Victoria Cottle's Message to Home Buyers

I am honored that you are considering allowing me to help you buy a home. I am passionate about helping home buyers, because I know that your home may be your biggest and most important investment. My website has lots of information specifically for home buyers. I hope you will also take a moment to learn about my seal of excellence and find out how I can help you. Be sure to contact me if you have any questions about buying a home in Greenville or Upstate South Carolina.

Eight Steps to Buying Your Home

Buying a home can be a long and complicated process, especially for first-time home buyers. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced real estate agent like Victoria Cottle. Victoria can guide you through the process and help you avoid costly mistakes. Below are eight steps toward buying your home.

Decide to Buy.

Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. We call home ownership the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. But, we believe when it is done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. Among the solid financial reasons to buy a home, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.

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Free Relocation Guide

I understand how hard it can be to relocate from another area. I myself have moved several times and have helped many other people move to South Carolina. That is why I will personally show you the Upstate and send you a detailed relocation package.

My free relocation package will help you learn the ins and outs of living in Greenville or Upstate South Carolina. I try to make the relocation process as stress-free as possible. When I work with buyers who are relocating to the Greenville area, I not only show houses, but also help you learn about the Upstate. We’ll drive the major arteries and veins of Greenville so you can get the pulse of the Upstate.

Contact The Victoria Cottle Group today for a FREE Relocation Guide.

This Month in Real Estate

This Month in Real Estate is a monthly video news series put out by Keller Williams that offers an inside look at the national real estate market. For information on real estate conditions in Greenville and Upstate SC, please contact The Victoria Cottle Group directly.

Considering New Home Construction

Home buyers have many decisions to make, including whether they will buy an existing home or have a new home built for them. If you decide to go with new construction, a real estate agent can be a powerful advocate in your corner as you negotiate upgrades, a move-in date and other terms with the home builder.

Below are some basic pointers to prepare you for the journey into new home construction.

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Location, Location, Location

Where you buy not only affects the home’s current and future value, but also your lifestyle. Your agent will be able to conduct a more targeted home search if you outline your preferences for neighborhoods and nearby amenities. Here’s a checklist of items you should consider and communicate to your real estate agent:

  • Urban, suburban or rural
  • Commute time
  • School districts
  • Desirable neighborhoods
  • Proximity to the airport
  • Proximity to restaurants and retail
  • Access to major highways and thoroughfares
  • Access to public transportation
  • Health care facilities
  • Parks and recreation
  • Length of time you plan to live in the home

Creating Your Home Wish List

Before the home search begins, your real estate agent will want to know as much as possible about the features and amenities you desire. To help your agent better serve you, analyze what you want and what you need in a home’s features and amenities. Use the list below to think about features you desire in a home.

Features:

  • Age: Do you prefer historic properties, or newer ones?
  • Style: Do you have a special preference for ranches, bungalows, or another style of construction?
  • Bedrooms: How many?
  • Bathrooms: How many? Are they updated?
  • Living and Dining Areas: A traditional, formal layout, or a more open, contemporary plan?
  • Stories: How many?
  • Square feet: How much space?
  • Ceilings: How high?
  • Kitchen: How big? Recently updated? Open to other living areas?
  • Storage: Big closets, a shed, an extra-large garage?
  • Parking: A garage or carport? Room for how many cars?
  • Extras: Attic or basement?

Amenities:

  • Office
  • Play/exercise room
  • Security system
  • Sprinkler system
  • Workshop/Studio
  • In-law suite
  • Fireplace
  • Pool
  • Hot tub
  • Sidewalk
  • Wooded lot
  • Patio, deck, or porch
  • Laundry room

Deciding How Much House You Can Afford

Your lender decides how much money you can borrow, but you decide what you can afford.

Lenders are careful, but they make qualification decisions based on averages and formulas. They won’t understand the nuances of your lifestyle and spending patterns quite as well as you do. So, it’s wise to leave a little room for the unexpected. Your new home will give you many opportunities to spend money on things like furnishings, landscaping, and repairs.

Historically, banks use a ratio called 28/36 to decide how much borrowers could borrow. An approved housing payment couldn’t be more than 28 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income. A buyer’s total debt load (including car payments, student loans, and credit card payments) couldn’t be more than 36 percent of his or her gross monthly income. As home prices have risen, some lenders have responded by stretching these ratios to as high as 50 percent. No matter how expensive your market, we urge you to think carefully before stretching your budget quite so much.

Deciding how much you can afford should include careful attention to how your financial profile will change in the upcoming years. In the long run, your own peace of mind and security will matter most.

Seven Main Roles of Your Real Estate Agent

A Buyer’s Real Estate Agent:

  1. Educates you about your market.
  2. Analyzes your home wants and needs.
  3. Guides you to homes that fit your criteria.
  4. Coordinates her work with other professionals, such as your mortgage banker and closing attorney.
  5. Negotiates on your behalf.
  6. Checks and double-checks paperwork and deadlines.
  7. Solves any problems that may arise.

Eight Questions to ask Your Real Estate Agent

Qualifications are important. However, finding a great real estate agent means getting beyond qualifications. You want to find out if your real estate agent will represent you effectively as you buy a home. Use the follow questions to begin evaluating potential real estate agents.

  1. Why did you become a real estate agent?
  2. Why should I work with you?
  3. What do you do better than other real estate agents?
  4. What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?
  5. What are the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them?
  6. What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?
  7. What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?
  8. Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?
Learn more about The Victoria Cottle Group in Greenville, SC

For help buying a home in Greenville or the Upstate South Carolina, contact The Victoria Cottle Group.