Below is a series of videos explaining what you should be aware when purchasing you home for the first time, this also would help if you are an experienced home buyer. Please review the videos listed below and if you have any questions about buying or selling your home in the Atlanta metro area, give as a call at 770-309-6417
THE HOME BUYING GUIDE – KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE
Know your Credit Score.- When purchasing a home most likely you will need to obtain a mortgage loan, if that is the case, the first thing to do is request your credit score. There are three credit bureaus : Equafax, TransUnion, and Experian. You may request the report from either company. Upon getting your credit report, be sure to examine carefully all transactions and if you find something that is not yours, or is older than seven years, make sure you dispute them immediately. Do this few months ahead, if you find that you have a problem or the report is incorrect, fixing your credit score could take several months. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest will be. Ideally, you want your credit score to be over 700. The credit score should be a FICO credit score and you can get a free copy of your credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
THE HOME BUYING GUIDE – GET PRE-APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE
Get pre-approved for a mortgage.- There is a difference between pre-approved a pre-qualified. When you get pre-approved, a Loan Officer will ask for the following documents: Taxes for the last two years, Bank Statements for the last three months, pay stubs for the last two months, employment verification , verification of down payment funds, and verification of your credit. Upon you providing all these documents, a Loan Officer will have enough information about you to issue a pre-approval letter. Just for your information a loan pre-qualification letter is worthless, experienced Real Estate Agents will insist you on providing a loan approval letter before taking you out to show you properties. Even if you are not currently working with an agent, if you don’t have a loan approval letter, don’t waste your time running around looking for the perfect home, you don’t know how much you can afford, therefore you may be looking at the wrong properties.
THE HOME BUYING GUIDE – FIND A FULL TIME REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL
Find a full time Real Estate Professional.- Buying a home is most likely the largest purchase you will ever make during your life, you do not need to take chances with new agents or part time agents as this could be very costly to you. Good professional Real Estate Agents are always in demand but that doesn’t mean you have to hire the first one that comes around, be sure to interview at least three agents before selecting one. When buying a home don’t be tempted to go alone thinking you will get a better deal by dealing directly with the listing agents, just for your information, the listing agents has a fiduciary duty to the home Seller that means that any information you tell him, he is obligated to tell his client, in this case the seller, however, he is not obligated to tell you anything about the Seller. This could be a huge disadvantage when negotiating the purchase of your home. For those Buyers that they think they will save on commission, let me tell you, you are not paying any commission to the agent representing you, the Seller is paying that commission. Even if you negotiate your home without and agent, the listing agent has already negotiated the full commission with the Seller. Don’t make this mistake, you will be under-represented and may cost you thousands of dollars.
A good professional Real Estate Agent will help you find the best possible home at the best possible price in the most desirable location.
THE HOME BUYING GUIDE – SELECT A LOCATION WHERE YOU WANT TO LIVE
Select a location where you want to live.- In Real Estate it’s all about location, location, location. If you are a young family, you most likely will be interested in good schools, job opportunities and safe neighborhoods. If you a single you will probably be looking for a more dense area where young single people hang out and entertainment and night life is predominant. If you are an empty nester you will probably be looking for a location near major hospitals and good public transportation.
Location is so important in Real Estate, if you have selected a home in a desirable location, you home may not look as good as the one on a non-desirable location, but keep in mind, that you can always fix up the mediocre house in a desirable location, but you can’t move the nice home in a non-desirable location.
THE HOME BUYING GUIDE – SHOP FOR YOUR MORTGAGE
Shop for your mortgage.- It is important to get your loan approved ahead of time, but is equally important once you are approved to shop with at least two other financial outlets. Not all financial outlets have the same fees, just like anything else, some charge less some charge for the same items. How do you compare the cost between the mortgage companies you have selected? It is easy, when you get the loan approval letter, the Loan Officer will also give you what is known as the Good Faith Estimate, in the good faith estimate will state how much is your interest, the type of interest you are getting, your loan origination fee and some other items. The most important items when comparing mortgages are those stated above, you want to compare apples to apples for example if the good faith estimate has that you are getting a 30 year fixed mortgage then you need to ask for a 30 year fixed mortgage from the second company, this way you will know you are comparing apples to apples.
The interest rate, even though, they all are looking at the same credit score one mortgage company maybe higher than the other because rates change every day.
Don’t make the mistake that most everyone does comparing different loan programs, instead figure out what loan program work for you and stick to it.
THE HOME BUYING GUIDE – COMPLETE HOME INSPECTION
Upon Finding your Dream Home, a complete home inspection is in order.- Doing a home inspection is money well spent, you do not want to find out that your plumbing or HVAC system is not working after you have purchased your house. The cost of hiring a home inspector ranges between $300 to $600 dollars depending on the size of the home you are purchasing, a standard home inspection doesn’t always include checking your sewer lines, your roof or the structure of your house, these items are provided at an additional cost, however, the cost of these additional items is minimal comparing to the costs of doing the repairs yourself. Most Sellers are aware of those repairs and are willing to negotiate down the sales price or are willing to help pay for the repairs. Don’t ever give in to the pressure of not doing an inspection report.
THE HOME BUYING GUIDE – FIND YOUR CLOSING COSTS AHEAD OF TIME
Find out all the cost of closing in advance.- Knowing your closing cost ahead of time will prevent unforeseen changes and will help you budget your funds better. There are many cost involved in closing your home, here are some of the cost that are almost on all closing transactions:
Property , City and County Taxes
Loan origination fees (up to 1.5% of the loan)
Credit Report fees
Home Owner’s Insurance
Title Examination fees
Find out the cost of all those items before the closing date, so you know exactly how much money you will need at closing.
In a nut shell, this is the home buying process, to speak or make an appointment with one of our professional Real Estate Agents, Contact us today at 770-309-6417