Buying A Home

The State of the Triangle Area Market

Currently our market is either balanced OR a seller’s market, with certain ‘hot spots’—namely, Northwest Cary, Morrisville, Apex proper, Inside the Beltline, and Northwest Raleigh experiencing low inventory which has created higher demand for the new and resale homes in those areas. Whenever demand is higher, the price MUST respond. That is why the Triangle area has experienced price increases every year since 2013, and why prices will increase another 2 to 3% in 2020.

What does all this mean for a home buyer?

Preparation and reaction time are critical if buyers want any chance of getting the house they really want, especially if their budget will only allow for a home in an entry level price point in a given area. Homes under $350k in most Triangle towns are in extremely high demand and buyers will have to compete in multiple offer situations. In certain high demand areas, even higher priced homes will have multiple offers, and it may require writing more than one offer to finally secure a contract on a home.

If all this sounds daunting, you’re right! But you CAN successfully purchase your dream home if you follow these simple steps:

  • Hire a GOOD real estate agent.  I am astonished by some people I meet who either don’t think it’s important, or even worse, think it’s a bad idea to work with an agent. If you’re reading this you might be thinking, “Christy IS a real estate agent so of course she’ll say that!”, and you’d be correct! But its only because of the nightmare scenarios that I’ve helped literally hundreds of people navigate or avoid during the home purchase process, that I CAN honestly say that buyers need agents. And in a hot seller’s market, our knowledge of the process, and the other agents who have desirable listings, can be invaluable.  I hear buyers sometimes say, “I don’t want to tie myself down to just one agent.” Or “I’m not working with an agent because I can represent myself and then get the house for less because the seller won’t have to pay a commission on the buy side.” Both ideas are flawed, and at best you’ll be spinning your wheels, wondering why your offers are rejected, and at worst, you could end up overpaying for a home riddled with horrific problems you knew nothing about at the outset. Want to know exactly what a GOOD agent will do for you? Read my blog entitled “WHY HIRE A BUYER AGENT?”
  • If you need financing, get your mortgage loan approved BEFORE you start looking at homes.  You’ve got to be ready to send your loan pre-approval letter along with your offer.  If you don’t have a mortgage loan officer you know and trust, your agent can help you connect with a good one who will 1) be competitively priced, and 2) get your loan closed on time.
  • Use a trusted local mortgage lender.  The best outcomes are obtained when you avoid the big national banks and internet mortgage companies. These outfits have centralized underwriting offices, often not in your time zone, resulting in poor communication and ‘bureaucratic’ indifference to your personal situation. This lack of caring can create a logistical nightmare when the lender drops the ball at the last minute and isn’t ready to close your loan, after you’ve already packed your stuff onto a truck. And worse, there is NO recourse for the lender’s failure to perform. If you use a local lender, they will often step up and reimburse expenses relating to their failure to close a loan on time. This is because they want to maintain a good reputation around town, and they want customer referrals. National banks could care less.
  • Be able to select a home based on a FIRST showing.  Gone are the days when you were able to view several houses, then think about all of them overnight, come up with a short list and then go back and view those houses for second time a day or two later to decide which one you want.  Think about what you want in your home and educate yourself on what to look for during the first showing. On hot properties there is no opportunity to go back for a second look. A good agent can help you think through your ‘must-haves’ vs. your ‘nice to haves’ so you can thoroughly yet quickly assess each house. The agent will also check the houses for potential repair issues which could affect your decision and/or offer price.  For more ideas and tips on how to select the right home for your needs, read my blog entitled “10 TIPS FOR PICKING THE RIGHT HOUSE”.

When you’re ready to start the conversation about buying your next home, CALL CHRISTY and let her artfully craft your next real estate deal.  Curious about Triangle area neighborhoods? Click here to research our communities and neighborhoods. You can also view available listings!

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