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Articles Tagged "First-time buyers"

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September
19

What to Avoid Before Buying a Home - JYB Realty

After all of your hard work and careful saving, you're probably starting to look longingly at some of the beautiful Atlanta homes for sale. At this point in the process, a simple error in judgment could derail your plans. Our real estate agents want to help you avoid any such issues. 

  • Don't make a major purchase.
    Lenders will check your credit before approving your loan. Buying a new car, furniture, or appliance will impact the loan in more ways than one. Not only will such a purchase lower your FICO score, but it will also increase your debt-to-income ratio or DTI. If your DTI increases to around 43%, you will be considered a risky borrower. If your loan is approved at all, it may be at a higher interest rate. Avoid making such purchases for at least six months to a year before buying a home.

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August
29

Home Inspector Questions - Buy a Home - JYB Realty

Our real estate agents want to help you achieve true peace of mind. We're always there for you throughout the process of finding the right Atlanta homes for sale, making a bid, and getting to closing day.

Your real estate agent is your ally from start to finish but doesn't do it all alone. Depending on your situation, there may be other experts on your team. One of the most important ones virtually every buyer needs is a trusted home inspector.

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August
15

Advantages of Buying Instead of Building - JYB Realty

In looking for Atlanta homes for sale, some people forego the buying process and build their new house themselves from the ground up. The idea certainly has its appeal. No long searches, no bidding wars, and you can get a brand new home tailored to your exact specifications. However, while good in theory, building a house may not be the best option in practice. Here are a few reasons why buying is better.

  • Cost. On average, building a new home costs $34,000 more than buying one. The cost is much less straightforward, too, and always ends up being significantly more than you'd originally anticipated. You never know when, several months into the process, an unexpected obstacle arises, requiring extra money to circumvent. On the other hand, the cost of buying a house can be negotiated. You can always walk away if it's more than you're comfortable paying. In building, walking away often means giving up the money you've already invested in the project as a loss.

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September
27

Buying a Flipped House - Atlanta, GA - JYB Realty

You're not alone if you're flipping and flopping over buying a flipped house. Is it a good investment? Bad investment? Safe or risky? Our real estate agents know it's a tough decision. The fact is that some flipped properties can be beautiful opportunities, while others are poisoned fruit to be avoided at all costs. As with any real estate purchase, due diligence and a cautious eye can help you choose the former and avoid the latter.

Atlanta homes for sale are a hot commodity, and many investors are purchasing distressed properties, fixing them up, and selling them for a quick, tidy profit. Some of these individuals devote significant care and attention to every last detail in the process. Wary of potential legal consequences, these individuals go through the home and properly resolve critical issues such as leaking roofs and faulty wiring. They secure the necessary permits and ensure the work is done by qualified, licensed, and insured plumbers, electricians, roofers, etc. But, these individuals and the properties they renovate, restore, and remodel are not the norms.

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September
13

Improve Credit Score - Buy a House - JYB Realty

You may have heard that there is a shortage of real estate available in America, but our real estate agents want to assure you that there are plenty of magnificent Atlanta homes for sale, no matter your price range. But did you know that your credit score can change the affordability of your dream house? Credit scores not only make a difference in the mortgage rate but also in the type of loan for which you can qualify, including the amount of down payment required. Conventional mortgages usually require a minimum score of 620, FHA requires 580, VA and USDA require 640, and jumbo loans 700-740. Unfortunately, how these credit scores are calculated is a mystery to most consumers. Here are few ways to boost your score.

  • Don't apply for new credit
    Retailers are always pitching their store cards with promises of money-saving prices and cashback on purchases. Lenders look at your FICO score to determine creditworthiness. Opening new accounts over a short period of time can signal a greater credit risk to lenders. New credit accounts for about 10% of your score.

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July
26

Buying an Older Home - JYB Realty

Buying an older home can be a one-of-a-kind experience. Our real estate agents understand the sentimental appeal of a home whose walls are filled with history and character. If you're thinking about purchasing older Atlanta homes for sale, there's a lot to consider. We've laid out the pros and cons to help you decide if it's worth it.

The Pros

  • Charm and Craftsmanship
    These days, homes are somewhat cookie-cutter in style- they tend to have the same features and feel. Older houses come with plenty of character and charm. From the wide-plank wood floors, balustrades, and ornate stone fireplaces to vintage door knockers, sloping ceilings, and crown moldings in the corners, there are so many fun details to love in an older home.

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June
28

Competitive Housing Market - JYB Realty

The 2021 housing market is a royal flush for sellers – inventory is low, buyer demand is high, and mortgage rates are at historical lows. If you're buying in an extreme seller's market, you're bound to experience stiff competition, and you'll be expected to make quick decisions. In sought-after areas, houses like these Atlanta homes for sale are going under contract in just a matter of days due to competitive bidding.

