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Okay, let’s clear something up. Sure, there was a time in pretty recent history that you could only buy a home if you were able to put a 20% down payment or more on that home (sounds like a lot of dough, no?). But today, with government-assisted, first-time home buyer programs and historically low interest rates, buyers of all backgrounds and income levels have plenty of down payment options to choose from (phew!). So instead of worrying where you’re going to find that 20% down payment, let’s take a look at some more inclusive alternatives.

Going the conventional loan route? A 20% home down payment is no longer the norm.

One caveat to putting anything less than 20% down: You’ll need to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) so your lender is covered in          case you miss a mortgage payment.

One of the biggest misconceptions in home buying is the bigger down payment the better. Berenice Perez, Bungalo Mortgage VP of Consumer Experience, says that isn’t always the case. “I always advise buyers to leave themselves a savings cushion whenever possible,” says Perez. “If putting 20% down means you have to liquidate your entire savings, then I would highly encourage you to consider putting less down,” says Perez.

Pre-approved for a conventional mortgage? It’s actually possible to put as little as 3% down. It’s not all or nothing either: With many conventional lenders, you can now opt for a 5%, 10%, or 15% down payment too. At the end of the day, it just depends on what home you want to buy (location, mortgage value) and what makes sense for your own individual financial situation (savings, household income, credit history, debts).

Buying with an FHA Loan? Close on a home with as little as 3.5% down.

Backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), FHA loans are a common financing path for first-time home buyers who don’t have a lot of cold hard cash to pay up front. But there are pros and cons to consider with this option. On the pro side, if you have the right credit score, you can get approved for an FHA loan with a low down payment of 3.5% for a variety of single-family homes and other housing options. On the con side, not all homes qualify for the FHA loan. The program’s rules basically take fixer-uppers off the table, protecting the home buyer from expensive repairs and other surprises. That means if you go this route, you’ll more than likely need to find a home that’s move-in ready (or close to it). You should also know that an FHA loan usually means higher Mortgage Insurance Premiums and with them, higher monthly mortgage payments. Perez says this is because “FHA loans carry two types of mortgage insurance so they can be a costly alternative in the long run.” Ultimately, you just have to decide if the slightly higher monthly payments are worth the low down payment.

Can’t afford a large sum up front? You may be able to buy with no down payment.

Depending on your household income and what locations you’re interested in, one lesser known low- or no- down payment program you might be eligible for is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Loan. Through the USDA loan, buyers who qualify can finance up to 100% of their home purchase. That means, aside from closing costs, you can pay zero dollars down, zip, nada. Don’t want to live next to a pasture? No problem. Many homes in suburban neighborhoods can qualify for the USDA loan too, so you can still live near the city.

Finally, there’s the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan, which helps military families and veterans become homeowners. The VA loan doesn’t require a down payment either, AND eligible buyers don’t have to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance. Thanks for looking out, Uncle Sam.

Point is, you have options for your home down payment. So put your mind at ease.

Even if you don’t have a big chunk of savings to drop on a down payment, you too can become a homeowner. “At the end of the day what matters most is that you feel comfortable with your monthly housing payment,” says Perez. “A good Loan Specialist will start there and work backwards to help you figure out the ideal down payment for your situation.”

Competitive rates, expert guidance.

Find out how easy financing your next home can be. Learn more about Bungalo Mortgage.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Bungalo always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

Just because you’re buying a home for the first time doesn’t mean it has to be confusing and stressful. Stick to our timeline and cruise through the home buying experience without any surprises.

6-12 Months From Move-In Day

Build your wishlist.

Put together a thorough list of your must-have features and conveniences, your nice-to-haves, and your deal-breakers.

  • Which neighborhoods have you narrowed it down to?
  • Do you want a renovated kitchen as fresh as your recipes?
  • Is a backyard with a huge swimming pool a huge win?

Your wishlist is our command.

Bungalo homes are thoughtfully renovated with the clean, modern features you want. We’re talking Quartz countertops, hardwood flooring, smart home advances, and so much more. Learn more about the quality design behind every Bungalo home.

Break down your budget (this one’s a biggie).

If you’re ready to start a serious home search you’ll first want to seriously consider how much money you’re willing to spend, and how much you can save for a down payment before you buy.

  • Consider how much “bacon” you bring home monthly, how much you’re currently saving, and check your credit score
  • Tally up any monthly expenses: your current rent, your car payment, day care costs, student loans, etc.
  • Ask a financial pro how much cash you can comfortably put down at closing (there’s actually a good chance you can get away with a down payment smaller than 20%).

Do a preliminary home search.

Before you dive right in and start looking at homes, do a bit of leg work to understand what’s out there and what’s within your budget.

