Time Homebuyer

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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24 Aug 2016

What I wish I would have known before I bought my first home

Uh oh! Here it comes: that dreaded feeling of buyer’s remorse—that coulda, shoulda, woulda moment when you realize if you woulda done your homework like you shoulda, you coulda been outta this mess, right?! And because it’s best to learn from others’ mistakes rather than your own, here’s what I wish someone would have told me before I purchased my first home. I wish I would have known where to begin When you don’t know where to start, buying your first home can be overwhelming. Do you meet with a Realtor®, look at homes online or set up an appointment with a mortgage lender first? “Meeting with your mortgage lender first gives you a clear picture of what you qualify for so that you’re...
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8 Aug 2016

Single in search of a dream home

If you’re single and looking to buy a home, you’re not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors® 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 18 percent of recent first-time homebuyers nationwide were single females and 11 percent were single males. That’s nearly one-third of the total buyer population. The average single female buyer was 32, with a household income of $49,400. The average single male buyer was 30, with an income of $58,100. No need to be part of a couple to buy a home today, assuming you have a steady income, good credit history and some money set aside for a down payment. But you might appreciate some advice before you go it alone. Is it the right time? The...
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29 Jul 2016

Needs vs. Wants When Searching for a Home #Flashback Friday

Ready to move and excited about the prospect of getting “everything you ever wanted” in a home? Of course, that’s where we all start, but budget and other realities soon factor in. So how do you make your dreams come true without breaking the bank? The key is setting a realistic budget – and understanding the difference between what you want and what you need. Start by sharing the information below with your Allen Tate Realtor to help determine what you can afford, your preferred location, home size – and what your expectations are. Budget – Get pre-qualified now to determine what monthly mortgage payment you can afford and loan amount you qualify for. Location – Do you want to be close to...
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18 Jul 2016

Conquer the Closing

Young couple with Key
Buying your first 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...
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8 Jun 2016

Millennials … Why are you still renting?

If you’re a Millennial, you’ve probably heard it from your parents until they are blue in the face – and you’re tired of them preaching to you: Why are you still renting? Allow me to join the discussion (as a friend), and share some cold, hard facts about today’s housing market. Since I am obviously appealing to your high level of intelligence and good judgment, I trust that this information will shed some new light on the situation and get you aboard the buying band wagon: Money is cheap. With good credit and steady income, you can get a 30-year mortgage for as little as 4 percent interest. Credit qualifications have eased up, making it easier to qualify for a loan. ...
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25 May 2016

Buying your first 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...
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2 May 2016

Buying your first house? Here’s step 3: Choosing 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...
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11 Apr 2016

Buying your first home? 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...
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1 Apr 2016

New Home Rental Communities: The New Phenomenon

Remember the “Great Recession”? While it ended about three years ago, there are a plethora of articles on how far behind the new home industry was on supplying new single-family homes. The figures were staggering: more than two million single family homes behind, just to get us back on par. And that didn’t include the new demand. As the recession started to wind down, there were a tremendous amount of apartment complexes being developed. Talk was that lenders felt more comfortable lending for apartments since there were all these pre- recession buyers who needed housing but could no longer afford to buy. During that time, we also saw a spike in the number of single-family home starts, but this market sector...
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