Welcome! Congratulations on starting the journey to home ownership here in the mountains. Take a look at the resources in this section, contact us so we can help you navigate the market, advise you on what step to take next, and then find the home you have been planning for.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Is it important to live near work? Walking distance to downtown? Where you can see the stars?
When evaluating a neighborhood you should investigate local conditions in each particular neighborhood. Depending on your own particular needs and tastes, some of the following factors may be more important considerations than others:
- Property values
- Future construction
- Schools districts
If you're a first time-buyer with limited financial resources, let us help you navigate the best areas to fit your needs.
Be sure to read and then discuss with one of our agents > Working with Real Estate Agents
Prepare to Buy a Home
Talk to mortgage brokers.
Many first-time home buyers don’t take the time to get prequalified. They also often don’t take the time to shop around to find the best mortgage for their particular situation. It’s important to ask plenty of questions and make sure you understand the home loan process completely.
Be ready to move.
This is especially true in markets with a low inventory of homes for sale. It’s very common for home buyers to miss out on the first home they wish to purchase because they don’t act quickly enough. By the time they’ve made their decision, they may find that someone else has already purchased the house.
Find a trusted partner.
It’s absolutely vital that you find a real estate professional who understands your goals and who is ready and able to guide you through the home buying process.
Make a good offer.
Remember that your offer is very unlikely to be the only one on the table. Do what you can to ensure it’s appealing to a seller.
Factor maintenance and repair costs into your buying budget.
Even brand-new homes will require some work. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in your present needs, but you should also think about reselling the home before you buy. The average first-time buyer expects to stay in a home for around 10 years, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
Develop your home/neighborhood wish list.
Prioritize these items from most important to least.
Select where you want to live. Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account nearby schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.
WHAT TO KNOW
7 Reasons to Work With a REALTOR®
REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR® difference for home buyers:
1. Ethical treatment.
Every REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. The first obligation is to you, the client.
2. An expert guide.
Buying a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
3. Objective information and opinions.
REALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORs® can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need. By understanding both your needs and search area, they can also point out neighborhoods you don’t know much about but that might suit your needs better than you’d thought.
4. Expanded search power.
Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A REALTOR® can help you find opportunities not listed on home search sites and can help you avoid out-of-date listings that might be showing up as available online but are no longer on the market.
5. Negotiation knowledge.
There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows enough time for you to complete inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase.
6. Up-to-date experience.
Most people buy only a few homes in their lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.
7. Your rock during emotional moments.
A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.
Check out this Home Warranty Guide that provides tips for finding the right warranty, examines the best companies in the industry and answers some frequently asked questions.
Q: I want to buy a home, how do I get started?
A: There are two people you need to speak to, one is a real estate agent and it is a good idea to meet with a lender before that to determine how much you can afford and how much you would like to spend. This will give you an idea of what your monthly mortgage payment will be, this is important information to know. Your real estate agent will represent you and help you find the right home that fits within your budget and will ensure that the transaction happens smoothly as possible.
Q: What price home can I afford?
A: Discussing your personal, confidential financial information with a qualified mortgage lender is your first step. Based on your income, credit history, income/debt ratio and how much you want to spend monthly for mortgage payments, your lender will help you decide what price homes you should be looking at.
Q: Do I really need a real estate agent?
A: Of course you do. Your real estate agent will represent you; will keep your best interest in mind. According to the Real Estate Commissions' rules, your buyer's agent is required to work for you to help you find the right home and guide you all the way through to the closing table. One of our brokers would be happy to sit down with you to discuss how their expertise in the Asheville and Western NC real estate market will help you find the home of your dreams. We take pride in representing our clients, making sure that their best interest always comes first. Most often a buyer's agent will not receive compensation from a home buyer but rather from the home seller.
Q: How do I know which neighborhoods are the best for me?
A: Your real estate agent should be knowledgeable about what Asheville and its surrounding neighborhoods have to offer. Just as there are neighborhoods that are known for very expensive luxury homes, there are neighborhoods with modest homes at modest prices. It is important that you understand that all real estate agents are bound by federal laws regarding answering questions about race, color, religion, sex, handicapped or familiar status or national origin.
The best way to prepare to own your first home is to educate yourself about the home buying process. You can take a class or pick up books from the library. Also, read the real estate sections of your newspaper and consumer magazines.
Q: What is earnest money?
A: Earnest money is a deposit Buyers make when they sign a contract to buy a house. Although not required, it signifies the seriousness and intention of the Buyer to complete the purchase. At closing, the earnest money becomes part of the purchase, and is deducted from the total amount needed from the Buyer in funds needed to close. If the Buyer defaults without a good reason, as spelled out in the contract, the earnest money becomes payment for damages incurred by the Seller(s) and their agents and is forfeited.
The earnest deposit could be several hundred or even several thousand dollars. If the Buyer(s) contract is accepted, the money must be deposited in a trust account (noted on the contract) within 3 days of acceptance. If the Buyer(s)' contract is not accepted by the Seller, the money is returned to the Buyer.