Are you ready to start looking at houses in Charlotte?
Before you start your search you should know at least a little about the process.
Your first step should be to talk to someone about a mortgage. They will be pull your credit score, check your income and will then be able to tell you how much house you can afford. The lender should also be able to show you a good faith estimate. This will show your expected interest rate (this will not be set until you go under contract on a house and decide to "lock in" in your interest rate) and the expected monthly payment.
Now that you know that you can get a mortgage you should begin looking for the right house. The market is still saturated with listings. A lot of the inventory from $200,000 and below has been bought by first time home buyers over the last couple months but there is still a lot available and there are a lot of great deals in this price range and higher.
You should decide to work with a real estate agent that is familiar with the area that you want to buy. A buyer's agent is free to you and will be paid by the seller. The sellers have a listing agreement with the listing agent and it states that they will be paying a certain percentage once the house closes. The seller is going to be paying the commissions so you might as well get an agent that will help you look at property and that will guide you through the process. The buyer's agent will be able to set appointments and will be able to open houses for you to view, they should also be able to tell you about the current market in that subdivision as different subdivisions have been effected differently by the economic downturn.
Once you do find the house you want, the agent will be able to complete the offer for you, they will negotiate the price on your behalf, set up inspections, negotiate repairs and get all of the information to the appropriate closing attorney.
Buyer's can find a lot of the information online. They can see the properties that are for sale and can also look up the previous sale prices for that property. What the majority of buyers do not know is the reputation of that certain subdivision, the future development that will be taking place in the area over the next few years and other pertinent information such as the closest waste plant, the closest shopping and the school districts.
If you are going through the buying process or are considering buying and have some questions feel free to give me a call.