Outer Banks Real Estate Rob Petty
Outer Banks Real Estate

Whether you're a first-time or experienced home buyer, your main concern is getting you and your family into the right home, at the right price. And that's where I really shine - for years, home buyers in the Outer Banks area have depended on me to find them the perfect home - not just in the amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, but the home that fits their entire lifestyle.



However, there is much more to buying a home than just finding you the right house - and many realtors will leave you to handle these complex details.

Unless, of course, you choose me as your REALTOR®.

No Detail is Too Small or Too Complex

You'll appreciate the attention to detail and handling of "the little things". My clients have referred me to friends again and again. In fact, a good chunk of my business is referrals from happy clients - which is the ultimate compliment.

Finding the right Outer Banks home entails many emotional, financial, and legal aspects. My pledge to you is that I will handle all of the essential details to guide you through the home buying process.

Bottom line - contact me to be your Outer Banks REALTOR®, and I'll do so much more for you. You can depend on me to:

  • Guide you through the financial aspects of purchasing including your budget and explaining the various forms of financing available to meet your needs.
  • Provide you with an accurate estimate of the total cash required to buy your home.
  • Familiarize you with the neighborhoods that exemplify your dream home.
  • Show you homes that meet your tastes regardless of the listing company (your interests count more than mine.)
  • Explain in full detail all documents and procedures pertaining to making an offer on your new home.
  • Protect your interests by assisting in inspections, warranties, and insurance (this is important.)
  • Accompany you in the final walk through of your home.
  • Attend the final closing appointment with you and answer any questions you may have.
  • Ensure you are completely satisfied with your new home and that your dream came true.


rob petty outer banks realtorI'm Rob Petty of Outer Banks Blue Realty Services, and I want to be your Outer Banks REALTOR®.

I've been an Outer Banks area resident for nearly 15 years, and have an unparalleled knowledge of the area. Choose me as your Outer Banks REALTOR®, and I will be happy to introduce you to our unique lifestyle and exciting attractions. You'll also love my attention to detail and handling of "the little things" that other realtors simply won't get involved with (handling paperwork, attending all meetings, assisting in all inspections, insurance, warranties, and much more). When it comes to buying or selling your Outer Banks home, the first thing you need to do is contact a knowledgeable, experienced Outer Banks REALTOR®. The bottom line is that Outer Banks real estate is in demand, so contact me today and get an experienced Outer Banks real estate professional working for you.

You can always reach me at (252) 256-2830, or email me at Rob@RobPetty.com.




Outer Banks Home Buying Articles
 • Negotiating with Sellers
 • Advice for First-Time Buyers
 • Types of Mortgages
 • Best Mortgage Rates 101
 • Surviving Escrows




 • Outer Banks Fixer-Uppers
 • Good "returns"?
 • Outer Banks Foreclosures... Good or bad?
 • New Home or a Resale
 • Why use a REALTOR?


Advice for First-Time Buyers
Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.

Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You'll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your loan.

List of Needs & Wants: Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.

Representation by a Professional: Consider hiring your own real estate agent, one who is working for you, the buyer, not the seller.

Focus & Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:

  1. One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.
  2. A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.
  3. Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.
  4. Instant or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings.
  5. Location: Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?

Visualize the house empty & with your decor: Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?

Be Objective: Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.

Be Thorough: A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Don't forget such essentials as:

  1. Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your written offer.
  2. Have the property inspected by a professional inspector.
  3. Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing.
  4. You want to check to see that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by a cheap ceiling light).

All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please email me or call me directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.

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How to Negotiate with Sellers
Buying a home is one of the most important purchases most people will make. In order to make the right decision the first time, potential buyers need to be prepared. Consider the following before starting negotiations:

Be prepared. Research the housing market in the target area. Once you have information about the general area, focus on the particular property and seller. Look for answers to questions such as:

  1. Why is the homeowner selling? (If they're moving because they find the area undesirable, you might want to consider this issue.)
  2. How long has the home been on the market? (If it has been on the market for a long time, perhaps there are negative facts about the property that you need to know.)
  3. How much did the seller pay for the home compared to the current asking price? (If the seller paid more, find out why. Was it a general real estate trend, or did property values in that particular neighborhood go down?)
  4. What is the seller's time frame for selling and moving? Does it fit within your needs?
  5. Are there any defects in the home or problems with the surrounding neighborhood? (For example, is the roof so old that it will likely leak during the next storm? Is there a new construction project in the area that will lead to major traffic congestion?)

