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Tips and Tricks for First-Time Homebuyers in Charlotte NC

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Showcase Realty LLC 183393

Congratulations on taking the leap to buy your first home in Charlotte NC! It’s a significant milestone in your life, and excitement and uncertainty are expected. But rest assured you’re in capable hands! 

 

I’m Nancy Braun, a top real estate agent in Charlotte, and I’m here as your trusted guide. We’ll look into your budget, preferences, and vision for your dream home. 

 

How to Buy a House for the First Time in Charlotte NC? 

1. Save for a Down Payment

Usually, the down payment is around 20 percent of the home’s price. In January 2024, the median listing home price in Charlotte NC was $415K. At this median price point, a 20 percent down payment would amount to $83,000 for a home. That seems like a hefty sum! 

There are alternative options to help you: 

  • Explore down payment assistance programs: First-time homebuyers in Charlotte may qualify for down payment assistance programs. These programs provide financial aid to cover down payment or closing costs. They make homeownership more achievable, especially if you are starting with limited savings. 
  • Consider low down payment mortgage options: Many lenders have mortgage options that need less upfront cash. For example, FHA loans need around 3.5 percent of the home’s price. That’s much less than 20 percent!However, these loans come with other costs, like insurance or higher rates. 
  • Create a budget and savings plan: Assess your income and expenses. Then, figure out how you can boost your savings. You can set up automatic transfers to your house fund savings account. You can also explore side hustles to increase your income. 

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2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Benefits of getting pre-approved: 

  • Being pre-approved shows sellers you’re ready to seal the deal. 
  • Your pre-approval gives you leverage when negotiating with sellers. 
  • A pre-approval expedites the loan approval process. 

How to get pre-approved:

  • Start by looking for reputable lenders in Charlotte NC. You can seek recommendations from trusted sources like friends, family, or agents. 
  • You need to gather the necessary documents requested by the lender. These include proof of income, assets, identification, employment, and outstanding debts. 
  • Once you have chosen a lender and gathered your documents, you can apply for a pre-approval. The lender will assess your finances and credit history to decide how much they will lend you. 
  • If eligible, you will receive a pre-approval letter. 

3. Work with a Knowledgeable Real Estate Agent

Finding the right agent is important for first-time homebuyers. 

  • A local real estate agent knows Charlotte like the back of their hand. We're knowledgeable about the characteristics of each neighborhood, market trends, and property values. 
  • Real estate agents have access to listing databases. We can help narrow your criteria and identify homes that meet your preferences. 
  • Real estate agents are master negotiators. We can help secure the best possible deal for you. 

Tips for finding a trusted agent:

  1. Research local Charlotte agents to start. Look for agents with proven track records and positive reviews.
  2. Seek recommendations from your social circle who have bought or sold a home in Charlotte. Personal referrals are a valuable source of information when choosing an agent. 
  3. Schedule consultations with several potential agents. Ask about their experience working with first-time buyers. 
  4. Look for agents who are licensed and experienced. Consider factors such as awards, certifications, and industry recognition when evaluating an agent. 

Nancy Braun, Broker-In-Charge/Owner of Showcase Realty, LLC, is a highly-respected real estate professional in Charlotte NC. Nancy is a top choice if you’re looking for someone in Charlotte with an excellent reputation. 

You can trust Nancy and her team to help you find your dream home. 

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4. Explore Neighborhoods

Buying your first home in Charlotte NC is exciting! But before diving in, familiarize yourself with the diverse neighborhoods in the city. 

Here are some examples: 

Uptown: Uptown is characterized by its towering skyscrapers, modern apartments, and cultural attractions such as museums and theaters. It serves as the bustling epicenter of Charlotte. 

Myers Park: Myers Park has tree-lined streets, grand homes, and lush parks. This neighborhood offers a diverse architectural style and has several top-rated schools. 

Ballantyne: Ballantyne offers a well-rounded and family-friendly lifestyle. It is home to upscale shopping centers, golf courses, and educational institutions. 

