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Home Buying in Charlotte : Real Estate Advice

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  • Local Info284
  • Home Buying751
  • Home Selling84
  • Market Conditions59

Activity 855
Mon Jul 10, 2017
chryslerfinance answered:
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Mon Jun 12, 2017
Mary answered:

Thank you for reaching out. Unfortunately, we currently do not have listings for rent to own homes. You may try your luck though and search our website using the Keyword section of the search filter which can be found in the All Filters button. However, these listings are extremely rare.

Consumer Care Advocate
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Sat Jun 10, 2017
Ross Case asked:
presently I am paying 1800 a month rent for a house. My credit is mid 5's and my wife's is near 600. We both have some old medical collections and I have old student loans from 2007.…
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Thu Jun 1, 2017
lrosenfeld8 asked:
Mon May 8, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
For down payment assistance programs - contact the Housing Authority for your county and the Housing Agency for North Carolina. These are funded by state / county or city. You will need to meet income and credit requirements to be eligible.

For closing costs - this can be negotiated with the seller. It's up to the seller whether they will pay or not. In a hot selling market, sellers will refuse to pay and in a slow moving market, sellers will consider paying it. Bottom line - you need to be prepared and have the cash to pay your own closing costs.

Down payment - If you don't qualify for state / county assistance, the other options are: Have you served in the military? Military veterans are eligible for the VA loan which is 0% down. If you are buying a rural property that qualifies for USDA loans, they are also 0% down.

If you don't qualify for any of the above, the minimum down payment is 3.5% with an FHA loan or 3% as you stated with your credit union. If you don't have the cash saved, you need to wait and continue renting. You're not ready to buy and need to save up some money for both the down payment + cash to pay for your closing costs.

Buying a home is not an emergency. You need to learn that lenders will require that you pay mortgage insurance if you are putting less than 20% down. Mortgage insurance makes your monthly payments higher and with FHA loans, it stays for the entire term of the loan (30 years). You can save thousands of dollars if you can put at least 10% down. This reduces your mortgage insurance a lot and makes your monthly payments affordable.
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Sat May 6, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I'm a former realtor and here are some facts you need to know (and unspoken truths that realtors will never tell you):

1. Forget Credit Karma. Use FICO credit scores instead. Lenders have their own method / software to pull a buyer's credit history and credit score. This is NOT available to the public (for lenders only). However, the closest it comes to is FICO which you can do yourself. You will see Credit Karma's scores tend to be higher than FICO or what a lender pulls.

2. You will need cash for a down payment + cash to pay for closing costs. FHA loans have a minimum down payment of 3.5%. If you were in the military, you should qualify for VA loans which have 0% down payment. If you are buying in a rural area and your income meets the requirements, you can apply for USDA loans which are 0% down. Many states / counties / cities have down payment assistance programs for 1st time buyers who are local residents. You will need to meet income and credit requirements but you should call and ask questions.

3. If you putting less than 20% down payment, you will be required to pay mortgage insurance. This is insurance to protect your lender if you are late with payments or you default on your loan. You can either pay this as a separate monthly charge or your lender can add it to the loan amount. Beware - mortgage insurance is expensive. If you're not in a rush to buy immediately, save up some cash and provide at least 10% down payment. This reduces your mortgage payment a lot. Also with FHA loans, the mortgage payment stays on for 30 years or the entire loan period. You cannot remove it.

4. As for student loans, the law was changed last Oct. It used to be that lenders would accept IBR. The new law is that Fannie Mae cannot accept IBR and must take 1% of the student loan balance and add it to your debt to income ratio. Many buyers with student loans have complained that the new law increases their debt to income ratio and are now being denied by lenders to buy a home. From what I learned is Freddie Mac accepts IBR. You will need to verify the above information.

5. Home ownership means you will be responsible to pay for: your mortgage, property taxes, homeowners insurance + utilities and other expenses. Lenders qualify you based on steady employment, income, savings or investments, credit history and credit scores and tax returns. Lenders want proof that you can afford to pay for the loan, property taxes and insurance + have some cash left over for other expenses.

6. You should start using weekends to visit Open Houses. You can explain to the listing agent that you're not ready to buy yet but you want to get a feel for what is available and what you both like and dislike. While visiting Open Houses PAY ATTENTION TO: asking price for the condition of the home; square footage, lot size, layout, any upgrades or lack of; age of home; neighborhood it's located in; style of home; etc. You will be comparing homes with each other, so take notes (even better - cell phone pictures). Remember, the listing agent / host is working for the seller. He/she has no interest in what is best for you - only to find a buyer for their client (seller).

