6 Questions You Have About Buying A Home

1. What’s the first step ?

There’s no point in looking at property until  you know what you can comfortably afford. Getting pre-approved for a loan will help you set a budget, as well as detect any credit issues you must rectify before moving forward. While a credit score of 620 or better is generally the threshold for approval, the industry is ever-evolving and loan requirements can change. Speaking with a lender is helpful in that they will be able to tell you what kind of financing options and special programs you may be able to pursue – like downpayment assistance for workforce housing buyers or 100% USDA financing.

2. How long does it take to buy a home ?

It’s probably going to take you longer to find the home you want and negotiate the deal than it will to get your keys! Cash buyers can expect a 30-day closing, but traditional borrowers should anticipate a 45-day process because of updated lending disclosures and privacy protections that are taking effect.
You officially own your home when the deed is filed with the county, which can be accomplished the same day you close if you schedule it with your attorney early enough in the day. You get your keys when the sale records.

3. What does a REALTOR® do? 

In short, everything.
Anyone can buy or sell on their own, but Team Gale captain Tom Gale points out that “it’s what you don’t know that you don’t know that can torpedo a deal.” Save yourself the headache & team up with a professional. A credentialed, experienced agent will protect your interests.

4. How much do I have to pay a REALTOR® as a homebuyer?

Not a thing!  Real Estate is structured so that the sellers pay the listing agent, and the listing agent pays the buyer’s agent for facilitating the transaction.

5. How much money do I need for a downpayment?

This figure will depend on the type of loan you are approved for, but 3% to 5% down is typical.

6. What other fees are there, besides the downpayment?

Loan origination fees will be your second biggest concern. Most lenders charge between 2% and 4% of the loan amount, depending on the loan type. Your loan officer will help you determine how much you can expect to pay towards loan origination.
Closing costs are another expense to consider, but sometimes the sellers are willing to contribute towards closing costs so it can cost the buyer little to no money out of pocket.

TEAM GALE is the #1 Listing and #1 Sales Team
at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage
in southeastern North Carolina.
We have agents on duty daily to answer all your real estate questions!
We are in touch with local lenders, attorneys, builders, and other experts to help you withe every facet of buying and owning a home. Call today! 910-541-1212

You’re Home with Team Gale – Affordable Housing

Jody Wainio from Buyer Choice Realty sat down with Tom Gale on the “You’re Home” show this weekend to talk about affordable housing options in New Hanover County.

Wainio has been involved with affordable housing since 2005, serving on various committees and boards. Wainio was quick to point out that “affordable housing” has become synonymous with “public housing,” though they are quite different. The earmark for a “burdened” homeowner is anyone who shells out more than 30% of their annual income to mortgage, insurance, and property maintenance.

The pair discussed the 16-hour “Workforce Housing Specialist” certification, a beneficial designation for realtors. There is an entire class of buyers eligible for down payment assistance grants and it would behoove agents to be well versed in such programs to get more worthy candidates into homes.


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Featured Home in Shallotte

357 Sherrow River Drive, Shallotte, NC 28470



1456 sqft. single story home with 3 Bedrooms/2 Baths.
Modular was built in 2006, home is in the private community of Sherrow River Esates.

Open floor plan for common spaces; living room, kitchen, dining area.
Front and side porches for lounging or dining outside, marsh/river views from yard.

Shallotte is a great area with easy access to major highways.
Sherrow River Estates are just a few miles from conveniences like Walmart, CVS, Belk and restaurants like Highway 55, Purple Onion Cafe, and Chili’s.
10.5 miles to Holden Beach, 13 miles to Ocean Isle, 20 miles to Oak Island.

Call Team Gale with any questions you may have about this home!
We have agents on duty every day, 910-541-1212