Triangle Area Home Buyers FAQs
Buying Real Estate: Some Important Questions and Answers
Education is the first step in any process worth taking. At Julie Wright Realty Group, we feel education in real estate is the most important step a buyer can take in finding real estate. Even buyers who have experience in purchasing real estate benefit from finding out the latest information on the real estate market before starting another transaction. So, we have put together some of the most common questions buyers may have to provide preparation for the journey of real estate purchases. Take a look before beginning your real estate search and ensure that you get a feel for the journey ahead.
Q - I've never purchased a home before. Where should I begin?
A - You have already begun the process by asking the question. Finding out about the process of real estate transactions by reading articles and learning key terms is the best way to begin. Before even looking at areas, neighborhoods, and property, understanding what is expected of you as a buyer will make the process that much easier. So, the first step is to understand how purchasing real estate will impact your personal finances:
- Familiarize yourself with your personal finances.
- Carefully review your budget and begin to eliminate as much debt as possible.
- Ask yourself some questions:
- Why buy real estate, and why buy now?
- Some buy real estate to exit the rental market because they feel they are wasting money in rental payments; real estate can provide a tangible product that will someday be yours
- Some buy real estate as an investment, looking to sell when the time and price is right; real estate can offer ways to add to the savings account if invested properly
- How long will I own the property?
- If a long-term, stable location is in your future, and you do not anticipate any transfers with your job, then finding the right real estate may mean a long-term commitment; if a shorter term purchase is on your agenda, then determining how long before that purchase is then sold will help you find the right financing for this transaction
- How much can I get in financing? How much do I want to finance?
- Many factors go into the decision-making process lenders use that determines for how much a buyer can qualify, such as monthly income, debt, length of time at your current job, and credit history. Being able to answer questions about your finances, including your financial history and credit status, will help you begin the discussion with potential lenders so that the process goes smoothly.
- There are some decisions that you must make, too; comparing how much the real estate will cost over time, such as taxes, upkeep, and insurance, as well as how much the monthly mortgage payment will be is important. You want to keep your future in mind when deciding how much real estate you wish to purchase.
- Other factors go into how much a lender may allow you to finance. The amount of down payment, costs of closing, and the value of the real estate to be purchased are some of the ingredients which are mixed together to determine your final mortgage.
- What kind of real estate do I wish to buy?
- Determining if the real estate is going to be your primary residence, and what kind of residence you wish to purchase, will narrow the list of properties you may wish to visit. Each type of residence has its own pros and cons: a single-family residence versus a condo, a townhouse versus vacant land on which you build, your primary residence versus a vacation property or investment property all make a difference in the purchasing process (and in the lending process).
- Research, research, research
- Asking questions and getting answers about anything related to real estate will increase the success of your purchase. From talking to lenders to learning about neighborhoods, you can only gain by checking things out before you buy.
- Have a down payment and earnest money ready when the time comes to act and make your offer.
- Get together a solid down payment and earnest money before looking at properties, now that you have an idea of how much you want to spend. That will provide great support in your financial portfolio when the time comes to actually offer to purchase a property.
Q - With all the bad news about mortgage products and home foreclosures, how do I avoid making a big mistake when deciding which type of loan to select?
A - Because you have taken the above steps in researching and understanding your finances, we can review your situation with you before we start looking at real estate. Then, we recommend that you select a lending consultant or representative whom you can trust. We work with many lending institutions and can make recommendations, or you can choose your own, but you must have confidence in your lender and feel completely at ease in working with your lender. Keep asking questions, ask for clarification, and review everything, particularly documents you are asked to sign. And, if there is ever any question about the impact a document will have in the long run, consult a real estate attorney or accountant before signing so you are sure of your position before signing anything.
Q - Alright, I've got an idea about what my personal finances look like, now what?
A - Now it is time to consult a Realtor® to begin the real estate search. When choosing a real estate agent and his firm, be sure to feel comfortable with the role he will play in the buying process. A real estate agent can play many roles in a real estate transaction, so you want to be sure you have an agent working to protect your interests. To better understand the roles of a real estate agent (and his firm), take a look at Working with Real Estate Agents, a publication the NC Real Estate Commission has designed to educate buyers and sellers in the ways real estate agents work.
Julie Wright Realty Group would like the opportunity to work with you in buying your real estate. If you are ready to begin, please contact us so we can sit down with you, review your real estate needs and your finances to help you find the right property for you.