20 Sep 2019
Before you do anything, talk to a lender and obtain a pre-qualification. It’s quick and painless and you will know exactly what you can afford. Pre-qualification allows you to negotiate from a possession of strength and confidence. Knowing how much you can spend keeps you from wasting time looking at properties that are out of the approved range. There is nothing worse than looking at properties for $400,000 only to find out you are only qualified up to $325,000. Lowering your expectations after the process has begun can be frustrating and disappointing. Knowledge is power.
On the other hand, if a buyer can’t qualify, the lender will tell the buyer exactly what they need to accomplish over a targeted time period to bring their debt to income ratios down to an acceptable level. It’s better to find out sooner than later and start working on the steps to obtain approval.
Looking at properties is exciting and buyers need to understand the importance of staying focused on their priorities. Create a list of must-haves, would like to have, and can live without items. There’s nothing wrong with adjusting those priorities along the way. For example, if a water view is a must-have and during the process, you realize that homes with water views in your price range are not in the condition you are willing to accept, then shift to homes that are in better condition and ultimately make you feel more comfortable with your choice. Consider the following when shopping for homes:
- Location – How important is a water view? Privacy? Close to shops? School zone?
- Condition – What is acceptable to you? Are you a DIY? Or do you need move-in ready?
- Amenities – Elevator, pool, granite countertops, game room, hot tub, etc.
- Bedrooms and Baths – What’s your minimum?
- Rental Income – Depending on the nature of the purchase, how important is rental income?
Hurricanes happen. What is your tolerance for storm-related consequences? It doesn’t necessarily have to be a hurricane to cause flooding, sand accumulation in pools and driveways, leaking sliders and windows as a result of wind-driven rain, blown off shingles, etc. Know your tolerance and buy accordingly. Some buyers would not consider anything less than oceanfront or soundfront, others prefer an elevated location or several lots back from a water source. The decision is yours. Keep in mind that there are no guarantees that a property will not flood even if it is located in an X-Flood zone, however, your chances are greatly reduced. In the same vein, properties that are located in flood zones AE or VE, have never flooded. The Outer Banks is a beautiful place and storm events should not be a deterrent to purchasing as long as you know your tolerance level.
4. PRE-CLOSING EXPENSES
Be aware that there are pre-closing expenses that you may or may not be able to recoup in the event the contract does not result in a closing. Consult with your Beach Realty agent regarding costs and when these items are due and payable.
- Inspections – Home, pest, septic, pool, elevator, are among the common inspections.
- Survey and Elevation Certificate – Know what you are buying.
- Appraisal Fee – required by lenders and optional for cash buyers.
- Earnest Money – Credited at closing and refundable prior to the end of Due Diligence.
- Due Diligence Fee – Also credited at closing but forfeited if the buyer does not close.
Your Beach Realty agent will guide you through all the steps from start to close. They will advise you on agency, ensure you have a thorough understanding of the NC real estate forms and contract, negotiate on your behalf, recommend and assist you with your choice of attorney, inspectors, lender, and insurance agent. As a buyer’s agent, your Beach Realty agent will represent you and act in your best interest at all times. Count on a Beach Realty agent and their team of professionals to create the best possible real estate experience for you.