Stressed Out About Buying a Home?

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Use these 8 tips to Minimize that Stress…

Buying a home is exciting. The process of buying a home can also be an emotional rollercoaster. It is one of the most intricate and involved transactions a person will ever complete in their lifetime. Preparation is the key ingredient to minimizing the stress that the complexity of a real estate transaction can bring. Use these 8 tips to help you avoid unnecessary stress.

Be a Smart Saver. When it comes to buying a house in Atlanta, saving money toward a down payment can give you more flexibility when it’s time to get a loan. You’ll want to do this long before you start your tour of homes.
Know Thy Credit. Knowing your credit score will give you an idea of how the mortgage company will view you as a borrower which affects your interest rate. Plus, finding out what’s exactly on your report will allow you to resolve any issues prior to applying for a mortgage loan. You can access your credit report once a year for free by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.
Do Your Research. Learn everything you can about different loan types and any assistance available for buying a home in Atlanta and the metro areas. That way, you’ll have the knowledge to choose the right loan product for you. Remember, you want a loan that you can afford through the life of the loan.
Get Pre-Approved. Being pre-approved allows you to see how much house you can buy and makes your offer more attractive when your real estate agent submits an agreement to a seller. Be realistic about how much you can afford, and make sure you’re living within your means.
Determine What You Really Want. Know what are your negotiables and non-negotiables. This will help keep your real estate agent sane and will save you a lot of time in the long run. Stick to this list, and stay focused on it so you can quickly make decisions on what properties to view.
Have a Professional Real Estate Agent. When buying a home in Atlanta, the Go Getter Team is your professional assistance! There are so many details, laws, rules and regulations around a real estate transaction. It is a lot easier to go through the process when you have professional real estate agents on your side to be your guide and resource.
Understand the Offer. The price you’re willing to pay is only the beginning of an offer. Talk to real estate agents on the Go Getter Team about earnest money, due diligence periods, contingencies, closing time frames and other factors that may make your offer more attractive to the seller while protecting your interests.
Stay Tuned In…even after your offer is accepted. For varying reasons, not all transactions close. You want to be sure you follow our advice and stay on top of your deadlines and tasks so that you have the best chance of getting the keys to your new home in Atlanta!

As a part of the Go Getter Team, our real estate agents pride themselves on preparing Atlanta homebuyers for a successful transaction. We explain the entire process of buying a home and guide you all the way to closing and beyond. Buying a home is an exciting time in your life, and the Go Getter Team is here to be sure you enjoy the process!

If you’ve purchased a home in the past, what tips would you add to this list to minimize stress?

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6 Tips To Selling Your Home Faster

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If you’ve heard the latest news about real estate, chances are it may have scared you off and held you back on selling your home. Here are a few tips that will help you sell your home faster!

Help Your Agent Market Your Home

Unfortunately in real estate, first-time homebuyers may judge a house based on the lack of photos it has. It’s in your best interest as an individual who wants to sell their home faster to post more pictures of your house and its many features. Studies show that listings with more than six photos increase their chances of their home being viewed by potential homebuyers. We often send professional photographers to our listings to take good photos for the listing.

Become a Video Blogger

Posting a walkthrough of your home on YouTube will help potential homebuyers visualize the many attributes of the home you are selling. Most of our smartphones today have the ability to record videos; this is a cheap but strategic way of opening your home to your community and potential homebuyers. This is helpful if you are a FSBO (for sale by owner). In many cases, agents who are registered with their local MLS, the MLS will also provide a virtual tour of the home based on photos taken.

Leave Good Appliances Behind 

It’s in your best interest to leave some of your valuable appliances behind like your stainless steel fridge, stove and even dishwasher. This gives your home a distinguishing feature that other homes on the market lack. Not only do you have a competitive advantage as an individual selling your home, but you may get the offer you’ve been waiting for. Leaving major appliances can also make good negotiation points once a buyer is interested in your home. In some cases, you might be able to negotiate the sale of your washer and dryer, or even furniture and electronics.

Fix the Eye Sores

There are many investment properties like foreclosures that are sold based on their exact condition. To differentiate your home for potential homebuyers, it’s best to have your home inspected for rodents and fix the scratches and nicks around your home. A prospective homebuyer will appreciate a well-maintained home that they are looking to buy.

Staging Is Beneficial

This could mean painting the outdoor of your home, maintaining the landscape and even adding furniture in your front and backyard that allows prospective homebuyers to visualize their life in this home. Entertaining and spending time outdoors may be a selling feature for many homebuyers so purchasing or renting furniture will benefit you in the long run.

