Lake Norman Real Estate and Community News

Nov. 7, 2019

5 Steps to Finding Your Next Home

5 Steps to Finding Your Next Home

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, shopping for a new home can feel daunting. In fact, 56% of buyers said that “finding the right property” was the most difficult step in the home buying process.1

Buying a home is a significant commitment of both time and money. And a home purchase has the power to improve both your current quality of life and your future financial security, so the stakes are high.

Follow these five steps—and complete the corresponding worksheet offered below—to assess your priorities, streamline your search, and choose your next home with confidence.

STEP 1: Set Your Goals and Priorities

The first step to finding your ideal home is determining WHY you want to move. Do you need more space? Access to better schools? Less maintenance? Or are you tired of throwing money away on rent when you could be building equity? Pinpointing the reasons why you want to move can help you assess your priorities for your home search. 

Don’t forget to think about how your circumstances might change over the next few years. Do you expect to switch jobs? Have more children? Get a pet? A good rule of thumb is to choose a house that will meet your family’s needs for at least the next five to seven years.Be sure to set your goals accordingly.

 

STEP 2: Determine Your Budget

Many financial professionals recommend following the “28/36 Rule” to determine how much you can afford to spend on a home. The rule states that you should spend no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on housing expenses (e.g., mortgage, taxes, insurance) and a maximum of 36% of your gross monthly income on your total debt obligations (i.e., housing expenses PLUS any other debt obligations, like car loans, student loans, credit card debt, etc.).3

Of course, the 28/36 rule only provides a rough guideline. Getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage BEFORE you begin shopping for homes will give you a much more accurate idea of how much you can borrow. Add your pre-approved mortgage amount to your downpayment to find out your maximum purchasing potential.

STEP 3: Choose a Location

When it comes to real estate, WHERE you choose to buy is just as important as WHAT you choose to buy.

Do you prefer a rural, urban, or suburban setting? How long of a commute are you willing to make? Which neighborhoods feed into your favorite schools? These decisions will impact your day-to-day life while you live in the home.

Another important factor to consider is how the area is likely to appreciate over time. Choosing the right neighborhood can raise the profit potential of your home when it comes time to sell. Look for communities that are well maintained with high home-ownership rates, low crime rates, and access to good schools, desired retail establishments, and top employers.4

 

STEP 4: Decide Which Features You Need (and Want) in a Home

Start with the basics, like your ideal number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage. Do you prefer a one-story or two-story layout? Do you want a swimming pool?

Keep in mind, you may not find a home with all of your “wants,” or even all of your “needs” … at least not at a price you can afford. The reality is, most of us have to make a few compromises when it comes to buying a home.

Some buyers will opt for a longer commute to get a larger, newer home in the suburbs. Others will sacrifice hardwood floors or an updated kitchen so that their kids can attend their desired school. 

If you’re faced with a tough choice about how or what to compromise in your home search, return to STEP 1. What were your original goals and motivations for moving? Reminding yourself of your true priorities can often provide the clarity that you need.

 

STEP 5: Meet with a Real Estate Agent

A good real estate agent can remove much of the stress and uncertainty from the home search process. From setting goals to securing a loan to selecting the best neighborhood to meet your needs, we will be there to assist you every step of the way.

And no one has more access to home listings, past sales data, or market statistics than a professional agent. We can set up a customized search that alerts you as soon as a new listing you might like goes live. Better yet, we get notified about many of the hottest homes even BEFORE they hit the market.

You might guess that the VIP service we provide is very expensive. Well, the good news is, we can represent you throughout the entire home buying process at NO COST to you. It’s true; the home seller pays a buyer agent’s fee at closing. So you can benefit from our time, experience, and expertise without paying a dime. It’s no wonder 87% of buyers choose to purchase their home with the help of an agent.1

And although we’ve listed it here as STEP 5, the reality is, it’s never too early (or too late) to contact an agent about buying a home. Whether you plan to buy today, next month, or next year, there are steps you can (and should) be taking to prepare for your purchase.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation!

 

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult a financial professional for advice regarding your individual needs.

 

Sources:

  1. NAR 2019 Home Buyers & Sellers Generational Trends Report – https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2019-home-buyers-and-sellers-generational-trends-report-08-16-2019.pdf
  2. Architectural Digest – https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/this-is-how-long-you-should-live-in-your-house-before-selling-it
  3. Investopedia – https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/twenty-eight-thirty-six-rule.asp
  4. Money Talks News – https://www.moneytalksnews.com/20-clues-youre-buying-home-the-right-neighborhood/

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Posted in Buying a Home
May 9, 2019

NextHome Blog

Oct. 4, 2018

Housing Prices Make Biggest Jump In 4 Years

According to a recent report from CoreLogic, housing prices have made their most significant leap in almost 4 years. Housing prices increased in all 50 states and were almost 7% higher in June 2018 than they were in June 2017—the biggest jump in pricing since May of 2014. Directly following the jump, consumer confidence in the housing market skyrocketed; according to Fannie Mae, consumer confidence levels hit an all-time high in April 2018, with 45% of people saying it's a good time to sell a house.

