Are you shopping for a new home? We have come up with the top 10 tips for first time home buyer to give you some head start that you can work with. Do let me know if there is anything I can help you to own your home here in Georgia.

  1. Shopping for mortgage
    Shop around for mortgage to see which loan works best for your financial situation. Ask for banker or mortgage broker recommendation from friends and family to get the best rate. You may only want to see 2-3 lender as each time they check your credit score, it will bring down your score and affect the interest rate.
    Talk to a loan officer to advise you on the different types of loan available. It can be overwhelming at first, so educate yourself through articles on credible websites or books to get some basic understanding. You may want to check https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0189-shopping- mortgage.
  2. Loan pre-approval
    Get preapproved loan to give you the idea of the amount that you can borrow. Visiting your local banks or lenders to get more accurate amount as they will get more detailed information from you and pull up your credit score before they give you the number.
    The preapproved loan letter is good for 60-90 days depending on the lenders.
  3. House Hunting
    Once preapproved, begin the house hunting. Narrow down your likes and dislikes based on types of house, location, school, neighborhood, price, etc.
    If this will be your primary home, picture yourself living in that house for few years down the road. You may want to drive to that area for few times at different hours and days to see the community at close and maybe the traffic situation. You can also check www.city-data.com for information on the city or particular neighborhood of the property that you are interested at.
  4. Engage a real estate agent
    A good agent will explain the whole process and make you feel comfortable without feeling forced into buying a certain house. He/she will ensure that your requests and concerns are heard on your best interest.
  5. Read, read, read
    Review the Seller’s Property Disclosure (SPD), Community Association Disclosure (CAD) and the public records on the property that are available at the county clerk office.
  6. Make an offer
    Once you find your dream house, work with your real estate agent to decide on the price to offer for the house. The agent will advise you on the price to offer the seller based on the market situation and the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that compares between few similar houses in the area that were sold in the recent time.
    The seller might counter offer the price and the terms in the contingencies. Once the mutual acceptable price is reached, you will sign the contract, SPD and CAD. Be sure to pay more attention to the items, appliances and fixtures that are included or not included in the house sell. All these details will be specified and written in the SPD.You will be required to pass the earnest money to the broker to show your seriousness in buying the house. The earnest money will go towards your down payment and closing cost in the sales contract during the closing.
  7. Lock in the rate
    Get the best rate from your banker or mortgage broker and lock in the rate for the longest time possible so that the rate will be secured during your escrow period.
    The bank will hire a professional appraiser on the property. Make sure you keep in contact with your loan officer to ensure that everything goes accordingly and in time before closing.
  8. Home Inspection
    After you did your brief check on the house before you sign the contract, now it’s time to hire a professional inspector to inspect the house top to bottom.If there is any issues you would like the seller to fix, you will discuss with the seller whether or not he/she wants to fix it. All has to be done before the closing.
  9. Get home owners insurance quote
    You’ll need the insurance quote number to be given to the banker or mortgage broker. The insurance policy is required to be in place by the time of closing.
  10. Closing
    This is the final step to your home buying process. There will be lot going on during the closing in terms of costs and jargons that you are unfamiliar with. Before closing, it will be a good idea to ask questions to your banker or mortgage broker to list down all the costs you’ll expect to see during the closing and do as much due diligence as possible. Your realtor will help you along the way during the closing process to ease your overwhelming feeling.

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