Listen to Your Agent

It’s important to do your research and to find an experienced realtor that has a successful track record. Listen to their recommendations! When it comes to pricing your home, ask your realtor for the sales prices of three homes around your neighborhood. Calculate the average of all the prices and drop your price 10-15% lower than the other homes. This gives your home more viewings and a potential bidding war for your home!

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Before You Buy Your First Home – Tips for Home Buyers

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If you’re a homebuyer and you’re looking for that dream neighborhood, here are a few tips that you should take note of before jumping into that real estate investment.

Outweighing the Benefits

Folks who are looking to buy a home for the first time will have crunched the numbers before even looking for a home. Your friends and family will have recommended that you buy a home as it will ultimately benefit you in the future and reward you with a great investment opportunity. Once you’re aware of the cost of renting a home versus paying a monthly mortgage, you’ll soon realize that the numbers are pretty close. When that hurdle has been passed, you can start searching for your dream home.

Researching the perfect property

The Internet is an incredible discovery that gives homebuyers a greater chance of finding that perfect neighborhood, the type of home you want and the location you prefer to reside in. You’re given the opportunity of viewing countless properties, which will help you in creating a list of needs that are required in your home.

The length it takes to find the perfect home

It’s important to note that homebuyers who are highly motivated will purchase a home in less than a month. It’s crucial that you have a great relationship with your realtor and that they understand your essential needs in a home.

Rating each home you see

Viewing homes can be an exhausting experience, our tip is to keep a digital camera (or camera phone) handy and take pictures of each property you view. Take notes on what you love and dislike about each home and note the overall design to get a better grasp of the differences between the homes you view. Also, pay attention to what is around the neighborhood, such as where the closest hiking trails are, shopping malls and even major freeways. After having viewed the home, rate it on a scale from 1 to 10 and revisit the photos of the properties to start eliminating your options.

Do a double take

After you have viewed all the homes the realtor has for you, you will have a good idea of the homes you are interested in. Ask your realtor for another viewing and make sure there aren’t any offers on it yet. The homes you look at again will be seen in a different light as you view elements that you overlooked the first time. At this stage of the game, it’s in your best interest to contact your realtor and let them know that you are interested in buying your dream home and making an offer!

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Tips Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Know

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Buying a home is always an intimidating experience, especially if you’re a first time buyer and lack sufficient resources to purchase and look for a home. Doing your research beforehand will save you time, money and a potential problem that could have been resolved in advance.

What better than to share with our readers two great tips that every first time homebuyer should be aware of.

Tip 1: Be flexible with your price range

When we first start to consider the idea of purchasing a home we crunch numbers based on what we can afford and what the bank is willing to lend us. Occasionally we become so confident that our price range starts going up, hoping that our dream home is listed in that category and that we’d be willing to bring the price back down to our range. Unfortunately, homes that are at a higher range than what you’re willing to spend will have a number of different offers and tend to sell higher than the asking price.

The solution to finding your dream home is to bring your price back down, even lower than your budget and your options will widen. Real estate can be tough sometimes, the trick is to be a little bit more flexible with your price and alter it based on the asking price.

Tip 2: Never judge a home by its current interior

Sometimes viewing a home with your realtor can be an emotionally draining experience. The homes that you fall in love with tend to be off the market in a very short time as chances are another homebuyer purchased it in the blink of an eye. When buying a home, we never recommend you dwell on a property that you lost out on. It’s best to move on and look for something that has lots of potential. The majority of the time you’ll stumble upon a home that has been decorated for a different era. Your expectations were high and you anticipated a well maintained home with a spectacular kitchen and move in ready, unfortunately that’s not always the case.

The solution is to invest in a property that has major potential to become your dream home. Sometimes all it takes is fresh paint, new hardwood floors and an optimistic attitude when you think about the return on investment in the future.

Our advice for you future homebuyers is to always do your own research before buying a home. It’s best to have a general price range that you’re flexible with and an optimistic vision when faced with an unfortunate interior. As always, when in doubt ask your local realtor for advice, they’ll be happy to bring you closer to your future home!

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The Rise in Home Prices– A Great Opportunity for All

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If you’re a current homeowner in Atlanta thinking of selling your home, you’re in luck as existing home sales have risen to 4.2% since 2009. The future of real estate has been proven to be profitable with these promising numbers, as residential homes have risen in terms of investment. This is an incredible opportunity for those buying a home as well! Your dream home awaits you in the Greater Atlanta Area with spectacular city views and spacious living for you and your family.