  • Do some digging online to narrow down your search to specific neighborhoods, school districts, etc.
  • Browse listings to get an idea of the average purchase price and what features come at a cost premium (to calculate exact cost per square foot, divide the home’s price by # of square feet)
  • Set up saved searches on property listing websites to get automatic updates on homes you might like
  • Visit a few open houses to get a better idea of what you want without the pressure to buy

Hire a real estate agent.

Pro Tip: If you’re currently renting, try to time your home purchase around the same time your lease is up. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting out of your contract.

If you decide you want a realtor to help guide you through the steps of buying a home, now’s the time to find one. Tips for finding a great realtor:

  • Ask a friend to recommend an agent they trust
  • Interview multiple realtors to get a sense of who you’ll work well with and who will have your best interest at heart
  • Read online reviews to make sure your front runners have good track records
  • See which realtors have represented recent sales in the area you’re interested in — a little inside-the-neighborhood scoop never hurt!

3-6 Months From Move-In Day

Get your financial documents together.

Before you start to consider mortgage or home financing options, we recommend you get all your “docs” in a row so the whole financing process is as seamless as possible. Some documents you might need:

  • Proof of income like pay stubs or W-2s
  • Tax return copies from recent years
  • Recent bank statements showing current balances for all your accounts

Find a mortgage lender and get pre-approved early.

Do some research to find a lender who will help you get the most home for your money. Then, make your whole financing process easier by getting pre-approved early.

  • Compare interest rates and cost incentives for multiple lenders
  • Once you’ve narrowed lenders down, ask about their pre-approval process (a more thorough review of your financial info now means fewer surprises later)
  • Apply for a pre-approval asap so your mortgage will be ready when you are

It’s never too early to start thinking about your mortgage.

Securing a mortgage today will make life so much easier tomorrow. Save yourself time, headaches, and money with Bungalo Mortgage.

Start home shopping and touring (officially).

With a mortgage pre-approval in hand and your search narrowed down, it’s time to officially start looking at homes.

1-2 Months From Move-In Day

Submit an offer.

Find “the one”? Nice, you’re nearing the finish line. But before you get there, follow these steps to own the offer process.

  • See what other, similar homes are selling for in the area
  • Work with your realtor to put together a competitive offer
  • Typically, it’s best to leave some wiggle room in your budget in case there are other offers on the table and you need to negotiate (or in case you need to make a few updates after move-in)

Get a home appraisal and inspection.

Once your offer has been accepted, getting the home inspected and appraised can confirm the home’s value (to you and your lender) and reveal any red flags before you put pen to paper.

  • A home inspection evaluates the condition of the home to uncover any issues with the house, big or small
  • Based on similar home sales in the area, a home appraisal provides an expert value estimate that determines if you’re paying the right price
  • Appraisal and inspection results can help you negotiate for a lower purchase price or for necessary repairs before you close

Close in on closing day.

You’re almost there, promise. Once you’ve done a final walk-through of the home and contacted your lender to make sure your financing is good to go, you’re ready for closing day.

  • To take care of your down payment and closing costs, either wire funds before closing or bring a cashier’s check for the total amount due on the big day
  • Don’t forget: You’ll need a valid photo ID too!
  • The process will probably take a couple hours — just remember to read all the paperwork carefully, and you’ll close with confidence

Move-In Day

Congrats, you’re now a homeowner. All that’s left to do is load up the moving truck, pay for your friends’ help with pizza, and settle in. Buying your first home doesn’t seem so complicated anymore, does it?

Home buying the way it should be.

Find and tour freshly renovated homes, get connected to fast and stress-free financing, and make an online offer, all through Bungalo. Browse homes.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Bungalo always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

How a young Tampa family avoided the usual home buying struggles and found the perfect fit.

Samantha and Corey L.

Shortly after bringing their daughter Nora into the world, Tampa area homeowners Samantha (Sam) and Corey quickly realized that their starter home wasn’t going to cut it for this next big stage in life. With a newborn needing all of their spare attention and increasingly hectic work schedules, they were tired of all the time-consuming maintenance projects that came with their old home.“We had so many things to do to the old house. And with having a new baby, the time wasn’t there,” says Sam. Instead, they wanted a home that was project-free, with plenty of space to raise Nora, play with their goldendoodle, Marcona, and host visiting friends and Grandparents. Finding the right, move-in ready home was only half the battle, though. With so little time on their hands, Sam and Corey also needed a way to buy their next home while barely lifting a finger.

“We had so many things to do to the old house. And with having a new baby, the time wasn’t there.”

Finding an (actually) move-in ready home.

