You probably have talked to your friends about buying a house. Maybe your parents have advised to do the same. So WHY is EVERYONE talking about buying a home? Easy, these are the "Good 'ole days" See how far your money goes for a $200,000 mortgage, principal and interest.
I bought my first house in the early 1980's, an $80,000 town house with an interest rate over 11% and a mortgage payment of about $1200/mo. Today, that same income would comofrtably buy a house twice as expensive, maybe even three times more expensive.
That is why everyone who knows houses says... NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY. But if you are on the fence, I get it, and part of it is you haven't really seen anything you love on Zillow. The one or two houses you have seen that look nice disappeared over night. And everyone is complaining there is no inventory!
But still you hear that many of your friends, or friends of friends, are buying. In fact, home sales in Charlotte were UP 20% in May, and over 10% in June compared to May/June last year.
So what gives? How did your friends or family purchase their first home while you're still struggling to get started? Well, if they bought smart, they followed a process similar to the steps listed below.
Step One: They stopped window shopping, and decided to get off Zillow, start Searching on a quality local site , and go see some homes. Zillow is just too out of date, and you have to SEE the homes to fully understand the house, the street and neighborhood
Step Two: They found a good real estate agent- an Agent who puts their interests above all others, a Buyer Agent who knows the ropes, knows the area and is willing to negotiate strongly on their behalf, an Agent who can arrange showings at 2 or three homes, or 10 -12 homes to see in a day. An Agent that won't "sell" them a home, but adds value to every conversation, and one who will aggressively go after the home the buyer chooses.
Step Three: They found a good mortgage partner and got pre- approved early in the process. Better than a pre-qual, the pre approval lets you enter a home purchase with greater confidence, and shorter Due Diligence time frames which means less money at risk for you. The pre-approval is good for 90 days, and doesn't mean you can't shop the loan during Due Diligence. What it does mean for the Buyer is 1) they know exactly what they can and can not afford, and 2) any offer they submit won't have to wait, and it will be stronger offer right out of the box.
Step Four: They focused on area first. Where do they want to live? Why? Because you can always make improvements to the house, but you can't change the neighborhood-can't change its location or the overall feel of it. And you avoid a large and common mistake of first home buyers, buying a great house with a location problem.
Step Five: Now that they know their area, or areas, the buyers and Agent stay focused on everything on the market (MLS) , potential on the market (Zillow Make Me Move) at their price point, and one price level above and below. Above, because over priced listings often sell at market value (their actual price point) in time, and below because some houses being sold at a discount can easily be brought into better living conditions and the buyers will get some almost instant equity.
Step Six: They ask their Buyer Agent to get a home UNDER CONTRACT. While we will never rush you into a buying decision, once you say lets move on this one, we will be very efficient. We do the research to find the expected sales price. At your direction we prepare an offer that fits your circumstances. It might be aggressive on price, closing date or other terms. Occasionally, it might be so perfect that all we want to do is get if off the market quickly before there are multiple offers. Multiple offers? We know the ways to make your offer sing to the Sellers! :-)
Once Under Contract, the Buyer Agent work is far from done. There are still inspection negotiations, surveys, appraisals and more to work through. Buying a home is a process, one filled with speed bumps and sand traps, it is good to have a guide and friend on your side.
Author:Connie Massetti Phone: 704-340-5967 Dated: July 6th 2015 Views: 570 About Connie: Licensed agent assistant who coordinates with McDonald Group clients and agents during all aspects o...
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The McDonald Group at Wilkinson ERA is a group of professionals, dedicated to helping our Clients win in real estate. Expert and honest advice, local area knowledge, and seriousness of purpose but with folks who don't take themselves too seriously. The founder Terry McDonald, was a builder for 20 years, and has been a broker for the last 13 years. Buying a home or selling, first home buyer or relocating to Charlotte,the McDonald Group is here to serve. Our client list includes first home buyers to luxury homes, professional athletes, business owners and physicians. From in town to South Charlotte, Lake Norman too, we know Charlotte.
The Group's core values are all about integrity and market expertise. We look out for their clients interest above all others. We are a learning organization, and big believers in training and lifetime learning. Sellers know us for our technological savvy, our aggressive marketing, and the ability to consistently beat the averages in Days on Market. Buyers love us, we never pressure anyone, yet were able to save our Buyer clients 44% off the market average in 2013- and now that the market has changed we win more than our fair share of multiple offer situations.
Reviews on Zillow
"It was a great pleasure to work with Terry McDonald. English is not my first language so forgive any mistakes. The first time we met Terry was 5 ... more "
by polina katz
"I worked with Bobby on both buying and selling my home in Charlotte. He is so personal and cares about finding the perfect home for his clients! I ... more "
"Terry was exactly the agent we needed for our relocation from the New York area to Charlotte. We first explored a move to Charlotte a couple years ... more "
The Cost of Renting vs. Buying in the US Less to Buy than Rent? L
"Here are our favorite things about Terry:
1) He lets you guide the process as much or as little as you want, but always offers helpful suggestions at the right time. He did not guide us to the most expensive house -- he was focused on getting us the *right* house.
2) He is a strong but reasonable negotiator.
3) He is extremely responsive.
4) He has good judgment. Terry will not hesitate to steer you away from a questionable purchase. For apartment-dwellers who have never dealt with houses, this is especially important.
5) He's fun to be around during a process that is inherently stressful. Don't underestimate the importance of a pleasant partner in this process.
I hope we never have to move again, but if we do, Terry will be our first call!"