first time home buyers

Buying a home first time? What you Must Consider:

One of the largest reasons some buyer’s walk away from a home purchase feeling remorseful is because they don’t consider everything about purchasing real estate before they jump into it. There are common buyer mistakes we address with all of our buyers upfront so they have a highly successful transaction. One thing that many folks don’t want to do is put in the upfront work, studying, and preparation that goes into buying a house. You need to prioritize your needs, and your wants – and if you have a partner you need to communicate together on everything. Maybe one person is ready to buy, and the other isn’t ready just yet.

Recently we wrote an article on 5 simple steps to buying a home in Raleigh, NC, and one for, in which we tackled some of the common things buyers must consider, and we wanted to address this important topic with our LOCAL audience here in Raleigh, NC. We are going to take it all a step further as well and break everything down by buyer type as well to help specific sets of home buyers.

Location in the Raleigh Area

Location is by far the most important part of buying real estate. You can change condition, you can change price, you can’t change the location of a house. If there is one thing a buyer should never sacrifice on it’s location. The location of a house will have the largest impact on it’s price, and potential future appreciation.

One analogy we use to demonstrate how important location is this: If you take the least expensive home in the wold, and you put it in downtown New York city, it is worth millions.

If you start shopping homes for sale in all different locations you’ll never build a proper frame of reference to understand what constitutes a great deal, a good deal, and a lousy deal. You want to become the expert in a certain area so that when it comes time to make an offer, you can do so with conviction and confidence.

Searching homes for sale? Check out these great cities in the Raleigh area!

School Districts

There are so many great schools in Raleigh, and around the Wake County area that make it a great place to search homes if you’re looking to buy with children. It also is an important step for those without children since a top performing school district is likely to influence the price of a home, and appreciation.

Buying real estate in a good school district makes it a lot easier when it comes time to sell your house in the future. Whether you’re looking to downgrade as an empty nestor, or upgrade into a larger house to support your family, a top school district is a big time selling point in real estate.

If you buy in a bad school district you run a greater risk of your home depreciating because you are appealing to a much smaller buyer pool.


The neighborhoods in the Raleigh area will play a large part in your home search. We recommend our buyers focus on specific neighborhoods vs. focusing on cities or larger areas. The neighborhood you live in is going to have a direct impact on you. What are you looking for in a neighborhood? Address this question early on in the home buying process because buying in the wrong neighborhood is a surefire way to be remorseful about buying a house.

There are a ton of great neighborhoods in the Raleigh area such as GlenwoodNorth HillsOakwoodDowntown RaleighNC STATE and more!

Visit the Home During Rush Hour

If you’re going to buy a house it makes a lot of sense to make sure that rush hour traffic isn’t unbearable. The last thing you want is to buy a home and find out that you’re going to be sitting in heavy traffic every day. Time is more valuable than money, you don’t want to spend your time in traffic – I know I don’t. You want to spend your time doing more important things like spending time with your family.

We always recommend our buyers check out the commute to and work on different days just to make sure it’s something they are comfortable with.

Ignore Paint and Landscaping

When looking at homes, you should seriously consider ignoring paint and landscaping. These are two items that are easy to fix, and they should not impact your decision making when purchasing a house. If the home has a terrific location and the paint/landscaping is poor you shouldn’t rule it out, you have to be able to envision what the house will look like when you move in and make changes.

A lot of time buyers will not be able to overlook paint or landscaping and this gives opportunity for others who know how easy it is to fix.

Location is something you can’t change, paint and landscaping is something you can.

Home inspections

This should be a necessity for anyone who is buying real estate. You don’t want to buy a home that has a crack in the foundation, or needs a new roof. A home inspection can spot these and other things that are wrong with the house, which gives you far more negotiating power, and it gives you a reasonable idea of what to expect in terms of expenses for the future.

When I bought my house in Downtown Raleigh, NC the home inspector found that the HVAC had issues. He recommended I call an HVAC specialist, so I did. The HVAC was shot. The sellers paid for an entirely new HVAC which means my $400 home inspection netted me well over $5,000. Not a bad insurance policy!

Storage Space

What type of storage space does the estate have? Is it a luxury home with plenty of space, or is it going to be a tight squeeze when you move all of your stuff in? This is important as you begin your home search, you want to set proper expectations for how much room you’ll really need.

There will be times when you have the opportunity to create more space through proper organization and utilizing it efficiently. There are also some homes that just wont allow you store much stuff because there is no attic or basement, and the storage closet outside is relatively small.

This is why storage space is one of the things you must consider when buying a house in the Raleigh, North Carolina area.

First Time Home Buyers

Did you know that the largest buying pool is first time home buyers?

There are a lot of great programs and benefits for a First Time Home Buyer in Raleigh, NC, that can save you up to $2,000/yr in tax credits or thousands of dollars, that you won’t have to payback, if you qualify! The link above will give you the opportunity to explore the eligibility requirements as a first time home buyer.

Millennial attraction to homeownership has grown significantly in recent decades. Mostly because there are now options where a 20% down payment is not the requirement. This gives a much larger pool of buyers the ability to buy a home. Especially, first time home buyers who receive a lot of help!

Buying New Construction Homes vs. Resale

There are many differences between buying a new construction property vs. a resale home. If you’re shopping new construction homes in Raleigh, there are 11 tips you should be aware of during the buying process!

New homes have a lot of added features that a resale property may not (depending on age), and should require a lot less maintenance. Recently, we have had clients buy new construction properties both in Fuquay-VarinaHolly Springs and Raleigh, NC. There are many different builders that develop Real Estate in Wake County so make sure you find a great one! New construction homes are great for anyone who wants the assurance that they are the only one’s to live in the home.

HOA vs. NO HOA when Buying a House

Whether you want an HOA, don’t want an HOA, or are unsure, there are questions you will need to ask yourself right off the bat!

The main differences between having an HOA is that you will pay a monthly fee to the homeowner’s association that will provide things like yard work, exterior maintenance, keep the roads clean, and maybe amenities like a golf course, swimming pool, or tennis courts. It’s important to note that not all HOA’s are the same and some will do very different things than others.

If you buy a house with an HOA you’ll need to make sure you budget for it, as well as make sure you can play by the rules. Some HOA’s will not allow you to do certain things that you may enjoy, which you could otherwise do without an HOA – so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before buying a home.

In terms of a house or townhome, there are two big questions buyers need to ask themselves – ‘do I want the responsibility of yard work and property maintenance?’ as well as ‘do I want the rules that come with an HOA? Aside from those, there are are questions buyers will want to consider such as noise and neighbors.

Buying Real Estate in Raleigh, NC

With so many options available for buyers today, along with the low interest rates and down payment assistance, buying a home has never been easier! The days of needing a 20% downpayment are long gone and this makes it an exceptional time to start investing in real estate at a young age.