As the potential buyer, you want the advantage. While you want answers to all your questions to the seller, reveal very little about your circumstances. Do not give the seller personal information such as your income, the maximum you are able to pay for a down payment or the home, or when you want to move. Make sure that your agent knows not to reveal any such information to the seller or his/her agent. Also, do not let the seller see how much you want the property. If you appear desperate or overly enthusiastic, the seller then has the stronger bargaining position. When meeting with the seller or listing agent, keep your emotions in check.

Establish a timeline. Find out if the seller needs to have the sale closed sooner rather than later. If the seller is feeling pressured to sell, use that to your advantage in negotiating. Even if you, the buyer, are the one with the deadline for purchasing a home, don't let yourself be rushed into making concessions or a purchase you may regret later.

All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please email me or call me directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.

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Types of Mortgages
Fortunately for buyers, there are a variety of mortgages to choose from. It is in your best interest to investigate each of them to determine which is the best for your situation. You probably won't qualify for all of them. In fact, you may only qualify for one. But if you do qualify for more than one, you may save yourself money (and worry) in the long run if you do your homework before signing on the dotted line.

Fixed Rate Mortgages
Consider a fixed rate mortgage if either of the following describes you:

You plan on living in your new home for many years, and/or

You are not a risk-taker and prefer the stability of knowing how much your payment will be each month.

Since most home loans are for a period of 30 years, if you want a payment you can count on for that long of a period of time, a fixed rate mortgage may be what works best for you. Once your loan amount and interest rate are calculated and locked in, a fixed rate mortgage will guarantee that you will have the same payment over the life of the loan. Making extra payments to principal will allow you to pay your loan off sooner.

This may not always be the best choice, however. If interest rates are very high at the time you take out your loan, with a fixed rate mortgage you'll be stuck with that high interest for the life of the loan (unless you choose to refinance). Conversely, if interest rates are very low, you'll come out the winner with interest rates that will stay low no matter how high interest rates go in the future.


Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs)
If you are more comfortable in taking a risk with your money or if interest rates are very high at the time you take out your loan, an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) may be the solution for you. You might also choose this type of loan if your planned ownership of the property is short-term or if you expect your income to increase to cover any potential rise in the interest rate.

Generally, the interest rate when you take out your loan will be lower than a fixed-rate mortgage. Please note that this is true initially, not necessarily long-term.

Since an ARM rate rises and falls depending on the prevailing interest rate, your mortgage payment will rise and fall accordingly. If your income is not sufficient to cover the highest possible payments, then this option is not for you. On the positive side, the lower initial payments will allow you to qualify for a larger loan than if you choose a fixed-rate. The downside is that your payments will increase if/when the rates go up.

Typically, ARM interest rates are tied to a specific financial index (such as Certificate of Deposit index, Treasury or T-Bill rate, Cost of Funds-Indexed Arms or COFi, or LIBOR [London Interbank Offered Rate]) and your payment will be based on the index your lender uses plus a margin, generally of two to three points. Get the formula used by your lender in writing and make sure you understand what it means.

Fortunately, the amount an ARM can increase is limited. There are "caps" on how much your lender can increase your rate, both for a period of one year and for the life of the loan. Plan ahead, and have your lender calculate what the maximum payment would be if your rate went to the highest amount allowed by the cap for your particular mortgage. If you are not confident you'll be able to pay that amount on a monthly basis, perhaps you should reconsider this type of loan.


Convertible ARMs
If neither the fixed-rate or the adjustable-rate mortgage seems like the best option, perhaps the convertible ARM will be right for you. This alternative combines the initial advantage of an ARM with a fixed rate after a predetermined number of years. Obviously, this type of mortgage has more advantages when the initial interest rate is low and the future rate is not guaranteed.


Government Loans
Another mortgage option available to some people is a government loan, providing that you meet the qualifications for these loans.

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Best Mortgage Rates 101
Naturally, you want to get the best deal for the least amount of money. This holds true for mortgage rates as well.

A lower interest rate means a lower monthly mortgage payment, which can save you money in the long run. Also, it is easier to qualify for a lower payment than a higher one.

