The Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide For Clients Looking To Buy A New Home
Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide For Clients Looking To Buy A New Home
Thank you for checking out my exclusive Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide For Clients Looking To Buy A New Home in Atlanta. As you know, the growth of Atlanta Metro has exploded and with the explosion comes a huge demand for places to live. And because of that demand, finding homes is much harder and when you do find one, is the price where you need it to be for YOU to purchase.
Here is a guide that can help you get started on your journey of purchasing a home in the Atlanta Metro area. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone (404.808.7527) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
REALTOR® and Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®)
Solid Source Realty
1. Define exactly what you are looking for from this new home and your plans
Buying a new home is a huge step and one of the largest purchases you may have in your lifetime, so it’s important for you to lay out exactly what you would like from owning a new home. Is it for an investment, is it for you and your family to live in for the next 20+ years, or is it for something else. You need to understand that you are about to incur more debt not just from the mortgage, but taxes, utilities and in many cases Home Owners Association dues. Sure you need somewhere to live, but you also don’t want to be ‘House Poor’ that could keep you from the lifestyle that you would like to have.
2. Find A Realtor®
Yes, I know, I am a Realtor® so I may be a little bit biased, but because I am a Realtor® and a home owner, I understand about the process and this process has a lot of hills and valleys, and many times it’s not for the faint of heart. There are those out there that believe that ‘you can do it on your own’, but not realize all of the knowledge a Realtor® brings to the table to keep you legal, keep you from costly mistakes, but also Realtors are able to provide you with direct access to properties during your search. A Realtor® will work on your behalf while you work, while you are with your friends and family, and even while you sleep. Realtors have seen many homes and they can help you navigate the journey and they will do the work for you. Make sure that you find a Realtor® who knows the local market that you are looking for. They need to be experienced and understand the housing market. They also need to be someone you are comfortable working with because once you find a Realtor®, you will be communicating with them constantly until you close on your property and that could takes as little as days on up to months.
3. You Need to Get Pre-Approved To Know Your Spending Power
It is generally good to have your pre-approval completed before even looking around at any houses. The lender will collect information on your financial status and credit history so that they can give you a price of how much you can spend for your home. If you don’t have a pre-approval, many sellers may not take your offer as seriously as someone who has been approved. You need to know how much you can spend so that you are looking at the appropriate houses. And lenders know many programs for buyers to help with the affordability of homes. Ask your Realtor® for help finding a lender if you are not able to find one on your own.
4. Decide On How Much You SHOULD Spend
Just because you are approved for $400,000, doesn’t mean that you should buy a house for $400,000. Think about the costs that will come with the amount you are approved for. A bigger house, means higher utility bills. The higher the price, the likelihood of higher HOA dues come into play. And don’t forget about higher taxes as well. Consider what you want your lifestyle to be. You don’t want to be ‘House Poor’, but you also want to find a home within the range of what you are qualified for and your current expenses for the lifestyle you want to have. Understand how this new home will fit in with your current lifestyle and financial situation and whether it fits in the next few years as well.
5. Hire A Realtor®
Now that you have had a chance to search for a Realtor®, you have been provided with how much you can spend, and you now know how much you SHOULD be spending, it is a good time to decide on that Realtor® that you feel will be able to deliver the home that you are looking for and help you navigate through the process.
6. Search For Homes / View Homes
Here comes the fun part, you are now searching for homes and looking at homes. Your Realtor® will have what you are looking for in a house and they will scour their sources for that house. But you can do a little digging as well. If you find a house whether online or seeing during your commute, jot the information down and send the information to your Realtor®. And once you have reviewed the properties that your Realtor® has compiled, they will set up appointments with you to walk the properties. Sometimes you can hit a home run and find the home of your dreams in the first outing, but this isn’t one of those housing hunting tv shows, so it will probably be a few trips out before you find a home that you feel is worth of putting in an offer for.
7. Keep Calm. Stay Positive.
As stated before, there will be hills and valleys during this journey, but having a professional help navigate you through this will make a world of difference. Keeping a positive attitude will also help during the times where it seems like there are no homes out there or every offer you put out there never gets accepted. You have to keep a positive attitude because it can become frustrating, but I have seen what happens when you are diligent and persistent. That home you are searching for will eventually present itself and you will buy it.
8. Make The Offer / Negotiate
You finally find the house that you are ready to make a home. Inform your Realtor® as soon as possible because houses come off the market in a heartbeat, so the sooner you can inform your Realtor® of your decision the better. They will create your offer package and present it to the selling agent for their client. Don’t be surprised if your first offer is not accepted. You may enter a back and forth between the seller until they accept the offer presented.
9. Get An Inspection
I tell my clients that even on new construction, it is highly advised for you to get a home inspection. Why, so that any problems found can be brought up so that that they can be addressed with the seller. Many times, there are things that aren’t disclosed because even the seller didn’t know any issues existed. Paying a couple hundred dollars for a home inspection is much better than being on the hook for $200,000+ and a terrible foundation is found and you end up with a flooded basement or even worse.
10. Finalize Financing
Now that you have an accepted offer, cleared up any issues with the inspection, it is time to get everything taken care of with your lender. Lock in the interest rate, have a better idea of what your payment will be, and get ready to go through underwriting. At this point, you need to be sure that you don’t go out and use up any credit cards or make any major purchase that can change your ratios. Work closely with your Realtor® so they can help you stay on top of this process because you don’t want your financing to fall through at the tail end of the home buying process. It happens so often that I can’t keep count, so I always heavily advise my clients on what to do at this time.
It’s time to close and your Realtor® has received word of the closing date, congratulations! But, you are still not done. You have be sure the lender sends the closing documents to the attorney in time, get a title search and insurance to be sure that it is clean, without any errors. Your Realtor® will schedule a final walkthrough to ensure that the house is in the expected condition. You wouldn’t want the seller to move all of their stuff out and trash the place on their way out. So in these cases, your Realtor® will step in and continue working on your behalf to make sure that everything is right.
If everything checks out, sign your paperwork and get your keys. You did it!
I know that this was a lot to process and take in with this guide, but the steps are necessary. If you have any questions about this guide or any other questions that were prompted after reading this guide, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I love working and helping people make home ownership a reality and make the process as smooth as possible.
If you know someone who may be able to benefit from this guide, you are more than welcome to forward this to them.
REALTOR® and Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®)
Solid Source Realty