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So you’re ready to grow up and buy a house: Nine nuggets of wisdom

I’m 25 and have yet to make a serious purchase to ring in adulthood. Like buying a home. That level of commitment to one space gives me heart palpitations.

Lexie Longstreet, an agent with Savvy & Co., shared nine nuggets of wisdom during last night’s Southern Soirée Business Networking Event in partnership with Judy Belzer of the “Business Builders: Charlotte and Beyond” Meetup.com group.

How to pull yourself together and approach your first home purchase:

(1) Find the right real estate agent. “You need to find somebody that has the personality that clicks with you,” she said.

(2) You cannot research everything online. Go see a house with an agent. “You never really know what a house is like until you walk into it,” she said. “… Learn what you get for the money.”

When you see an offer, you’ll know if it’s overpriced or a good price.

(3) Don’t disregard houses under contract. “Thirty-five percent of all contracts fall apart,” she said. “So don’t be afraid to put in a backup offer on a house you like. It takes real kahonas, but you could end up getting the house without being in a bidding war.”

Even if you don’t get it: Learn from it. Ask your agent what that house closed for. Keep a learning record.

(4) Feel out the right neighborhood by going to open houses. “It’s one of the easiest ways to see a lot of houses in a day and a lot of neighborhoods,” she said.

Return to the neighborhoods you like on different days and at different times to get a better feel for the atmosphere. Try to make a list of five or six neighborhoods you like.  

(5) Once you’re making an offer, have due diligence money. “Put in your contract that you want to offer a strong due diligence fee,” Longstreet said.

That doesn’t mean $300. That means an amount that shows how committed you are to the house. You don’t get that money back, but, if you close on the house, it goes toward your purchase.

Mental break. There was a Spiked Peach Sweet Tea cocktail served in mason jars at the meet up.

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