Home prices have risen up to 15.4% in the past year, which is great for the economy and those who are looking to sell. As of May 2013, the national median for existing home prices is at a staggering $208,000. Metro Atlanta has seen a significant rise in home prices and they are now at their highest in 7 years. The sudden rise is as a result of fewer people selling their home and more waiting for the best time to increase their return on investment.

Compared to previous years, real estate numbers have undeniably risen and realtors across Atlanta are confident that existing and future homebuyers will benefit from these figures. Part of the reason behind home prices rising is the limited supply of foreclosures. The lack of competition has given sellers the ability to raise the price of their homes. The rise in home prices also gives current homeowners who are looking to reduce their debt a good opportunity to sell. It also boosts the economy by increasing the construction of homes and kick starting employment rates.

For the house hunters looking for a deal, now is your chance to buy a foreclosure or home at an affordable price as they have decreased from 25% originally to 18% in May. From a realtor’s perspective, purchasing a foreclosure is a great investment opportunity at a fraction of the cost. It is a win-win situation as the bank avoids the costs of having to foreclose, the owner avoids foreclosure on their record and you get a bargain price for investing in this property.

Although the rise in home prices is considered a catch 22, the near future is the best chance to purchase or sell a home. If you’re a homebuyer looking for the perfect home, now is the time to contact your realtor to inquire about the opportunities surrounding you. For the home sellers, you have the ability to wait for the value of your house to rise or you can sell it now if you’re struggling to pay the bills. Take full advantage of the foreclosures that are offered around your community, as those tend to be the best return on your investment!

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Rent to Own a Home

You may be renting a home right now and thinking that you would like to own your own home someday. Many people choose homeownership for the permanency and security it provides for themselves and their loved ones. Homeownership offers the owner a number of personal and financial benefits like having pride in owning a home and income tax breaks. Besides, homeownership is often times a sound investment. For whatever reason, some people continue to rent despite the advantages of owning a home. Maybe they don’t have enough money for a down payment, or maybe they don’t qualify for a mortgage at the moment. Maybe they don’t understand homeownership and the idea intimidates them, or maybe they just haven’t decided to make the commitment. Well, did you know that you can rent to own a home? If any of the “maybe’s” above sound like you, then a rent-to-own home may be a good choice for you.

When a homeowner lists their property as a rent-to-own property and accepts an offer from a prospective tenant, they enter an agreement. In this agreement, the homeowner, who is now the landlord, and the tenant agree on leasing terms which include and are not limited to the duration of the lease and monthly payments. At this time, the homeowner takes the property off the market and the tenant pays an option consideration as compensation. The tenant has the option to purchase the property anytime during the lease or at the end of the lease depending on the agreement. The homeowner may also include the purchase price or pricing conditions in the agreement.

While you’re renting to own your property, you have time to build your credit score so that you may qualify for a mortgage loan. Per the agreement, a portion of the rent paid may be allocated to the purchase price of the home. Unlike renting without the option to purchase, your rent money can become investment money. Nevertheless, you could lose your investment if you cannot secure a mortgage loan or neglect to fulfill the terms of the agreement.

In the real estate industry, this rent-to-own option is referred to as a lease purchase and sometimes a lease option. There are subtle differences between the two, so be sure that you fully understand the type of property you’re considering and the terms of the agreement. Remember that this is your investment, so feel free to negotiate!

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Here’s a tip for selling a home:

Get a Home Inspection

When you are looking to sell a home, one of the main things that you may want to consider is having a home inspection done. Though not one of the first thoughts on a seller’s mind, getting an independent home inspector to conduct a full inspection of your home will give you a head start on identifying issues with your home that may be found during a typical home sell. You may only have a few days to decide whether to make the repairs or adjust the asking price suitably when negotiating with the buyer. A pre-inspection can make you better prepared; you’ll be better prepared to brainstorm solutions that will satisfy you and the buyer. Plus, a re-inspection gives you more time to compare prices and treatment options from a variety of contractors.

 

By getting an inspection early, you’ll know what concerns and requests a buyer might have in advance. That allows you to set your asking price accordingly. Getting your home pre-inspected could help you avoid wasting money on unnecessary repairs. It could also help you avoid doing double-duty since the inspector can pinpoint problems and tell you exactly where the work is needed. When you are sure of the problems or repairs done on the house that you are selling, having someone look at the house professionally can help you identify things that you may have missed, and you are able to have a more profound look on what your potential buyer wants to see. The best part of it all is that you are saving money in the long run.

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