How to Get the Best Value When Buying a Home

Buying a home can be an intimidating process. With all the excitement most people feel when looking for a home to purchase, some can make mistakes. With some careful preparation your perfect new home may be just around the corner.

First, carefully examine your finances. Look at your total monthly income, your credit rating, and total monthly expenses. Keep in mind home ownership comes with a few added responsibilities over renting. Maintenance and upkeep can get expensive, and are costs in addition to the monthly payment. Decide how much you can easily afford in a monthly payment, and remember to have some money left over for savings.

The second step in buying a home is to shop around for the best loan. Contact several lenders and compare interest rates. This knowledge will be useful when negotiating the interest rate on your home loan. After you have financing secured, you can start house hunting, the fun part.

Now that you have financing and know about what you can safely afford to spend, decide what you want in a home. Begin by making a list of your must have features, want to have features, and must not have features. For instance, you decide you must have at least three bedrooms to have room for your family, a large kitchen, and fenced in back yard. A formal dining room would be nice, but is not necessary, and you would like to have a garden tub in the master suite, but could live without it. The home must not have electrical or plumbing problems, and needs to be ready to move into immediately. Looking at a two bedroom fixer upper would be a time and energy waste for you.

You know what you are and are not looking for in a home, look around. Look at several different areas for homes, chances are the first one you look at will not be the perfect fit. You can look online, at foreclosures, at real estate listings, in newspapers at for sale by owner properties, and with a local real estate agent. When you have found the perfect fit for your family and budget, make sure to thoroughly and carefully read all documents before closing. All parties involved need to understand the fine print of the sale contract.

Buying a new home in today’s real estate market can be a daunting task, but with a little preparation, and careful consideration to your needs, wants, and budget, the perfect home is only a short time away.

Atlanta, GA Real Estate

Atlanta, Georgia’s capital city and a major Southern financial and creative hub, remains a city of the future and one of the top five cities for relocating young professionals to call it their home. Atlanta’s strategic location in the foothills of the southern Appalachians in north-central part of Georgia, its mild climate, physical beauty and job prospects have been instrumental in attracting large numbers of settlers making it a sought-after destination for home owners. The average estimated value of a home in Atlanta, GA was $274,281 in May 2009, up 0.05% from April 2009. Currently Atlanta has an average listing price for homes for sale of $444,954.

Atlanta comprises of two County Areas: 10 County Region, covering Clayton, Cherokee, Henry, Cobb, Douglas, DeKalb, Fayette, Gwinnett, Fulton, and Rockdale counties; and a 20 County Area including Barrow, Carroll, Bartow, Coweta, Hall, Forsyth, Newton, Spalding, Paulding, and Walton counties. The County Regions are home to several cities and communities like Acworth, Douglasville, Alpharetta, Fayetteville, Marietta, Kennesaw, Milton, Powder Springs, Peachtree City, Roswell, Smyrna, Sandy Springs, and Woodstock. How about investing in Marietta? It is at a distance of 15 miles from Atlanta downtown area and is reputed as one of the largest suburban regions of the metro area. Whether you are a first-time buyer or a pro at real estate, Marietta offers a choice just for you.

Given the current situation, one thing is certain – the Atlanta metro area still has an over-supply of homes for sale due to an abundance of new homes, Atlanta properties that are up for foreclosures, difficulty in availing loans and an overwhelming number of houses, be it simple apartments or large estates. Real estate is soft at present, but the Atlanta real estate market has been not been affected by many of the national changes. It’s a great time to buy a home condo or town home in Atlanta; in short, this is perhaps the right time to negotiate your next new home with an experienced Atlanta real estate agent. The chief advantage of opting for Atlanta real estate is that while in other US locations a large property price could scale up to millions, here it is within the comfortable zone of $200,000. Atlanta’s cost of living is also equitable with the national average, leaving the people with enough to take off on vacations, enjoy nightlife and explore the city’s cultural wealth!

Advertisements in the dailies published locally are considered to be the largest expenditure incurred by Atlanta realtors. However, today Atlanta homes are also within visibility range, thanks to the popular home search or listing services on the internet; advertisements on the radio and television, and catalogues of Atlanta real estate. Good news is on the horizon with recession showing signs of waning and housing prices once again picking up ensuring that your new home will appreciate in value as the years go by.

Affordable Atlanta Apartments

There are cities in the U.S where apartment rents are as high, or higher than house payments – but Atlanta apartments are not among them. In fact, there are plenty of great deals in terms of affordable apartments in Atlanta today, and many are offering some real move-in deals these days. If you are planning to relocate to the Atlanta metro area and are (A) on a limited budget, (B) don’t want the hassle and responsibility of home ownership, and/or (C) are planning on living in the area a limited time (5 years or less), you owe it to yourself to check your option for Atlanta Georgia apartments.

Economics

Let’s face it – since the mortgage brokers got burned in the recent sub-prime debacle, they’re being a lot more careful these days as to who they’re loaning money to. Gone are the days when almost anyone and their uncle could qualify for a home loan – and the median house payment in the Atlanta metro area is around $250,000, which means at least a four-figure house payment for most people – at least between $1400 and $2000 per month on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

Couples with small families (1-2 children) can rent a three-bedroom apartment convenient to shopping, entertainment and public transportation for as little as $750 per month. If your work is located close to town center and you can dispense with the expense and responsibility of owning an automobile, you’ll be amazed at how much money you’ll have left over each month – something to seriously consider when the cost of gasoline and car maintenance and insurance is factored into the equation.

Simplicity

As a homeowner, you bear all liability when something breaks down. You are also responsible for all property taxes. When renting apartments in Atlanta, payment taxes are the landlord’s responsibility (these are certainly factored into the rent, but you won’t have to worry about whether or not they’re paid). The greatest thing about Atlanta apartments however is the fact that when something breaks down or something starts leaking, there is usually an on-site maintenance staff right there to take care of it. You won’t have to worry about trying to schedule a plumber or HVAC repair person or taking time away from work to deal with the problem.

Equity

Even if you can afford to buy a house in Atlanta, chances are it won’t be worth it unless you plan to stay in the house for five years or longer. The days of skyrocketing, inflated home values are now past; even in areas where home values are not falling, the rate of increase is much more gradual than in the past. The general rule-of-thumb among realty experts is that is you are not planning to live in the home more than five years, it makes more economic sense to rent.

See Them Beforehand

Many excellent Atlanta apartments maintain websites at which you can take “virtual tours” of the property. You’ll be able to see pictures of apartments in Atlanta and the surrounding metropolitan area before you even arrive in town – saving a great deal of time in finding your new lodgings.