Make a written list of everything that is important to you in a home. Be really clear about what’s important to you. Ask everyone who is going to be involved in this purchase, your kids, your spouse, anyone who is going to be living in this home with you, or financially responsible, to participate. Write down what’s important to you, talk about it, and you should have 15-20 items on your list.
Then narrow it down to your top 3-4 non-negotiables. These are items that you must have or you just will not be happy in your home. They may be financial, they may be personal. Personally, I need to be within a couple miles of the beach so that I can pop over there in the morning and run before work, and my husband can surf. These are just things that are extremely important to us, our quality of life, and how we want to live. So make sure you are really clear on that and that you communicate your priorities and your “would be nice ifs” to your realtor. Your realtor should be asking you about this, digging deep, and really working to understand what is important to you.
As a reminder, we will be going into detail on each of the steps to making a long-distance home purchase, over the next several weeks. This week is Step 1, and below is a reminder of what we discussed last week.
- Be clear about what is important to you in a home. Write it down. Pick your top three points and describe them in detail.
- Research what you can online.
- If you can, visit the area before you start making offers, so that you can get a feel for different neighborhoods.
- Find an experienced realtor who you trust and feel comfortable with, and who asks you a lot of questions about what is important to you. This person will be your eyes, ears, and nose on the ground, and needs to understand what is important to you.
- Get pre-approved with a local lender, or someone who has experience in the market you’re moving to. For coastal North Carolina, this is particularly important.
- Understand the real estate market you’re moving to and its purchase process, along with key elements of its purchase contracts. Not all states are the same, and in North Carolina, we have a due diligence fee that other states do not have. Understanding this is important. In addition, as the market changes, the real estate market in your area may be different than the one you’re moving to. Understanding these differences is critical to your home purchase success.
- If you are not buying new construction or a newer home, consider getting an inspection before your offer is accepted.
- Have a plan for viewing and signing contracts electronically, and delivering funds within 24 hours when your offer is accepted.
- Visit the home once it’s under contract before the end of the due diligence period, if possible.
- Be present for the final walkthrough of the home and closing if possible.
Hi, I'm Kim Crouch, and I help people who want to live in Wilmington near Wrightsville Beach, and aren't quite ready to move yet, figure out how to buy their NC coastal home now.
1001 Millitary Cutoff Rd Suite 101
Wilmington, NC 28403
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