As the saying goes why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from other people's experiences? Recently, I asked some friends what is the one piece of advice they wish they had been given before buying their first home.  I just had to share some of the answers.  Here are the top 10: 

1. Talk to the neighbors. Actually, knock on some doors to get a feeling of what it would be like living in that neighborhood.  Ask them how they like it. 

2. Drive by the house at night and stop and listen. The feel of the neighborhood can be quite different at night versus during the day.   

3. School District. No matter whether you have children or how you educate them, buy in a neighborhood zoned for a highly sought after school district. 

4. Hot neighborhood. If you have the luxury of time to wait this out, and know someone who has access to the inside info on this: buy in a neighborhood where houses are sold before they even hit the market.

5. Budget. My thought is that as much as you think you'll have the time and money to 'fix the place up' make sure you have the available budget before buying! And once you estimate the time and money which you think you need, double it.

6. Location, Location, Location! This is true because as you know many things can be changed, but not the location of the property. 

7. Home Inspection. Having the home inspected by a neutral party or business can help you see things the way they are not they way you want them to be.  

8. Think of all your moods. If something only annoys you while in a good mood, how much will it bother you when in a bad mood? Like the neighbors tree blocking your view, for an example. 

9. Do your homework. Hire a Real Estate Professional who knows the area, the businesses, and the schools.  Make sure they also know the neighborhoods.  Their information is very valuable and shouldn't be overlooked.

10. Don't overbuy. Try to stick to a budget because you do not want to be house poor. Have your mortgage officer give you a range for approval.  

Thank you, friends, and if anyone has further advice, please, please do share.  I appreciate it!! If you need real estate assistance in the Lake Norman or surrounding area, please do reach out. I'm a simple email away:

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