Few investments will be as important as your home. Not only will it house the most important people in your life, it will also be one of your biggest assets.
That’s why buying a residential property requires a lot of planning and research. We’ve prepared this guide to help you navigate this exciting but sometimes daunting experience:
Find a partner
A good real estate agent can help make the home-buying process easier. They will shortlist properties that suit your needs and budget, and negotiate on your behalf to get the best possible price. Then they will help you fill out and file all the necessary documents. They can refer real estate lawyers, inspectors, and interior designers. In short, the commission you pay them will be more than worth it.
Choose a neighborhood
You don’t actually buy a house—you buy the neighborhood. That’s because a great community grants you access to better schools, job opportunities, property valuation, and more. Take a look at factors like location, market value, accessibility, and crime rates. Shortlist a handful of communities, and visit each to get a feel for the lifestyle there.
List down features
Are you looking for a home in the suburbs or a condo in the heart of the metro? How many rooms and bathrooms do you need? Do you want an expansive yard or a home theater? Collate all these features, then sort them into must-haves and nice-to-haves.
Let’s talk financing
It’s important to decide on location and house features early as these directly affect home prices. Work out just how much you’re willing to pay for a house, and start approaching lenders. Make sure you have a good credit score to get the best interest rates possible. Secure a pre-approval letter as well, as homeowners favor buyers who have proof of financial capacity.
Take a look at your real estate agent’s shortlist, and pick out promising properties. It’s okay if a house doesn’t have all the features you’re looking for—you can always add that deck or den later on. Proceed to make an offer, but expect the owner to negotiate for a better price. If you have an experienced real estate agent, he or she will strive to get the best deal possible.
Check the property
Georgia sellers aren’t required to fill out a seller’s disclosure, but they are mandated to declare known material defects such as a cracked foundation or a damaged roof. Take this opportunity to ask what repairs have been done, if there is a history of flooding, etc. We advise buyers to hire an inspector who can uncover potential deal breakers that might be hidden from plain view.
After you and the seller agree to a purchase, you will enter into escrow. Here, a third party will safe-keep the deposit and documents until all agreements between the two parties are met. During this step, a title search will also be conducted to ensure that there are no liens on the property.
At closing, the payment will finally be released to the buyer. In return, a new deed will be issued in your name, and the house keys will be turned over to you.
Need more help buying a home? Let our team of real estate agents help you. Contact us via 404.321.0030 or karafotiasrealty(at)karafotiasrealty(dotted)com to learn more.