So here's the question, is this a good time to buy? Yes, if you're ready. The best time to buy a home is when you're ready. Don't let the competition scare you from closing on your dream home.

Extremely low housing inventory has made it difficult for most buyers to lock in a deal. But fret not; with these tips, you'll be able to secure the right home for you.

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April
26

FICO Score Importance - Buy a Home - JYB Realty

Your credit score is more than a number; it is a reflection of your financial health and your ability to service your financial obligations. When you purchase a home, it is a number that is as important as your down payment, income, and assets. Our real estate agents don't want your deal to fall through because of a low FICO Score. Understanding the following can help you prepare your credit for one of the most important investments of your life.

How Lenders Use Credit Scores

Lenders view your FICO Score as a measure of your creditworthiness. The higher your score, the lower the fees and interest rates you will pay. That's because the higher the score, the lower the risk you pose to the lender. Conversely, if you have a lower score, you pose a greater risk and will pay higher fees and interest.

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March
22

Pre-Approval Process - Buy a Home - JYB Realty

Our real estate agents know viewing Atlanta homes for sale is an exciting experience! When you visit a new home, you open up a world of possibilities for the future. As exciting as it all is, it's vital not to overlook any of the important steps in the homebuying process. If you approach buying in a methodical way, you'll be more prepared – and more likely to get the home you want.

The most crucial thing many buyers forget about is pre-approval. In fact, you should take care of it before you even look at homes for sale.

What is Pre-Approval and Why Does It Matter?

Pre-approval is an essential step in getting a mortgage loan.

During pre-approval, a lender examines your finances in detail and determines exactly how much money you can qualify for in your loan package. The loan isn't finalized until you select a home, but you receive a letter from your lender showing that they are willing to extend a financing package to you.

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December
21

5 Things That Could Delay Closing on a House | JYB Realty

Buying a new home is one of life's most exciting moments, but weeks leading-up to the closing can be stressful at times. On occasion, problems can pop-up at the last minute, so it's often recommended that buyers temper their expectations until the seller hands over the keys. Unfortunately, this can be a lengthy process as average home closings can last anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks.

When it comes to closings, our real estate agents have seen it all. If you're considering one of these Atlanta homes for sale, below are some common problems that can delay closing on a property.

  • The Home Inspection
    The home inspection report is one of the most common causes of a delayed closing. Often, a home inspector will uncover an issue or defect that the seller either was not aware of or did not disclose. Upon receiving a home inspection report, you may want to negotiate further with the seller around potential repairs. Luckily, by adding a home inspection contingency to your offer, you'll have the right to back out without penalty if you discover something in the home inspection report that is a major cause for concern.

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November
23

Condo or House - Buy a Home - JYB Realty

Deciding whether to purchase a house or a condo can be a tough decision. There are unique benefits to both options - and the best choice ultimately depends on your preference, budget, and where you are in your life. To help you make an informed decision, our real estate agents outlined several advantages of owning a house and a condo.

Three Benefits of Purchasing a Condo

  • They're Often Less Expensive
    When all else is equal (market, size, etc.), condos tend to be your cheaper option. If you have a smaller budget, condos will allow you to get by with a smaller down payment and a smaller mortgage payment. However, keep in mind that some condos often have Homeowners Association (HOA) fees ranging anywhere from $100 a month to well over $1,000 per month.

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September
21

First-Timing Buyers in 2020 - JYB Realty

You had saved for the down payment and planned to become a first-time homeowner in 2020. And then just like that, the coronavirus pandemic turned the world upside down. Should you still go through with the purchase or put your plans on hold? Navigating the real estate world as a first-time buyer can be confusing and stressful. Add in a layer of the paralyzing stress and uncertainty of the pandemic, and you have many potential buyers with mixed feelings about taking the leap when things are looking grim.

The real estate market is a bit shaken by the pandemic, but you can still explore Atlanta homes for sale. To help you make an informed decision, our real estate agents have compiled a list of 4 reasons why now is actually a good time to buy a first home.

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August
31

First-Time Buyers - Credit Score - JYB Realty

At Josey Young & Bradley, our real estate agents want to give all our clients the best opportunity to find a home they'll be happy with. In a time of increased buuyer activity and historic low interest rates, more people are finding now is the right time for them to explore Atlanta homes for sale.

Many people wonder, however, if their credit is "good enough" for a mortgage loan.

Your credit history serves as a measure of the risk lenders take if they decide to provide you with a mortgage loan. Your history of paying debts on time is the principal factor that determines credit, although other factors – like how much credit you have total – are also counted.