At first, Sam and Corey’s home search was fairly casual. For about a year after Nora was born, the couple looked at homes for sale online and visited a few in person. Their initial home search, however, didn’t give Sam and Corey much confidence. “We didn’t see the value out there. We saw some nice houses that were overpriced, and we also saw houses where we had to do work. We were trying to avoid that situation,” says Corey. The two eventually started working with a realtor, finally found a home they wanted, and made an offer. Unfortunately, there was a contingency in the contract that required Sam and Corey to sell their old house by a certain date in order to officially buy the new home. This was just one more hurdle for the new parents — and almost impossible within the contract’s timeframe. So the offer was denied, and Sam and Corey were back at square one. They had pretty much decided to stay put when Sam found a newly renovated home online that checked all their boxes. They figured, why not check it out?

A home tour and a turning point.

Sam first visited the Bungalo home on her own (with baby Nora along for the ride). She was immediately impressed by the home’s design. “It was completely redone the way we would want it redone, which you don’t find in new construction,” says Sam. Featuring bright white cabinets, quartz countertops, and sleek chrome finishes, the renovated Bungalo kitchen was similar to their own, which they had recently updated to fit their tastes. Corey joined Sam on a second tour and was equally blown away, especially by the new wood flooring, since their old home’s floors “always felt old and dirty,” according to Corey. Both liked that the home was move-in ready, but still had character, which they hadn’t found in new build homes.

“It was completely redone the way we would want it redone, which you don’t find in new construction.”

Taking advantage of our convenient self-tours, Sam loved the fact that she could visit on her own schedule without an appointment. “We saw the Bungalo house and it was so easy to come check it out, so we came back probably like 20 times,” says Sam. “I’m walking around imagining my stuff in different places… it gave me more assurance that this was the one.” Sam would even feed baby Nora her snack on the patio — almost as if they were already home.

Tour any Bungalo home on your schedule, any time 8am-8pm, 7 days a week. Unlock home access.

Securing a stress-free mortgage.

After their first tour, Sam and Corey got ready to make an offer (before someone else could jump on the home they wanted). At this point, they hadn’t talked with a mortgage lender yet so financing was still a big item on their home buying checklist. When the couple found out they could apply for a mortgage pre-approval with our affiliate company, Bungalo Mortgage, they jumped on the opportunity, knowing it would make the purchase faster and easier than if they used another lender. “I would definitely recommend Bungalo Mortgage to a friend,” says Sam. “The people we worked with were very transparent and trustworthy, and we felt like they had our backs throughout the process.” Another perk that sold them on Bungalo Mortgage? The cost savings. Since they would be buying a Bungalo home, Sam and Corey were eligible for $1000 off of their closing costs, and an additional $1000 by using the preferred title company. That $2000 savings was more than enough to seal the deal. Guided by an expert Bungalo Mortgage Loan Specialist, Sam and Corey were pre-approved for a mortgage within minutes of submitting the right documents, and ready to buy their Bungalo home.

Owning every step, all the way to Closing Day.

From there, Sam and Corey brought in a realtor to help them get to the finish line. They thought the price was more than fair for the high quality of the home. And they especially liked the fact that Bungalo’s no-haggle price point meant they wouldn’t have to get involved in bidding wars, which was another time-saver for everyone. Bungalo’s easy online process was a huge win for Corey too. “I loved it. It was just extremely easy,” says Corey. “It almost felt as if I didn’t have to invest that much time and knowledge into how this all works, which was really nice.” Sam and Corey submitted an offer online and Bungalo accepted it the next day. With every step of the process broken down into manageable steps, Sam and Corey breezed through Closing Day stress-free. Now move-in day was just around the corner.

No more surprises, way more free time.

Corey was tired of spending weekends (and weeknights!) on house projects. So the fact that the couple’s Bungalo home was renovated and move-in ready was a game changer. “I don’t have to repair it all the time. It’s just nice to relax in our house,” says Corey. Even after moving into their home, though, Bungalo still had their backs. Shortly after they moved in and started getting settled, Sam and Corey took advantage of the 30-Day Bungalo Quality of Craftsmanship Guarantee™ that was included with their Bungalo home.

“I don’t have to repair it all the time. It’s just nice to relax in our house.”

Like with any house, a few small things came up here and there (for example: the shower head would run a little bit when they turned the bath on). No biggie. All Sam had to do was reach out to Bungalo. Local Field Coordinator, Ryan, was in contact in minutes. “I reached out to [Ryan] at 9pm and he responded at 9:02pm,” says Sam. After a few thorough fixes, Sam and Corey were more at ease than ever and ready for whatever comes next.

Looking back and moving forward.

Now, reflecting on their experience with Bungalo, the young family plans to never go back to the old ways of home buying. “The process was incredible. I still tell people about it,” says Sam. “What you guys are doing is very innovative. I’d definitely recommend a Bungalo home” says Corey. “Everybody’s eventually going to buy a house, so if you give somebody an opportunity to do something a lot simpler and easier… I think that’s pretty cool.”

Want to start your own Bungalo home buyer story? Easy.

Find and tour freshly renovated homes, get connected to fast and stress-free financing, and make an online offer, all through Bungalo. Browse homes.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Bungalo always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

*Same day pre-approval is contingent upon receipt of your required documents.

