First-Time Home Buyer's Guide

How to Purchase a Home in Charlotte

Congratulations on making the first step to homeownership! Owning a home in Charlotte is a great decision. Since Charlotte the largest city in North Carolina, it has a strong economy and job market, a variety of homes and neighborhoods, and plenty of attractions to keep anyone busy. You'll be living at the center of it all.

Buying a home is fun, but it's not easy. There are many steps to the home buying process, not including the steps it takes to figure out what kind of home you want (tip: it's all about location, location, location). But don't worry — as an experienced Charlotte real estate team, we have everything you need to know about buying your very first home.


Step 1: Get Your Finances in Order

If you are serious about buying a home in Charlotte, you will need to consider how much you can afford. The sooner you can start checking your finances and credit, tweaking your budget to incorporate monthly mortgage payments, and shopping for a mortgage, the better. Keep these rules of thumb in mind.

the higher score the better

High Credit Score

Higher is better when it comes to your credit score. This will help you get a better mortgage interest rate, which will help you pay off your home and build equity faster.

the lower the better

Pay 28% or Less Monthly

Aim for mortgage payments that don't make up more than 28% of your monthly income. If you have other debts like student loans, make sure your total debts (mortgage included) don't go over 36%.

successfully saved down payment

Pay 10% Down

Depending on the loan you choose, your down payment may be less than 10%. But most people recommend saving at least 10% of the home's value.


Step 2: Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

You've checked your finances and your budget. It's time to see how much a lender will loan you for your home. Getting preapproved helps you immensely as a first-time home buyer. It tells you how much you can afford and it shows a home seller you're serious about purchasing their home. 

We can recommend mortgage lenders in the Charlotte area if you have not already chosen one. Just call us at 704-400-4578 and we can help you get started.


Step 3: Choose Where You Want to Live

This is one of the most exciting parts of the house hunt. Whether you have a neighborhood in mind or not, it is always helpful to know about the area you desire, which includes local schools, nearby attractions, nearby grocery stores and gas stations, and amenities unique to your desired neighborhoods. We have local area guides to help you during your search.

Search Affordable Homes for Sale in Charlotte


Step 4: Choose Your Real Estate Agent

The best resource you have about the home buying process is a real estate agent. No two real estate agents are the same, so you will need to interview a few different professionals before you choose who you want to work with. Create a list of questions to ask each agent to learn about their experience, negotiating skills, knowledge of the Charlotte area, and communication style (text message, email, phone, etc.). We are more than happy to talk about what makes our real estate team different from other agents.


Get Moving Faster with This Free Buying Guide

No two home buyers have the same wants or needs for a home. So instead of relying on a general home search, you can find exactly what you want with this Charlotte First-Time Home Buying Guide. It's the easiest way to find your dream home and get moving. 

Just tell us at Charlotte Home Links what you want in your first home, including price range and number of bedrooms, and we'll help you find homes within your criteria. Fill out the form below to get started!

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