It's a great time to buy Atlanta real estate, especially if you're considering purchasing your first home! However, the home buying process is quite different than finding and renting a house. If you're ready to stop renting, it's important to understand the home buying process and work with the right professionals to find a home that meets your needs and fits your budget.
What are the steps to buying a Georgia dream home? Today, our Atlanta property managers walk through these nine steps of becoming a homeowner!
1. Do Your Research
The first step to Atlanta home buying is understanding the market and finding the ideal community to begin life as a new homeowner. Much like finding a rental home, buyers need to consider home prices, school quality, nearby amenities, and proximity to jobs, and other essentials you need to enjoy your new home and neighborhood.
2. Know Your Budget
What will you be able to afford? After you've narrowed down your ideal neighborhoods, make sure homes in that area fit your budget.
When budgeting to become a first-time homebuyer, it's critical to understand the true costs of homeownership. In addition to the sale price of the house, include the down payment, closing costs, insurance premiums, monthly utilities, potential repairs, and other applicable fees in your budget.
3. Find a Local Atlanta Real Estate Agent
As Atlanta property managers know, having a real estate expert can significantly improve the home buying experience. As you develop your budget and start considering homes to visit, make sure to work with an Atlanta home expert. If you're not sure where to start or how to find the right agent, start with your property manager! In addition to managing your rental home, property managers help renters find homes to buy.
4. Get Preapproved For a Mortgage
Once you've compared Atlanta home prices in your ideal neighborhood, it's critical to get preapproved for a home loan. Atlanta real estate agents use this information to narrow down the homes within your budget. Having clear expectations about what you can afford when finding Atlanta real estate—and knowing the amount that a mortgage lender is willing to finance toward a home purchase—will help you make an offer on the right home in the right neighborhood without overspending or missing out because of inaccurate assumptions.
Plus, with preapproval for a home loan, sellers are more willing to consider your offer as a serious buyer with funding waiting to close the sale.
5. Find Your Dream Home And Make An Offer
After spending some time researching Atlanta neighborhoods, it's time to find the perfect house. While there are many homes for sale today, not all Atlanta properties are worth considering for your specific needs. First-time buyers to be confident that the home you choose has sturdy structures and appliances. This means that your dream house should come with clean carpets (if carpeted), no previous damage (like water damage or a termite infestation), and no significant repairs.
Once you've found your dream home, there is power in making an offer! You may need to compete with other Atlanta buyers for properties that are priced just right, so submitting a strong offer can be crucial to winning Atlanta house bidding wars. Our property managers recommend making an offer quickly when you've found "the" house because Atlanta real estate moves fast!
6. Prepare For A Property Inspection
Before closing on the home purchase, it's critical to hire a professional Atlanta property inspector. The inspector will identify potential issues with plumbing, roofing, heating/cooling systems, foundation integrity, electrical wiring, etc., so that you have accurate information about what needs Atlanta maintenance beforehand. This is also an excellent time to work with your real estate agent to negotiate the price.
7. Work With Your Lender
Many Atlanta buyers don't realize that a lender can be incredibly helpful during the home buying process. These experts help first-time buyers navigate the sometimes confusing world of choosing a conventional loan, FHA loan, USDA loan, or a VA loan. The right loan officer can also help you find first-time homebuyer programs to lower your mortgage payments or help you improve your debt-to-income ratio to qualify for better rates.
8. Schedule a Home Appraisal
Once an Atlanta home buyer submits their offer on a home, Atlanta real estate agents recommend working with the lender to schedule an appraisal. The appraiser will determine the Atlanta market value of your dream house so that you are confident in your purchase price before closing day. It's essential to work closely with the lending team when scheduling this appointment because loan officers can help ensure that your home is valued accurately.
9. Close Your Deal
When it comes time to close on your new home, remember that you shouldn't do everything yourself! You'll need someone representing you at public records for mortgages and deeds, a title company when signing contracts, and your real estate agent.
Follow These Steps To Become a First-Time Home Buyer In Atlanta
Our Atlanta property managers hope this guide helps first-time homebuyers have an enjoyable experience transitioning from "renter" to "buyer!" Owning your first home is an exciting opportunity. If you're ready to get started, reach out to Revolution Rental Management for help.
Ready to make an offer on a house? Download our free ebook, "The Complete Home Buying Guide for Current Renters: What You Need to Know Before You Make an Offer," first!