Anytime you invest in a big ticket item — a flat screen TV, power tools, jewelry — you tend to hang on to your receipt, right? You know, just in case you need to show proof of purchase later on. So it makes sense that when you buy a home, you’d also want a receipt of sorts—a document that shows you are the rightful owner of your dream home and that all debts have been paid. In the real estate world, this proof of purchase is known as a title, and when you buy a home you “take the title” in the form of a deed that transfers ownership to you.

Getting the “receipt” to your home is an exciting moment. You not only become the title holder (proof that the home is really yours!), but you also add a new link to the chain of the title (a property’s historical ownership timeline), cementing your place in history as a property owner. The title transfer process is simple, but as one of the last steps in the process, it’s normal to feel intimidated (especially if you’re a first-time home buyer). So we’ll break it down for you.

Here’s what the title transfer process looks like from start to finish:

Step One: Secure Insurance From Your Title Company

Let’s set the scene. You’ve secured a mortgage, the offer on your dream home is accepted, and you now have 72 hours to put down your earnest money to make it official. You take some time to celebrate this milestone and then contact your lender to get the closing process started. Your lender is likely one of the first people who will mention the need for title insurance.

The reason? Title insurance—issued by a title company—means both you and your lender can rest easy knowing that the seller has the right to transfer the property to you as advertised (i.e. when all is said and done, you will walk away with the receipt you need to show proof of purchase). A title company will look for things that aren’t obvious to the untrained eye–like outstanding mortgages on the property (encumbrances) or unsanctioned changes to the property line—which, although rare, can jeopardize your ownership if not resolved before closing. While this might sound like yet another hurdle standing between you and your dream home,“the reality is, in most instances, the title to the property you are purchasing has been checked and insured multiple times before you,” says Mark B. Huntley, co-founder of credit building company Credit Knocks.

Securing a title company is pretty straightforward: Your lender or real estate agent can give you a recommendation for a reputable, local company when you secure your home loan. You can also ask family or friends in the area if they have a title company they like. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. You’re in the driver’s seat!

Save up to $2000 with Bungalo Mortgage.

Save $1,000 off closing costs when you finance a Bungalo home with Bungalo Mortgage. Plus, save an extra $1,000 when you use the preferred title company. Learn more.

Step Two: Let Your Title Company Work For You

Once hired, your title company can move forward without much additional input (also read: time and energy) from you. Depending on the state you are in, either the title company or the seller’s broker will act as an escrow agent. They will hold your earnest deposit on the house until closing or release the money to the appropriate party if the deal doesn’t end up closing. The title company will also make sure all other obligations of the sale (like repairs) are met.

While you’re scheduling your home inspection and getting the property appraised, the title company will be researching the history of the property to find out if it has any unpaid taxes, open second mortgages, Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) loans or Housing Owner Association (HOA) fees. This is also called the Abstract of Title. Next,  your title company will use this information to issue the title commitment (basically a promise to issue a title insurance policy for the property after closing).

If no issues come up, you can expect your title company to issue a title opinion letter, which describes the state of the property’s title, within thirty days. If your title company does find any issues exist—also referred to as “clouds on the title”—they’ll work with the seller to obtain the needed information or disburse the needed payments to settle any debts on the house by closing.

“The goal of the title company is to ensure that the title is free and clear,” adds real estate agent Rae Dolan.

Step Three: The Finish Line (For Real This Time)

Once it’s determined there are no issues with the title and all other instructions for closing have been carried out, the escrow officer will coordinate the funding of the transaction, the title will transfer and the home will now be in your name. At closing, you’ll sign and acknowledge that you have received your “receipt”.

Congrats, you are now officially—and legally—a homeowner!

Home buying the way it should be.

Find and tour freshly renovated homes, get connected to fast and stress-free financing, and make an online offer, all through Bungalo. Browse homes.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Bungalo always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

Our own Greg Stewart sits down with industry executive Russ Cofano on the current state of home buying, and making it better.

Let’s be real. It’s 2019, and thanks to technology, it’s now fast and easy to do just about everything in our lives — TV and music streaming, furniture shopping, even doctors appointments. But the process of buying a home is still so confusing, overwhelming, and stressful. Frankly, we’re over the old ways of home buying. And that’s why at Bungalo, we’ve made it our mission to streamline every step of the  home buying process, and deliver quality move-in ready homes without the hassle.

In today’s housing industry, we’ve seen the iBuyer (a company that uses technology to put an offer on your home), but what about the iSeller? What does this look like? Bungalo COO Greg Stewart sat down with Russ Cofano for his new podcast, “Gradually…then Suddenly!,” where they discussed how  Bungalo is making big strides in re-imagining how we buy homes. Check out the podcast above and listen to Cofano’s latest episode, “The Billion Dollar iSeller That Nobody Knows (Yet),” to learn more.

Bungalo’s online platform guides you through every step of the home buying process, from home search, to easy home tours, all the way to Closing Day. Learn how it works


Buying a house is one of the biggest leaps you’ll take in your lifetime. And financially, that leap can feel giant. But with the large sum comes a home: A place that’s all yours, a place where your hopes and dreams are finally realized, and a sense of ease no price tag can take away.

Mortgage made easy with Bungalo Mortgage

Most people don’t make the purchase without some help, either. And in most cases that help comes in the form of a mortgage loan. Mortgages are often synonymous with some headaches, though: the terms can be confusing, rates fluctuate, and some lenders even offer low interest rates to get you in the door, but make up the difference with higher fees after the fact. Kind of feels rigged, right?

At Bungalo, we want to be the guiding light along your home buying journey. That means we’re with you every step of the way, including through the mortgage process. With Bungalo Mortgage, our affiliated Mortgage company, you can secure a home loan with greater speed and ease than you ever dreamed. No more sweaty palms when signing a check, or bills that add unexplained service charges after the fact. Bungalo Mortgage embraces transparency to get you the best loan option for your budget, on your terms, in a down-to-earth language you can understand.

Ok, so how does it work? Why should I get my home loan with Bungalo Mortgage?

Bungalo Mortgage offers competitive rates and that means more dream home for your dollar. You’ll have dedicated loan specialists working with you through a concierge service to ensure you get the best possible rate and loan option for your budget.

Sounds amazing. But how is Bungalo Mortgage different from other lenders?

You shouldn’t have to wait weeks to get pre-approved. Bungalo Mortgage offers same day pre-approval* (7 days a week—even on the weekend!) so you can be ready to buy early.

Plus, this streamlined mortgage process allows you to easily upload documents and complete a digital application within minutes. With Bungalo Mortgage, you can fill out your loan application and upload all necessary documents digitally—avoiding countless trips to the bank.

Thank you for making this such a smooth process. You’ve been so helpful every step of the way — Crystal and Joe H., Tampa

Awesome, but this is a big purchase. I think I’d prefer to work with a person.

No problem! Throughout the process you’ll have one dedicated loan specialist at your side walking you through your options, breaking down your mortgage payment, and answering any questions that might come up

Get same day pre-approval

I’m not buying a Bungalo home. Can I still use Bungalo Mortgage?

You bet. Whatever home you choose to buy, Bungalo Mortgage helps you get there with fast and stress-free financing.

I am buying a Bungalo home! What are some perks I can expect when I use Bungalo Mortgage?

Once you’re ready to buy a Bungalo home, a Bungalo Mortgage Loan Specialist will coordinate with your agent, the listing agent, the title company,  and everyone else involved to simplify the offer and closing process. It’s all under one roof! When you finance your Bungalo home with Bungalo Mortgage, you’ll save $1,000 off of closing costs. Plus, save an extra $1,000 when you use their preferred title company. Cha-ching!

Get pre-approved as soon as today.

Get a same day pre-approval with Bungalo Mortgage, which is valid for 90 days. Learn more.

 

This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Bungalo always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

*Same day pre-approval is contingent upon receipt of your required documents.

Whether you’re not sure exactly how much home you can afford, where in your city you want to live, or what it means to “make an offer,” it’s understandable to feel a bit overwhelmed. Here at Bungalo, we break down the buying process so you feel confident and prepared to take on whatever the real estate market brings your way.

One way to quell some home buying nerves is to learn more about your specific market—because let’s face it: every real estate market has its own ups and downs. So far, we’ve tackled the Dallas-Fort Worth, Tampa, and Nashville markets, so let’s learn more about the Charlotte, North Carolina real estate scene.

Over the last decade, Charlotte has had a lightning surge of growth, with an increase of 888,000 people—a growth rate of nearly 60 percent. This large increase in population is mostly due to a booming Charlotte economy thanks to its presence as a major player in the finance world. And unlike other traditional finance-heavy cities like New York or San Francisco, the cost of living is still relatively low. Besides a strong economy, Charlotte offers home buyers unique architecture, great weather, and a bounty of  crave-worthy cultural attractions (including a burgeoning food scene, with some of the country’s top chefs, mixologists, and bakers flocking to the Queen City).

Thinking about making a move to the Charlotte area? Here’s what you’ll need to know as you begin your search.

North Carolina | Bungalo

1. Workplace Proximity is Worth Its Weight in Gold in Charlotte

If you live in Charlotte, its inevitable you’ll be driving most places, so ensuring that your house is located a decent distance from your workplace is well advised as you hunt for your new home.

“I always tell people to drive on weekdays to look at property or at least before you make the offer, make the commute during a normal 9 to 5 and not a Saturday or Sunday showing,” says Matt Stone, a Charlotte realtor. “The traffic can be quite heavy—we call it ‘Atlanta light.’”

