7 Things to Consider When Choosing Where to Build Your Home

Posted on by Megan Boyd

New home construction photoIf you have been looking at Greensboro real estate with an eye to building your next home, you are not alone. Empty land in our area is becoming scarce as the region continues to grow. Before you choose a property and start building, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Here are seven things you need to keep in mind as you look at land:

1. The Right Location

Realtors have always said building a home is all about “location, location, location.” Consider issues such as whether you have a good view, will you get enough sunlight, are you close to schools, shopping, hospitals and other amenities? Will your daily commute be manageable? If you have reached retirement age, will your new location be close to community centers, medical centers, gyms, recreational facilities? Make sure that your property qualifies to build the size of home you want to build.

2. Plan for the Future

Just because the property you are interested in looks wonderful right now, it may not always be this way. This is especially true if you are buying property in a subdivision. Try to picture the area as it will look in 5 to 10 years as the other lots begin to fill up. Will you lose that amazing view? Are your neighbors going to be closer than you might like? What will you do if businesses start moving in and you have 24-hour traffic?

3. What about Setbacks

Do you know what the property’s setbacks are or what a setback is? A setback covers how close to the property line you will be allowed to build. You can get this information from your local building department. This is especially important on smaller lots as setbacks can have a significant impact on the size of home you can build.

4. Where Will You Get Your Utilities

There is no point in buying a beautiful piece of property for a bargain price, only to find it will cost thousands more to drill a well or connect to city water, have power lines put in and have a propane tank installed. It can cost $100 per foot or more to have power lines run to your property. If the land is in the city, then you need to find out how much it will cost to connect to the various utilities.

5. Who Owns the Natural Resources

Just because you have the deed to your property, that does not mean you own what is under your land. It might be better to say you can own the land but not access to the natural resources under it. These can include mineral rights, timber rights, water rights, gas rights and oil rights. If you want these rights, you need to make sure you are buying them with the property, or someone may have the right to mine, drill or cross your property without your permission.

6. What about Maintenance?

Do you know who is responsible for maintaining community property around the land you plan to buy? This includes who will plow the roads when it snows in the winter, who mows the berms, who picks up litter, etc. It could be your job, the homeowner’s association’s, the city’s or the county’s. Be sure you know this before buying. You could find out that hard way that it is your responsibility.

7. What about Zoning?

Lastly, as you look at Greensboro real estate for sale, you need to learn everything you can about any restrictions. Is the property covered by a range of covenants created by an HOA (home owner’s association)? Does an architectural committee have to approve the design of your home before you can build?

When it comes to zoning, are you buying property for your home next to land that is zoned commercial? What if you want to add a garage or barn? The more you know before you buy, the lower the risk of ending up with property you will not be happy with in 5 or 10 years. Hopefully, this information will help you find the perfect piece of real estate for your new home.

6 Tips for Financing Your New Home

Posted on by Megan Boyd

Happy family buying a home First-time buyers and even those buying their second or third house face a tougher challenge than their parents or grandparents ever dreamed of. First-time buyers looking at homes for sale in Greensboro, NC are often already burdened with student loan debts, a high cost of living, and low wages, not to mention housing prices that are higher than ever. The hardest part of buying a home is trying to secure the necessary financing. Here are six tips to make the process a little smoother and get you into your dream home.

1. Know Your Budget

Buying a new home represents a significant financial investment. Not only will you have a mortgage payment, you will have insurance premiums, yearly taxes and repairs. If you are not sure how to set a budget that takes all this into account, you can always talk to a credit counselor. They can create a working budget based on your income that will show you just how much of a payment you can comfortably afford. You should never buy a house with a payment outside of their recommendations, as this is a sure way to set yourself up for failure.

2. Have Your Documents Ready

Buying any one of the homes for sale in Greensboro, NC is all about the paperwork. When you meet with a credit counselor or a loan officer from the bank or financing company, you must have proof of employment and proof of income. This can come from paystubs, annual W-2 tax documents or bank statements. If you have other debts such as car loans and credit cards, you should be prepared to include them in your loan application.

