Should You Look at Short Sales When Buying a Home?

If you’re looking at buying a home, you’re undoubtedly looking for good bargains. And under the right circumstances, a short sale could be just what you’re looking for. However, this is a somewhat rare type of home sale, and there’s no guarantee it will work out.

What Is a Short Sale?

A short sale occurs when a home is valued for less than its remaining mortgage, and the mortgage lender agrees to settle the debt for a smaller sum than they are technically owed. This allows the home to be resold.

Short sales typically happen when homes have depreciated for some reason. For example, neighborhood property values have dropped or a property itself may be neglected and lost value. In some cases, the property may have lost so much value that it’s no longer realistic for the mortgage lender to expect full repayment. 

Much of the time, the home’s current owner will be in some form of financial distress that prevents making mortgage payments. In this situation, the lender may be willing to agree to a short sale to get rid of a property that could cost the financial institution more money in the long run. A short sale can also bring in more money than if the home is repossessed and auctioned, which is a great motivator for the lender and a good reason to go along with it.

The Challenges of a Short Sale

The biggest hurdle to overcome when requesting a short sale is the mortgage lender. Financiers aren’t in the business of losing money and will be reluctant to discharge the mortgage for less than its value.

The current homeowner must convince the lender the mortgage is unlikely to ever be paid off. Sellers will need to be highly motivated to go through this process, typically to get out from under debt they can’t comfortably repay.

There’s also a high likelihood that the home has other issues. It may be in poor repair or there could be fines and liens attached to the property. A buyer will need to be very careful, surveying and researching the property thoroughly, to be sure it’s a good deal.

In the right conditions, a short sale can result in a bargain buy. But it’s a difficult deal to broker and many factors could confound the transaction. 

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Should You Buy an Unfinished Home?

Unfinished Home

Of all the real estate investments you could make, an unfinished home is one of the riskiest. But in the right circumstances, it could also be easy money.

An unfinished home is just that: a house that was under construction and the construction was abandoned before completion. Unfinished homes could be nearly finished, barely begun, or anywhere in between.

Is this a purchase you should consider?

Benefits of Buying an Unfinished Home

Why purchase an unfinished home? There are several potential benefits:

  • The price will typically be extremely low. In some cases, you may even be able to buy the entire property for less than the lot alone would sell for.
  • If the home is nearly finished, with the roof, windows, and doors already in place, it may be completable without much more investment.
  • If the work is barely started, you could potentially bulldoze the construction and then sell the property to turn a profit.

Risks of Buying Unfinished Construction

There’s a lot that could go wrong with buying an unfinished house. Discretion is necessary.

  • If the property has been abandoned for a long time, it may be an absolute mess inside. There could be animal life or even squatters in residence.
  • The realistic market value of an unfinished house will drop rapidly the longer it’s been abandoned and unkempt.
  • The costs of dealing with it – finishing or demolishing – may ultimately eat any profit you could have made.

Other Factors To Consider

What should you examine when deciding whether a particular unfinished property is worth the investment?


The hotter and drier the local environment, the less damage will be done to the extant construction. Buying unfinished homes in a wet climate is rarely a good idea because they deteriorate quickly.

Property Valuation

Often, tax assessors will make an initial valuation based on what the value would be if the house was finished. For example, it might be worth $100,000 on paper, but only a tenth of that in reality. This could be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your situation and goals.


It’s tough convincing people to buy an unfinished home. Think about whether you can realistically make a profit. 

Unfinished houses can be a high risk/high reward investment. In the right situations, you could get a property for a song and quickly flip it for a profit. But you could also just as easily get stuck with a costly and rapidly deteriorating encumbrance.

Should I Buy a New Construction Home?

new construction home

A new construction home is a house that has just been built. No one has lived in it, and it is for sale for the first time. You often find them in newly developed subdivisions or trending areas that have upscale renovations. There are many advantages to buying a new construction home, but there are also a few potential drawbacks.

Keep these pros and cons in mind when considering buying a new construction home.

Pros of Buying a New Construction Home

Some of the reasons you might want to buy a new construction home include:

  • Because they’re brand-new, they don’t generally have need-to-repair issues.  
  • New homes often qualify for lower insurance premiums than older homes since they are designed to meet stricter guidelines.
  • Newly constructed homes are usually located in great neighborhoods and near modern shopping centers and conveniences. 
  • These homes often have warranties on both the home and its appliances because everything is new. 
  • They are often more up-to-date, with modern amenities and design features. You may find they are equipped with energy-efficient appliances and other features that could save money on monthly utilities and deliver a long-term return on investment (ROI).

Cons of Buying a New Construction Home

Although there are many advantages to buying a new construction home, there are a few potential disadvantages. These can include:

  • New homes can sometimes take a long time to build, so you might have to wait several months before you can move in. 
  • There’s not a lot of variety when it comes to buying a new construction home in some areas. If all the homes “look the same,” to you, there’s often not much you can do to customize without HOA (homeowners association) approval.
  • They are generally more expensive than older homes. You may need to pay more money upfront. 

Speak With a Real Estate Agent Today

Be sure to consider all the pros and cons if you’re considering buying a new construction home. A real estate agent can help you find the perfect home that fits your specific needs and can offer guidance throughout the homebuying process. 

For additional advice on buying a home, be sure to contact us at Randy Lindsay today.

