It is an exciting "A-ha!" moment for families when they decide to pull the trigger and buy a house. However, buying a house can be fulfilling yet challenging. Whether you are a first time home buyer or a seasoned home buyer, let my expertise in the Atlanta market work for you.
First time home buyers may benefit from this "road map" which summarizes the home buying process.
- Figure out your priorities : It’s important to know what is most important to you and your family when it comes to purchasing a house. To some buyers it is the budget, while to others it is the location. If you are looking to be in a good school district, then do not look at homes where the schools are not rated highly, and if you are looking to have an easy commute to work, don’t look at houses which will add extra driving time. It is important to be focussed in your approach, as it will save you valuable time and a whole lot of effort.
- Talk to a Lender : Even if you are hesitant about getting preapproved, it is always good to start a dialogue with a lender, even if it is the bank where you have your account to see what the whole shebang is all about. This is especially important for first time home buyers, who are going to experience the home buying process for the first time. It is advisable to discuss your finances with your lender to see how much house you can easily buy within your budget.
- Understand the market: I feel that there is a house out there for everyone, we just have to go find it. And when we do, I prepare my buyers to make a “qualified” offer. It is important for buyers to understand the market before making an offer. In a downward trend market, it may not be a bad idea to come in lower than the list price and leave room for negotiations. However, in a hot market not only is the price important but so are the terms of the offer. Therefore a buyer who understands the market has a higher probability of getting the home of their dreams, than someone who just wants to “test” their offer and the market.
- Stay on Top of Everything : After you have found your house, make sure that you follow the timelines given in the contract. Every aspect of the contract stipulates that “time is of the essence”, so if you have to drop off an earnest money check within 48 hrs, or have to get your papers to a lender within the next three days, make sure that you do not delay. This will ensure that you minimize delays and are able to close on time.
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