The combination of low housing prices, and low interest rates happens perhaps twice in a lifetime. Therefore, if you can buy a home today, with as much borrowed money as possible, than do so. The financials have not been this good in about 30 years or so. You should buy now because interest rates have an important impact on the purchasing power of real estate, much more than people think.
Get a good agent! Finding a good agent is probably harder and more important than finding the right house, but they will save you money, headaches and heartaches if you do. The seller pays the Real Estate Agents at closing, usually. Ask around at work or friends/family in the area. See who they liked or if they have anyone that knows of anyone. Word of mouth is great. You could also look online and call around.
I can't stress how important a comprehensive loan pre-approval is. Securing a solid pre-approval can save a buyer and realtor a lot of headaches and gray hair down the road. Go to a lender and find out what you qualify for and then be realistic about what you can afford, they are two different things. After doing that look for homes in your realistic price range so you are not dissappointed when you find a home you love but can't afford.
For you up and coming home buyers trying to figure out what type of home you like, I can share what seems to be the most popular thing on the list of other home buyers. The most common characteristic that people are looking for is a move in ready, or a turnkey home. This is essentially a home with no deferred maintenance, everything is done and the buyer can move in without having to make a lot of repairs or additions to the home. That is also the market that you will pay the most money for on your home. Beyond a turnkey home, people are looking for remodeled or at least updated kitchens and bathrooms. This is particularly true for older homes.
Start your home buying search on the Internet.No pressure shopping is what you can expect on the Internet. Here you can learn about the broader real estate market and what's available in your price range.Your next task should be to find that lender you would like to work with. Have them run everything for you and tell you where you stand. If there are issues you can get started working on them now so they can be solved or corrected before you are ready to buy. Your credit is very similar to a cut. Once you have an issue it can take months to correct so understanding where you stand today will help you get into a home tomorrow. You should get pre-approved not pre-qualifed 30 days before you want to buy. Then you can shop correctly in your price range.
If you have succeeded in doing all your work by hiring a buyer's agent and going through the preapproval process with a lender, you are in good shape to start the process of buying a home. What you can do is follow the market trends and the prices of the homes you like. Myers Park Charlotte