When is a Good Time to Buy a Home?

Timing is everything when it comes to purchasing a home. If you time your purchase in an appropriate manner, you can save yourself some headaches and extra cash. Here’s how to tell if it is a good time to buy a home or if you should wait for a more opportune moment.

Keep an Eye on Housing Prices

Consider the housing market in your area… if prices are starting to increase and your needs are pressing, you might want to buy before prices skyrocket. If prices are falling, consider how fast the prices are dropping. If prices are rapidly plunging, you might want to wait, but if prices are falling slowly, you may want to make your move.

Do You Have a Down Payment?

Many lenders require a minimum down payment of 20 percent of the purchase price. If you don’t have the funds available now for a down payment, could you ask family or friends for a loan? If you can’t, you may not be in a position to purchase a home unless your credit rating is stellar.

What’s Your Credit Rating?

A good credit rating is desirable when it comes to purchasing a home. If your credit score is not the best, you should find ways to improve it before purchasing a home. If you want the home of your dreams, sometimes it is easier to just work hard at fixing your credit instead of watching out for the credit benchmark to lower.

Check Out Mortgage Rates

It’s always a good idea to be on the lookout for the best bargains when it comes to mortgage rates. 30-year mortgages usually yield the most competitive rates, but this is not always the case. Don’t be afraid to haggle either- negotiations usually lead to much better rates.

When it comes to knowing when to buy a home, Top Charlotte Agent is always ahead of the game. Our knowledge and experience can be a great advantage and tool for you when it comes to purchasing real estate in the Charlotte area. We’re always happy to put our expertise to work for our clients, so that you can feel confident you’re getting the best deal when purchasing your dream home!

Contact us today to learn how we can help!

Advice on Taking Out A Second Home Loan Mortgage

Although the words “second mortgage” often bring to mind thoughts of desperation and financial ruin for some people, the truth is this is not always the case. If you were to ask a real estate agent in Charlotte why a second mortgage is taken out, you would be told that this type of financial strategy is usually done for one of two reasons:

  • It is the homeowner’s only option.
  • It is the homeowner’s best option.

Taking out a second mortgage isn’t always a move made out of financial desperation. There are situations that actually make taking out a second mortgage a smart financial strategy. From the experts at Top Charlotte Agent, we’ve put together a few pros and cons of taking out a second mortgage.

Benefits of Taking Out a Second Mortgage

You may wonder how borrowing money on the equity in your home could be beneficial, but there are some significant advantages to taking out a second mortgage.

Some benefits include:

  • Tax deductions
  • Lower interest rates
  • Ability to borrow more money and spend it however you need

Tax deductions are one of the major benefits that appeal to people; any interest you pay on the loan is tax deductible, which saves you money. Also, a mortgage carries lower interest rates than an unsecured personal loan since your home is the security. You may be able to borrow more money with a second mortgage than with a personal loan. Finally, the money from a second mortgage can be used any way you like- you’re not limited to just a few types of expenses.

Disadvantages to Taking Out a Second Mortgage

Borrowing money always comes with a few disadvantages. A second mortgage can be risky if you encounter personal hardships after taking out the loan. You are also increasing your debt load, and the value of your home could go down making it impossible for you to repay the loan by selling your house. If the second mortgage isn’t paid in full, the lender can pursue you to recover the remaining balance. If your second loan has variable interest rates, these can be extremely burdensome for many homeowners.

The truth is taking out a second mortgage is a big step for any homeowner. It is important to borrow responsibly and assess the pros and cons of your specific situation and talk to a financial supervisor to help you make the decision.

If you are looking to take out your first mortgage, Top Charlotte Agent can guide you through the process of searching for a home loan to purchase the home of your dreams. As an experienced realtor in Charlotte, we know how to help you find the right home. After all, your home is an investment in your future.

Contact us today, and we’ll be glad to help!

Why Should I Move to Charlotte, NC?

charlotte-skyline-2If you ask a real estate agent in Charlotte the reasons why you should consider making this fine southern city your home, you will probably get a lot of standard responses. Some of these responses may include aspects such as the quality of schools in the area, the diverse and thriving job market, and the affordable cost of living. Although these are all valid, great reasons for choosing to make Charlotte your home, there are also other exciting reasons to set up house in the Queen City.