5 Things to Know Before Buying Your First Home

Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home is an exciting milestone, but it can also be a daunting experience. It is important to do your research and ask the right questions to be prepared for what lies ahead. The more prepared you are, the smoother your journey to homeownership will be.

Here are five things to know before buying your first home:

1. Home Condition

Make sure you have an inspector look at the house before you buy it. They can check for:

  • electrical issues
  • moisture issues
  • pests
  • structural damage

…as well as any other potential problems. Decide whether you’re willing to invest in repairs or renovations before you buy a house that needs work.

2. Loan Qualification

Before you begin your house hunt, it’s important to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you an idea of your price range, so you’re not wasting time looking at homes that are out of your affordability range. It will also give the seller confidence in you as a potential buyer. This could prove to be an advantage when competing against other offers.

3. Local Real Estate Market

Understanding the local real estate market will help you determine what’s a good deal and if you’re getting a fair price. It can also help you decide whether or not now is a good time to buy. Look at:

  • days on the market
  • how many homes are currently listed in the area
  • similar home prices

4. Neighborhood Desirability

Don’t focus only on the houses. Research the neighborhood you’re looking at as well. Drive around the area, look into crime statistics, learn about local schools, read online reviews from residents, and talk to people in the neighborhood.

5. Your Budget

One of the biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers make is assuming that the loan amount they qualify for is what they can afford. In addition to the down payment and closing costs that you must pay upfront, you’ll need to make sure it’s financially feasible to keep up with the monthly payments as well as all the costs associated with owning a home, including taxes, insurance, HOA fees, maintenance, and more.

These are five things that you should know if you’re planning to buy a house for the first time. For additional first-time homebuying advice, be sure to contact us at Randy Lindsay today.

4 Habits of Smart Home Buyers

smart home buyers

Being a smart home buyer is a lot more difficult than you might realize, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. First-time home buyers have no experience with the home-buying process. They may encounter more challenges due to not knowing what to expect.

However, being a smart home buyer is crucial to ensuring you get the home you want without sacrificing your financial stability. With that in mind, the following are four habits of smart home buyers:

1. Maintain a good credit score

One of the most important things you can do as a home buyer is to maintain a good credit score. Your credit score will play a big role in qualifying for a mortgage, not to mention determining the interest rate you’re offered. It’s essential to ensure your score is as high as possible before looking for a new home.

2. Save money before going house hunting

Be patient about becoming a new homeowner. You should save enough money to make a sizable down payment, cover closing costs, and have reserves left in case of a financial emergency. The bigger your down payment is, the less your house will cost you in the long term since you’ll pay less on interest. Additionally, you won’t have to pay mortgage insurance if you can make at least a 20 percent down payment.

3. Budget for the long-term

Just because you can afford the monthly mortgage payment doesn’t mean you should max out your budget. You need to consider other expenses associated with homeownership, such as property taxes, insurance, repairs, and maintenance. By budgeting for these additional costs, you can ensure you’re still comfortable with your mortgage payment after everything is said and done.

4. Make sure your personal life is in order

Make sure that you’re employed full-time, have a good handle on your finances, and have stability in your personal life before you begin the home-buying journey. If you’re in the middle of big life events, such as getting married, starting a family, or beginning a new job, you might want to wait until things settle down before buying a home.

These are just a few habits you should adopt if you want to be a smart home buyer. By doing so, you can be sure you’re prepared for the challenges of the home-buying process. For more advice on being smart home buyers, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.

4 Things Homeowners Insurance Won’t Cover (That May Surprise You)

Homeowners Insurance Won’t Cover

When you buy a house, you’ll want to insure it. If you take out a mortgage to pay for your home, the lender will likely require you to buy homeowners insurance as part of the agreement.

Even if it isn’t required, getting your home insured against damage or loss is a good idea. But what many homeowners don’t realize is that their insurance policy may not cover everything they think it does.

It’s important to understand what your homeowner’s insurance policy covers so you’re not caught off guard if something happens to your home. Knowing what it doesn’t cover will allow you to purchase additional coverage if necessary. With that in mind, the following are four things that your home insurance policy probably won’t cover:

1. Flooding

Standard home insurance policies exclude coverage for flood damage, so if your home is inundated with water from a storm or other flooding event, you will likely have to foot the bill for repairs and replacements yourself. If you live in an area prone to flooding, purchasing separate flood insurance is a good idea.

2. Earthquake damage

Homeowners insurance also typically excludes coverage for earthquake damage. If an earthquake hits and your home sustains damage, you will likely have to pay for repairs and replacements out of pocket. If you live in an area that’s susceptible to earthquakes, you may want to purchase separate earthquake insurance.

3. Mold

Mold is a type of fungus that can grow in homes and other buildings. It can cause property damage and pose health risks. Mold typically develops and spreads from moisture, so it’s often found in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and basements. Because mold growth is so common, most standard homeowner’s insurance policies exclude coverage for mold damage.

4. Pest infestations

Pests like rodents and insects can damage your home and pose health risks. If your home becomes infested with pests, you will likely have to pay for pest control. You might not be bothered about paying for pest control; however, some pests, such as termites, can cause significant damage to your home.

A standard homeowners insurance policy will provide coverage against things like fire, wind, and snow damage, as well as vandalism, theft, and personal liability. However, it’s important to know what it doesn’t cover so you can plan accordingly. Contact us at Randy Lindsay today for more advice about the home-buying process.


Randy has enjoyed over 32 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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