So you want to move to Chatham County, Pittsboro or somewhere in the local Triangle area? You’re not alone! The Triangle is growing very fast due to a combination of job growth, location, and relatively low cost of living compared to other major urban areas.
But this surge of interest in our area has made the home-buying process much more challenging than it needs to be. Don’t go in unprepared! Here are some tips to get you started.
Research and Planning
First off, think about your budget. Your mortgage payment will (usually) be cheaper than you rent, but the type of home you can afford depends on several things:
- Required down payment. You should put down as much as you can, but there are also potential credits (see below.)
- Maintenance and utilities. No one wants to be “house poor.” Make sure you get a house that’s big enough for your needs, but not so big that just living in it bankrupts you.
- Neighborhood. While the Triangle isn’t exactly NYC, cost of living in the urban areas can get pricey. Consider an outlying area like Chatham County, where you can often get more for your money.
Potential Credits and Assistance
If this is your first home, you’re in luck: NC has some great incentives for new homeowners. The NC Home Advantage Mortgage lets you lock in a great fixed rate with down payment assistance – up to 5% of the total amount. There are various income requirements so make sure you read up before applying.
If you’re living in a more rural part of the area, you may also qualify for a USDA Loan. These loans target rural development by offering up to 100% financing – meaning no down payment – for low-to-moderate income buyers.
Your own bank and your real estate agent may also know of other great programs to make it easier to get in the door.
The Mortgage Process
After you’ve determined any credits you’re after, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin shopping. You should get quotes from at least 2-3 different lenders to ensure you get the most favorable interest rate and down payment terms.
Buying a home, especially your first home, is significantly easier with a great realtor. With years of experience with both new construction and existing homes in the Triangle, Chatham County and neighboring areas, Lisa Skumpija can help! Contact her today to start your homebuying journey.