 

The Takeaway

With the surging housing prices and skyrocketing confidence market, there's never been a better time to sell your home. So if you've been thinking about making a move, now's the time.

 

Posted in Real Estate News
June 25, 2018

6628 Olmsford Dr Huntersville NC 28078

Feb. 5, 2018

The “My Mooresville House Will Sell Itself” Contradiction

You might think that when your house is in terrific shape, that’s all you need to guarantee a quick, successful sale. Just because it is located in a desirable Mooresville neighborhood on a great street populated with conscientious neighbors—and just because it has most of the features and attributes that today’s buyers seem to want—that it’s a cinch to draw a raft of top-of-market bids from a clamoring flock of eager prospects.

It often turns out that the result was not inevitable. The reason is that “My Mooresville house will sell itself” thinking was allowed to take over.

Now it is definitely true that all of the terrific qualities listed above should guarantee a short and successful offering. The problem arises when a homeowner logically concludes that, since their Mooresville house will sell itself, all they have to do is plant a sign in the yard and wait for the sale to be finalized.

That can be a costly misstep if the “For Sale” sign they decide to plant is one that includes the fateful words, “by Owner.” The apparent logic is that, if the house will sell itself, what’s the advantage to hiring a professional Mooresville agent to do the selling?

The needs are many, but I think the one that’s least debatable is this: when prospective buyers see that a homeowner is selling their house on their own, they correctly assume that the seller is hoping not to have to pay a commission. True or not, they also assume that the owner will have borne minimal expense—and that means that the owner can accept a lower offer. In other words, exactly the opposite of what the For Sale by Owner gambit was meant to achieve!

There are many other reasons why the vast majority of sellers do eventually rely on a professional Mooresville agent. For one, there’s the fact that the aura of professionalism all by itself conveys added value. For another, buyers and their agents know that negotiations will be professionally conducted. To be accepted, any offer will obviously need to be respectfully assembled (in other words, lowball offers are less likely to succeed).

When you add in the relief from the raft of technical hassles that goes with representation by your own Mooresville real estate professional, it’s a wonder that any of those “by Owner” signs ever show up. It’s probably because the self-contradiction in the “My house will sell itself” idea takes a while to evidence itself.

 

The irony is that it’s exactly those Mooresville homes with terrific attributes that deserve to attract the highest offers. That’s the ultimate benefit of the professional service I offer. Call me!       

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 2, 2018

Top 7 Things that Tie Mooresville Real Estate to the Super Bowl

Readers who check in here regularly know that every once in a while I’m moved to relate Mooresville real estate matters to various hot issues that are claiming the popular imagination. Such topics used to be called “water cooler talk” (but that was before we all started carrying water bottles around all day). So despite the fact that we may not gather around water coolers anymore, this the odds are that the leading topic of conversation won’t be the State of the Union or Mooresville high school basketball. I’m guessing that (especially as the weekend nears) that other topic will rule.

So, it’s all but inevitable—here are the Top 7 Things that Mooresville real estate and the Super Bowl have in common:

1.      Both are Sunday-centric. Mooresville real estate and the Super Bowl make Sunday a major activity day (at least when the weather is nice).

2.      Both do better when their ads are top-notch. The best Super Bowl ads will be replayed on Monday night news shows, but although our best Mooresville real estate ads won’t get that kind of attention, eye-catching ads are a plus for both.

3.      Both rely on heads-up plays by Special Teams. Your Mooresville Realtor® is the captain of the specialists needed to make a sale happen.

4.      Both rely on marketing to draw a crowd.

5.      Both have a definite banking connection (Sunday’s venue is U.S. Bank Stadium).

6.      Both are (mostly) free to enjoy. Open houses and showings are free to the public—only in Minneapolis will admission be charged (and what a charge!).

7.      Both are judged to be first rate when fumbles don’t happen.

Now you may be thinking that my Top 7 Things list is offered for no other reason than to try to get Super Bowl fans thinking about Mooresville real estate instead of the game itself. There may be an element of truth in that.

 

But by the time we’ve all been deluged by the onslaught of pregame hoopla, interviews, commentaries, predictions, mini-documentaries, player/coach profiles, etc., thinking about anything else may come as a welcome break. If that’s true for you, call me anytime to talk about your real estate plans! (Okay—maybe not during halftime).

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 1, 2018

Hottest Market to Sell In, NOW!

Wanna sell your home in 46 days for 11% above average comps?

 

Don't call us unless you're ready to move today!

 

 

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