The Home Buyer’s Checklist
Buying the right Atlanta home begins with understanding your financial abilities and knowing your housing priorities. Use this guide to prepare for successful home ownership!
1. Obtain a mortgage pre-approval from a reputable lender
Julia Brantley can refer you to Atlanta mortgage lenders who will explain all of your financing options. Just ask!
The pre-approval process involves a review of your income, assets, debts and credit-worthiness. Your lender will ask about the funds you have available for a down payment.
You may be required to supply copies of recent bank statements, payroll deposit records, and tax returns. Your lender will use this information to determine the loan amount and interest rate you are qualified to receive.
Once you are pre-approved for a mortgage, you will be able to conduct your Atlanta home search in the appropriate price range.
Note: The pre-approval process does not commit you to going through with a home purchase.
2. Think long-term about your new home
When it comes to where you would like to live, and how much space you need, consider these questions:
- How long do you intend to remain in the home?
- Do you expect changes to your family size in the next few years?
- What school district do you prefer?
- What would be a reasonable commute to work?
- Can you tackle a fixer-upper?
- What kind of local amenities are important to you? (public transportation, medial services, parks/playgrounds, shopping and dining)
3. Be willing to cast your net wider when home shopping Atlanta
Home prices vary by neighborhood, and vary street-by-street! Let Julia Brantley help you with your Atlanta home search – he will notify you of new listings that match your criteria.
4. Make your best offer on the home first
When you’ve found the ideal home, don’t wait – make an offer! The seller may accept your offer, or counter it with another price. Beware of making an offer that is unreasonably low – it could alienate the seller and ruin your chances of any further negotiation.
5. Use appropriate real estate contingencies
Julia Brantley will counsel you about contractual contingencies that protect your interests. Contingencies are a form of “escape clause” that allow you to exit the deal under certain conditions.
6. Order your home inspection well in advance of the closing
This way, if any issues arise, there is time to work them out with the seller.
7. Prepare for your Atlanta real estate closing
Do not transfer funds, or take on any new debts at this time. Do not change jobs, close any lines of credit, or make any major purchases, even with cash. A mortgage pre-approval is not written in stone – any changes in your financial picture can be disruptive to your loan approval. Your lender will perform another around of credit scrutiny and underwriting before closing.
An appraisal will be conducted on the home prior to closing. The appraisal verifies the collateral value of the home for the purpose of the mortgage.
You will need to obtain homeowner’s insurance effective as of the closing date; bring your proof of coverage to the closing.
Prior to closing, you will have a final walk-through of the home.
At closing, you will receive documentation showing the breakdown of closing costs between yourself and the home seller. Your lender will have previously issued an estimate of your transaction costs. These costs can often be “rolled in” to your mortgage loan, or you can elect to pay them out-of-pocket at closing.
You will present a check for your down payment at the closing.
You will be asked to review and sign documentation for your mortgage and closing costs. The seller will sign over home ownership to you. You will then receive the keys to your new home! The settlement agent or closing attorney will record the transaction with the proper county or municipal office.