That house you love that’s located about 30 minutes away (minus traffic) may check off all your boxes, but do you really want to spend that time in bumper-to-bumper traffic? It’s important to weigh those pros and cons as you go through the home buying process in Charlotte.  

Charlotte Home Interior | Bungalo

2. If You See It and You Like It, Make an Offer!

Even though Charlotte is growing—and fast—Charlotte-based realtor Genevieve Williams says multiple offer situations on are the decline, giving you some breathing room to make an offer with confidence.

Houses still get snapped up quickly in the Charlotte area, though. With an average time on market around 36 days.

In other words, it’s good to tour multiple homes to take a look at the square footage, do comparisons, or take a look at the neighborhoods. But when you find a home you love in Charlotte, you should make an offer quickly.

Move on from endless negotiating, and move in with Bungalo.

Bungalo offers no-haggle pricing. That means the listing price is the price you pay. Browse our homes now.

3. Be on the Hunt for “Coming Soon” Listings

Because Charlotte is growing so rapidly, inventory is getting tight. But this doesn’t mean you can’t find your dream home in the charming city, it just means that scouring the internet for current listings in hopes of finding “the one” might have to be your back-up plan.

So what’s the secret to finding a move-in ready home within your budget before everyone else? Search for “coming soon” listings. At Bungalo, we preview  all of our “coming soon” listings 30 days before they hit the market to give you a clear idea of the inventory coming your way. Every one of our “coming soon” listing gives you an idea of neighborhood, square footage, and bed and bath count. We’ll even alert you when it hits the market and you can set up a tour on your time (before the masses)!

Another good thing about the tight market? Multiple offer situations are on the decline in the city, says Williams. This means that if a house is in your price range and you are prepared with a pre-approval, down payment, and earnest money, you’re likely to get a deal off and running without much competition from other potential buyers.

Find homes here before anyone else.

Find freshly renovated homes on Bungalo 7 days before they’re listed anywhere else. Browse exclusive listings.

4. Craftsman Homes Are Abundant In Town and Traditional Style Homes Rule the Suburbs

A good way to describe the architectural style in Charlotte is traditional—but with a little bit of variety.

In the in-town market, you’ll see historic craftsman bungalows with all of their hallmarks like built-ins and classic front porches built for rocking chairs and lemonade. And with some of the newer construction in the city, you’ll also start to see more of the modern farmhouse look (think Joanna Gaines-style shiplap and sliding barn doors). Then there’s the suburbs, where you’ll see more of the traditional Colonial charmers with red or pink and white brick.

“Charlotte’s fairly traditional because it’s a Southern banking town, so outside of the craftsman, you’re going to see a traditional home type,” Williams says.

Just like its architecture, Charlotte’s still got a lot of traditional southern charm with just the right amount of modern style. All of the fixings to make you feel right at home.

Ready to start shopping for your next home?

Find and tour only freshly renovated homes on Bungalo. Browse homes.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Bungalo always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

Here at Bungalo we want to ease home buying nerves and help you truly enjoy the process—from search to close. One way we can help? We’ll give you an in-depth look into the real estate markets we serve.

We’ve already covered Dallas-Fort Worth and Tampa. Now we’re moving onto Music City.

For the past few years, Nashville has routinely ranked in the top real estate markets in the country, and the Census Bureau reported that the entire Nashville metro area grew by 106 people each day between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. In other words, everyone and their music-loving dog wants to move to this Tennessee hotspot.

It’s easy to see why: Nashvillians enjoy great weather for most of the year and are living in the fourth strongest economy in America. Beyond being known for its country music roots, Nashville has a diverse community, a great culinary scene and plenty of walkable neighborhoods (like Five Points and Belmont) that have their own eclectic vibes.

Thinking about making a move to Nashville? We know you’ll feel right at home! To help you prepare for the Nashville market, here are a few things you’ll want to know as you start your search:

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1. Homes Sell Lightning Fast

Because Nashville has seen a surge of growth and a strong economy in recent years, houses tend to get snapped up pretty fast here. The average days on market for Nashville was just 37 at the end of 2018 (the national average is 64).

What does this mean? If you’re looking at houses and you see something you like, you better move quickly, and one way to do that is with a pre-approval (with Bungalo Mortgage, a Bungalo affiliated company, it’s possible to get an underwritten pre-approval letter in less than 48 hours).

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“If you’re looking under the $500,000 range and you find a house that checks all of your boxes, you need to act immediately in order to capture offer position,” says Angela Wright, a Nashville real estate broker.

At the same time, don’t jump into a real estate transaction that you don’t feel comfortable making. You don’t want to get into a situation where you’re competing against several other buyers when you’re not even that crazy about the house in the first place. Take your time going through each house, be sure to ask questions, and review all relevant documents about the house’s history to set your mind at ease.