3. Know Your Credit Score

Nothing can be more embarrassing than sitting in front of the loan officer only to find your application declined because you have a low credit score. There are a number of ways you can find your credit score (FICO) for free. Bear in mind anything under 580 is considered to be poor and can make it difficult to secure a mortgage. Anything over 720 is considered excellent and will get you the best rates available.

4. Your Down Payment

Although there are a number of government-sponsored home loan services that do not require a down payment, most traditional lenders require 10%. If you are planning to secure a traditional loan from a bank or mortgage company, be sure you have at least this much in the bank. Not only does this show good faith on your part, it puts you in a good position to make an on the spot offer if one of the homes for sale in Greensboro, NC catches your eye.

5. Know Your Lender

Take the time to carefully research the lenders in your area. Talk to banks and mortgage companies. The idea is to see who has the better offer. This means in terms of interest rates, down payments and closing costs.

6. Patience Is a Virtue

Of all these, perhaps patience is the most important tip for the first-time home buyer. Financing a home is not something you can hurry. While you can walk into a car dealership and drive out with a loan in a couple of hours, getting everything in place to finance a home can take weeks.

Smith Marketing’s preferred lender is Atlantic Bay. You can contact them at 336-314-1300.


5 Methods to Search Homes for Sale in Greensboro, NC

Posted on by Megan Boyd

The process of buying and selling a home can be an overwhelming task. But there are a wealth of tools available online to assist you in your search to finding the perfect home. Being informed of the various tools can make your home hunting experience more successful.

searching for homes to buy online

  • Online Searches – First, start by searching on reliable sites. Avoid places like online ad posting services because the source is unknown and unreliable. If you’re unsure, start by searching for reputable real estate sites and read reviews of the sites you find. Then start your home search on the most reputable ones you find.
  • Focused searching – If you are interested in a particular area, search homes for sale in Greensboro online by that specified area and go from there. Don’t limit yourself to number of bedrooms, square footage and age right away. Save the narrowing for after you find a variety of homes to compare.
  • County auditor sites – Many county auditors provide online access to property information. If you see a home that piques your interest, you can often search by address with the county to get some additional information such as the year it was built, the last price it sold for, and the property tax information.
  • Community Searches – Many housing communities and home builders will have their own community searches available on their websites. You can simply look them up and locate the links to their neighborhoods. Often those searches will provide valuable information regarding other homes for sale in Greensboro, as well as the local area information, site plans, neighborhood information, school district information, and more.
  • Let the experts help you in your search – The team at Smith Marketing has a multitude of tools to assist in locating your perfect home. You can review properties using the property search tool. With this tool you can search an internal database of homes for sale in Greensboro on an interactive map.

Searching for a New Home in Greensboro NC is Simple with the Experts at Smith Marketing

If you would like more information on your next home, call Jason Smith at 336-451-4921 or Jeff Smith at 336-663-1320. With the distinguished reputation and expertise possessed by this team of agents, your search for a new home will be easy and well-informed.

What You Need to Know about Financing Your New Home

Posted on by smi

new home for sale in Greensboro NC photoHouse hunting is fun and exciting. Searching for homes and imagining the future you and your family will have there is an amazing experience. But before you start looking for a house for sale in Greensboro, you have homework to do. Make the entire experience more pleasant by getting your financial ducks in a row beforehand. Here’s what you need to know about financing your new home.

Get preapproved for a mortgage.

This is truly the most important step. You need to meet with a mortgage broker at your preferred financial institution and find out what amount you will be able to borrow for a home, if you qualify to do so. Don’t set yourself up for the disappointment of finding the home of your dreams and then finding out that you can’t get a loan to buy it.

Save, save, save. And then save more.

One of the best things you can do to prepare to finance a home is to build up a solid savings. You will need this money for closing costs, a down payment, and other expenses that come with moving into a new home. You can never save too much, but there are options for down payment assistance that may be available to you, especially if you are first time home buyer.

Determine a Realistic Price Range.

Based on your preapproval amount and a good hard look at your finances, you can come up with a price range for house hunting. You always want to spend less on a home than you are preapproved for to allow room for other bills, expenses, and home maintenance.

Bump Up Your Credit Score.

You can improve your credit score by keeping balances low on lines of credit, avoiding credit checks, and making payments on time. You can read more information about your credit score and request a free copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com.

Now You are Ready to Look at Houses.

Once you have covered all of these points, you are ready to look for a house for sale in Greensboro. Smith Marketing of Allen Tate Realtors has a huge database of houses for sale in Greensboro and the surrounding area. Contact Smith Marketing and Allen Tate Realtors at (336) 215-7880.

The Most Effective Way to Find Your Next Home: Hire a Real Estate Agent

Posted on by smi

These days, where technology rules and do-it-yourself advice is right at your fingertips, it can be easy to think you can find your next home on your own. However, the most effective way to find your next home is to hire a real estate agent. Real estate agents have knowledge and experience or “tricks of the trade” you could say, that give you an advantage. If you want access to the most homes for sale in the Triad, hire a real estate agent.

New home for sale in Greensboro NC

A real estate agent offers definite advantages:

  • Inside info. A real estate agent has access to insider info that only real estate agents have access to. Agents network with other agents to help clients buy and sell houses, meaning you may be offered opportunities you could not find on your own.
  • Knowledge of the community. When you’re looking for a certain type of neighborhood or community, a real estate agent will know the area well enough to help you find what you’re looking for.
  • Financial know-how. A real estate agent will have a good knowledge of the prices of homes in different neighborhoods and can help you make an educated decision regarding offers, price range, and financing.
  • Paperwork/closing assistance. Your real estate agent can handle a lot of the necessary paperwork and is willing to be present at your closing to make sure everything goes smoothly and that you understand the paperwork you are signing.
  • Negotiation skills. Throughout the process of looking at houses and making offers, you need a real estate agent’s negotiation skills. Your agent acts as the go-between from buyer to seller.
  • Experience. All of these things come from the experience your real estate agent has had in the business. The more experience your agent has, the better he or she will be at all of the above.

Get Insider Access to Greensboro NC Homes for Sale by Smith Marketing and Allen Tate Realtors

When you work with Smith Marketing and Allen Tate Realtors, you get access to the biggest database of Greensboro NC homes for sale. Use the online property search and call (336)451-4921 or (336)663-1320 to be matched with an experienced real estate agent.

Qualities to Look For in a Real Estate Agent

Posted on by smi

Real estate agents from Allen Tate in GreensboroWhen it comes to buying and selling homes, your real estate agent makes all the difference. You need to find an agent you can connect with, who has certain qualities that will help you sell your home and find a new one that meets your requirements. When choosing from real estate agents in Greensboro, look for these qualities.

Communication. One of the most important aspects of the client/agent relationship is communication. You need an agent who keeps you up to date, who contacts you before you contact them. You need to be able to easily get in touch with your real estate agent. And on a deeper level, your agent must be able to adequately express important information regarding the buying and selling of homes.

Good listening skills. In addition to good communication skills, your real estate agent should listen well to your thoughts and needs when it comes to selling your home or buying a new one. When your agent listens to what you want in a home they are more likely to show you homes you will like.

Adaptable. A real estate agent needs to be able to adapt their behavior and technique to suit each individual client. Each client and each home is different, and needs to be handled as such.

Detail oriented. Your agent should know the important details about selling your home and helping you find a new one. A good real estate agent will be aware of the your selling and buying time constraints and your motivation behind buying or selling, using that key information to be successful.

Highly recommended. Ask for recommendations or references from the agent’s most recent clients, as many as 20 if you wish to get a good feel for their reputation.

Want to Find Real Estate Agents in Greensboro with these Qualities?

Try Smith Marketing and Allen Tate Realtors. Real estate agents who listen to your wants and needs combined with experts who know how to list your home to get it sold make a winning combination. Contact Smith Marketing and Allen Tate Realtors.

An Introduction to Luxury Living in the Grandover Area

Posted on by smi

Would you like to wake up and look out over manicured fairways, lush forests, and green meadows? Don’t wait for your next vacation. Wake up to resort life every day at the Grandover in Greensboro. Residential life at Grandover allows you to live within walking distance of all the resort amenities, but away from the hustle and bustle of the resort. Luxury homes are available in many styles including single family homes as well as low-maintenance townhomes and enclave-style homes.

Grandover sign photo

Grandover Offers Resort Amenities Just Outside Your Door

With two golf courses, a junior Olympic size swimming pool, club house, tennis courts, fitness center, and day spa, living at Grandover is like being on vacation with all the comforts of home. There’s so much to do at Grandover, you’ll never have to leave. But when you do decide to venture out, you’ll find everything you need at a convenient distance such as shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Looking for a Great Location to Build a New Custom Home? Grandover in Greensboro has Ready Home Sites.

If you’re looking for just the right home site to build your custom home, check out the available lots at Grandover. You’ll have room to build a luxury home with plenty of yard space to spare. And with so many recreational opportunities available at Grandover, you’ll find it easy to get out and stay active.

Maintenance-Free Living at its Finest

It’s not difficult to find maintenance-free homes in the Greensboro area. But Grandover has much more to offer, such as townhomes and enclave-style homes where yard maintenance is taken care of, and resort amenities are also included. Relax and enjoy life as if you are on a never ending holiday.

Experience the luxury lifestyle of Grandover in Greensboro. Contact Smith Marketing of Allen Tate Realtors at (336) 215-7880

New Construction or Pre-Owned Homes for Sale: Deciding Which is Best for You

Posted on by smi

Are you searching in Greensboro, NC for homes for sale and unsure if you want to build a custom home or buy a pre-owned home? Learn about the pros and cons of both to help you make the right decision on where you will live next.

Advantages of Building a Custom Home in Greensboro NC:

Building a custom home takes longer than buying a pre-existing home, but the benefits are bountiful.

  • As the name indicates, you can tailor your home by building custom. Customize the layout, style, location and more.
  • When you move in, you won’t have to worry about updating, repairing, or expending funds on maintenance.
  • New homes are usually more energy efficient so you’ll decrease the size of your carbon footprint and your monthly energy bills.Greensboro NC Homes for Sale

Disadvantages of Building a Custom Home:

While getting the home of your dreams can be a dream come true, there are some drawbacks to consider:

  • It can be slightly more expensive than purchasing a pre-owned home.
  • It takes a lot longer from contract signing to finalization to move into your new home.

Advantages of Buying a Pre-Owned Home:

While you cannot customize the design of a pre-existing home with the freedom of building your own, there are plenty of pros to choosing pre-owned:

  • Because it is already built, it’s convenient. Upon financing and offer acceptance, you can typically move in within 30 days.
  • It can cost less because you are not spending money designing layouts and breaking ground for a new home.
  • You can choose from established neighborhoods that have the characteristics you’re seeking in schools, entertainment, and other factors.

Disadvantages of Buying a Pre-Owned Home:

It may be more convenient and less costly, but there are a few cons to consider if you decide to go with a pre-existing home:

  • You may have to update the interior to your style preference upon moving in, which might include painting and flooring.
  • You will likely have to spend more money on maintenance and repairs sooner than if you custom build.
  • You will likely have to update the appliances, cut back an overgrown yard and check under the house for moisture problems.

Make Your Search for Greensboro, NC Homes for Sale Simpler by Partnering with Experts

Searching for Greensboro, NC homes for sale and trying to make the decision to build new or buy pre-owned can be both exciting and overwhelming. Whether you choose to build new or buy pre-owned, working with qualified real estate agents will ensure you make the right decision. Smith Marketing Inc. has more than two decades’ experience helping buyers select both custom homes and pre-owned Greensboro NC homes for sale. Make the right decision today by partnering with Smith Marketing Inc. and call Jason Smith at 336-451-4921 or Jeff Smith at 336-215-7880 to start your home buying process.

