Have a question about buying a home in Raleigh? Chances are, you're not alone. On this page, you'll discover a number of answers to some of the questions I hear most often from first-time home buyers. Whether this is your first home or your tenth property, brushing up on the basics of home-buying is a great way to start your buyers journey on the right foot!
1. How Do I Start the Process?
Review your finances. Set a budget and figure out what you will be able to afford for a down payment. Use our handy mortgage calculator to see what a monthly mortgage payment might look like for you. Start researching the many communities in and around Raleigh and the surrounding areas to see which might be best for you.
2. How Do I Know What to Look for in a Home?
Take some time to decide what's important to you—proximity to amenities, school districts, yard sizes, noise, commute, highway access. This will help you find a neighborhood. Review home features you might want and those you'll need, from size to style to overall condition. Having a good idea of what you're looking for will save you time and tours of homes that don't meet your criteria. Browse my featured listings, or start searching homes by amenities and features.
3. Do I Need to Use a Real Estate Agent?
While you are not legally obligated to use a real estate agent to buy a home, the right agent will likely make your home search much easier than if you were to go it alone. Not only will they have an in-depth understanding of the real estate market, they'll be able to make recommendations for communities, home features, and other key elements to the home-buying process.
4. How Do I Get a Loan?
Before you start shopping for homes, I highly recommend meeting with a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage. During this process, the lender will review every aspect of your finances to determine how much the bank is willing to lend you.
See if your bank offers home loans, or do some research on the best rates in your area. Let me know if you need a recommendation!
5. Can I Qualify for a Loan with Bad Credit or No Down Payment?
This depends largely on your personal finances, your income, and where in Raleigh you're hoping to buy a home. You may qualify for a federal mortgage program, or another kind of local home buying assistance program. Additionally, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) helps home buyers by offering insured loans. This means that if the buyer defaults, the lender will still get their money. Insured loans encourage lenders to work with more buyers regardless of their credit or available down payment. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also offers many assistance programs to home buyers.
6. What are the Upfront Costs to Buying a Home?
- Earnest money: This is the "security deposit" you pay when you submit your offer to prove to the seller that you are serious. After your offer is accepted, it is applied to your down payment or closing costs.
- Down Payment: This is a percentage of the cost of your home. The amount will depend on your loan; government programs can help you decrease this amount.
- Closing Costs: These are typically low for buyers and represent the fees associated with paperwork and lender charges.
7. Are there any Additional Costs?
Other costs can include utilities, HOA or condo fees, and property taxes—which are typically included in your mortgage payment. Ask your Realtor about additional fees associated with your particular home, community, or neighborhood.
Have Any Lingering Questions?
I can help with that! Give me a call today to discuss your home-buying plans in Raleigh!