If you’re thinking about buying a home where you can enjoy the sun, sand and sea, whether it’s your first home or your tenth, you’ll most likely follow a specific process. Check out these nine steps to buying a house in the Outer Banks – they’ll help you prepare for the process so you can make an offer on your dream home as soon as you find it.

These are the 9 steps to buying a house in the Outer Banks:

  • Get mortgage preapproval
  • Find a REALTOR
  • Make a list of must-haves, wants and must-not-haves
  • Start house-hunting (and be ready to edit your lists)
  • Tour homes you like
  • Make an offer
  • Get a home inspection
  • Have the home appraised
  • Close the deal

Here’s a closer look at each:

1. Get mortgage preapproval

mortgage pre-approval

Before you start house-hunting, take steps to become preapproved for a mortgage. That way, you’ll know exactly how much you can afford – and which homes fit within your budget, so you know where to look when it’s time.

For mortgage preapproval, a lender will need to check your credit. You’ll need to provide financial documents, such as:

  • Tax returns
  • W-2s
  • Check stubs
  • Bank account statements
  • Other documents that prove your income

The lender will let you know how much you can borrow, provided nothing major changes in your financial circumstances between the time you apply and the time you close on your new home in Outer Banks.

2. Find a REALTOR®

You’ll want to work with an OBX REALTOR who knows the area and the market. As a buyer, all you need to do is let your real estate agent know what you’re looking for – and he or she will start searching. When you find a property you like, you can call your agent and set up a tour. There’s still a little more to the home-buying process than that, though.

3. Make a list of must-haves, wants and must-not-haves

9 Steps to Buying a House in the Outer Banks - Make a List of Must-Haves

Everybody has a dream home, but when you’re house-hunting, you have to be realistic. Make lists for:

  • The features you cannot live without (such as 3 bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a garage, tile floors throughout, or solar panels)
  • The features you want, but that you’d be okay without
  • The features you couldn’t live with, even if you tried (such as a carpeted bathroom or neighbors you can hear)

These lists will evolve as you house-hunt, but it’ll come naturally – you’ll see in Step 5. Remember, too, that these seven steps to buying a house sometimes overlap each other.

4. Start house-hunting (and be ready to edit your lists)

Most people start searching for homes they like online. (You can see all OBX homes for sale here.) Zero in on your estimated price range to see what’s available. If you have a specific town in mind, start looking there – but be willing to branch out if necessary.

Pro tip: Look at homes that cost less than what you can afford, too. You might be surprised at what you’ll find!

This is one of the most fun steps to buying a house in the Outer Banks. You get to see a wide variety of homes and explore the area a bit.

5. Tour homes you like

9 Steps to Buying a House in the Outer Banks - Tour Homes You Like

Let your REALTOR know which homes you’d like to tour. He or she can set up times that work with your schedule.

When you start seeing homes in person, you might find that your three lists – the “Must-Have,” “Want,” and “Must-Not-Have” lists – might evolve a little. Many buyers find that some homes have features that make up for others. Additionally, it’s worth remembering that when you find a home you love, cosmetic issues are easy to correct.

6. Make an offer

You found your dream house! Your REALTOR will talk to you about making an appropriate offer. Remember: Too low and you risk offending the seller (and having your offer rejected outright); too high and you’re giving up money that you could’ve saved.

When you find your dream home, you don’t want to wait too long to make an offer. If you love it, there’s a good chance that someone else does, too. You’ll most likely want to act quickly – otherwise, you risk someone else buying it right out from under you.

7. Get a home inspection

9 Steps to Buying a House in the Outer Banks - Home Inspection

If the seller accepts your offer, you’ll want to hire a home inspector to make sure the home is as-advertised.

8. Have the home appraised

Your lender, if you’re taking out a mortgage, will also require a home appraisal. The appraisal lets the lender know that it’s not giving you more money than necessary to buy the home. Your lender will charge you for the appraisal, but you don’t get to pick the appraiser.

If you’re not borrowing money to buy, you don’t need the home appraised.

9. Close the deal

9 Steps to Buying a House in the Outer Banks - Close the Deal

Your REALTOR will walk you through the last of the nine steps to buying a home in the Outer Banks: closing the deal. You, your lender and the seller will all agree to a closing date. On that day, you’ll do a final walk-through on the home to ensure the seller made all the necessary repairs and that everything looks good – and then you’ll meet the seller, the seller’s agent, a representative for the mortgage company and possibly an attorney to sign the paperwork that makes you a proud owner of Outer Banks real estate.

Are You Ready to Start the 9 Steps to Buying a House in the Outer Banks?

When you’re ready, call us at 252-491-3333 or Contact Us online. We can show you any home for sale in Outer Banks, and we’ll be glad to welcome you to our community.

You can get instant access to all our listings here:

Avon homes for sale

Buxton homes for sale

Corolla homes for sale

Duck homes for sale

Southern Shores homes for sale

Kitty Hawk homes for sale

Frisco homes for sale

Hatteras homes for sale

Kill Devil Hills homes for sale

Nags Head homes for sale

Rodanthe homes for sale

Waves homes for sale

Manteo homes for sale 

Salvo homes for sale