Category Archives: Guide to Home Buying

5 Reasons to Build a CUSTOM Home

Custom Home CharlotteCharlotte is growing RAPIDLY, but there aren’t a ton of homes on the market… Good ones are getting snatched up within HOURS of listing, so it’s hard to find something you like for the right price. As a result, more and more people are building the home of their dreams! If you find the right builder/contractor it may not be as expensive as you think. Here are five reasons to go this route:

  1. Everything you want, nothing you don’t. The most obvious reason to build a custom home is because you can tailor the home to fit your exact desires. It is always difficult to find the perfect fit, and chances are even more slim when inventory is as low as it is today.
  2. You’re looking at some great tax breaks.You can actually deduct interest, points and property taxes paid while the home is being built!
  3. Create a modern and functional floor plan. Everyone has different needs when it comes to their home. For example, fewer people are utilizing dining rooms- but a master down might be really nice. Maybe you entertain a lot and you want to give your great room or outdoor living space some extra attention. When you create your own floor plan you can specify those exact needs!
  4. Energy efficiency is key. Older homes weren’t built with the technology and information that we have available to use today. You can create a home that is energy efficient and lower all your monthly bills for years to come.
  5. New homes are low maintenance. When you build a new home, all the materials and appliances are new so you’ll have warranties on everything! There is nothing worse than moving into a home only to discover the HVAC needs to be replaced. Additionally, builders will adhere to all the latest safety codes.

The Sarah Moore team has worked with several builders in and around Charlotte. Closing costs are deducted from the seller’s side of the sale, so having an agent represent you while you are building a home WON’T COST YOU A PENNY! We will fight to make sure you are always getting the best deal. Call The Sarah Moore Team today! 704.706.4160


Getting Pre-Approved!

If you are looking to buy a home in the near future, the first thing you will need is pre-approval from a lender! If you don’t already have a lender, your realtor can definitely give you a few recommendations for excellent lenders in the area. Once you’ve discussed the questions below with your lender they will be able to find your current credit score AND let you know exactly how much house you can afford.

  • What is your annual income?
    Go ahead and add together your salary, commissions, bonuses and investments you earn per year. Maybe grab a copy of last year’s tax return to use as a reference.
  • How much debt are you in?
    Tally up your credit cards, car loans, student loans and other monthly payments. This will help you and the lender determine your debt-to-income ratio. You don’t want a house to take up more than 25% of your monthly income… otherwise you may end up upside-down on the loan. If your debt ratio is HIGH, you may want a lower mortgage.
  • What are you worth?
    Lenders will want to see documentation for anything you own (cars, investment properties, etc.). Be ready to explain any large deposits or withdrawals made recently as well.
  • How much do you want to put down?
    Decide what amount (if any) you will put down on the house. As a homeowner, you will need a little cash set aside for unforeseen emergencies so don’t use everything you have for the down payment! If family members plan to help, the lender will probably want a letter from them.





The Loan Process

If you are a first time home buyer, you have yet to experience the true joy of working with a local lender. Work with an agent to find someone you both feel very comfortable with, because it really can make all the difference in the world. Here is a little snapshot of the process:

1. Apply for the loan. Your loan will be sent to the processing department. During processing your home appraisal, homeowners insurance, verifications of income, assets, and mortgage or rental history will be ordered.

2. After processing, your loan will be reviewed by an underwriter for full loan approval. The underwriter will review your credit, assets, income and property documents. The underwriter may request additional documentation.


3. Your loan documents will be ordered and sent to the escrow company’s office.

4. The escrow company’s office will schedule an appointment for you to sign your loan documents, and your loan will be funded!

5.The escrow company will record your new mortgage with your county…. and you have officially completed your New Home Purchase!

If you need some great lender recommendations, give Sarah a call today! 704.706.4160


National Home Warranty Day!

Today is the perfect time to review home warranty protection plans and ensure you have the coverage you need should a major system or appliance break down!

Things you should know:

  1. Know the difference between homeowners insurance and a home warranty. Homeowners insurance generally covers damage due to things like theft, fire, tornadoes or other catastrophic situations. A home warranty is a service contract that helps protect homeowners against the costs of unexpected covered breakdowns or repairs.
  2. Know your options. Not all plans and providers are the same. Be sure you choose a plan that best meets you needs. You may want a home warranty provider that is financially solid, with a proven track record, who is available 24/7.
  3. Know what to ask. Review your contract thoroughly to fully understand what the home warranty covers, what it doesn’t cover, any limitations & exclusions, as well as the amount of their trade call fee!

We recommend:

  • HSA Home Warranty
  • America’s Preferred Home Warranty
  • The Home Service Club

Are you happy with your realtor?

The Sarah Moore Team averages 10x more closings than the average agent in the Charlotte area!!!! When you work with us you are in great (and experienced) hands. Call today for a FREE real estate consultation… You may join a long list of satisfied clients and friends!

See what people are saying on ZILLOW!

A special congrats to our latest happy clients (pictured below at closing), on the purchase of their new home!

Van Helms

Call Sarah TODAY- 704.706.4160

Consider Huntersville

Believe it or not, Huntersville was actually the first Lake Norman town north of Charlotte. The quaint and historic downtown still brings many new residents to this town. The allure of the remaining farmland, the simple commute into the city of Charlotte and the proximity to Lake Norman are just some of Huntersville’s wonderful qualities!

Call Tracy for more information: 704.877.9700

Buy the Neighborhood!

If you buy a home you LIKE in a neighborhood you LOVE, you will be thankful you did! You can’t make changes to a neighborhood, but you can always make changes to a house. My advice- if you find a house that has good bones in a neighborhood/area you love, go for it!!!!! If you buy a totally remodeled home in a neighborhood that’s just okay you will end up regretting it every time.

Buy the Neighborhood