Are you looking to make Atlantic Beach or Pine Knoll Shores your home? Perhaps you're Crystal Coast home search takes you more inland like the beautiful coastal towns of Morehead City, Newport, Beaufort or Down East? Wherever you prefer, you'll want to be prepared to buy a home in today's springtime real estate market.
Check Your Credit
Before you apply for a mortgage or even start looking at Crystal Coast homes for sale, it’s important to know your credit score. Your credit score not only impacts the loan amount and rates, but also how much down payment you’ll be able to put down.
For example, if you have a lower credit score, like something around 420, you’re going to be considered “high-risk” and will probably struggle to get pre-approved for a good rate. On the other hand, if your credit score is around 750, you’ll be considered a “low risk” applicant and you’ll likely get the best rates and terms. If you find yourself in the lower range, it might be a good idea to postpone the house hunting and begin working on your credit. Improving your credit score before purchasing a home can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars over a 30 year mortgage!
Looking at your credit report now, before you start your home search, is important in case you find an error on your report that needs to be corrected or in case your score indicates that you need to make credit repairs or prepare a bigger down payment.
Get a Pre-Approval Letter From A Local Home Mortgage Lender.
Whether it’s a bank or a mortgage broker, be sure to obtain your pre-approval letter from a LOCAL, Carteret County mortgage lender. They understand any area-specific requirements and can get you the best loan. This is especially important for our area and areas near water such as Atlantic Beach and all of Bogue Banks as well as mainland towns like Morehead City. Many of the homes for sale in these areas have specific requirements that need to be met. Offers that contain a local lender's pre-approval letter tend to get preference.
While it’s a good idea to set up a budget before going to a lender, the reality is that you may not be qualified to borrow as much money as you think. Before you go out and tour any homes, you should set up a time to meet with a mortgage loan officer. They’ll help you to determine a more accurate budget. They will also help you obtain your pre-approval letter. Being pre-approved before you make an offer will show the seller that you are more serious about your offer and they’ll be more willing to work with you and entertain your offer.
Leave Your Money Alone.
It’s simple. Don’t buy ANYTHING when you’re looking to buy a home. We know how exciting it is to think about having your beach house decorated with new furniture, but wait until you’ve moved in. Making large purchases, opening a new line of credit or moving large chunks of money around can severely affect your credit profile. It’s a good rule of thumb not to make any huge purchases or move your money around three to six months before buying a new home. You need to show the lenders that you’re reliable and responsible with your money. If you open new credit cards, create too much debt or buy a lot of big-ticket items, you’re going to have a hard time getting a loan.
Hire a local real estate guide.
The real estate business is local business. Hiring a real estate agent who specializes in Carteret County Real Estate will be a wealth of information for you. A buyer’s agent will help you with your Crystal Coast home search, required paperwork, negotiations, inspections, and any other concerns and steps that may come up. Coastal living has its own set of unique rules and requirements so being sure you have a knowledgeable agent or team on your side is crucial. You deserve to have a professional representing your best interests throughout the entire buying process. Remember, it costs you nothing to hire a buyer’s agent. The seller of your new home will pay their commission, so you have nothing to lose.
Out Negotiate the Competition - And Not Just On The Price.
Property sellers are not the only ones who have to deal with competition. There are often times here on The Crystal Coast when more than one buyer is interested in the same property. You need to be prepared as a buyer to compete for what you want. Bidding wars can and do occur and you need to ensure that you enter into an offer with all your ducks in a row. If you decide to make an offer, make it worth it! Perhaps you could offer the sellers more or less time regarding inspections or the closing date. There are many ways create additional incentives with your offer to help ensure your offer stays on top. Ask your agent to make suggestions for you.
Get a Home Warranty
Even after getting a home inspection, sometimes things go wrong after moving in. The last thing you want is for something to break after buying your new home. Protect your investment by purchasing a home warranty. These are affordable and give you peace of mind in the event something does happen.