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June
22

Buying a Home on a Busy Road - JYB Realty

When you're looking for Atlanta homes for sale, location is one of the most important aspects to look into. Buying a home on a major thoroughfare is often considered highly undesirable, but as with many things, it actually has some silver linings. The drawbacks don't have to deal breakers, but you should be a little more cautious before buying on a road that sees a lot of traffic. To help with your decision, we've highlighted the pros and cons of buying a home on a busier road.

Pros of Buying a Home on a Busier Road

  • Close to Public Transportation and Recreation
    Living on a busier road provides easy access to main recreation spots and mass transit that would typically take longer to get to when living in a quieter street. If access to local attractions, bus stations, bike paths, and train stations means a lot to you, living on a busy road could be a real advantage.

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May
11

Stay Safe While Moving - JYB Realty

Moving is stressful under the best of circumstances, and it can cause even more anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak. Keeping your family and others safe is paramount as you go through all the tasks associated with a move, and this may take a little more work and planning during these unusual times.

Our real estate agents suggest the following five moving tips to help you stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Research your movers and minimize contact
    In a pre-coronavirus world, you'd probably want to be present as much as possible when movers are giving you an estimate or packing and loading your belongings. Now, however, minimizing contact is best for everyone's health. When you're choosing a mover, ask about contactless moving. Many companies are utilizing technology to do everything from seeing customers' belongings and providing quotes to showing customers the loaded truck.

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February
17

Earnest Money - Buy a Home - JYB Realty

You've looked at many Atlanta homes for sale and finally found one that you love. You probably can't wait to get started with the purchasing process. But you have to make an offer to show to make sure the seller takes the house off the market as you work on different closing aspects. Accepting an offer is a big commitment for a seller. If the buyer backs out of the deal, the seller loses a significant amount of money and time finding another buyer. This is where sellers request earnest money. Read on to learn what earnest money is, when to offer it, and steps you can take to protect your upfront investment.

Understanding Earnest Money

Earnest money is a deposit made to a seller as a good-faith gesture that you mean business when it comes to buying the house. It's a way of you showing the seller that you're serious about closing the deal. Sellers tend to favor these deposits because it gives them peace of mind to proceed to the next steps of the transaction. Earnest money doesn't go to the seller right away. Instead, it is held in an escrow account with an escrow company until closing.

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January
13

Fix Mortgage Loan Problems - JY&B Realty

The mortgage loan application process is quite rigorous - one or several strikes against you and the loan officer decides that you don't qualify. There are many reasons why your request for a loan may have been rejected. Receiving a rejection letter can certainly be a disappointment. But rather than dwell on the unfortunate outcome, use it as a valuable learning experience and correct the problem. Our real estate agents share five possible causes for a mortgage loan denial and what you can do to improve your chances moving forward.

  • Down Payment is Too Small
    A down payment shows lenders that you're capable of saving money, and you're serious about investing in your future home. So, a small down payment does little to put their minds at ease. Conventional loans require a down payment anywhere between 5% and 20% of the total value of a home. If you come up with anything less than 20%, chances are very high that you'll receive a denial or be required to pay private mortgage insurance.

    How to fix: Start saving early enough so you reach the 20% threshold when submitting your application or wait and give yourself time to save up the funds. You can also use a gift from a relative as long as no repayment is expected. Ensure you're transparent in documenting the source of the money. Finally, you can have the seller pay some of the closing costs.

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December
30

Home Loan Pre-Approval Timing - JY&B Realty

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a crucial step on the path to buying a home, and one that every shopper should look into when they get serious about making a purchase. Pre-approval allows you to get a strong idea of the funds you'll have available to spend on your home, makes it easier to plan your budget, and shows sellers that you're a serious buyer. But it's important to be prepared before speaking with lenders, so when is the right time to get pre-approved? Our real estate agents are here to help, with a guide to planning for mortgage pre-approval when shopping for a home.

  • Why Pre-Approval Is So Important
    When you're competing with other buyers for Atlanta homes for sale, you want to do everything that you can to make your offer stand out from the pack. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage shows sellers that you have the necessary funds available to back your offer, and gives seller's agents a reason to take your offers seriously. From your perspective, pre-approval provides a firm range for how much home you can afford and allows you to start planning for your purchase with confidence. Overall, a buyer with pre-approval is in a much better position to close the deal.

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December
16

New Year New Hobbies - Atlanta, GA - JY&B Realty

As the January approaches, our real estate agents want you to start the New Year on the right foot. Instead of choosing a resolution, we believe it's fun and exciting to try a new hobby. Here are a few popular activities you can try in the New Year.