5 Tips for Financing Your New Home

Posted on by smi

Homes for sale in Greensboro NCIt seems like finding the right home can be the biggest challenge when you decide it’s time to move. Spending hours searching online for homes for sale in Greensboro, NC, scheduling viewings, researching the neighborhood and making offers is overwhelming. Finalizing financing can be just as hard. Make your move easier by learning 5 tips for financing new homes.

  1. Check Your Own Credit Before You Let a Lender Run It

Find out what your current credit score is and if there are any outstanding debts you can take care of before calling a lender. Taking care of defaulted debts or unpaid loans will help your process and increase your credit score so you can secure a better interest rate.

  1. Compare Lender Mortgage Interest Rates First

Letting a lender run your credit creates a hard inquiry that remains on your credit for two years. Hard inquiries can impact your overall credit score. Before you give up your personal information and let a lender run your credit, compare offers out there to see who has the best deals. Talk to your real estate agent, too, for insight on the best mortgage deals.

  1. Determine the Home’s True Monthly Payment Before You Commit

Often you’ll see an ‘estimated’ monthly payment for the mortgage. But don’t forget to include your escrow payments in that total. Property taxes, annual property insurance, and Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) will all add to your monthly payment. If you’re comfortable with that true total, move on to the next step.

  1. Determine Your Down Payment

Some loans may require little to no down payment depending on your loan type. If a down payment is required, figure out if you can afford it. If you cannot, find out what other options are available. Also, keep in mind you will be required to pay a monthly PMI if your loan amount is higher than 80% of the value of your home.

  1. Organize Your Financial Documents Before You Call

Lenders will require several documents prior to determining if you qualify for a loan. Gather at least 2 months of pay stubs, last year’s W2, tax return, and bank statements before getting on the call. Having your documents ready will expedite your credit application processing time.

Start Your Search for Homes for Sale in Greensboro, NC Today

Real estate agents work in the home industry day-in and day-out for years. They often have industry insight and knowledge that can add value to your experience and impact your decisions. Working with a reputable firm can make your next move simpler. Make your search for homes for sale in Greensboro, NC easier by calling Jason Smith at 336-451-4921 or Jeff Smith at 336-215-7880.


5 Ways a Great Real Estate Agent Can Make the Home Buying Experience Easier

Posted on by smi
  1. Real Estate Agents Have the Most Reliable Home Information

There are literally hundreds of options out there to search for a new home on your own as long as you have the time to commit. However; not all the information is always current or accurate. Real Estate agents have access to MLS which provides detailed information about the current status of a luxury home. This can save you quite a bit of time by ruling out any listings under contract or homes that were recently sold.

  1. Agents Can Help with Financing Resources

Not only are real estate agents current on all new financing rules, they also have insight on the best mortgage deals and lenders out there Luxury Real Estate in Greensborowhich saves you the time of interpreting new laws, hunting for the best deals, and comparing rates.

  1. In-Depth Pricing Knowledge on Luxury Real Estate in Greensboro

A real estate agent buys and sells homes in your area day after day and knows what recent homes sold for and what prices they are currently listing at. This insight helps them analyze prices and offers to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

  1. Real Estate Agents Know Luxury Neighborhoods

Just as agents have in-depth knowledge on pricing and sales, they also understand the neighborhoods thoroughly. They can help you choose a neighborhood that aligns with your lifestyle and desire.

  1. Real Estate Agents Understand Inspection Documentation

Setting up inspections can be confusing, but real estate agents can connect you with recommended inspectors to ensure your home is thoroughly reviewed. Inspection results can be overwhelming and confusing. Not for luxury real estate agents; they review them every day. An agent can help interpret a home’s inspection results and help you make a decision to buy, negotiate, or move on.

Make Your Home Buying Experience Easier with Expert Real Estate Agents in Greensboro

Make your home buying experience easier by relying on the expertise of Smith Marketing Inc. With 27 years’ experience in buying and selling luxury homes in Greensboro, Smith Marketing provides the insight and resources to help you the right decision on your home purchase. Call Jason Smith at 336-451-4921 or Jeff Smith at 336-215-7880 with Smith Marketing of Allen Tate Realtors and start simplifying the process.