Articles Tagged "Home buying tips"

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July
6

Looking for a fresh start in an amazing community? Look no further than Southport NC.

While upwards of 50,000 people travel to Southport each year, our real estate agents know that this charming city is much more than a popular tourist destination. The town is full of gorgeous natural scenery and Southern charm, in addition to a high quality of life for its residents. Here are a few of the best reasons to make the move to Southport.

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June
8

Buying a home typically requires some upfront costs. Here's how much you'll need to put aside.

You want to become a homeowner, but you're not sure if you have enough money saved to buy a house.

It's important to understand the costs associated with buying a home to understand how much money you need to save. Our real estate agents suggest considering the following costs when calculating how much you need to save:

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December
28

Southport Homes Near Water

When you buy a home near the water, it can feel like a vacation every day. The smell of the sea, the sound of waves, beauty, serenity, and endless water recreation opportunities – there's nothing like it. However, having a home near the water is unique in many ways, and there are more factors to consider before choosing your dream home. Here are our real estate agents' tips for buying a home near the water.

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July
6

Myths About Real Estate

Ask anyone who has bought or sold a home for real estate advice, and you're likely to hear some interesting answers related to that person's own experience. But no matter how good the intentions of the friend, family member, or colleague providing that advice, it can be hard to separate myth from fact. The stakes are high when buying or selling a home, so it's important to have the facts before you engage in the process. Our real estate agents are here to help, by debunking five common myths that you have likely heard about the real estate market.

April
27

Dog Friendly Neighborhood

Finding a pet-friendly neighborhood is an important consideration for homebuyers with pets. But how would you know whether your new neighborhood will be truly welcoming to your furry friend? Our REALTORS® have prepared some tips on what to look for while hunting for a new home for you and your pets.

  1. Vet Care Professionals and Groomers
    As a dog owner, you'll need an excellent groomer. Go through the reviews of groomers in the neighborhood to get an idea of their work. Consider areas with reputable groomers with standards such as vaccination requirements and positive first-hand reviews. A nearby veterinarian is another critical factor to consider. You'll need to access regular care and a clinic that provides 24-hour emergency care.
  2. Specialty Pet Stores
    It can be a huge plus to find a neighborhood with at least one specialty store that stocks a wide range of pet foods and products. Most brands have been more on board with producing natural, healthy options. It's a sure sign that your dog will continue enjoying his favorite meals and a healthy lifestyle.

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March
23

Dream Home in Southport

At some point in your house-hunting process, you may begin to wonder if you'll ever find just the right home. But then one day, like magic, there it is...your dream home. A little later, though, doubts set in, and you second guess yourself. Need some help? Our REALTORS® can advise you on discerning when you've found your ideal home among all the Southport homes for sale that you've looked at.

Here are seven signs you have found just the right home for you and your loved ones.

  1. You're willing to overlook flaws.
    You know how you've felt in so many houses when you've encountered flaws. You know they can be repaired or negotiated over, but you're just not willing to do so. In your dream home, however, it's a different story. As the real estate agent points out flaws, you are mentally finding ways to fix them.

  2. It's within your budget.
    Sometimes house hunters get so excited over a home that they forget it's not within the budget they have set themselves, and they start looking for ways to make it happen anyway. It's a bad idea to go over budget; otherwise, you could end up with buyer's remorse when you remember things like property tax, home insurance, closing costs, and renovations. Concentrate on saving as much as you can and then plan on investing that amount in your home, but staying strictly within your means.

  3. It's the right location.
    You have in mind the locations you're willing to live in. Maybe it's about proximity to your job, to schools or amenities, but if the home is in one of your primary choices for location, it's checking an important box. There's not much reason to consider homes that aren't where you want to be.

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December
2

Saving for a Down Payment

Saving up for a down payment on one of our beautiful Southport homes for sale is quite a feat, especially during the holiday season. With gifts to buy and end-of-year bills on the horizon, saving for your down payment can be tough during the holidays. Here are a few tips from our REALTORS® to help you spend and save wisely.