  • Find Your Om at Tough Love Yoga — 1530 Dekalb Ave. NE. Suite D., Atlanta, GA 30307
    Making a resolution to commit to an exercise regiment is a healthy choice but did you know that you can get a great workout in just through stretching? Find your "om" at Tough Love Yoga where you'll learn yoga poses through a variety of lessons. Classes include Deep Stretch, Prenatal Yoga, Basics, Yoga + Meditate. Moms-to-be will enjoy Prenatal Yoga while rockers will love Metal Yoga. There's a class for you at this affordable and accessible yoga studio in Atlanta.

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December
2

Credit Score - Buy a House - Josey Young & Brady Realty

Our real estate agents at Josey Young & Brady Realty know that buying Atlanta homes for sale starts long before you reach out to us. In fact, many people save up for months or years before they embark on the journey of buying their own home. Even if you only have a few months to get ready, there are steps that will help! Two financial habits are essential to achieving your goals:

  • Save up money so that you can easily handle a down payment or closing costs.
  • Reduce your debts so you can improve your credit score before getting a loan.

Of these, it's the second one that creates the most confusion! Every time you pay down debt, you are raising your credit score. Your credit score, in turn, is a numerical representation of your good financial habits. It uses a number of factors to help lenders assess the risk in offering you a loan.

There are opportunities to raise your credit score every month. A change of just a few points can give you access to loans on more favorable terms, so knowing how your credit score works is worth the effort. Let's look at some of the best ways to improve your credit before applying for a home loan.

  1. Pay Bills on Time
    Most people have predictable income from work and set, monthly due dates for bills. Still, with so many things to keep track of, it's possible to let something slip. Set up a calendar, use a mobile app with reminders, or set up automatic payments to ensure bills get out on time.

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July
8

Self-Employed Mortgage Approval - JY&B Realty

Our real estate agents show Atlanta homes for sale to self-employed buyers all the time! Yes, the mortgage approval process is more stringent for people who are self-employed. But no, it's not impossible to achieve your goals. It just requires a little bit more preparation. Mortgage lenders take a wide variety of factors into account when making a decision. In the long run, their focus is on ensuring buyers are financially stable and can repay loans with no issue. Some of the key factors they look at include:

  • Employment history
  • Length of residence at current address
  • Credit history
  • Current debt
  • Monthly income

Self-employed people have all of these things, naturally. However, some of the information might be harder to pull together and present in a way lenders are willing to accept. Likewise, they may have questions about long-term financial stability, depending on occupation.

Luckily, there are steps self-employed buyers can take to make things easier. Let's look at them now.

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June
25

Final Walk-Through Checklist-JY&B Realty

So here you are, in the home stretch of the home-buying process, having put in your time shopping Atlanta homes for sale and found the one that is just right for you. You've put an offer on it and had it accepted. Your financing is in place, the home inspection completed, and a closing date is scheduled. That means that it's time for the final walk-through to make sure everything is in order before you sign on the dotted line at the closing table.

You're sure to be excited at this point and eager to get past the formalities and into your new home, but it's essential to realize that the final walk-through isn't just a formality. It is an important step in ensuring that you get what you bargained for in your purchase agreement, and our real estate agents would certainly tell you that it's one to take very seriously. To help you make the most of it, we've put together a helpful final walk-through checklist for home buyers.

  • Pack up a few things to take with you – To do a thorough job with your final walk-through, you'll need to take a few key documents and items along. These include your final purchase contract and home inspection summary to refer to as you check up on things, a notepad to list any concerns you may have, and a phone and charger, so you're able to take pictures and check outlets. It's also a good idea to take your real estate agent along for guidance during your walk-through.

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February
11

Avoiding Home-Selling Anxiety-JY&B Realty

Deciding to add your home to the list of Atlanta homes for sale is a big decision. For first-time sellers, it might be almost as big of a decision as buying a home in the first place. After all, selling your home successfully is something that affects your financial well-being and plans for the future. But there are ways to make things less stressful and help you get your home sold.

  1. Pick the right agent
    A great agent can take a lot of stress out of the process. Take time to interview at least a few about the success they've recently had selling homes like yours. Make sure to view CMAs and ask about their marketing plan and strategies. Our real estate agents are happy to answer any questions you might have.

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January
28

Applying for a Mortgage - JYB Realty

Are your preparing to purchase a home for the first time? Understanding what's ahead will help you navigate the process of buying for the first time, and applying for a mortgage is one of the most important steps in that process. Before you apply for a mortgage, however, it's a good idea to read what our real estate agents have to say about how to make the process as seamless as possible.

First-Time Buyers: Applying for Your First Mortgage

Let's say you've been browsing Atlanta homes for sale, and you've identified a property that fits both your taste and your budget. If you want to make a serious offer on a home that suits your goals, then applying for a mortgage is a must. Understanding what to expect is key, and will help you navigate the process with confidence.

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