Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions – not to mention largest purchases – that many will make in a lifetime. There’s a lot to consider, including your finances, the type of home you’re looking for and, of course, its location. Especially for first-time buyers, the process can understandably feel overwhelming! Fortunately, with the right knowledge and preparation, you can ensure you’re well-equipped to successfully navigate the home-buying process and end up in a home you love – with both your sanity and your bank account intact. To help get you started, check out our 5 tips for first-time home buyers below.
The first thing you’ll want to do before expending any energy on a home search is to establish a realistic budget for yourself. No matter how amazing a home may be, if you’re going to end up pinching pennies every month in order to pay the mortgage, you won’t be able to enjoy it! Instead, determine what your monthly costs are (think health insurance, car payments, utilities, groceries, entertainment, savings, etc.) and from there determine how much you can afford to spend additionally on monthly mortgage loan payments. A general rule of thumb from experts is to keep your total housing costs below 30% of your income, but if you’re trying to keep costs low, you can aim to spend even less. Be realistic when considering how a mortgage loan payment will fit into your budget – after all, this number will serve as a guide for the remainder of your home buying process.
Once you’ve established a budget, the fun part begins – finding your new home! A good place to start your home search is by first determining the type of residence that will best suit your needs. For example, if you’re purchasing independently, as part of a couple, or with a kid or two in tow (fur babies included!), a townhouse may be your ideal type of home since it will provide ample space to accommodate your lifestyle. Fortunately, there are a number of options available for beautiful, brand-new townhomes for sale throughout Charlotte! And of course, if you’re single or part of a larger brood, a larger, single-family home or a smaller condo may be a better choice for your home-buying needs. As you consider both your current situation and your future plans, fine-tune your search parameters accordingly to include the right type of house for you.
When you consider what’s important to you in your first home, luxuries like rooftop terraces or walk-in closets may be among the first items that come to mind. While these are completely valid additions to your list of what’s important, don’t forget to take some of the more practical items into account, as well – things like commute time to work and nearby school districts if you’re moving with kids or planning to start a family in the near future. If you find your dream home but it requires you to spend hours in the car commuting to and from work each day, that’s a tradeoff you may not be willing to make – best to decide this before moving in. Create a list of what’s most important to you and keep it handy as you’re scouting available homes on the market.
If you spend any time watching HGTV, you know there’s a reason home-flippers will consistently look for the worst home in the best neighborhood – no matter how many stellar renovations are made, location is the one thing you simply cannot change about a home. It’s important to remember you won’t just be spending time in your new home but in the community surrounding it, as well. As you conduct your home search, spend time exploring potential neighborhoods to get a feel for the area and to familiarize yourself with the types of amenities available. Make sure you take into consideration the distance from work – especially during rush hour. Hopper Communities offers a plethora of available homes throughout some of Charlotte’s most connected and sought-after neighborhoods, providing residents with countless options for upscale amenities and things to do. Whether you’re inclined to prefer a more suburban feel or thrive in a bustling metropolis setting, make sure you’re taking into account all the pros and cons of a location before committing to buying a home.
It’s no secret that it’s a bit of a wild west out there for homebuyers right now, both in Charlotte and across the country. In fact, it’s completely normal for current homebuyers to end up bidding on multiple homes before they have an offer accepted! If you find yourself in a situation where your dream community is currently sold out, it’s important not to be discouraged. An insider tip we’re happy to share: while the market remains competitive, Hopper Communities continues to build top-of-the-line homes in some of the Queen City’s very best locations. What does this mean for first-time homebuyers in Charlotte? An increasingly large selection of homes is becoming available in some of the city’s most desirable locales. If you commit to the process and follow our tips, it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself in the home that’s right for you!
If you’re a first-time homebuyer interested in learning more about homes for sale in Charlotte, please contact us here to learn how we can help you find your dream home in one of our Hopper Communities locations!