  • Estimate your Down Payment Range
    To get a good idea of a firm down payment estimate, you need to first determine the price range for your home and your monthly mortgage payments. Once you've discovered a down payment range meeting your financial needs, you'll know exactly how much you need to save.

  • Create a Budget Around Your Down Payment
    Now that you have a goal, it's time to create a budget to control your spending. Determine when you believe you'll be ready to put an offer in on a home and identify how much you'll need to save each week to meet that timeline.

  • Track Your Bills
    As winter weather moves in, your utility bills will increase. Research your monthly averages from the previous year and strive to keep them the same or lower. If you can, try to reduce your utility consumption.

  • Eliminate Impulse Purchases
    You'd be surprised how much you'll save by drinking and eating out less. Purchase cheaper items at the grocery store and enjoy coffee, meals, and snacks at home without racking up impulse purchases.

  • Use Cash As Much As Possible
    Swiping a credit card is easy and effortless — which means racking up debt or draining your account is just as swift. By using cash as frequently as possible, you can keep track of every dollar you spend. Consider taking out your gift budget in cash, so you know when you've reached your limit.

  • Limit Gift Giving
    While we all want to show our friends and family members, how much we care, it's quality that matters, not quantity. Limit the number of gifts you're hoping to buy and instead focus on getting a small number of presents that are truly meaningful.

  • Shop Sales
    Throughout the holiday season, many shops will have deals in-store and online that will help you save hundreds. A few hours of researching and couponing can help you create an unforgettable holiday without foregoing your strict budget.

  • Get Creative
    Who says a gift needs to be a store-bought item? You can save money and make your presents more meaningful by handcrafting a few gifts for your loved ones. You can also consider engaging in an activity together to create wonderful memories that last longer than any physical gift.

  • Shop Early in the Year
    So many purchases in a short time can strain your finances. Get into the habit of shopping for holiday gifts throughout the year, especially when you find items on sale. This will stretch out your spending and allow you to focus on saving during the holiday season.

  • Save Actively
    The act of not spending money is admirable, but the real difference-maker is how you choose to save it. Get into the habit of actively putting money aside each week in a down payment account. Whether it's a few dollars a day or a few hundred every month, these deliberate savings will snowball into a down payment for your dream home.

For more help buying homes in Southport during the holiday season, contact us.

November
11

Time to Buy Your First Home

You've rented numerous apartments and homes up to this point, but there was always a personal element missing. Perhaps it's time to stop renting and start looking for a more long-term place of residence to call your own. Southport homes for sale offer many luxuries and amenities for your everyday lifestyle, and with several locations to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect place for you. Even though you may not be consciously aware of it, there may be several signs that it's time to buy your own home.

Financial Signs You're Ready to Buy A Home

If you've ever been asked to move because your lease expired or your rent increase was too high, you may have thought about other options. Buying your own home will eliminate this from happening in the future. In some cases, your monthly mortgage may even be less than the amount you've been paying for rent. If you have good credit, you can apply for a loan for the down payment, which is usually around twenty percent. If your family is growing and you don't see relocating in the foreseeable future, then buying may be the best option. Other signs you may be experiencing when deciding on purchasing your own home are:

  • You have a steady stream of monthly income
  • You can afford (and are able) to perform the necessary upkeep and repairs
  • You're just tired of the hassle of renting
  • You want to plan for the long-term

Buying a home is a monumental task to take on, but the signs may already be telling you that it's time to take that next step in doing so.

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August
12

Homebuying Hindrances - Margaret Rudd & Associates

Don't think you can afford to own your own home? Not so fast. There are plenty of people out there who want to buy a home but go into a panic after looking over their finances. So you're definitely not alone.

If there's one thing our REALTORS® believe, it's that home ownership should be within everyone's reach. Watch out for these common myths that keep people from becoming homeowners, and remember not to let them stop you!

  1. You can't afford the down payment
    Worrying about saving for a down payment is one factor that keeps a lot of people from buying a home. It's usually recommended that you pay 20 percent of the home's value upfront, but let's face it—20 percent of even a low-priced home is quite a big chunk of change. 

    Fortunately, it's possible to buy a home with a smaller down payment, and according to the National Association of REALTORS®, 81 percent of American homeowners do just that. The downside of making a smaller down payment is that you end up with a bigger mortgage (and more interest in the long run), but for a lot of new homeowners that's a very worthwhile trade-off.

    Click Here to Read More...

July
29

Self-Employed Mortgage Process - Margaret Rudd & Associates

Being your own boss and building your own business is one of the most satisfying things you can ever achieve. When the long hours and hard work pay off, you are most likely going to want to invest the spoils of your labor into one of the many fabulous Southport homes for sale. While you're no doubt eager to start reviewing listings, the first thing you should take care of is securing mortgage pre-approval. For the self-employed, this critical approval is easier when you take the following steps.  

  1. Document Your Income
    It's crucial to document your income and establish that you have sufficient resources to make mortgage payments. To do this, you'll want to provide at least two years of tax returns. It's also a good idea to prepare a profit/loss statements since the lender may ask for this. Further, if you have been self-employed for a few years, you can use your income records and profit/loss statements to establish patterns in your business profile.

    Conversely, if you have been self-employed for less than two years, you can provide one year of W-2s if you worked in the same field as your current enterprise. You should note that when you do this, it's essential that you can show the same amount or greater income from your business when it's compared to the W-2. You should also prepare a quarterly statement for your asset accounts, including all bank accounts, CDs, IRAs, stocks, etc.

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July
1

Final Walk-Through - Margaret Rudd & Associates

Congratulations! You've found the house after looking at many wonderful Southport homes for sale and made it to the final walkthrough. You're about to officially become a homeowner! You're probably excited to get into your new home, but take the time to make sure everything is right before you sign the papers and get the keys. Our REALTORS® recommend you look for these five things on your walkthrough.

  1. Verify repairs. Many people request repairs after a home inspection. Bring along your inspection report so that you can confirm repairs were made and done to your satisfaction. The seller should have provided documentation as well, and you'll need that in case you would have a problem covered under the contractor's warranty policy. Construction debris and materials should have been cleaned up.

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April
29

Home Inspection Report-Margaret Rudd & Associates

Our REALTORS® can't stress enough how important a home inspection is before buying. An inspection can save you a lot of money and some major headaches. But what happens next, especially if the home inspection turned up some serious issues?

The most important thing is not to panic. Home inspection issues might make you think twice about a house, but they shouldn't be an automatic deal breaker. When you get less-than-stellar home inspection results, here's what you need to know about how to proceed. 

Common Inspection Issues

We see a lot of the same inspection issues pop up again and again. If you're looking at Southport homes for sale, keep an eye out for some of these issues and necessary repairs on the inspection report: 

  • Roof damage, from minor leaks and missing shingles to full replacement
  • Electrical problems, including frayed wires, and wiring not being up to code
  • Plumbing issues, like leaking pipes and failing water heaters
  • Termite damage
  • Mold issues
  • Presence of asbestos or lead paint
  • Foundation issues, such as cracking or sinking

    Click Here to Read More...

March
25

Spring Home Bidding-Margaret Rudd & Associates

Buying a home in the spring means more competition among buyers, so being prepared is a must. Getting your finances in order, deciding on a neighborhood, and brushing up on your bidding strategy are key ways to make sure you get the home you want. Making your offer stand out is an absolute must. Our REALTORS® can be a big help during the entire process, but especially when you're making an offer or stuck in a bidding war. Here are some tips to navigate the process.

  1. Make your first offer incredible. Don't go into the process expecting that you'll pay below list price or assuming you can make a low offer then negotiate. There is competition in the spring, so sellers won't necessarily be willing to negotiate. And when there's competition, bidding low is a surefire way to get your bid ignored. Your agent can show you a comparative market analysis from other Southport homes for sale and help structure your offer right the first time.
     
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