Costello Real Estate & Investments Blog | Costello REI

What to Ask Your Lender When Buying a House

The home buying process can be both exciting and stressful. Becoming informed and hiring the right real estate agent are two of the best ways to take the stress out of buying a house. While you certainly want to be informed on the buying process, you should also know what to ask your lender.

A big part of buying a home is taking out a mortgage. If you don't ask the right questions, you may end up with the wrong lender or loan. Here are a few of the most important questions to ask your lender when buying a house.

Which Loan Program Works Best for Me?

Every situation is different and if you don't ask this question, you may get a program your lender wants to sell you, not the right one for you. Whether you work a regular job or you work for yourself, there are likely multiple loan programs you qualify for with most lenders.

A good lender will take the time to get to know you and will figure out which mortgage is best for your situation. Make sure your lender does this or you may get stuck with a program that isn't right for you but paid the account executive a better commission.

How Much Will My Down Payment Be?

You don't need any surprises in the home buying process. Before you go any further, find out how much the lender will require you put down to get approved. Some lenders have programs offering low down payments of 5%, 3.5%, or even 0% down. However, other lenders and other programs will require 10% or even 20% down.

The down payment percentage will help to determine the price you can pay for a home. Know how much you need down and what that means for your home buying budget before shopping for your new home.

What are Discount...

Tips To Sell Your Home With a Tenant in It

When it's time to sell your home, you may be worried it won't go smoothly because you have a tenant living in your Charlotte house. Just because you rented out your house doesn't mean you cannot sell it.

A tenant-occupied property can be sold, even before the lease is up. However, there are some things you have to be aware of when selling a home with a tenant in it. Let's look at a few of the things you should consider when you're in this situation.

Keep Your Tenants Informed

The first step in selling your home if you have tenants is to let them know you plan to sell the home. You can send notice, talk to them in person, or call them over the phone. It's best to send a certified letter and speak with your tenants in person. This protects you legally and allows you to keep the personal touch with your tenants.

Don't Renew the Lease

When you have a tenant with a long-term lease, it can slow down the selling process. A month-to-month lease is a bit easier to work with, but it's not impossible to sell with a long-term lease. However, if that lease comes up, don't renew it.

Selling a vacant home is much easier than a tenant-occupied home. If you get the chance to get out of the lease with your tenants, take it, as it will make it much easier to sell the property.

Let the Tenant Buy the House

Maybe your tenants are thinking about buying a house and really love where they live. If so, you may want to sell your home to the tenant. This can provide plenty of benefits including the ability to use owner financing to help them buy your home from you.

Even if your tenants cannot get approved for financing or are...

Lake Norman Secrets: What You May Not Know About Lake Norman

Known by many as the "Inland Sea" Lake Norman is a special place. It was created in the late 1950s and early 1960s as the largest freshwater lake found in the entire state of North Carolina. In fact, most of the power found in Charlotte comes from Lake Norman.

While the size of the lake and the ability to provide power are great, most locals know Lake Norman as the place to go for swimming, boating, and all types of water activities. It's also a very popular spot for home buyers seeking waterfront properties in the greater Charlotte area.

You may be familiar with Lake Norman, but do you know all the secrets of this area? There are several things you may not know about Lake Norman. Let's look at just a few.

Trees Are Planted Yearly

Did you know Duke Power actually has a team of foresters and their job is to plant trees every year? While this isn't their only job, they plant more than 1,400 trees every single year. They also stock the lake with fish and take care of other parts of the lake.

Mosquitoes are Kept in Check

Another thing you may not know about Lake Norman is how the mosquitos are kept in check. Yes, we all know, if you spend time near water and trees, you're bound to end up with mosquito bites, unless you bring a repellent.

The foresters at Lake Norman help you out by using an organic compound to kill those nasty bugs before they ever bite you. This compound is used near shorelines where mosquitos tend to breed and it's not harmful to the environment since it's organic.

Lake Norman is a Four-County Lake

Another little Lake Norman secret, it touches four...

The Differences Between An Online Home Search & an In-Person Search

Shopping online is far past the fad stage. No longer are people just shopping for gifts at the holidays online. Today, many home buyers perform an online home search before they ever see a single property in person.

In fact, some buyers never see the property in person before agreeing to buy it. With so many options to choose from, narrowing down the possible properties online makes sense. However, when you get ready to search for your next home, it's a good idea to understand some of the differences between an online home search and an in-person home search.

The Feel of the Neighborhood

It's impossible to get a feel for the neighborhood if you're searching for a property online. Sure, you can search the neighborhood for information about it, but you won't actually be able to feel the vibe or walk the area to see how you like it.

With an online home search, you just don't have the option to see how the neighborhood feels to you. It's best to take your online search and turn it into an in-person search when you think you have a good choice. Then, you'll get to experience the neighborhood and see how you like it.

