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Tips for Buying a Home on the Outer Banks

17 Jan 2019
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Outer Banks Real Estate

Many vacationers dream of one day owning a home on the Outer Banks.  Whether your goal is to vacation here in your very own place or have a retirement spot later in life, many OBX investors start out as visitors just like you.  Buying a home on the OBX is not as hard as you think!  Let our elite group of Outer Banks Real Estate Experts help you in finding your dream home.  Here are some key thoughts/conversations to help us get started:

  • Will this be a second/vacation home for your personal (and family) use
  • Does it need to be suitable for a retirement home ‘down the road’
  • Do you need rental income to assist in making this dream a reality (more affordable/doable to take the plunge)
  • Will this strictly be an investment property
  • Location and proximity to the ocean will play a major role if this property is to provide rental income
  • Size and number of bedrooms will be determined (in part) by your budget and the area of the OBX you wish to be located
  • Determine and communicate your ‘must haves’ as well as your ‘like to haves’

If you are unfamiliar with the various areas of the Outer Banks, your agent can tour you around to give you the ‘lay of the land’ to assist you in honing in on the area that best fits your needs and desires. Determining the above (defining the search criteria) will enable your real estate agent to research the market in the areas that will more likely match your goals, however in order to begin this process one needs to know the price-range within which to ‘shop.’  This is best accomplished by getting you pre-qualified with a local lender; we have several top-notch recommendations to pass along; each can assist you with pre-qualifying you over the phone.  Of course you will follow up with the required documentation so that once you have selected your dream property, negotiated your Offer to Purchase to a Contract and chosen the lender with whom you wish to work, you will be well on your way to OBX property ownership! 

The initial property search may not uncover the home of your dreams, but your agent can set you up to receive auto email notifications when a property comes available that matches your search criteria.  You can also be notified when a property has a price change or status change within the initial search results. This search could go rather quickly or it may take multiple trips back to the OBX to work with your agent in seeing the current inventory that has come on the market since your initial appointment.  Your agent stands ready to preview any suitable property that comes along and will advise you to take a look at your earliest convenience.

Once you have that contract on your dream home, your agent will assist you with every step of the way to property settlement.  Once you are under contract, you will have a specified number of days to perform your ‘due diligence.’  During this time, likely 14-30 days as requested and agreed upon in your contract, you (along with your agent’s guidance, recommendations, and assistance) work through the loan process including appraisal, property investigation: inspections, review of documents, obtain insurance estimates including flood, survey and elevation certificate, investigate any zoning and government regulation (current and proposed), order Home Inspection (and other inspections as may be suggested by home inspection report, i.e. HVAC/roof/electrical), Termite Inspection, Septic Inspection. Should you wish to place your property into a vacation property management program, you should check into this during this time, to discover suggested rates, fees, and management percentage, etc.

Once you have this ‘discovery’ during the due diligence period, depending on the findings, you may ask to amend the contract by requesting that the Seller address and pay for certain items to be repaired.  This often times results in the Seller paying an agreed upon amount towards Buyers closing costs, allowing the Buyer to complete the repairs (or not) after settlement. However, upon this discovery (depending on the findings), you may elect to terminate the contract for any reason or no reason, up until 5 PM of the day your due diligence expires.

Let’s say that you are pleased with the inspections, the negotiations of any dollar amount towards closing costs, and you are heading towards settlement! During this period, approximately two to three weeks, your loan is being finalized by underwriting, all of the insurance figures and tax pro-rations are calculated, and you will be provided an estimate of closing costs…the amount of funds that you need to provide at closing.  On the day of closing, you and/or your agent will do a walk-through of the property just before “signing your life away!” You will be given the keys or keyless entry code, and upon hearing “we are recorded!,” you will be OBX property owners…your dream has just come true…the journey has just begun!

For more information on Outer Banks Real Estate or the homebuying process, please contact our team of Real Estate Professionals at 252-449-5385