2. You Need to be Prepared When Making an Offer

Not only do you need to act quickly when making an offer in the Nashville market, you also have to be prepared when you do so.

A  pre-approval letter from your lender is a must-have before you make an offer on a home in Nashville. This letter signifies that you qualify for a loan up to a certain amount and that your credit, employment and income have all been verified. Without that letter, a seller may not even look twice at your offer—especially if they’ve priced it to sell, advises Wright.

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In addition to a pre-approval letter, you should also be in good communication with your lender throughout the process and have the number of an inspector handy so that you can move quickly once a seller accepts your offer. Essentially anything you can do to move it along is best.

3. Nashville Has a Mix of Architecture but “Tall and Skinnies” are Popping Up Everywhere

If you had to describe the architecture of Nashville homes in one word it would be eclectic.

“It’s a little bit all over the board,” says Wright. “West Nashville has a lot of the mid-century modern ranches with larger yards, and then when you get into the 12 South and Belmont neighborhoods, you see more of the Craftsman style bungalows. And East Nashville has everything from the ornate Victorians that have been kept beautifully to what the local market calls ‘tall and skinnies.’”

“Tall and skinnies” are a relatively new phenomenon in the Nashville real estate scene, where a demolished old building is replaced with two narrow homes on its old lot. Builders and developers have been able to do this because of a zoning policy called a “horizontal property regime,” where single lots are legally divided into two. Because these tall and skinnies are built on one lot, they can often be attached—and if detached, you are in very close proximity to your neighbor.

The bottom line? If you’re searching for a single-family home in Nashville, be aware of tall and skinnies (often labeled HPR-attached and HPR-detached). While they’re often found in prime locations, the layout could also mean you’re sharing a wall, driveway or even a backyard with your neighbor.

4. Watch Out for Radon During an Inspection

Because the city of Nashville is built on a limestone foundation, some houses can have issues with radon (a colorless and odorless gas). Testing for radon is a pretty standard feature of a home inspection, but always be sure to ask your inspector if this is something extra that needs to be added on.

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And although it’s not expensive to fix, you may have to fork out the money to clear out the radon yourself if it’s found in your home, says Wright.

“I’ve seen scenarios where properties have tested positive for radon and sellers just won’t even concede to making that repair,” she says.

At the end of the day, Nashville is still a seller’s market. If radon does come up in your inspection, you can expect to spend about $800 to mitigate the problem.

5. Move-in Ready Homes are Available—But Hard to Come By

Despite the popularity of home renovation shows, a total home gut can be intimidating, not to mention adding major dollars and cents to your bottom line. Move-in ready homes, on the other hand, remove the headaches of a rehab and get you feeling at home from day one.

Although you can find move-in ready homes in the Nashville market, they tend to move quickly and come at a higher price, local agents say.

“Move-in ready homes are available in the Nashville market, but if it’s cute and move-in ready, you will definitely have to pay a premium,” says Lance Fossick, a Nashville broker. “Just like any other market in the country, Nashville has a wide variety of homes to offer, but because we have so many people moving to Nashville on a daily basis, there is still an inventory problem.”

In other words, move-in ready at a fair price isn’t always readily available in Nashville. And that’s why Bungalo is here! We’re working to bring you a move-in ready leg up with our exclusive and “coming soon” listings at a no-haggle price. Move up and move in with Bungalo, and enjoy all that (some would argue) the music capital of the country has to offer without any home buying hassles.

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This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Bungalo always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

Along the traditional home-buying journey, there are a lot of hurdles between you and your dream home. Hurdle 1? Inventory. According to reports, housing inventory in 2018 was lower than 2017 across the U.S. And while some predict inventory will rise in 2019, the growth is focused on homes with out-of-reach listing prices.

At Bungalo, we make simple home buying not only possible, but a total delight—and that starts with availability. By offering exclusive listings and transparent information about our “coming soon” properties, Bungalo’s exclusive listings are on our site for an entire week before they’re  listed on other platforms like MLS (Multiple Listing Service), Zillow or Realtor.com. Plus, Bungalo has a number of “coming soon” listings available to browse — complete with all the information you need (number of beds and baths, square footage, address) so you can spot your dream home before it comes to the market.

These advantages are crucial in a tight market with many buyers vying for a certain location or price point. Thanks to Bungalo, you’ll have a leg up on other home buyers from the start.

Exclusive Homes | Bungalo

Exclusive Listings Help You Find Your Dream Home Before Someone Else Does

Nobody likes a packed open house — except for the seller, of course! Many buyers spend their weekends crammed in homes (most buyers look at somewhere between 10 and 50 properties on their search), navigating between other buyers and furniture, only to leave each house feeling defeated by the prospect of being outbid.

Bungalo’s exclusive listings remove the anxiety from the home tour. In order to get a view of our inventory, all you have to do is register on our platform. From there, we’ll send you an alert every time an exclusive hits the market you’re interested in. For a full week, you can schedule an easy self-tour ahead of other buyers who aren’t registered on Bungalohomes.com. This means room to tour homes at your pace, to take a deep breath and really picture yourself in your soon-to-be home.

With our exclusive listings, you’ll also have a headstart on the most competitive neighborhoods in your desired city, according to Chase T. Moore, Bungalo’s market lead in Tampa.

“There are a lot of highly desirable neighborhoods that people want to get into and nothing much is listed,” Moore says. “We help you find an available home in the area you are looking—before most everyone else.”

Tour on your time | Bungalo

“Coming Soon” Listings Give You Back Time and Peace of Mind

Moving into in-demand neighborhoods faster isn’t just a perk of exclusives. Bungalo’s “coming soon” offering helps give you that advantage, too—and more.

Sign up on our digital platform, save any “coming soon” listing that interests you, and we’ll notify you when these homes hit the market. And don’t worry, our “coming soon” listings aren’t without the must-have details: address, square footage, and bed and bath count are viewable.

Here’s yet another benefit to “coming soon”: While you wait for these homes to become available to tour, you have time to get your financials in order so you can tour and make an offer even before the home moves to the MLS or another home search platform. Plus, Bungalo’s no-haggle pricing means that the first qualified person to make an offer at the asking price is the first offer reviewed and considered —there are no bidding wars.

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Stress-Free, Starting with the Search

Your dream home doesn’t have to be a needle in a haystack. And it doesn’t have to take years to find. With Bungalo, we want you to realize your dream as quickly and as seamlessly as possible—providing you with a freshly renovated, move-in ready home without the headaches.

A 30-day (or even one week) head start in a competitive market makes all the difference. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by crowded open houses and diminishing inventory, Bungalo’s here to help. With our one-of-a-kind exclusive and “coming soon” offerings, the process is painless from day one.

Find homes here before anyone else.

Find freshly renovated homes on Bungalo 7 days before they’re listed anywhere else. Browse exclusive listings.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Bungalo always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

*Same day pre-approval is contingent upon receipt of your required documents.

Avoid the pressures of date night out with these cozy nights in.

When your days are jam-packed with work stresses, social obligations, and life responsibilities, it’s common to get locked in to a hectic routine and put romance on the back burner. Pretty soon date night becomes a once-in-a-blue-moon luxury and yet another item on your to-do list.

Thankfully, creating a memorable experience with the one you love doesn’t have to be such a hassle. In fact, we’d argue you can get more out of date night more often by simply staying home. Look to these easy at-home date nights and make time for your relationship without ever leaving the neighborhood.

1. Try a new recipe as a team

Instead of waiting for a table at an expensive restaurant, find some challenging recipes and turn your home kitchen into a farm-to-table restaurant. Go shopping together at your local market, prep a full menu of gourmet courses with wine pairings, and feast as you go. Amateur cooks and seasoned home chefs alike will enjoy a sense of pride in making something as a team. And remember: it’s not about the end result. It’s about who you got there with.

2. Have a vinyl listening party

Doing date night at home means you curate the playlist. And if music is a shared passion between you and your significant other, consider curating not just a playlist, but an entire evening around the songs you love. Break out the sweat pants, cuddle up by the fire, and take turns dropping the needle on your favorite albums. Next, all you have to do is relax, listen, and just be in the moment together. We can’t think of a better reason to free that limited edition vinyl from its plastic sleeve.

3. Set up a private wine or beer tasting

If you and your significant other love visiting breweries and wineries on your downtime, why not host a private tasting under your own roof? Whether your palates prefer IPAs or pinot noirs, at home you can set a tasting menu you both will savor. We’d recommend taking some tasting notes and comparing flavor profiles as a couple. That way you’ll remember what you like later on. Need extra entertainment? Pair the tasting with a few episodes of that show you’ve been meaning to try!

4. Host a game night double date

Whatever stage you’re at in your relationship, game night never gets old. Invite another couple over for some friendly competition and turn an average night inside into a lively double date. Gather around the dining room table to play a classic (like LIFE or Sorry!) or get your Catan on as a group. You can also set up camp around the TV for interactive trivia or virtual bowling. As long as no one flips the Monopoly board, this timeless date night might earn itself a regular slot on your calendar.

5. Go for a neighborhood stroll

At the end of a long day, most of us just want to melt into the couch and chill. But you can make a lot of that little time together by taking nightly walks around the neighborhood. Getting away from the screens for a stroll in the fresh air will give you a chance to really talk about each other’s days (and let the dog get some energy out before bed!). Sure, it’s no big night out on the town. But when it comes to date night, sometimes less… is amoré.

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This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Bungalo always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.