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Buyer’s checklist: If you’re thinking of buying a home in Atlanta

Monday, November 7, 2016

Buyer’s Checklist – Atlanta GA Real Estate

While the housing market in Atlanta has something for every budget, finding the right home that will suit your needs and give you the best value for your money can be a daunting task – but not if you plan ahead.

Choose a real estate agent

The right agent will provide you with access to real estate for sale in Atlanta, GA that may not be on the market, guide you in making informed decisions such as when to make an offer, and help you steer clear of potential disasters.

In general, select the real estate professional who has expert knowledge of the current market conditions and is highly familiar with the areas where you want to live. Keep in mind that a good agent is one that you feel comfortable with, and more importantly, watches out for your best interests.

Make a list

Write down what features you want in a home – like the number of stories, bedrooms, and bathrooms, or the type of kitchen you want, whether it has stone countertops, center island, stainless steel appliances, etc. With regards to the exterior features, do you prefer a 2-car garage, fenced yard, and landscaped garden, or maybe other optional amenities like a swimming pool or outdoor barbecue backyard space? Once you have all the features listed down, rank them in terms of importance.

Consider both the house and the location

What matters most to you – the neighborhood or the home’s features? Do you have your heart set on living in a particular location or are the house’s specific features the most important factor?

You may find the perfect house in a neighborhood that isn’t your first choice, or find a neighborhood you like but with homes that are well beyond your planned budget. If this happens you will be better able to choose wisely if you already have a clear idea of your wants and needs and your negotiables and non-negotiables.

Learn to compromise

You might have to compromise on some things on your list. If the location is the most important factor for your home choice, but the homes available are priced too high, consider looking for a different home type within the neighborhood that you can afford, like a smaller single-family residence, or maybe a townhouse unit or condominium. Make up your mind if you can live with one less bedroom or other features on your list.

Get financing

If you’re getting financing, consult with a lender or a financial planner early on to discuss your options for improving your credit score. A higher score usually translates to better rates.

Know the different kinds of loans available to find out which is the best one for you depending on your financial situation. Compare each mortgage type and carefully consider their pros and cons, narrowing them down until you can pick the ideal loan for you.

Inspect the home inspection

Everyone prefers a home that’s move-in ready, but that’s not always what you’re going to get (even if it seems like it at first glance). A home inspection is typically one of the contingencies that have to be met before a home sale closes, so you can be sure that you’re getting a good deal and won’t have to spend too much on repairs and renovations.

It’s best to work with a home inspector who’s experienced, is familiar with the homes in the neighborhood, and has a good track record. As with any other service you’ll want to hire, do your research. Also, don’t just rely on the home inspection report – it’s best if you’re present during the inspection so you can ask your home inspector for whatever insights or advice they may have.