Are you ready to be an OBX Home Owner?
Owning a home by the sea may be your dream, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience it was meant to be, you need to ensure that you are educated on the many aspects of coastal home ownership, be financially and mentally prepared and fully identify your intentions.
Some people want to own to rent to summer vacationers and treat their home strictly like an investment. Many get to enjoy their coastal style living desires many weeks per year with this type arrangement and build wonderful memories at the beach while the rental income offsets some, and in many cases all, the expenses associated. There are many Second Home owners here in the Outer Banks. When they see their "Beach House" tagged key chain on the hook they know that at anytime they feel like it they can come down to the beach and enjoy a long weekend or mid-week visit. And, of course, many folks decide to live here full time whether they are retiring or chosen to live and work near the shore. Preparing for home ownership anywhere requires you to take stock of your finances and your expectations. My job is to help you navigate the process and, rest assured, this is what I do!
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are you ready to buy?
You must have an idea if you will be owning to rent out to vacationers to offset the expenses of owning, if you will use your beach house as an exclusive 2nd Home and come to the shore whenever you can or have time or moving here permanently. In any case, owning your coastal home is about more than just being able to decorate any way you like; it's about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It's about being willing to take the risks of home ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
How much can you afford?
It can be discouraging to find that your salary won't stretch as far as the home you want to own. If you are going to rent it out some lenders allow you to qualify some of the income towards the qualifying process. I can detail this with you at the appropriate time. The decision to use a part of your income to pay the mortgage can very quickly make home ownership challenging so being sure what price point we search on is paramount and the first focus.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to own here on the OBX. In the west side areas away from the ocean beach accesses, for example, can buy a very comfortable home but it may not be the #1 area you want. In highly sought-after beach zone areas your budget may mean a more simplistic home than what your money can buy on the west side, but you get a location satisfaction. This all points to qualifying the loan amount with a lender, which I can help you with.
What do you want?
Let;s call it what it is....the Outer Banks has the Atlantic Ocean and most folks want to be close as possible to it. The price point you qualify for will open up the inventory search in a specific manner. I can drill down into the inventory based on price, location, bedroom quantity, etc. Before we get too far along on any search the best thing to do is allow a Q & A time with me. I know how to help you discover exactly what you want and can educate you along the way to ensure you get exactly what you want. The answers to these questions can help you narrow down the search for the right type of and price point property for you.
I Can Help
You need a good agent who will work hard for you. I, Mike Bishal, am dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price. I want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in the Outer Banks Home ownership plan.
When you hire me to help you buy your first home, I want to know what you want and how much you can afford. ThenI'll find a way to merge these two priorities and find the PERFECT BEACH PROPERTY that you'll enjoy owning.
Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a home. Sometimes the idea of owning a home can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that you need and want in a home, and judge each home by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you're alone with your agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. I can help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for a great property.
Engage the services of a good real estate lawyer. I can recommend several lawyers in the area who might be a good fit for you. Interview them to ensure that you get someone you can work with. The legalities of transferring land ownership can be dodgy, and a lawyer can be your best defense against future legal troubles. A good lawyer can charge several hundred to over a thousand dollars for their services, but the thousands of dollars saved in legal fees later on makes this a good expense.
Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "chattels", "deposit", and "completion". I'll be happy to prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart on the home you hope to own. You'll probably have to write a deposit check to the seller's broker that proves the seriousness of your offer, called Earnest Money Deposit.
Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They'll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase. Not getting an inspection done means that you could be stuck in a home with a bad case of black mold and no recourse other than to pay for its removal. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several inspectors in the area that we'd be happy to recommend.
Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. I'd be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing.
From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, I can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don't hesitate to contact me to find out more about how I can make the home buying process easier!
Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.