It’s no secret that housing inventory in Metro Atlanta is low, especially when it comes to traditional “starter” homes below $200k. Buying is competitive this Spring, but there are ways to make yourself the most promising buyer on the market, the one most likely to win the house of your dreams.
Narrow your list of must-haves.
Be prepared with a SHORT list of must-haves before you start attending open houses and scheduling showings. Your list should include only the items you feel unable to compromise on, like location, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, or acreage. Remember that all finishes can be changed later to better suit your personality and style.
Save, save, save.
The easiest way to improve your “looks” as a homebuyer is to have money in the bank. While there are down payment assistance programs available, not every buyer will qualify for one. Most loans require a 20% down payment. One great way to save is to compute your estimated monthly payment (you can do that HERE), and try to save it each month long before you are ready to buy.
Speak to a qualified lending expert, like Sylvia Taylor at Fidelity Bank Mortgage, to find out exactly how much house you can afford based on your savings, debt, income, and credit history. With a pre-approval letter in hand, you are automatically a more qualified (and informed) buyer than those who have not completed this crucial step.
The spring market in Metro Atlanta is shaping up to be a seller’s market. That means there is more competition among buyers for fewer listed homes. Prices for move-in ready, fully renovated homes are slowly ticking up. Have an open mind and realize that every item on your wish list might not be met at closing. Paint and carpet are easily replaced. Wallpaper is sticky but can be removed. Do your best to look past dated finishes to the gem beneath, and you might be surprised at how much you can save this spring!
Work with a REALTOR.
Rule #1 of the busy spring selling season: Hire a qualified, knowledgeable REALTOR to help in your home search and navigate the negotiation process once you decide to make an offer. Real estate transactions involve inspections, counter-offers, appraisals, repairs, and plenty of legal documents that must be executed correctly. Get advice you can count on throughout the process by hiring a professional that knows the business.
Peggy Slappey Properties, Inc. is a Metro Atlanta real estate brokerage with over 30 years of experience in real estate sales and marketing. From new home construction to resales, we can help you find the home of your dreams. To see our current listings, visit www.psponline.com and call us for expert advice at 770-271-5555. Keep up to date with the latest PSP events and offers by checking in on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/peggyslappeyproperties and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/psponline.