4 Tips for Long-Distance House Hunting

long-distance house hunting

As you can imagine, long-distance house hunting can be very challenging. It’s difficult to get a “feel” for certain neighborhoods or to casually drive-by homes for sale if you’re in a different city or state.

Many homebuyers have no choice. Perhaps you were transferred or took a new job in a different state and your relocation is time-sensitive. You must find a house as quickly as possible.

Here are four tips to effectively house-hunt from far away:

  1. Identify your needs – Figure out what your wants and needs are (Three bedrooms, 2 full baths, large backyard, etc.). Your agent can help find homes for sale that meet those wants and needs.
  2. Research the area – Do as much investigation on the community and neighborhoods in that area. This can give you a better idea of desirable locales.
  3. Use a local real estate agent – Find an agent in the area in which you plan to move. A local agent can answer any questions about the area and provide knowledge-based real estate guidance.
  4. Plan a visit – Plan a visit to explore the area and meet with your agent. Your real estate agent should be able to schedule showings to homes that meet your needs and are within your budget.

If you’re house hunting in the Charlotte area, contact us at Randy Lindsay today. We can share professional advice concerning the local real estate market. 

When Is the Best Time to Buy a Home?

buy a home

Buying a home is a decision you shouldn’t take lightly. If you’ve decided to buy a home, odds are you believe you’re financially capable of doing so (perhaps with the help of a home loan). A home purchase is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so you’ll want the best deal possible on the house in which you plan to live. When you decide to buy a home – timing – can impact how much you end up spending. Here are a few tips for the best time to buy a home:

When it’s a buyer’s market 

A buyer’s market occurs when there are more houses for sale in an area than there are buyers in that area. This means sellers are competing against each other and are less likely to have multiple buyers bidding against one another.

If you’re a buyer in a buyer’s market, you’re going to have more room to negotiate. However, if you’re a buyer in a seller’s market, the seller will likely receive more interest from multiple buyers. This gives you less room to negotiate and potentially forces you to bid against another buyer.

End of summer and during fall

The spring and summer months are considered the peak selling seasons. Sellers list their homes for sale right when the weather improves and buyers begin going house-hunting. Sellers who haven’t sold by the end of summer may be getting desperate, which means you’ll have an edge when it comes to negotiations.

Knowing when to buy can make it easier to negotiate and can result in lower prices. Reach out to Randy Lindsay real estate professionals for more advice for buying a home today.

Worst First-Time Homebuyer Pitfalls to Avoid

First-Time Homebuyer Pitfalls

Buying your first home can be very exciting. It can also be complicated and stressful, especially if you’re not sure what you’re doing. It helps to know what some of the pitfalls of buying a home are. 

Here are a few common mistakes – and the worst – pitfalls you should avoid when buying your first home:

  • Not getting pre-qualified for a mortgage – Even if you’ve created a budget, there’s no guarantee you’ll be approved for the amount you need. By getting pre-qualified for a mortgage, you’ll know exactly how much you can afford when house hunting.
  • Not knowing your budget – If you don’t know what your budget is, how do you know what you can afford? A lot of people assume they’ll be able to afford a certain price without actually calculating current vs. future expenses. What can you afford on a month-to-month basis?
  • Not understanding the “real” costs – A monthly mortgage isn’t the only cost associated with buying a home. As you create a budget, remember to factor-in:
    • Basic maintenance and repair expenses
    • Closing costs
    • Interest rate
    • Mortgage insurance
    • Property taxes
    • Utilities
    • Not using a real estate agent – Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can find and buy a house yourself. A real estate agent can give you much more detailed advice about buying your first home.
      Your real estate professional can help you identify houses that fit your needs and budget, ensure properties are fairly priced, assist with negotiations, and guide you through bidding and closing processes. 

    Be sure to avoid the worst pitfalls when buying your first home. Even if you’re not a first-time homebuyer, contact us at Randy Lindsay for additional homebuying advice. 