Connect with the great outdoors

Charlotte offers the best of both worlds when it comes to living in the heart of the city and also getting to explore the great outdoors. Mecklenburg county is home to over 200 recreational facilities and parks. If you enjoy zipping along a zip line or conquering whitewater rapids, you won’t be disappointed with your options. These activities are only a hop, skip, and a jump away. You’re also about two hours from the mountains in Asheville, and about three hours away from the nearest beach. Seriously though: anything you could want outdoors is within reach in Charlotte!

Enjoy all four seasons

Did you know Charlotte enjoys blue skies and bright sunshine pretty much all year long? The summers may be a little hot and humid, but the winters are typically mild. The area enjoys an abundance of clear skies throughout the year, with winter temperatures ranging just from the mid-50s to the low 30s. Springtime temperatures usually range from the mid-50s to the high 70s. If you are the type of person who likes to enjoy all of the seasons in the year, Charlotte is the place for that.

Art, music and culture

Charlotte may not be  comparable to New York City, but it does have a thriving art community. There are tons of museums, theaters, and galleries to enjoy. Music can also be found everywhere in this cultured city with tons of concerts coming to town frequently. You can enjoy anything from acoustic performances in a variety of venues and wine bars to national acts at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.

Abundant economic opportunities

We know we mentioned the diverse and thriving job market in the list of ‘standard’ reasons why Charlotte is a great place to live, but it really is true. Not only does Charlotte have a thriving job market, but this wonderful city also welcomes entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs from all walks of life will appreciate the numerous clubs and organizations in the area that support economic development and new businesses. Forbes named Charlotte as the 12th best city for business and careers, and Entrepreneur Magazine rated it as one of the top ten places for small businesses.

As you can see, the Charlotte area has so much to offer area residents. When it comes to knowing the Charlotte area, Top Charlotte Agent has cornered the market. We have the expertise and knowledge paired with the ingenuity and adaptability required to help you search for your dream home. If you are thinking of relocating to Charlotte, let us help. Whether you need help with the transition or simply just want some inside information and expert advice, we can help.

Contact us today, and we can help with whatever you need!

Why Charlotte NC is a Great Place to Live!


Charlotte is a well-known metropolitan area that encompasses a large portion of North Carolina and lies just above the South Carolina state line. Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County and is considered to be a very desirable place to live. (We may be a little biased!) There are lots of reasons why this area is one of the best areas to move to, but we will discuss some of the biggest motivators that drive people to call this beautiful Queen City their home.

Charlotte Offers Abundant Opportunities

Many people appreciate the area because of the growing job market, low cost of living, and four-season climate. There are excellent public and private schools and a range of housing types to choose from. There is also a big choice of safe urban and rural neighborhoods to move into, whether you are a single adult living on your own or have a family and need a house.

Charlotte also appeals to the creative types! Funky in-town neighborhoods like NoDa and several live music venues, such as The Fillmore and PNC Music Pavillion, are a big draw for people who appreciate music and art.

Business owners love the diverse economy and widespread transportation system. A well-educated and productive workforce is also a definitive plus!

Charlotte Has Amassed Lots of Accolades

Charlotte area residents aren’t the only ones who have noticed how great Charlotte is. Many well-known organizations and publications have made mention of this great city in multiple accolades. Here are a few select compliments the city has garnered:

  • Money Magazine ranked Charlotte as one of the 10 Best Places to Live
  • Black Enterprise and BET.com nominated Charlotte as one of the Best Cities for Black Families
  • Forbes ranked Charlotte as one of the Best Places for Singles
  • Expansion Management cited Charlotte as one of the Top US Real Estate Markets
  • Ladies Home Journal ranked Charlotte as one of the Best Cities for Women
  • Entrepreneur Magazine recognized Charlotte as one of the Best Cities for Entrepreneurs

The truth of the matter is Charlotte, NC is a great place to live all around. It is a growing, lively city with lots of activities and events, and there is always something to do! When it comes to real estate in Charlotte, Top Charlotte Agent has cornered the market of knowledge and experience. If you are considering relocating to this great city, we can help you during this transition. Whether you need help navigating the home buying process or simply just want tips on the best neighborhoods, we can help.

