Home Tips!

Top 15 Mortgage Terms You Should Understand When Buying a Home in Charlotte

When it's time to buy a home, you want to make sure you understand the process. One of the smartest things you can do is hire a good local real estate agent to help you. However, you want to take things a step further and have a basic understanding of what you're getting into.

A big part of the home buying process is getting pre-approved and approved for your mortgage. When you're going through this process, there are certain terms you should understand. Here are 15 of the top mortgage terms every Charlotte home buyer should understand.


Every mortgage will require an appraisal. This report is a written estimate of the value of the home based on the current market conditions. Most lenders will have a list of approved appraisers they use for appraisals.

The goal of an appraisal is to show the lender the current market value of the home being used to secure the financing.

APR (Annual Percentage Rate)

The APR is the real cost of borrowing money from the bank. It will include the interest over the life of the loan, along with the cost to secure the financing. Compared to the interest rate, the APR shows a more complete picture of what you're paying.

When you start searching for a lender and a mortgage, make sure you compare both the APR and the interest rate. Fees can vary quite a bit from one lender to another and you must look at the full picture, not just the interest rate.

Closing Costs

The hard costs you will need to pay to secure the loan are known as closing costs...

A Quick Guide to Moving to Charlotte, NC

You've finally made the decision to move to Charlotte. With the city growing so fast and so many great things to do, you're in for a wonderful adventure. Charlotte offers plenty of professional sports, incredible outdoor recreation and all kinds of new businesses opening all the time.

Whether you've already found a new place to call home or you're searching for the right neighborhood, this guide is for you. Below, you will find our quick guide to moving to Charlotte packed with helpful information.

#1 - Where Will You Live?

The first thing you need to do when you plan to move to Charlotte is figuring out where you will live. You may want to rent for a few months while you search for a home or maybe you'd prefer to buy before you move. Either way, finding the right neighborhood is key.

Choosing a neighborhood isn't always easy and with so many great choices in Charlotte, it can be very difficult. You can choose one of the infill neighborhoods, such as Myers Park, Uptown or Dilworth. You can also consider one of the suburbs, such as Davidson, Mooresville or Ballantyne. These are just a few of the many top neighborhoods found...

Top Quick Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in Charlotte

As a first-time home buyer, you may not be sure what you're getting into. It's a new process and a huge financial transaction. When you've never bought a home before, you need the right real estate agent on your side, but you also need an idea of what you're getting into. Here are a few quick tips to help the first-time home buyer.

Get Preapproved before you Shop

There's no sense to start looking at homes you think you can afford only to fall in love and have your heart broken. A preapproval letter from the mortgage company will tell you exactly what you can afford. Once you're preapproved, you can shop in your price range and you won't fall in love with a home you simply cannot afford.

In addition, the preapproval letter gives you power as a buyer. When sellers receive offers without a preapproval (unless it's a cash offer), they may not be very keen on accepting the offer. They will likely have multiple offers on the property and you need to be preapproved to have a chance.

You May Not Win the First Offer

Often, buyers get discouraged because they make an offer and it gets rejected by the seller. This happens often in a competitive market because sellers are receiving multiple offers. Don't get discouraged and always have a backup home in your mind as your second choice.

Some buyers are rather desperate and may end up offering too much. This could lead to you losing out on the property. Just know, the right home will come along and you won't have to overpay to get it.

Consider Your Entire Budget

First-time home buyers sometimes think they can afford a mortgage payment equal to what they pay in rent. This is a good starting point, but you do need to consider other expenses, such as home...

Top 7 Real Estate Myths Debunked

When it's time to buy or sell a home, you'll likely hear plenty of myths about the process. Friends and family almost always have an opinion and could even scare you as they decide to tell you things that simply aren't true. It's best to start by hiring the right real estate agent and listening to them, not those with very little experience in the industry.

Buying or selling a home is a big deal. It's likely going to be the largest financial transaction of your life. You need to be informed. Here are seven of the top real estate myths you should be aware of.

Selling your Home as For Sale By Owner Saves You Money

While some sellers may see some success when selling their home on their own, most won't. It's important to know your own skillset before you take on this massive task. You must be able to list your home online, market the home, negotiate the deal and handle any challenges that come along, such as financing and the home inspection.

