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Buying a Home in 2020? Five Things to do NOW

By Alyson Keller

For many, purchasing a home allows us to fulfill a dream of family stability, take pride in ownership, and build wealth. Navigating your dream can sometimes feel like you’re traversing a maze! Being prepared is critical to being considered a serious home buyer amongst sellers in Charlotte’s fast-paced world of real estate. Being prepared also sets the course for a smooth real estate transaction.



Let’s get started, one step at a time:

1. Prepare your finances and credit score. Your credit score is a measure of your financial health and debt history. The higher the score, the more likely a lender will want to lend you money, as you’ve proven to have a history of meeting your obligations. Additionally, you are rewarded with better terms and lower interest rates. However, the required credit score may surprise you depending on the type of financing you choose. It might also surprise you to know that something like a poor driving record affects your credit score.

2. Shop for a lender. Yes, lenders are different! Finding a mortgage lender involves more than just getting a good interest rate. You want to work with mortgage companies who will guide you through the process and help you decide the best type of financing for your intended purchase.  Believe it or not, some lenders won’t lend money for condominium purchases or have very different loan terms depending on the property.

3. Hire a skilled realtor. Choose a full-time realtor that has a recent history of successful sales in the area you want to buy and understands the market value from one property to the next. Communication skills and contract negotiation knowledge are some of the most important skills that realtors bring to homebuyers. We often hear from clients, “We have no idea how we would have managed all this without you.” You may be inclined to work with a family member or friend who recently obtained a real estate license, but for the reasons listed, use caution!

4. Understand the terms. Due diligence, escrow, earnest money, settlement statement, repair request, closing costs, compliance, deed, title insurance, and appraisal are all part of real estate language. This is where great advice from a seasoned realtor is invaluable! We help explain each of these steps and keep you on track.

5. Stick with your plan. Buying a home can be emotionally taxing with many decisions to make. Good guidance from a professional realtor and sticking to your plan and budget will help you meet your long-term goal of home ownership. Negotiations should be a give and take. If you feel like you have deviated too far, it’s probably not the right property for you!

Alyson Keller is the owner/broker of Keller Carolina Realty Group at Ballantyne-Area Keller Williams. She ranks in the top 10% and serves as a committee chair for the Associate Leadership Council in her market center. She has also served three years on the Realtor Association Housing Opportunity Foundation. With over 15 years in Charlotte real estate experience, her team specializes in residential, luxury and acreage land properties. 

Stay in touch with Alyson through her team’s monthly “Coffee with KCG” events and their upcoming 2020 home buying seminars. Contact Alyson at (704) 236-1208 or alyson@kellercarolina.com, or reach her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KellerCarolinaRealty.

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