7. When you are ready to buy, realtors will have you sign an Exclusive Buyers Agreement. This is to protect the realtor / brokerage - not you. The reason is if you make the mistake of signing multiple Buyer Agreements with more than 1 agent, you will get caught and you may owe a commission to the agent you did not buy the house from. Do yourself a favor. If you don't like an agent after you sign the Buyers Agreement - fine. Get the Office Manager / Broker in Charge to sign a release form and release you. Tip: Before signing a Buyers Agreement - interview realtors carefully - like it's a job interview because it is. Realtors will interview you too because they refuse to work with a buyer who doesn't end up in a closed sale. Realtors do want to get paid and if you don't buy a home with them, they don't get paid.

8. Fair Housing laws - Realtors CANNOT (NEVER) discuss quality of schools, neighborhood demographics, crime statistics, religion, etc. If they do, they can lose their license. You will need to research everything yourself. There are websites that realtors can give you because they did not provide the content. My advice: skip all the websites because it's not 100% accurate. Instead - visit the local police stations or their websites, use the Census Bureau's website, visit local public schools and talk with parents and staff; talk to residents in local grocery stores, parks, playgrounds, places of worship, etc. Finally, check out the sex offenders registry because realtors cannot give you this information. Please remember that not all sex offenders are criminals. Some could be an 18 yr. old male dating a 17 yr. old girl and the girl was forced by her parents to file charges even though she loved the boy.
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Wed May 3, 2017
Mcowan answered:
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Jessmccoy526 asked:
My credit score is 677. I make about 60,000 a year and have been at the same job for 3 years. Financed a car in November of 2016 and got a secured credit card shortly before. All payments…
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Sat Apr 15, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
If there is a lien on the title itself, is this from a family member (as in perhaps the family will was changed and this family member was left out of the will or in a divorce situation, one spouse is trying to sell without the other spouse;s signature?)

If the above is the case, unfortunately your best method is to wait this out. Normally what happens is the attorneys will push for the non cooperating family member to do the right thing and sign the papers to move things forward. Attorneys have the power to threaten legal action so when dealing with family members who don't cooperate, threatening legal action works beautifully. Nobody wants to be sued by lawyers. You will see the end results at closing by some pissed off faces from the sellers.

As for refunds - you would only be entitled to the earnest deposit. No refunds for due diligence (you paid $0) and no refunds for the appraiser or home inspection. These were ordered by your lender because you would not get a loan without it.
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Fri Apr 14, 2017
Bobmoti answered:
I need somebody People speack spanish
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Sat Apr 8, 2017
AMC123 asked:
We are in the Charlotte, NC area and in the process of building a new home, with a local builder (not a custom home). My husband does have some construction background and has found several…
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Thu Apr 6, 2017
Coreen Winters answered:
Well, I had a good experience with the help of a realtor......
I owned a 2 family house, which burned................................
Deemed unlivable by the town, after it burned.......................
But, deemed structurally sound by the building inspector, ( in other words, the house was rebuildable, with support struchers already in place..........

However, I chose to call a realtor, to sell.......
She walked me thru it, and appraised the 2 family burnt house for the land it was on.....
Not even an acre.

She Put the house on the market AS IS...................CASH ONLY.......................

I took the only offer I got................sold it................paid back taxes..........paid back water and sewer......................and walked away with enouph to buy a car, and, pay car insurance for a some new clothes...........................did up a lot of resumes......
got a new job....................

I have to say, considering all that happened, I did pretty well................

I do think in this instance, I was definintly better off with the realtor........
She did a good job............I couldn't have done it without her.............
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Mon Apr 3, 2017
Pbcopley asked:
Thu Mar 16, 2017
Hello, I'm a mortgage professional.

The best thing to do first is to get a pre approval.

With that credit score tryouts can buy a condo with as little as 3% down payment.

I can explain more.

If you would like help with this or have any questions you are welcome to get in touch with me.
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Wed Mar 15, 2017
Hello, I'm a mortgage professional.

You should be able to get another mortgage

I would need more details.

If you would like help with this or have any other questions you are welcome to get in touch with me. ... more
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Mon Mar 13, 2017
Gregory answered:
I am interested in purchasing a house in Concorde fixer-upper for $10,000 can I get some information on them thank you I will look for your response
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Thu Feb 16, 2017
Jill Kelly asked:
We've been in escrow now for almost 3 months! We've jumped through so many hoops. She says we're almost there but we've heard that thru 3 rate locks!
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