Lake Park: Lake Park is for those seeking a waterfront retreat. You can enjoy boating, fishing, scenic nature trails, and parks.  

South Park: South Park is one of Charlotte’s premier shopping and dining destinations. This neighborhood is admired for its luxury residences and lush green spaces.

Websites like Realtor.com list homes for sale in different neighborhoods along with school and amenity details. 

5. Online 3D Home Tours and Open Houses

You can check virtual tours online before scheduling in-person visits. Nancy Braun offers these virtual tours. These tours let you see what the house looks like without being there. 

You can also visit open houses to observe the condition of the houses. Observe the property’s aesthetics and maintenance issues during your visit. 

Prepare a list of things you want in a house, such as how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need, or if you want a big kitchen. Bring this list with you when you visit houses. 

During property visits, photograph and note things you like or dislike. 

Gain valuable insights for first-time homebuyers in Charlotte North Carolina, including down payment assistance and low down payment mortgage options, with Showcase Realty.

6. Don’t Skip the Home Inspection

Looks can be deceiving. Even if a house looks pleasing, there could be hidden issues, such as water damage or faulty wiring. A home inspection helps reveal these problems early on, saving you from costly repairs. 

  • Make sure you pick a licensed home inspector to do inspections in North Carolina. Your real estate agent can help you find a good one with a good reputation. 
  • Attend the inspection in person whenever possible. This way, you can inquire to understand the home’s condition. 
  • After the inspection, the inspector will give you a report with all their findings. Make sure you review it carefully. Pay attention to major issues, safety concerns, or recommended repairs. 
  • Depending on the severity, you may need help from other experts (e.g., electricians or plumbers). They can give estimates for repair costs. 

Discover essential insights for first-time homebuyers in Charlotte North Carolina with an informative infographic, brought to you by Showcase Realty.

7. Negotiate Wisely

  • Know your neighborhood Before negotiating, know your desired neighborhood’s real estate landscape. Consult a real estate agent like Nancy Braun for recent sales prices and market trends. 
  • Be realistic Assess your financial situation and housing needs. Consider your budget, desired amenities, and market conditions. 
  • Make a strong offer Collaborate with your agent to craft a standout offer. Making a strong offer increases your chances of getting the house you desire. 
  • Be Flexible Approach the discussion with an open mind and be willing to make compromises. Being flexible helps you reach an agreement. 
  • Get help from your agent Your real estate agent is your negotiation expert. Your agent will facilitate your communication with the seller. 
  • Read the contract thoroughly Make sure you review all contract terms before finalizing the deal. Your agent can aid you if you have questions or concerns. 

8. Buy home insurance

The lender will ask you for home insurance before finalizing the home purchase. 

Components of home insurance: 

  • Dwelling coverage: This covers the cost of home repair if it’s damaged by fires or storms. 
  • Personal property coverage: This protects your belongings, including furniture and clothing against theft, damage, or loss. 
  • Liability coverage: This covers medical or legal expenses in case of injuries or accidents on your property. 
  • Additional Living Expenses (ALE) coverage: Should your home become uninhabitable, it covers temporary housing, meals, and storage. 

Components of home insurance:

  • Assess the value of your home and possessions. This helps you figure out how much coverage you need.  
  • Compare quotes from multiple insurers to see who offers the best coverage for the best price. Make sure to check premiums and potential discounts. 
  • Review the policy to understand what it covers and what it doesn’t. Be aware of riders that are available to enhance your coverage. 

 

You don’t have to explore the homebuying process alone. For guidance, contact Nancy Braun at Showcase Realty, LLC by dialing 704-286-9844.

Posted by

Nancy Braun

Owner & Broker in Charge

Showcase Realty,LLC

 

1430 S Mint St Suite 106

Charlotte, NC 28203

704-997-3794

704-625-2361 (f)

Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
May 27, 2024 03:09 AM
Nancy Braun

Richard Weeks Thank you! I'm glad you found the information helpful. Feel free to ask if you have any specific questions. Have a great day. 

May 31, 2024 09:21 AM