Before we start shopping for your new home, it’s important to first equip yourself with the facts. If you plan to join us in the ATL this year, or step out and buy a new home in 2018, here are a few things you should know:
Mo’ Money, Mo’ Better
If you’re planning to purchase a home in Atlanta leveraging a mortgage, take a hard look at your cash savings to gauge if you will need more time to save. You will need to have enough to cover both a down payment on your new home plus closing costs, so bear that in mind. You will also need to account for out-of-pocket expenses like a home inspection and appraisal report, which is paid for by you, the buyer, as part of your due diligence. The more you have in the bank, the better, as this will give you extra wiggle room to account for your new mortgage payments each month and any other new homeowner-related costs.
Know Your Monthly Outgo
Seeing your monthly expenses in writin gin front of you, from utilities to credit card and car payments, can be very sobering when trying to reconcile a new, usually more expensive mortgage payment. Note how much you have left over from your monthly income and use that to determine how much you can realistically spend on a housing payment. As a rule of thumb, homebuyers should spend no more than 28 percent of monthly income on housing.
Credit Ratings Drive Rates
Before paying off or down any debts, be sure to fill out the lender’s application (usually can be accessed online) and give permission to pull your credit report. The most meaningful conversation with a lender is after they have a chance to review your application and credit report, so they can make impactful recommendations to either improve your credit standing or present the many loan programs that you qualify for, given your personal circumstances. To discuss purchasing a new home in Atlanta, you’ll want to take a look at your credit report. If you spot any errors, you’ll want to make corrections sooner than rather than later as they can often take months to be completed. Think you need to bring up your score before buying? Act now! Paying down debts is a great way to improve your buying power with lenders and ensure your ability to secure a great rate.
Divorce, Marriage, Relocation, Death
Divorce. Special circumstances often drive real estate transactions and in the case of divorce, we work very closely with our client and their divorce attorney to be sure we are in the clear to make offers or accept offers. Rule of thumb here: do not initiate a purchase until after the divorce decree has been issued. Marriage. In the case of combining households, timing can be tricky, but thanks to many years of experience in this area, our team can help navigate the timelines that best suit you and your family. Relocation. Whether you are relocating with your company or on your own, our team’s speciality in relocation will make the transition seamless. For HR and Office Managers. Whether you are moving one executive family or a whole department, having a local expert on the ground is invaluable. From reviewing corporate benefits and maximizing to the fullest extent, to locating the best neighborhoods with the highest walkability scores or accessibility to your Atlanta area offices, we can help you avoid wasted time and resources. Death. Sadly, we work in this area quite a bit. We partner with adult children and their estate attorneys to liquidate the family home, with the least amount of hassle for the highest price the market will bear.
State of the Market
It is always wise to take stock of the local real estate market and which way it’s currently leaning. For instance, are you in a buyer’s market or seller’s market? If prices are rising and homes are selling quickly, you’re likely in a seller’s market. If homes are selling for under asking price and tend to “sit” on the market longer, you’re likely in a buyer’s market. This can help you decide if it’s a good time to make a move and how much competition you might have. Keep in mind that a blanket statement like, “Atlanta is in a seller’s market,” is very general, and does not necessarily apply to all sub and micro-markets around the 25-county Atlanta Metro Market.
Remember that as your local market economist, my team and I are always in your corner! We helped many people make the same decisions you’re facing right now. Do not hesitate to reach out with questions about your next steps— we only have your best interests at heart! Contact Jill today at firstname.lastname@example.org or via HeineckandCompany.com.
Heineck & Company at Keller Williams Realty
Phone: (404) 418-9157
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