Are you dreaming of living in the Southern charm of Atlanta, GA? Whether it be for work, family, or pleasure, buying a home in Atlanta has a variety of benefits. From being an up-and-coming area with many job opportunities to having access to all the cultural offerings of a big city, buying a home in Atlanta is an investment into your future.
This ultimate guide to buying a home in Atlanta, GA offers you tips and techniques that cover everything from budgeting and the search process to inspection and closing day. Purchasing a home anywhere can be a huge undertaking, but when you choose the vibrant city of Atlanta as your destination, you can rest assured that the process will be exciting and rewarding.
Save For a Downpayment
The first and most important step in buying a home is to save for a downpayment. A downpayment is the amount of money you are required to pay upfront when purchasing a house. The size of your downpayment will depend on the type of loan you choose, however, it’s typically between 3-20% of the purchase price. Making a larger downpayment can have several financial benefits, such as lower monthly payments and avoiding private mortgage insurance (PMI).
In addition to your downpayment, you will also need to save for closing costs. Closing costs are fees paid at the end of the process when a home purchase is finalized. These fees usually consist of title fees, appraisal fees, home inspection costs, and other miscellaneous expenses. It’s important to save for closing costs so you can pay them immediately when the time comes.
Pick a Local Real Estate Agent
The first person you will want to contact when buying a home is a real estate agent. As your professional guide through the home-buying process, a real estate agent needs to be someone you trust and feel comfortable with. Arrange meetings with multiple agents in the area before choosing one that best suits your needs.
Ask your potential agents questions about their experience, expertise, and any other qualifications that may affect your choice. Once you feel confident in their knowledge, work with your real estate agent to develop a budget and search criteria.
Understand the Market
Knowing the market will be critical for finding the right home in Atlanta. Take time to research recent trends, such as average listing prices, median house values, and days on market. Keeping up to date on the market will be a major asset when it comes to making a successful offer on a home.
Noticing things like what time of year is best for buying a home in Atlanta, what neighborhoods are quickly growing or shrinking, and understanding the difference between median listing prices and median sale prices will all be essential to bargaining with sellers. Additionally, understanding the market can help prevent you from overpaying for a house.
Find a Neighborhood
Deicing to purchase a home is one thing, but deciding on which neighborhood to buy in is another. Atlanta is one of the most diverse cities in the nation and you’ll find a mix of suburban communities, city living, and rural areas throughout the metropolitan area.
Think about what factors are important to you when considering neighborhoods such as school districts, walkability or commute time, and amenities. You can also research popular neighborhoods in the area to gain insight into what they have to offer. Every area will have its own unique characteristics that can make or break your decision not to mention varying home prices.
Start House Hunting
Once you have your budget and criteria set, it’s time to start house hunting. Your real estate agent can set up viewings so you can see properties in person, or use online home listing services if you prefer to look from the comfort of your own home.
When viewing houses, consider factors such as size, condition, and location. Also, make sure to take notes during the viewing so you can remember each property’s features and amenities. After seeing a few houses, you should have a better idea of what type of home you are looking for.
Some of the most important things potential home buyers look for include:
- Adequate size
- Good condition
- Desirable location
- Reasonable price
Home Inspection & Appraisal
A home inspection is an important step for any home buyer. It’s a thorough examination of the property to look for any possible defects or safety issues that may need to be addressed. Paying for the services of a professional home inspector is well worth the cost, as it can save you from unexpected and costly repairs down the line.
Similarly, an appraiser will be needed to determine the true value of the home. Most banks and lenders require an appraisal to make sure you are not paying more than the market value for a property.
Negotiate an Offer & Close the Deal
Once you’ve found a property that suits your needs and budget, it’s time to make an offer. Your real estate agent can help you negotiate with the current homeowner, as well as handle any other legal paperwork that may be needed to close the deal.
Something to always be open to during the negotiation process is a counteroffer, as the seller may be open to coming down on their price. After both parties have agreed, it’s time to sign the closing papers and officially become a homeowner in Atlanta, GA.
Get the Keys & Start Packing
And for the most exciting step of all - it’s time to get your keys. After the paperwork is finalized, you will be able to start packing and getting ready for your move to Atlanta. The packing process is where you can decide what is coming with you and what can be sold, donated, or thrown away. Many people find this to be a great time to declutter and get rid of any unwanted items.
Once you’re all packed up and ready to go, the next step is moving into your new home in Atlanta, GA. Buying a home can be an overwhelming process, but with the right guidance and research, it can also be an exciting one.
This is an exciting moment and a major milestone in life and by following these steps you will be living the dream of owning a home in one of the most captivating and exciting cities in the country. Atlanta, GA will forever be known for its culture and vibrancy and it’s time to experience it firsthand. Good luck on your house-hunting journey!