Buying a Home

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November
3

HPW Agents

Searching for a new home can be a nightmare if you go in unprepared. There are plenty of Raleigh homes for sale, but how do you find the one that's right for you? How do you know if the price is reasonable and that everything in the house is in good working order? You can't do it alone. You need a real estate agent.

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September
1

Raleigh Construction

Finding a new home that meets your needs can be a difficult task. There are plenty of Raleigh homes for sale, but what if you want to build your own? It affords you more control and ensures that the finished product will meet all your standards. What does it take to build a home, though? What does it cost, and what can you expect throughout the process? Here's what you need to know.

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January
13

Raleigh Open Houses

Traditionally, the open house has been one of the most valuable ways for sellers and their agents to invest their time. Our real estate agents are veterans of hundreds of open houses, using them to ensure properties get the attention they deserve. That's crucial when putting Triangle homes for sale on the market.

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many areas barred open houses and similar events. Virtual showings have had a heyday, and they will continue to be part of strategy for sellers and buyers alike. However, the open house is picking up steam once again – and it's here to stay.

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September
23

Buying a Home

Once you close on your new home, it might feel like the hard work is over. However, there are still a lot of tasks you need to add to your to-do list to get your new home set up so that it's safe and comfortable for your family. Here are some things you need to do after buying your home. 

  1. Change Your Address
    Now that your new address is official, you need to update it with anyone that you conduct personal or official business with. Update your address with your:
  • Friends and family
  • Employer
  • Financial institutions
  • Lenders and credit card companies
  • Schools and afterschool programs
  • Doctor and dental offices
  1. Clean Your New Home
    Make sure that your new space is ready for your family by giving it a thorough scrubbing before you move in. Our real estate agents know that it's much easier to clean an empty home that one that's filled with moving boxes and furniture. Work from the top of the room to the bottom of the room so that you don't have to backtrack with your cleaning efforts. Worried you won't have time to clean before your moving date? Hire a pro to come in and deep clean your new home for you. 
  1. Connect Your Utilities
    Ideally, you should start the process of connecting your utilities prior to your closing date. It can take 2-3 weeks for everything to get connected and set up, and some utility companies may not have an immediate opening. 
  1. Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
    Even if your home inspector examined all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors during your home inspection, you want to ensure that they're still in good working order. Check the batteries, and determine if you need to add any additional detectors based on the size and layout of your new home. While you're at it, see that your home has ample fire extinguishers. 
  1. Change the Security Codes and Locks
    Make sure that you're the only one who has access to your home by changing the security codes and the locks. Change all your gate, door, and garage codes. As long as your door locks are in good condition and you're pleased with their appearance, you can save money by having them rekeyed (versus replacing them entirely). Remember to also replace locks on exterior buildings and doors.

  2. Get Started on Your Home Maintenance
    While some Raleigh homes for sale may have minimal must-dos on their home inspections, others may have a more extensive list of items that need to be completed. Examine your home inspection report, and decide which items you want to get started with. Prioritize any items that are safety concerns (such as clogged dryer vents) or that are simply long overdue (like changing dirty filters). 

Want to start exploring properties that might be right for you? Contact us today to get started!

April
8

New Construction

If you favor a home that's brand new or want to customize as many of the home's details as possible, you might want to consider purchasing a new construction property. A new construction property allows you to be the first person to live in the home. Know what to expect with a new construction property with these 5 things listed below. 

  1. The Current Status of the Home
    New construction homes come in a variety of options. It's possible to start with bare land, design every element of the home, and have the builder construct the property according to your specifications. Another type of new construction allows you to choose from a set of different home designs and finishes; while you can still customize the home, your options might be limited. One more alternative is a home that's mostly built but permits the buyer to pick out some of the finishing details, like the flooring, paint colors, and countertops. Generally, the more you customize a home, the longer it will take to build. Keep your moving timeline in mind when checking out Raleigh homes for sale
  2. Whether the Builder Will Handle Any Exterior Projects
    Pay attention to the home's exterior and ask the builder what, if any, projects they plan to complete for the property's outside space. It's not uncommon for a builder to forgo planting flowers, adding trees, and seeding a lush, green lawn. If you're responsible for these items, you'll need to make sure the work and associated costs are manageable for your budget and schedule.

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April
1

Raleigh Dream Home

Let's face it, your home is probably the most significant investment you'll ever make. Ultimately, you want it to be a space you are your family will enjoy for years to come.

Thanks to virtual tours, homebuyers are able to tour many properties without leaving their comfy couch. Making home buying options seem endless!

And with so many options out there, how do you know that you've found "the one"?

Think you've found the perfect home for you among the many Raleigh homes for sale

Follow these signs, to determine if that home you just virtually toured is the one!

  1. See the Real Picture

    When you view the home, you instantly feel a spark. Everything about the house fits into your idea of a perfect home. Sure, there might be things you want to change, but you come up with solutions rather than focusing on the negatives.

  2. "Ticks All The Boxes"

    Before you started touring available homes in the area, you probably thought of a list of must-haves for your new home. For example, you might need a home that has 3 bathrooms. If a home ticks all those boxes (and then some) you may have found the one!

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January
29

Improve Your Credit Score

When you're looking to buy a home, your credit score has a significant effect on whether you're able to get a mortgage loan. And if you're able to obtain a loan, your score helps determine the interest rate you'll pay.

Your three-digit score represents your credit history and helps lenders determine whether you're likely to be able to pay back your mortgage loan. The higher your score, the better. Lenders generally like to see a score of at least 660 for a mortgage loan, and a score of 740 or higher will usually help you get the best interest rates for a home mortgage loan.

Our real estate agents suggest the following ways to improve your credit score before buying a home:

  1. Check Your Credit Score
    Check your credit history and score online through each of the three major credit bureaus - TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. This lets you see whether any incorrect information on file is affecting your credit score, and if so, you can follow each credit bureau's process for having them corrected. You'll also find out whether your credit score is high enough to let you get a mortgage at a low-interest rate.

  2. Pay Your Bills on Time
    Paying every bill on time will raise your credit score over time. This helps demonstrate your creditworthiness to potential lenders.

  3. Reduce Debt 
    Your credit utilization, which is the amount of debt you have compared to your available credit, should be low. Work to lower your balances on credit cards, and don't open any new credit cards or finance a car when you're about to look for a home.

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October
9

Raleigh Fall Activities

Are you looking for free fall activities to do in Raleigh this weekend? Autumn in North Carolina is a gorgeous time of the year, surrounding us with beautiful fall leaves, a crisp breeze and plenty of great family-friendly activities to enjoy. Our real estate agents invite you to grab the kids and venture over to one of these free destinations.

  • American Tobacco Trail — 1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd., Apex, NC 27502
    Spend a little time outdoors on the American Tobacco Trail. This recreational rail-trail runs for 6.5 miles through Wake County before continuing another 16.5 through Chatham and Durham Counties. The perfect place of hiking, biking, riding horses, and having a picnic, the American Tobacco Also hosts free events throughout the fall. Plan your trip around one of their free events and look at Apex homes for sale later in the day.

    Click Here to Read More...

January
3

New Year, New Home 2018The New Year has arrived bringing with it blistery cold weather and great anticipation for all that will happen in the days and months that lie ahead.

Your 2018 resolutions may take you to the gym more often, give you the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends or set the stage for a long-awaited home sale. If the latter is on your list, now is the perfect time to begin your real estate journey; here's how:

 

Figure Out Your Finances

You'll need to get your financial affairs in order before buying a home—think about your credit score, income, and savings.

Start by checking your credit to see where you stand. Are there any errors or negative information on your credit reports? If so, start fixing them now to raise your credit score before you begin hunting for a home. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to qualify for a lower interest rate on your mortgage loan.

Determine what you can afford based on your current income and savings. Do you have enough money to purchase the home you desire? If not, are you able to revise your budget to cut spending and increase your cash reserves? You will need to demonstrate to lenders that you can afford monthly mortgage payments as well as a down payment ranging from 5 to 10 percent of the loan.

If you already know that you are well positioned financially to buy a home, do yourself a favor and get pre-approved for a mortgage. A pre-approval is a written statement from a lending institution in which the lender tentatively commits to lend a borrower, upon underwriting review, a fixed loan amount. This formal letter offers assurance to sellers that you are in good financial standing and truly able to purchase their home.

 

Do Due Diligence

Before you start your house hunt, research the areas and neighborhoods that interest you. In short, do your due diligence.

Log on to HPW.com to take a look at the homes for sale in the communities, zip codes or school districts you've identified. Gather information about homes that have recently sold in the areas you like to get an idea of pricing for the type of home you want.

You should also begin driving around the neighborhoods you'd like to consider to get a feel for what they are like day and night. Take note of the traffic on area streets, find out how the local schools are rated, and familiarize yourself with the various conveniences in the area. A new home is what you seek, but you'll want to know all about its surroundings before you commit to buying it.

 

Hire a Trusted Real Estate Agent

You may be tempted to seek out a home on your own, but it will serve you well to hire a professional real estate agent.

A local real estate agent will know about the communities that interest you and help you find the home you seek. They often hear about listings before they hit the market and may be able to ensure you are one of the first buyers through the door.

Your agent will be able to help you make a stronger, more compelling offer, by providing insight into what sellers are seeking. It is also a real estate agent's job to protect you during the home buying process by keeping your best interests in mind and ensuring the transaction and all paperwork are handled appropriately.

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