Learn more about relocating to Charlotte today!

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Stager

Any realtor in Charlotte will tell you that a beautifully staged home can make a great impression on potential buyers. Of course, if you are not able to stage your home yourself, you may be wondering exactly how to find the right person to help you with this task. Here are a few questions you should ask a home stager before hiring them to make your home look its best before showing!

Can I See Your Portfolio?

Asking a few questions over the phone won’t give you enough information to be able to choose the right home-stager. You should meet them in person and take a deep look at their portfolio. You’ll want to determine if their example photos are in line with exactly what you’re looking for for your home.

What is Your Training Background?

The home staging industry isn’t regulated. You need to find out if the potential stager has established training and experience. Some stagers may be certified, but you may need to do your homework and find out more about their certification. You don’t want to waste your time and money working with someone who does not have the experience needed to give you the end-result that you desire!

Are You Familiar with the Market?

Your home stager should be familiar with the local market and houses in your price range. The stager needs to know what buyers are looking for in order to set the right atmosphere. If they are not educated on the buying market, they may not be as valuable as someone who is.

What is Your Specialty?

Most stagers have an area of speciality, such as staging lofts, condos, starter homes, or luxury homes. Staging each type of home requires a specific set of knowledge and skills. The stager’s props and other items will be designed to work well in one of these types of homes, so this question will greatly affect your choice in stagers.

How Much Do You Charge?

Home stagers may price their services in a variety of ways. Some price their services according to detail while others price by the room. Some use existing furniture and décor, while others prefer to start fresh with a clean slate. Knowing exactly how the cost is calculated can help you determine whether or not a certain stager is right for your financial situation.

Asking these questions can help you find the right home stager to help you sell your home. According to statistics, hiring a stager to sell your home can help make the sale in a significantly shorter period of time. Your home may also sell for a higher amount than your competition! If you have questions about hiring a home stager or anything else regarding the home selling process, just ask one of our knowledgeable real estate agents in Charlotte, NC.  Top Charlotte Agent is always happy to assist sellers to get the best price possible.

Learn how we can help you sell your home!

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Foreclosed Home

Buying a foreclosed home can be a smart move depending on your situation, but there are also risks involved. Before you decide to buy a foreclosed home, it is important you know what you’re getting yourself into. Having a real estate agent in Charlotte walk you through the process can help make it go smoother.  There are several pros and cons involved in this sort of transaction, and we will discuss those in more detail.

Pro: Greater Bargaining Power

The urgency of a foreclosure does increase your bargaining power. You will want to research the title to ensure that it’s clear of any liens and request inspections before making an offer. Additionally, there is usually no emotional component to pricing so any offer you make may be entertained without reservation.

Con: Shorter Time for Financing

You may have a shorter time to get funds together if you’re purchasing a foreclosed home from a court auction. The time frame the court gives you is much shorter than it is for a traditional home purchase. You will have to be prepared to move quickly!

Pro: Getting a Good Bargain

Purchasing a foreclosed home can be a good investment. With the help of a realtor in Charlotte, you may be able to get a steep discount. If you’re purchasing a home in a good neighborhood at a lower price, this can be a very smart investment.

Con: Condition of the Home

The homeowner may have known about the foreclosure for some time and emotions may have run high. The property may be in poor condition because of damage or neglect. Appliances and fixtures may be missing, and it’s tough to know the extent of any needed repairs. It is always smart to invest in a credible home inspection so that you know what you’re buying into.

Whether you are considering  buying a foreclosed home, or you are just exploring the market in general, Top Charlotte Agent can help you navigate the process. We are a top realtor in Charlotte and with our knowledge and experience, we are more than happy to help!

Contact us today to get in touch with one of our realtors!

Owning vs. Renting: The Pros and Cons of Both

Rising rent prices and lower mortgage rates have sent potential buyers scurrying to find the nearest realtor in Charlotte to plunge into home ownership long before they originally planned. On the flip side, some renters are avoiding the rush and simply waiting, in spite of the current incentives to buy. While there is no absolute when it comes to making the decision to purchase over renting, there are a number of factors to consider when making this decision. There are pros and cons when it comes to both, and your own financial situation could be the biggest determining factor.

