The Atlanta housing market has received a lot of attention from the media lately. The city has worked hard to become a welcoming place that feels both like a big city and like home. A large city that feels familiar is often hard to find, and is the allure of Atlanta. The problem is that Atlanta is big and there are thousands of articles with tips and advice for first time home buyers. This can lead to confusion and a sense of being overwhelmed. These following tips will help you find your way home in the city of Atlanta.
- Get Familiar with Atlanta NeighborhoodsEach neighborhood is unique. Each neighborhood has its own personality. Some neighborhoods are geared towards families while others are perfect for lively singles. There are also many neighborhoods made specifically for retired living. It is important for you to devote some time to exploring Atlanta’s neighborhoods and suburbs. Find out what is nearby and what amenities are available to each neighborhood. Be sure to visit as many neighborhoods as possible in order to get a feel for the area, and to find out where you best fit.
- Do Not Go Over Your BudgetBefore you begin making offers on houses, know what you can afford to spend. The best way to do this is to get pre-qualified for your loan. As a general rule, your housing payments (including property taxes and insurance) should not exceed 30% of your budget. It is very hard to say “no” to a house that you love, but keep in mind that houses go up for sale every day. Stay within your budget as you make the transition to your new environment.
- Understand What You Want vs. What You Need
Buying a house can be like dating. Sometimes you find the perfect house and jump right in. Then you realize that it’s not what you actually wanted and that you are stuck for a while. When house shopping, make a list of what you need in a house. This allows you to shop within your range and to view a variety of houses that fit your expectations. Decide on how many rooms you need in the house. A person with mobility issues will not want stairs. If you have dogs or children you may require a fenced yard. These things are non-negotiables. They are essentials for your house. Decide on houses based on these. The color can be changed. Carpets can be installed or removed. Curtains can be hung. Determine what you absolutely need and make your choice based on these things.
- Require a Detailed Inspection
A home inspection is essential for any home purchase. You may have a good eye for problems, but home inspectors are specifically trained to find things that need repair. Additionally, home inspectors do not have any emotional attachment to the house, so he/she will not overlook anything. He or she will simply give you the facts about the house that you wish to purchase. Many people who forego home inspections end up living in a money pit. They end up with endless repairs for pre-existing problems. A home inspection will point out anything that needs to be fixed before you sign on the dotted line. It is the best way to protect yourself when buying a new home.
- Compare Prices
In order to find out what homes in Atlanta are worth, browse homes that are for sale that are similar to the one that you want. This allows you to get a feel for the neighborhood and for what the property values actually are. It allows you to avoid scams and to be knowledgeable when negotiating home prices. If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is.