You basically have two routes to finding the best rate. The first is to do all the research on your own. The second is to use a mortgage broker.

Do-It-Yourself
With the advent of the Internet, much of this information is readily available online. Once you have educated yourself sufficiently about real estate loans, all it takes is the time and energy to sift through online resources to find the information you need.

Rates change quickly. That great rate you find today might not be there tomorrow. Once you find the rate you are looking for, submit a loan application and lock in that rate.

Some sources for interest rates on the Internet include:
Bank Rate Monitor (http://www.bankrate.com)
E-Loan (http://www.eloan.com)

When comparing loans, make sure that you're comparing loans of the same type. For example, you find that "Loan A" for a 30-year loan has a much lower interest rate than "Loan B" (also for 30 years). Upon further inspection, you find that "Loan A" is technically an adjustable rate mortgage. Its payment is based on a 30-year amortization, but becomes due through either payment or refinancing at the end of 5 or 7 years. These are frequently referred to as a 5-year or 7-year fixed-rate mortgage. While both said "30-year", they are not the same type of loan.

Ask the lender for a statement detailing all fees associated with the loan. Factors such as "points" (loan fee), interest rate and "garbage fees" (extra fees which some lenders charge) can vary greatly from one lender to another.

Mortgage Broker
If you do not have the time or experience to "do it yourself," look for a qualified mortgage broker that can assist in finding the right mortgage for you. Ask friends and associates who have refinanced or purchased recently if they have a broker they can recommend. You'll want to find a broker who is energetic, flexible and knowledgeable about finance and loans and someone who has your best interests in mind.

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Outer Banks Fixer-Uppers - Are they good or bad?
Distressed properties or fixer-uppers can be found everywhere. These properties are poorly maintained and have a lower market value than other houses in the neighbourhood. It is often recommended that buyers find the least desirable house in the best neighbourhood. You must consider if the expenses needed to bring the value of that property to its full potential market value are within your budget. Most buyers should avoid run-down houses that need major structural repairs. Remember the movie " The Money Pit?" Those properties should be left to the builder or tradesman normally engaged in the repair business.

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Good "returns"?
Remodeling a home improves its livability and enhances curb appeal, making it more salable to potential buyers. Some of the popular improvement projects are updated kitchens and baths, enlarged master bedroom suites, home-office additions and increased amenities in older homes.

The resale market is often difficult because you are competing with new construction. You need to give your home every competitive advantage you can if you are selling an older home.

Home offices are a relatively new remodeling trend. Adding one to a house often recoups 58 percent of the costs, according to a survey found in a report called "Cost vs. Value Report" in Remodeling Magazine.

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Outer Banks Foreclosures... Good or bad?
The incidence of foreclosures is cyclical, based on national and regional economic trends.

Buying directly at a legal foreclosure sale can be risky and dangerous. The process has many disadvantages. There is no financing so purchases require cash. The title needs to be checked before the purchase or the buyer could buy a seriously deficient title. The property's condition is not well known and generally, an interior inspection of the property is not possible before the sale.

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Is it better to buy a new home or a resale?
Sale price increases in either type of housing are strongly tied to location, growth in the local housing market and the state of the overall economy.

Some people feel that buying into a new-home community is a bit riskier than purchasing a house in an established neighbourhood. Future appreciation in value in either case depends upon many of the same factors. Others believe that a new home is less risky because things won't "wear out" and need replacement.

"Existing homes have been appreciating a little more than new homes but every once in awhile they're at the same level and sometimes the new home prices go up a little quicker" according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR).

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Why use a REALTOR?
Be sure to find out who your REALTOR® is representing before you tell them too much. The degree of trust you have in an REALTOR® may depend upon their legal obligation of representation. An agency working with a buyer has three possible choices of representation. The REALTOR® can represent the buyer exclusively, called buyer agency, or represent the seller exclusively, called seller agency, or represent both the buyer and seller in a dual agency situation. Some provinces require REALTORS® to disclose all possible agency relationships before they enter into a residential real estate transaction.

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Outer Banks Real Estate Sales
Outer Banks Real Estate

Outer Banks Real Estate Sales - Rob Petty, Broker Associate
Email: Rob@RobPetty.com | Phone: (252) 256-2830 | Toll-Free: (866) 976-6481 | Office: (252) 255-0482 | E-Fax: (252) 364-3489



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