One of the Biggest Decisions of Your Life
Before I entered the real estate business, homeownership did not occur to me. My twenty-three year old self was happy to be paying the bills without mom and dad’s help (well, most of the time). I didn’t realize that the $900 per month rent payment my roommate and I were splitting could have been a mortgage payment.
When I think back, I wish I had at least explored the option of buying a home earlier. Sure, I wouldn’t have been living in a 2,000 square foot house in Dilworth or a 1,000 square foot condo uptown, but I could certainly have purchased a nice property in a decent location and built equity for myself while benefitting from the tax breaks homeownership offers.
Not long after becoming established in my real estate career, I purchased my first home. I spoke with one of the loan officers with whom I had developed a working relationship and was preapproved. Then, I started my research. It didn’t take me long to find my home. I knew I wanted to be close to town and in a neighborhood with trees. I liked the idea of being able buy a home which hadn’t been updated, so that I could renovate it over time. I found all of that in a home which was within my budget.
The home I fell in love with had an open floor plan, three decent size bedrooms and one and a half baths. The kitchen had a “vintage” lemon yellow wall oven with a matching dishwasher, original cabinets and white laminate countertops. The full bath and half bath were somewhat in the same space – two doors were adjacent to a dual vanity: one led to a toilet; the other to a toilet and a bathtub. The tile throughout the baths was one inch tile in varying shades of green. Huge picture windows allowed plenty of natural light into the living room, dining room and master bedroom. The lot was peppered with azaleas, dogwoods and cherry trees.
First up: a thorough scrubbing, a fresh coat of paint and new blinds. About a year later, we adopted a dog from Project Halo and added a missing piece of fence so he could play in the backyard without us worrying about his escaping (he did anyways, but that is a whole different article). The next major event of our home was my husband proposing to me in the living room on a Friday evening in May. Then the kitchen renovation – easily the most transforming change we have made – in which we opened the kitchen to the dining and living areas, installed all new cabinets, granite countertops and some new appliances. A new tankless water heater, a new roof and an exterior paint job…and finally, the bathroom renovation, where one and a half became two to prepare for the next major event in the life of our first home. Emily. In September, my husband and I had a daughter.
We are now outgrowing our first home. Soon, we will begin the process again with our new list of needs and wants in mind. We are excited to begin the search for our next home, and the timing couldn’t be better.
For you, it may not be a neighborhood with trees; maybe it is a condo uptown or a newer home in Ballantyne or at one of the lakes. Charlotte offers fantastic opportunities at all different price points, and the current real estate market affords first time buyers and move-up buyers ideal conditions to purchase their perfect home. Just think about it, consider it sooner rather than later – you’ll be glad you did.
Robyn D. Riordan, GRI
Contact us for more information about Uptown Charlotte Real Estate
T. J. Larsen is president of My Townhome Realty—a professional real estate brokerage firm that specializes in condominiums and townhome real estate. If you need assistance with buying or selling real estate, call them at 704-377-4567.