How Soon Can I Buy a House After Bankruptcy?

Buy a House After Bankruptcy

When you file for bankruptcy, it means you’re in a financial situation you don’t think you can get out of without help. Such financial hardships occur for a wide variety of reasons–sometimes as a result of poor financial responsibility or medical debts.

When you file for bankruptcy, it’s going to make it difficult to obtain a loan any time soon. This means it may be a while before you can buy a house after bankruptcy.

When can you buy a house after bankruptcy?

Because you’re likely going to need a mortgage to buy a house, lenders will look at your credit history to determine how much of a lending risk you are. A certain amount of time has to pass after you file for bankruptcy for lenders to begin feeling comfortable approving a mortgage.

If you want a conventional loan from a bank, you’ll need to wait at least four years. Conventional loans have rigorous requirements that you need to meet; this includes a solid credit score. If you can prove extenuating circumstances (meaning the bankruptcy was out of your control), then you may only have to wait two years.

If you have more than one bankruptcy on your record, you may need to wait 5 years. If you’re applying for an FHA loan, then you only have to wait two years since FHA loans are federally backed and less of a risk for lenders. You may only have to wait between 1 and two years for a VA loan.

How soon you can buy a house after bankruptcy depends on what type of loan you’re applying for as well as the current state of your credit report. For more information on home mortgages, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.

Buying a Home? How Appraisals Work

If you’ve never bought a home before, you’ll soon find it’s a very involved process with a lot of different steps; especially if you’re seeking a home loan. If you apply for a home mortgage, your lender will likely require an appraisal. Without an appraisal, they can’t provide you with funding to make the purchase. 

What is a home appraisal?

At its core, an appraisal is an evaluation of the home’s value. It’s the lender that typically chooses a professional appraiser. The appraiser must be licensed or certified and is generally local. The value of the house can’t be determined by the structure itself (condition, materials used, square footage, and more). Value also depends on how much similar homes have sold for in the area as well as current local real estate market trends.

Why do you need an appraisal?

Lenders want professional property appraisals so they can compare appraisals to list prices. They want to ensure the appraisal isn’t well below what you’re planning on paying for it. If you’re overpaying significantly, the lender may have trouble recouping the loan if you default. They will have to foreclose on your home and sell it on auction but it’s unlikely they can get more than its appraised value, causing them to lose money.

As you can see, getting an appraisal is an important part of the home-buying process, especially if you’re taking out a home mortgage. 

Buying a Home from Another State? Tips for Finding a Local Real Estate Agent

If you’ve taken a new job or have been relocated to another state, then you may find yourself in a situation in which you’ll need to buy a new house in that state. Buying a house from another state can be a real challenge, which is why it’s important that you find a local real estate agent who will be able to help you. The following are a few tips to help you find a local real estate agent that can help you find a house to buy in an area you’re probably unfamiliar with:

  • Look for an agent with experience – Experience matters. It means that they will feel comfortable helping you even though you’re out of state. It also means that they will have a more established network within the area that they can rely on to find properties in the neighborhood you’re interested in. 

  • Look for an agent local to the area you want to buy in – When researching real estate agents in the area, be sure to use the keyword for the city or town you’re looking to move to. Not only do you want to make sure that they are living in that area, but that they are operating out of that area as well.

  • Ask for referrals – More specifically, ask for referrals from homeowners who bought houses in the area you’re looking at. Contact these referrals and ask them about their experience working with the agent. You could even ask the agent if they have any referrals from anyone who came in from out of state.

Buying a house from out of state can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be if you have the right real estate agent. 

MY BIO

Randy has enjoyed over 27 wonderful years in the Real Estate industry making dreams come true for homeowners.

Superior customer service is #1 to Randy and he provides this to all of his clients using knowledge, professionalism, integrity and persistence.

Randy is a successful and experienced real estate agent who expertly represents both buyers and sellers. Scores of Charlotte area residents have trusted Randy in the process of listing their homes to sell.

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