While it's very possible you could take on this job, it could also be so time-consuming you wish you would have hired an agent. For sale by owner, properties may save you from paying a commission to a real estate agent, but that agent will protect your interest throughout the process, help you price the home properly and likely get you more for the home than if you sell it on your own. In addition, you won't have to give up several hours every week trying to get your home sold.

You Have to Renovate the Bathroom and Kitchen Before Selling the Home

Many sellers think...

Top 5 Tips for Relocating to Charlotte, NC

Relocating to Charlotte offers a ton of possibility. However, moving isn't fun and most of us don't enjoy the process of packing, moving and unpacking. It's a hassle and we really just want to enjoy our new destination.

Whether you're moving because you landed a new job, you have family in the area or you just love the city, there are some ways you can make relocating to Charlotte much easier. Here are five excellent tips to help you get to the city and enjoy it right from the beginning.

Hire a Moving Company

If you want to relieve a ton of stress when relocating to Charlotte, start by hiring a moving company. When you hire a company to handle your packing, loading, transporting and unpacking, you have far less to worry about.

With professional movers helping you move, you can relax a bit and plan a few ways to enjoy the city. A big part of feeling like you’re at home when the home is new, is getting out and seeing the area. A professional moving company will help to ensure you have more time to get out and see Charlotte when you arrive.

Become Hyper Organized

When moving from one city to another, the more organized you are, the smoother the move will go. When you become hyper-organized, you will know what needs to be done and when. Start by purchasing a notebook specifically for the move. This will hold notes from talking to your moving company, utility companies, Charlotte real estate agents and more.

Along with your notebook, you want to have a checklist of everything you are moving and where it goes. Labeling the boxes properly with more than just the room they go in will help, as well. Color coding your labeling will make it even easier.

Make sure you keep track of the schedule for the movers, the utility...

How to Make the MOST out of your next Open House!


5 best practices for launching your home-buying journey.

Open houses are classics! They've been around for years and will continue to stay throughout the buying and selling process for years to come! 

But as a buyer, are you making the most out of your open house experience?

Here are some best practices and helpful questions for buyers at all ends of the home-buying spectrum

1- Open Houses are a great way to learn the market!

For the most part, open houses are just that — open. They make it possible for anyone to see a property in a certain time period, without an appointment or even being a very serious buyer. New buyers can use this opportunity to get a feel for the market before committing to an agent.

2- You don’t have to sign in (but don’t be rude)

The biggest fear of some newer buyers is that a real estate agent has to grab their information and call them all the time. For safety reasons, the agent is keeping a look out for who is coming and going. It’s polite to say hello and introduce yourself to the agent, but you can also politely decline to sign in and let them know you’re just looking.

 3 - Watch the other buyers

If you observe a lot of people walking in and out quickly, the home probably has some issues. However, if you notice the buyers are hanging around and asking questions, it could be a sign this is a well-priced and “hot” listing. If you’re interested,  this could help you learn about the competition.

4 - Ask the agent questions

Real Estate Agents are happy to help! Their goal is to answer questions and ensure you are well informed...

3 great ways to reduce your AC bill this summer!

Here are 3 great ways to keep your AC bills low:

1 - Replace or Maintain your AC Unit

Technology can play a role on the  AC efficiency. "If you swap your older air conditioner for a newer unit, you could reduce your energy costs by half", according to the Department of Energy.

Look for a high-energy-efficiency ratio, or EER, or an Energy Star-qualified unit. Higher EER ratings mean a more efficient air conditioner. Energy Star refers to a system adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy to identify energy-efficient products.

If you’re looking to maintain it, it’s important to keep the filter clean to allow good air movement and keep the unit leveled so the condensation properly drains.

2 - Use a fan!

“The key is to circulate air inside the house. If possible, operate fans on your home’s upper level and open the windows on a lower level. If you live in a one-story house or apartment, you should close windows near the fan and open windows in rooms far from the fan, preferably on your home’s windward side", according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

3 - Do you have a green thumb – start planting!

Planting leafy trees around the building’s exterior will stop the sun from shining inside your home. 

 “Most heat that accumulates inside a house comes directly from the sun shining on to the roof or through windows, and heating the house directly,” says John Krigger, owner of Saturn Resource Management, which offers energy conservation training in Helena, Montana.