First-Time Home Buyers

If you are a first-time home buyer, use the guide below for helpful hints and tips and learn how to avoid common mistakes when buying your first home in Triangle Area, NC.

  • Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
  • Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You'll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.
  • List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
  • Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.
  • Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
    1. One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
    2. A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.
    3. Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.
    4. Instant or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings.
    5. Location: Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?
  • Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
  • Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
  • Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:
    1. Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
    2. Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
    3. Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
    4. You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).

All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please contact us directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.

First-Time Homebuyer Testimonial

The Patty Sells NC Team was excellent to work with! Patty and Colleen went above and beyond in helping us with our first home buying experience. They were quick to respond to all our questions and concerns, were very detail-oriented, and we always felt that they had our best interests at heart. If there was ever a question that they were unsure of, they went above and beyond to get the answer and were extremely resourceful.

We have and will continue to recommend their team to friends, family members, and anyone who is looking to work with a realty team that you know is all about advocating on your behalf and following through on their word.

The Patty Sells NC Team was without a doubt a pleasure to work with and we look forward to doing business with them again in the near future!
Michelle Murphy

As first-time homebuyers, we had a ton of questions as well as a lot of nervous energy about this huge decision. Patty and her team made it so easy, communicated clearly and often, and helped us find our home, a home that was above and beyond our expectations while still within our budget and desires. Patty was incredible and made us feel like her number one priority through the entire journey, and we are forever thankful for her and her amazing team!
Kara C.

Patty and Colleen made my first-time home buying process SO fun and stressless! Patty took the time to thoroughly get to know me and find out what I was looking for. She spent months with me, driving to multiple cities and spending countless hours searching for my perfect home. When we finally found it, she took the time to research the home/area to make sure it was a smart buy for me- she even did a fabulous job negotiating it down to the right price! When it got down to business, both Patty and Colleen did an amazing job making sure everything was in order for a successful closing. Colleen handled all of the scheduling for inspections, closing, and provided me SO much information regarding costs for any repairs/upgrades, HOA information, and general information regarding the house and neighborhood. For this being my first time purchasing a home, I was extremely impressed with how smooth and how informed they both kept me throughout the entire process. I can not recommend Patty and her team enough!! If you are buying or selling a home, call Patty!! She will work tirelessly to get you what you need!
Olivia Federici
Working with Patty and her team was amazing! As a first-time home buyer, I was a bit nervous and on top of that, the market was crazy during Covid! Patty was so calming and reassuring throughout the whole process. After only a few short months, I was able to find the perfect first home in the Triangle! I couldn't be happier! Her team also made the closing process and the days leading up to it smooth and easy. Colleen walked me through every step and was sure to keep me up to date on what may be due next. I can't thank them enough!
Jesslyn D