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Buying A

Step 1: Preparing Financially

Before looking for a property, it's crucial to really understand your financial situation. This includes checking your credit score, determining your budget, and getting pre-approved for a mortgage if you plan on financing the purchase. Remember that your budget number isn’t usually the same as what you’re approved to buy. Know your budget!


Step 2: Finding a Real Estate Agent

While it’s possible to buy a home without an agent, having a professional on your side who understands the North Carolina market can be invaluable. They can help you find properties, negotiate prices, and navigate the paperwork. Having an agent working for you can make the difference between buying the home of your dreams and losing out to a better offer.


Step 3: Searching for Properties

Start looking for homes that meet your criteria in terms of location, price, size, and other preferences, like access to a community boat ramp. Your real estate agent can set up viewings and help you explore different neighborhoods and properties. It’s important to look at new listings as they hit the market. For homes priced right and in a great shape, there are likely to be other buyers eying it, too!


Step 4: Making an Offer

Once you find a property you like, your agent will help you make a winning offer. In North Carolina, this involves a written offer with potentially a due diligence fee and/or an earnest money deposit to show you’re serious about the purchase. Your agent can help tune the other terms of the offer, like the due diligence date and closing date, to put your offer in the best possible light for the sellers while also meeting the needs of your move.


Step 5: Due Diligence and Inspection

After your offer is accepted, you enter the due diligence period. In North Carolina, this is a time when you can conduct a thorough inspection of the property, sell your current home (if needed) review title searches, and finalize your mortgage arrangements. You might negotiate repairs or credits based on the inspection results.


Step 6: Appraisal and Loan Finalization

If you're getting a mortgage, your lender will likely require a property appraisal. You’ll also need to finalize your loan arrangements and prepare for closing. It’s important to be open and honest with your lender during the loan process. This will help make sure the loan can close on time and you can move into your new home!


Step 7: Title Search and Insurance

The closing attorney will perform a title search to ensure the property can be legally transferred, and you’ll need to purchase title insurance to protect against any future claims on the property.


Step 8: Preparing to Move

After you all the inspections and negotiations on finished, you’ll need to take care of any remaining tasks such as scheduling to transfer utilities into your name and start boxing up your things for your move. If you have to sell in order to buy, make sure you make arrangements for some place to stay temporarily after your house sells but before you close on your new house.


Step 9: Closing

This is the final step where all parties sign the necessary paperwork, the buyer pays the remaining funds (down payment and closing costs), and the property title is transferred to the buyer. In North Carolina, closings are conducted by a closing attorney who ensures all documents are in order and records the deed with the county.


Step 10: Post-Closing

After closing, you’ll need to take care of any remaining tasks such as setting up new services you weren’t able to set up before closing, filing any necessary homestead exemptions, and moving into your new home.


Remember, real estate laws and practices can be complicated, so it's important to work with professionals who are familiar with the specific requirements of the area where you are buying. Consulting with a local real estate agent and attorney can help ensure a smooth buying process.

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