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Are You Ready For Home Ownership?

This is a significant question.  Home ownership has always been considered as a worthwhile investment; even in the different economic cycles that we have experienced over the last forty years. 

Additionally, if you look at the average appreciation rate over the last forty years, you will find that most homes have appreciated at a rate of at least 3%.  There are some areas of our city such as North Fulton that homes have appreciated at a higher value. 

So purchasing a home can be a good investment, and removes the uncertainty of renting; which can result in regular rental increases and in many cases landlords don’t maintain the homes as they should.

Search now for homes in the area.

Selecting the Right Broker or Agent

This is the very first step in the process of buying a home.  One of the key areas to consider when you evaluate a Broker or agent is their experience in the field.  In good times many people enter the field and in bad times many leave the industry.  This is almost like fishing in a stocked pond. 

Our real estate team is dedicated to helping you find the right home, at the best price.  One of the critical areas of evaluation is the Broker or agents view of Advocacy.  Advocacy is that which reflects the interest of the client.  It is similar to the relationship that an attorney would have with a client.  They are Advocates for you in all areas of the transaction, even in areas that you may not be aware of.

As Advocates for our clients, each step of the transaction will be an opportunity for your Broker or agent to enhance your value. Beginning with helping you evaluate the type loan you choose, assessing the value of the home you want to make an offer on, addressing inspection issues, attending the appraisal, and ensuring that you make it to closing.

Selecting the Right Lender

Once you have identified a Broker or agent to work with the next the process is selecting a reputable lender.  Starting to look at homes prior to becoming pre-approved is a waste of time.  The right lender will collect your financial data, including tax returns, W-2’s, bank statements, and investment that you may have.

Once collected the lender will issue a Pre-Approval letter that will always be attached to the offers you make.  This serves to convince the seller that you are capable of closing on the transaction provided all contingencies are successfully addressed.  Once complete the lender will provide an Estimated Cost Worksheet for your mortgage

Generally speaking, each Broker or agent has a team that consists of several lenders.  I would always suggest that you choose from one of the Brokers lenders. 

Select an Attorney That Your Broker Works With

Normally a Broker or agent will have as part of their team several attorneys.  In most cases, your Broker or agent will have an attorney that they gravitate to.  Having an attorney as part of the team will always ensure that if legal or title issues come up, they will handle them as part of the closing the transaction.

There are many issues that can come up in the closing of a home.  Some of the common are citizenship if a seller, rental implication by out of state owners, probate, divorce and many others.  The attorney will be identified in your offer.

Preparation for Your Offer

Once you have identified your dream home, we will assist you in determining the home’s value.  Our Market Analysis is more like an appraisal than a push button CMA.  In order to ensure that our Market Analysis is correct, we subscribe to two Appraisal Databases.  We do this because in most cases the public records of square footage are wrong, and generally, do not show the finished basement square footage. Once an offer is made we will negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you get the best value. 

Get All Necessary Inspections Done

Your Home Inspection is a critical piece of the transaction.  Depending on the size of the home the cost ranges from $450 to $700.  The inspection usually takes three to five hours.  Once complete the inspector will forward a copy of the report and will usually copy your Broker or agent. 

This is one of the most dysfunctional aspects of the process because most agents do not understand the problem or the corrective action needed.  As a Broker and a Licensed General Contractor, we have purchased over 400 homes since 1981.

Unlike most Brokers or agents we will return to the house with the inspection report to actually put eyes on the issues.  This provides added insights into the issue and the corrective actions needed.  Once this is done it is now time to discuss the inspection report with the client to determine what is important.  Once complete your Broker or agent is responsible for preparing an amendment to submit to the seller; asking for repairs to be done.

The Appraisal

The appraisal is ordered by the lender through an Appraisal Management company.  The appraisal management company will then assign the appraisal to an appraiser that is familiar with the area.  Generally, we instruct the lender to make us, your Broker the contact for arranging the appraisal.  This provides us the ability to meet the appraiser at the house and to present our comps and data from the appraisal databases we subscribe to. 

Once the appraisal is complete it goes back to the appraisal management company for review.  They are responsible for forwarding the appraisal to the lender.  If the appraisal comes at or above the sales price, all is good.  If it comes in lower then it will require us to renegotiate with the seller to lower the price.

Closing of Your Home

From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, we can help you with the complicated process of buying a home. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier and more predictable.

Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing.