Why Buy With Us?
Purchasing a home is a big investment and a transaction that must be entered into with a team you trust and will work hard to find you the best home at the right price. At Huntersville Realty, we want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership.
From the first interview to the moment that you receive the keys, it is our pleasure to help you navigate the complicated process of buying a home.
Homes For Sale
- Waterfront Homes
- New Construction
- Golf Course Homes
Pre-Approval / Pre-Qualification
Before looking at homes with your realtor, it is very important to have a bank’s Pre-Approval. Although some realtors will show you homes with a Pre-Qualification letter, a ballpark estimate of your buying power, a Pre-approval provides proof to both agents and sellers the you are pre-approved for a specific loan amount and are a serious buyer. This approval approves buyers before they start shopping for their new home based on the verification of their income, credit and assets (debt-to-income ratio).
With many lenders, your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your total income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%.This is what the bank or mortgage company will use to decide how much they will lend you. With your pre-approval letter in hand when shopping for your new home, you will be able to shop with confidence and have competitive negotiating power! Huntersville Realty can arrange to have a team member sit with you before shopping to help you every step of the way!
Due Diligence, Escrow and Closing Costs
In 2011, the North Carolina real estate commission introduced a revised Offer to Purchase and Contract (always seeking to protect consumers) and with that, a new term called “due diligence”. Well, change doesn’t come easy for many folks and this new concept and contract didn’t come easy for many NC Realtors either. However, once you understand it, it’s pretty cool and is definitely designed to protect both real estate buyers and sellers.
Prior to 2011, “earnest money” was the only money that was used, up front. Earnest money was put in place primarily to show “earnestness” from the buyer and to help compensate the seller for their lost time and opportunities (from other prospective buyers) if the buyer “flaked out” basically. As long as everything went fine and the deal went to closing, the earnest money would be credited back to the buyer at closing and everyone was happy. However, things didn’t always go smoothly and buyers and sellers were sometimes left out in the cold. Let me explain…
See, the earnest money would be returned to the buyers if their financing fell through for any reason. This could be due to the loss of their job, them going out and buying a car or furniture (on credit) at the last minute and throwing their debt to income ratios off, or even a mistake by their lender. Now, this is where the big problems came for the sellers. Their home had been off the market (while under contract) for a few weeks or months waiting for this deal to close and at the last minute the buyer’s financing could fall through and the seller would be left standing there with nothing to show but hardship, lost time, lost opportunities, etc. And the buyer would be on their way…with their earnest money in hand. You can probably imagine how devastating this could be to sellers.
On the flip side, sellers were not the only ones that could be hurt. Buyers could also get their earnest money back if inspections had been done (the buyers cost), requests for repairs were given, and the seller refused to fix one or more things that were requested by the buyer. Great for the buyer, right? Well, not exactly. See, while the buyer had a right to back out of the contract AND get their earnest money back, they were still left with lost time and were still responsible for the cost of the inspection ($300+), the cost of the lender ordered appraisal ($250+) if it had been ordered, survey if already done ($300+) and any other arrangements or incurred costs. The buyer could “stick in there” and continue on but they’re left with one or more things that will eventually have to be fixed on their dime.
Well, to help remedy these situations and others, the NC real estate commission came up with a revised Offer to Purchase and Contract in 2011. The new offer still implemented earnest money but also introduced a “due diligence fee” and “due diligence period”.
The due diligence fee is an amount paid by the buyer directly to the seller that is theirs to keep, period. If the deal closes, the buyer will have that amount credited back to them at closing but either way, that amount up front is the seller’s to keep. In addition to the due diligence fee, there is an agreed upon due diligence period. The DD fee allows the buyer to conduct “due diligence” at buyer’s expense (inspections, appraisals, review of documents, survey, financing, obtaining insurance, etc) within the due diligence period and gives them the right to back out for any reason whatsoever…whether they flake out, simply fall out of love with the home, their financing falls through, etc. The kicker is that, if they’re going to back out of the contract for whatever reason, they need to do so prior to the end of the due diligence period. Otherwise, they will not only have lost their due diligence fee but also their earnest money that was put up (and held in escrow) as well. This is because with the new contract, there is no longer a financing contingency. If the buyer backs out prior to the end of the DD date, they will at least get their earnest money back.
At Huntersville Realty we hold your hand every step of the way so call us today with any questions 704-458-3331.
Thinking It Might Be The Right Time To Purchase Your First Home? It can be tough to figure out how to get started.We are here to help!
This is a very exciting time for you and owning a home may be your dream, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience it should be, you need to prepare mentally and financially ensure for the responsibilities that come with it.
Many people view home ownership like renting, but with the opportunity to have pets, paint the walls whatever colors they like or even change the landscaping. However, while these privileges are available to most homeowners, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and the maintenance of the property though the years. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take a close look at your finances and how taking on this new responsibility will impact them.
There are big questions that potential home buyers need to ask themselves. Am I prepared to own a home? What kind of home am I looking for? How much can I afford? We can help you find out!