The Pros & Cons Involved with Renting

You may not be building equity when you rent, but there is some freedom and flexibility involved when it comes to renting. This is especially true if you are on a month-to-month lease.


  • No maintenance responsibilities
  • You’re not tied down to one location
  • No asset depreciation


  • Rental increases
  • No equity
  • No tax benefits
  • Less autonomy
  • Pet ownership restrictions

Pros & Cons Involved in Homeownership

First things first, homeownership is a great deal of commitment and responsibility, and therefore may not be for everyone. There are, however, are some key advantages, both financial and emotional, that can make owning a home more enticing and logical.


  • Stable payments with fixed-rate mortgages
  • Build equity
  • Tax breaks
  • More freedom for renovation and decoration
  • Fewer restrictions for pet ownership


  • Maintenance responsibilities
  • Property taxes
  • Large cash investment

Before contacting a real estate agent in Charlotte and taking the plunge into home ownership, you may want to consider the following:

  1. How long do you plan on staying in the area?
  2. What are the costs associated with buying?
  3. Do you have the ability to purchase a home?
  4. What plans may be in your future?

The preceding questions can influence your decision to contact a realtor in Charlotte and purchase a home. For instance, if your credit rating is low, it may not be a good time to purchase. Also, if you are planning to relocate or move, you might want to put off contacting a realtor and buying a home until you are sure you will stay in the area for the foreseeable future. You will also want to save up a good amount of money to put down before buying a home, as you will need a down payment.

Last but not least, if your family will drastically decrease or increase in size in the near future, you may want to wait to purchase a home. On the flip side, you may need to speed this process up depending on how soon your situation may be changing. All in all, it varies from situation to situation.

Top Charlotte Agent is your source for expert real estate advice from seasoned, experienced realtors in Charlotte. We can help you find the right home for your family, whatever your needs.

Contact us today for help in finding your Charlotte area dream home!

5 Tips for First-Time Sellers in Charlotte, NC

Selling your home for the first time can seem like a daunting endeavor. Your realtor in Charlotte has probably advised you that many things have changed in the market in recent years. You may be unsure about what to expect during the process, which can be just a tad bit intimidating! The truth of the matter is, the more research that you do beforehand, the better off you will be. The experts at Top Charlotte Agent discuss tips for first-time home sellers that will make the process smoother and, hopefully, less confusing for you!

Work With an Agent You Trust

It’s imperative to find an agent that you trust to work with. Your agent will be offering advice that is designed to help you sell your home for the best price possible. If you can’t trust your agent, you won’t be willing to make necessary changes. Find an agent that you respect and follow their recommendations- you’ll be happy you did when your home sells.

Pricing is Critical to a Sale

If you want to sell your home, you are going to have to price it correctly, which means you are going to need to be unbiased. Things have changed in recent years, and buyers are much more discriminating. Pricing your home too high can turn off buyers, so it is imperative the price accurately reflects your home’s value and the current market demands.

Know When to Sell

In most cases, fall and spring are the prime times for selling your home. Contrary to popular belief, summer is not always the premium season for selling. Of course, when you decide to sell is totally up to you; chances are your individual situation will affect your timing.

Understand Today’s Buyers

Lending requirements have changed drastically in recent years. In today’s world, buyers should have good credit and cold hard cash to put down. Because of this, buyers expect more from the home and the buying process. You and your agent will be working harder to attract today’s buyers because even the smallest details can negatively affect a sale.

Understand Contract Terms

Many of today’s sellers bought their houses before the recession and are waiting for values to go back up. In those days, you signed paperwork and accepted whatever loan you got. The market has changed, and sellers now have more responsibilities. You will be responsible for disclosing more information, and you may owe buyer and seller agent commissions if the buyer’s agent brings a full-price offer, unless there are competing offers. It is important you understand contract terms before signing anything!

