Ready to hop into homeownership? Here’s what you need to know about buying your first home in Plaza Midwood. This Charlotte, NC, neighborhood is known for its eclectic mix of shops, dining, local breweries, and bungalow-style houses. If you’re looking for a historic community with character and modern conveniences just outside of center city, Plaza Midwood is the place for you. The median home price has risen dramatically over the past five years, and homes typically stay on the market for less than two months. With patience, perseverance, and the help of our experienced team of agents, you can find your dream home in Plaza Midwood.
Identify your budget and house needs
Before browsing Plaza Midwood homes for sale, the first step is identifying your budget. When it comes to budgeting for your first home, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to have a down payment saved up. This is typically 20% of the home's purchase price. So if you’re looking at a $300,000 home, you’ll need $60,000 for a 20% down payment. However, there are loan options available with lower down payment requirements. Our team can help connect you with a qualified lender to explore the financing options that best suit your needs.
In addition to the down payment, you’ll need to save money for closing costs. Closing costs can range from 2% to 5% of the home's purchase price, so be sure to factor that in when planning your move. Finally, you’ll need to budget for monthly mortgage payments. Your monthly payment will depend on your loan's interest rate, the term (typically 15 or 30 years), property taxes, and insurance (PITI). Assessing these factors will equip you to start budgeting for your first home.
Budgeting is intertwined with identifying your use of the space. For example, are you looking for a starter home or an investment property? Do you want a house with a yard, or would you prefer the lower maintenance of a condo or townhome? In either case, you’ll need to factor in repairs and ongoing maintenance costs. If you’re looking for an investment property, you’ll need to consider the potential rental income. Knowing the home's intended use will allow you to budget more accurately and narrow your property search accordingly.
Find a real estate agent you trust
As you begin searching for the perfect property, finding a real estate agent you can trust is crucial. Here are a few tips to help you find the best agent for your needs:
Take the time to interview your agent. Ask them about their experience working with first-time home buyers, and look for someone with extensive knowledge of the Plaza Midwood market.
Ask lots of questions. Your agent should be able to provide guidance and advice throughout the home-buying process, so you’ll want to ensure that they’re someone you can rely on.
Share your plans, budget, and long-term property goals with your agent. The more information you provide, the better equipped your agent will be to serve your needs.
With these tips in mind, you’re sure to find an agent to help you navigate the Plaza Midwood real estate market with ease. Of course, we think our team is a great option. Call or email us to see if we’re a good fit for your homebuying process.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage
Buyers should get pre-approved for a mortgage because it gives them a significant advantage when they’re ready to make an offer on a property. During the pre-approval process, a lender reviews your financial history and provides an estimate of how much they’re willing to lend you for a mortgage. Lenders will also provide a preapproval letter confirming your ability to purchase a home. This can help narrow your search to properties within your budget and provide more negotiating power when making an offer on a home.
The pre-approval process can vary depending on the lender, but it typically involves completing a mortgage application and providing financial documentation such as tax returns and pay stubs. If you’re hoping to buy a property, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a great place to start, and The Laws Collectie has a solid list of go-to lenders to help you during this stage.
Start looking at houses
Once you’ve identified your budget and goals, found an agent you trust, and gotten pre-approved for a mortgage, now comes the exciting part: looking for homes!
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
There are many ways to search for homes. Of course, online resources are a primary tool for viewing the homes for sale in Plaza Midwood. Your real estate agent might have a listing that fits your needs. They may even have leads on homes yet to hit the market. Utilize your agent as you search for homes you’d be interested in purchasing.
Another method for finding homes for sale is simply driving around the neighborhood. This can be especially beneficial in communities you don’t know as well. Spending time driving the area, especially at different times of the day and week, will give you an idea of the community. In a competitive real estate market such as Plaza Midwood, you have to be willing to consider every possibility in your search for your new home.
Start attending open houses and making offers
It’s time to start viewing homes and making offers. Here are some tips for this stage of the home-buying process
Your agent will help you create a property search using criteria matching the property type you’re hoping to find. Once you’ve identified a home or three that seem to fit your needs, your agent can arrange a property tour to see the house(s) in person.
Ask questions about the homes during those tours and at any open houses you might attend during the search process. Uncover any apparent issues with the homes or information about the neighborhood that may lend insight into future plans or factors that could impact the home’s long-term value.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Remember, the seller is not the only one who wants to get the best deal possible. Your agent can help with an offer strategy to achieve the optimal terms for your purchase.
Take your time. This is likely the most significant investment you’ve ever made, and you must be sure you’re making the right choice. Review your bid with your agent and submit it before another buyer snags your dream home.
With these tips in mind, you’re sure to find the perfect home in Plaza Midwood.
Looking to buy your first family home or an investment property in Plaza Midwood? Contact The Laws Collective today to get started. Or, as we like to say: Hop in. We’ll drive.
*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock