After years and years of renting, you feel that you are finally ready to buy your first house in North Carolina. Have you studied up on what to look out for as a first-time homebuyer?

U.S. News & World Report offers guidance on factors to make yourself aware of. Keep these tips in mind while searching for your dream home and closing on your first buy.

Educate yourself on recent scams

Before you respond to an email from a lender regarding a wire transfer for a down payment or anything similar, double-check to ensure that it is not a scam. Criminals can hack into title companies and steal your contact information, making it easy for them to reach out to you and pose as a lender in an attempt to steal your down payment. Ask your real estate agent and real estate legal professionals about scams that you should know about.

Do not forget closing costs

While budgeting for your monthly mortgage, home upgrades and moving costs, account for closing costs. A variety of fees can make you feel as if you need to take out a small loan to keep the buying process moving on your end. Ask your mortgage lender how much you should budget for closing.

Inspect the sewer line

Properties that have old trees on the ground could have roots infiltrating the sewer line. If that happens, the home could have a variety of sewer issues, ones you may not know about until after moving in. Even if it costs extra to have a professional perform an in-depth inspection of the sewer line, it is sure to be worth it in the long run.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.