If you’re looking for a real estate agent in Charlotte, Top Charlotte Agent is here to help. We’re always available to address any inquiries and concerns that you may have.

Contact us today to learn more about our world-class realtors in Charlotte, NC!

Tips For Taking Out Your First Mortgage

Having a realtor in Charlotte, NC guide you through the home buying process can definitely make it easier, but if this is your first home purchase, you may have questions about obtaining a mortgage. The experts at Top Charlotte Agent have gathered a few handy tips that can help you successfully navigate purchasing your first home!

Know Your Credit Score

Any real estate agent in Charlotte, NC will tell you that you should never approach a lender without obtaining a copy of your credit score and credit history report. It is important to take a look at your credit history to ensure there are no recent late payments or errors because this can hurt your chances of getting approved. You should always be one step ahead of the game and anticipate what a lender may bring up in your credit report.

Know How Much You Owe

Your lender is going to consider your debt ratio when deciding to approve your mortgage. Before applying for a mortgage, you should also be aware of this information. If you can pay off any debts just prior to applying for your mortgage, this will increase your odds of being approved for a loan.

Develop a Mortgage Budget

Before speaking to a lender, you should determine how much in terms of a monthly payment you can afford to pay comfortably. Keep in mind that when you purchase your home there will be fees, taxes, and insurance payments to make. Your mortgage payment should not be more than 35 percent of your gross monthly income.

Shop Around for Better Rates

You took the time to shop around for a real estate agent in Charlotte, NC, so it makes sense that  you should also evaluate local mortgage lenders. Check out different banks and financial institutions to see what types of rates they are willing to offer you.

If you’re in the market for a credible realtor in Charlotte, NC, then look no further than Top Charlotte Agent. We are experienced and knowledgeable about the real estate market and can help guide you through the process of purchasing your first home. Whatever questions you may have, we’re ready and willing to answer!

Learn more about our services and how we can help you today!

5 Turn-Offs For Potential Buyers in Charlotte, NC

Any realtor in Charlotte, NC will tell you that selling a house is very much like getting a date. You’re supposed to make sure that your house is as attractive to buyers as possible to avoid any turn-offs that can scare away potential buyers. Of course, with dating, if you lose out on a potential date, it’s not nearly as detrimental as it is to lose thousands of dollars in a sale, or to not sell your home at all.

Don’t cramp the buyer’s style

If you are hanging over the buyer’s shoulder, you risk scaring them off. It’s okay for buyers to pursue a property, but it can be a major turn-off when sellers start stalking buyers. If buyers are viewing your home, leave the area and give the buyers just a little bit of space to explore your property.

Dress to impress the buyers

Of course, the number one thing you should always do is dress up your house. The buyers will be turned off if your house is a wreck. This can be difficult to do if you have pets and kids, but if you want to sell your home at the best possible price, your home should look like a home and not like a tornado just came through. You can consider hiring professional home stagers to ensure your home is looking its best.

Be realistic about pricing

If the asking price for your home is off base with other similar properties, chances are that buyers won’t even want to take the time to look at your home, and you’ll frustrate your real estate agent in Charlotte, NC. Buyers will not be interested in trying to negotiate down from an unrealistically high price if they have already decided that you’re out of your mind!

Just let rooms be

Believe it or not, buyers do not want to see how you have repurposed different rooms in your home. It is a big turn-off for buyers to see garages turned into bedrooms, bedrooms turned into offices, and kid’s rooms turned into amusement parks. Keep it nice and simple if you want to sell your home – people like traditional.

Pools don’t add value to your home

Unless your home is located in an area with warm weather year-round, a pool is not necessarily an asset when selling a home. In fact, some buyers may actually view your pool as a liability or something that will take time and effort to keep up with. If you have an above-ground or in-ground pool, it is important to know that this won’t add monetary value to your home. Although it may take a bit longer to sell a home with a pool, it also won’t lower your home’s overall value.

Top Charlotte Agent offers sellers the benefit of having the valuable insight of a real estate agent in Charlotte, NC. People hoping to sell their homes will appreciate having an extra pair of eyes to make sure their home is presentable and attractive to buyers.

For more information about selling your home, learn about Top Charlotte Agent’s services today.