1)  Figure out how much you can afford

  • Calculate your monthly income and debt.
  • Check your credit report and FICO score.
  • Figure out your down payment.

2)  Get pre-approved for a mortgage

  • Choose a type of mortgage
    • Fixed
    • Government
    • Adjustable
    • Jumbo
    • Conventional
    • Other
  • Speak to at least five lenders and mortgage brokers.
  • Shop for the best interest rates and programs.
3)  Determine what you want and need in a home
  • Choose a location (downtown, urban, suburban, rural).
  • Choose a type (single family, townhouse, condo, loft).
  • Choose a price range
  • Choose a size (SF, # Bedrooms, # Bathrooms, etc.)
  • Choose an architectural style.

4)  Research your target neighborhoods.

  • Look online for information on schools, crime rates, traffic and zoning.
  • Determine your work commute.
  • Scout local amenities, such as parks, shops and restaurants.

5)  Work with a buyer's agent who knows the neighborhood.

  • Get referrals.
  • consider working with an exclusive buyer's agent.
  • Interview at least three agents.
  • Look for experience and good chemistry.

6)  Search for homes in the MLS and For Sale By Owner (FSBO).

  • Browse listings online.
  • Ask your agent to set up tours of homes that fit your criteria.
  • Check local newspapers.
  • Pick up flyers and attend open houses.

7)  Research each home you want to buy.

  • Ask your agent for comps to estimate the property's fair market value.
  • Ask the seller's reason for selling.
  • Review all property disclosures.
  • Find out about liens, easements or other restrictions.

8)  Make an offer and negotiate.

  • Determine the purchase price.
  • Include contingencies, such as financial, inspection or purchase.
  • Spell out any special requests and repairs you want included in the sale.
  • Determine an earnest amount of money.
  • Decide a move-in date.
  • Once both parties agree to the terms, sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

9)  Finalize the deal.

  • Get the house appraised.
  • Get a professional home inspection
  • Consider getting specific inspections for structural engineering, roof and termites.
  • Use the appraisal and inspection reports to re-negotiate if necessary.
  • Choose a home insurance company.
  • Complete the loan process with the lender.
  • Do a walk-through inspection prior to closing.
  • Set aside cash for the closing costs and down payment.

10)  Close the purchase

  • Review the settlement document at least two days before closing to see how funds will be collected and distributed.
  • Get a cashier's check for the amount you need to bring to closing.
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Amy Ransdell
Southeastern Realty Group
Ph: 404-850-7932  -  Fax: 770-825-9031

Marietta, GA 30062
License # H-63735
www.southeasternhometeam.com

 

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