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  • Julia Thompson

How to Buy A Home.

Looking starting off 2024 with a new house? Here's is simple break down of what getting there looks like.


Work out financing

  • Start working on pre-approval or pulling together proof of funds. Do this before you begin looking at homes to give yourself the most time to shop around and ensure your loan and lender are the best options for you. If you don't know where to start jump to the next point and find an agent you trust and they will be a great resource for you.

  • Do not, I repeat, do not do anything that could affect your credit from this point forward without consulting your lender first.


Interview agents

  • According to HomeLight there are around 8,000 agents in the Raleigh area. Don't settle for the closest one available when the *perfect* house pops up. Start talking to agents early to find the perfect fit. All agents work differently according to their training, lifestyles and personalities.


Tour Houses

  • You may look at 1 or you may look at 50. Shop till you or your agent drop.

  • Try to look beyond decor

  • You can start off broad with your search and narrow as you go if you are a new buyer.

  • Take a break from looking if you get overwhelmed.


Make Offers

  • Your agent will help you craft offers. Each property and each market are very different.

  • Make offers YOU are comfortable with. Your agent can provide market expertise (that's why you hire us) but we don't have to live with the home you purchase. You do.


Under Contract

I think of the contract period in 3 different stages: Offer acceptance, due diligence period, the time between the end of due diligence and closing.


  1. Offer accepted

    • Deliver your due diligence deposit

    • Work with your agent and lender to get things scheduled. Examples of what may be scheduled:

    • Appraisal

    • Home Inspection

    • Pest Inspection

    • Radon Inspection

    • Survey

    • Septic & Water inspection/test

  2. Due Diligence Period | Inspection Period

    • You can cancel your contract at any point during this period. You forfeit the due diligence deposit and any money you've spent on inspections to this point.

    • All above inspections you selected are being preformed. You may or may not attend.

    • Obtain homeowners insurance

  3. DD Period Ends -> CLOSING

    • Earnest money is now non-refundable

    • Schedule utilities to be connected in your name

    • Stay up to date with your lender. Read and sign things they send to you quickly.


Closing

  • Final walk-through will be done typically same day. May be the day before. The purpose of the final walk through is to ensure the property condition is still the same as you expect and hasn't been damaged during move out or items that should have remained with the house have not been taken.

  • Your lender and agent can tell you specifically what to bring to closing. Expect: a current driver's license, certified funds for down payment if not wired. I also like my clients to bring a personal checkbook if they have one.

  • You'll sign many documents

  • You do not officially own the home until it records with the register of deeds which can take several hours or happen the next day if closing is late. The attorney may or may not disperse keys to you at the time of closing.


Post Closing

  • Celebrate!

  • Change your locks. You don't know who has a key.

  • If you receive mail from the previous owner feel free to contact your agent.

  • Enroll in autopay for your mortgage if desire.

  • Keep your inspection handy so you can work through the list as you have time.

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