Photos May Not Be 100% Accurate

Online pictures are great and help you get a feel for the property. However, they are not always the most accurate representation of the property. Often, the online images you see represent the very best of the property and don't show off the home the same way it shows during an in-person search.

Some of the rooms may look bigger through online pictures. You may also only get to see the home from a specific angle. It's also likely the home was staged for the picture and it can be hard to separate the staging from the actual home without seeing it in person.

Seeing...

What to Expect if You Sell Your Home to an I-Buyer

It's not uncommon today, for a home buyer to buy a house without ever seeing it in person. This happens with military men and women often because they must move whenever they are re-assigned.

Many others in business also must relocate quickly and may not have the time to find a buyer before they relocate. Carrying a mortgage on two properties can be difficult and if you're not there to find a buyer, it can become a stressful situation.

Not only will most home sellers count on the funds from the sale for the down payment on their next home, but they may also struggle to get approved while carrying another mortgage. The answer, for some, maybe to sell to an I-buyer.

What is an I-buyer?

An I-buyer is a company online willing to make an offer on your home without wasting much time. Often, they will make an offer sight unseen, based on the valuation model for the home. While these types of buyers are usually larger companies looking to flip the property, sometimes, they are individual buyers.

An I-buyer can be defined as someone that only saw your property online and is willing to make an offer very quickly. Maybe they are in a similar situation as you and need to relocate quickly. In other circumstances, it could be a company in the business of buying homes sight unseen, putting in a little work, and reselling the home.

Convenience: The Major Benefit Provided By I-Buyers

I-buyers provide many benefits to those needing to sell their home quickly. However, the main benefit they provide is convenience. When you need to move your home quickly, an I-buyer can step in and make this possible.

Typically, when you sell a home, you take the time to hire a real estate agent, make repairs, do a little remodeling, stage the home, have...

A Closer Look At Quail Hollow Club

An incredibly prestigious country club found in Charlotte, you may spend some time on the waitlist before you become a member of the Quail Hollow Club. This isn't a typical country club and doesn't cater to families as much as many others in Charlotte do.

Instead, Quail Hollow Club is all about men and golf. It's an expensive club and it's incredibly difficult to become a member, compared to other Charlotte country club options.

History of Quail Hollow Club

It all began in 1959 when James J. Harris held a meeting to mark the beginning of Quail Hollow Club. The club was founded by 21 men and filed its certificate of incorporation in 1960. The club started with just over 257 acres of space to provide all the club activities.

The clubhouse was designed by Charles W. Connelly & Associates and opened in September of 1967. It was designed with a southern style with a white exterior. Later in 1999, the clubhouse was redesigned to provide a more open feel. It features a grand ballroom, a library, a card room, a main kitchen, 15 fireplaces, locker rooms, lounge areas, grills, and more.

A members' pavilion was constructed in 2008 near the 18th green. This pavilion offered a members-only area during the Wells Fargo tournament. The building features a large gathering space, a kitchen, a bar and oak paneling throughout.

At the same time, the swimming pool was re-done and connects to the members' pavilion. There's also a tennis shop, which was rebuilt at the same time.

The history of Quail Hollow Club includes the golf course opening in 1961 with modifications made to 4 holes by Arnold Palmer in 1985. The course was reconstructed by Tom Fazio in 1997 and the practice facility was reconstructed in 2001. Rock walls were added to both hole 7 and 17,...

Top 10 Ways to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal in One Weekend

When it's time to sell your Charlotte home, curb appeal matters. You have to make your home as appealing to buyers as possible or you may not get the offers you desire.

Creating incredible curb appeal isn't always easy, but it doesn't have to be expensive or difficult. There are several ways to go about creating incredible curb appeal before listing your home. Here are ten ways to boost your Charlotte home's curb appeal in just a weekend.

Paint

If it's time to sell your home, you will find that paint will quickly become your best friend. While it's probably necessary to paint some of your interior rooms, painting the exterior access areas is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to boost curb appeal.

Painting the entire exterior would be great, but you don't have to go this far. If you simply paying the doors, shutters, and trim, you can add plenty of curb appeal to your home.

Make sure you consider the current color trends for home exteriors and match the right color to your home's style. Since paint is typically around $20 to $30 per gallon, this job can be done for less than $100 and in just a few hours.

Replace Exterior Light Fixtures

If your exterior light fixtures are outdated or simply not in good shape, you can replace them for more curb appeal. You will need to make sure the new lighting fixtures have the same type of mounting system or this could become a frustrating job in a hurry.

Most outdoor sconces can be found at home improvement stores for about $20 or $30 each. You don't need an electrician to replace the outdoor lights as this is certainly something a good DIYer can handle on their own.

If you don't want...