How to Choose Your Perfect Raleigh Home

Whether you are already living in Raleigh, NC, or your family is relocating to Raleigh, buying a home is always both exciting and a little nerve wracking at the same time. At Spencer Properties, our team of Raleigh Real Estate Specialists can make the process much easier by answering all your questions and helping you come to the right decision for you and your family. You can trust us to help you find your perfect Raleigh home!

Here Are Some Home Buying Tips to Help You in The Selection Process

Once you have narrowed your choices down to a few preferred Raleigh neighborhoods, it’s time to start looking at homes in those specific areas.

First and Foremost, Decide What Type of Home You Would Like to Buy

Because each family is different, there is no “one size fits all” in the real estate market. Based on your family, determine what makes the most sense.

Consider your lifestyle and your work situation as you look at your options.

  • Single-family homes: One home per lot.
  • Multiple-family homes: You may decide that starting with a multiple-family home makes most sense in order to have rental income to help with your costs. Many mortgage plans, including VA and FHA loans, can be used for buildings with up to four units, if the buyer intends to occupy one of them.
  • Attached Single-family homes such as townhouses and condominiums: owning a townhome or a condominium means that you own the inside of your home (“from the plaster in”) as well as a certain percentage of the “common elements” such as the staircases, sidewalks, roofs, etc. Monthly charges pay your share of taxes and insurance on those elements, as well as repairs and maintenance. A homeowners’s association administers the development. While less common than townhouses, there are some great options for condominiums in Raleigh –particularly in Downtown Raleigh.

Narrow Down Your Preferences in Terms of the Age and Condition of the Right Home for You

Based on your lifestyle, budget, needs, and personal preference determine whether or not buying a new home, a newer home, an older home, or even a “fixer-upper” are an option. The Raleigh real estate market offers plenty of options no matter what your choice is.

Create a Home Wish List in Order to Stay Focused in Your Home Search

To make the process easier, it helps to have a “Wish List” of features that are most important to you. As you compile your list, prioritize what matters to you most versus what you would love to have but can live without.

Consider “How you live” as well as “where you live” in your wish list. Focus on the features that you will use the most and will affect your daily life the most. If you fall in love with a house with a large lush backyard but you are rarely home, you may never have the time to maintain the landscaping or enjoy the gorgeous view. Focus instead on the inside features. The importance of your lifestyle is especially important for the high traffic areas like the kitchen. While you may love the idea of open cabinetry but if you have a busy family with toddlers, a more traditional kitchen may be a better match.

As You Look at Different Homes, Consider the Home’s Resale Potential

While personal preferences vary from family to family, for certain properties, some general rules of thumb seem to apply across the board no matter the real estate market. For instance,

  • One-bedroom condos are typically more difficult to resell than two-bedroom condos.
  • Two-bedroom/one-bath single houses tend to have less appreciation potential because they tend to have less appeal than houses with three or more bedrooms.
  • Homes with great “curb appeal,” that are well-maintained, attractive and with a charming appearance from the street, are the easiest to resell.
  • The most expensive houses on the street or the ones with anything unusual or unique tend to be harder to resale. The best investment potential is traditionally found in a less expensive, more moderately sized home.

Make a Calculator Part of the Decision Making Process

Because a dream home can become a nightmare the minute you can’t afford it, it’s important to grab your calculator as one of the first steps in the decision process. Look beyond the initial listing price and consider the cost of ownership as well. For instance, a pool will require maintenance and house with a vaulted ceiling will cost more to heat than one with a flat ceiling.

When You Find the Right Home, Trust Your Intuition

If you are viewing a home and you find yourself talking about where you’d place the furniture and imagining yourself sitting in your favorite chair by the window, chances are this house is a good fit for you. While there is no guarantee, as buyers we tend to formulate an impression about a home within a few minutes of walking in. Trust your gut feeling. Is this a happy home? or do you find it a tad depressing? Pay attention to your reaction.

Once you have found the right match for your family, it often makes sense to sleep on it, but if the market is particularly active, as the Raleigh real estate market often is, it’s a good idea to act promptly and decisively. This is particularly important after a long search or if the house is newly listed and/or underpriced.