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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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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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International Yoga Day Destinations - Atlanta, GA - JYB Realty

Yoga has so many benefits. Physically, it helps improve flexibility and strength. Mentally, it can help you stay focused and relaxed. Whether you've done yoga for years or are just discovering it, you'll want to fit in a class on June 21. This is International Yoga Day, a celebration of this incredible wellness modality. Take a break from looking at Atlanta homes for sale, and stop by one of these local studios.

  • Be Hot Yoga Atlanta: 730 Ponce de Leon Place NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
    Be Hot Yoga Atlanta 
    specializes in Bikram yoga, a style of yoga that is performed in a hot room. Bikram yoga is incredible for clearing out your system and helping you start fresh. New students can join for only $69 for 30 days.

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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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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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Picnic in the Park - Atlanta, GA - JYB Realty

Get your checkered blanket, pack your favorite food, grab your favorite people, head to the park, and enjoy an al fresco lunch, because June 18 is International Picnic Day. This unofficial holiday is all about enjoying good food and good company in a beautiful setting. Our real estate agents hope you get a chance to soak up some sun and have fun in a park around Atlanta. Here are some of the parks that offer a grassy spot, as well as scenic and active settings.

  • Historic Fourth Ward Park - 680 Dallas St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
    Located just a few blocks from Atlanta homes for sale, the Historic Fourth Ward Park is one of the highest-rated in the area. It offers 17 acres of green space, a skate park, a 2-acre lake, and athletic fields. The kid-friendly spot has a splash pad, slides, and climbing structures. You can grab a picnic bench, but there are lots of wide-open spaces where you can set up a picnic if the area is busy.

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Birria Tacos - Atlanta, GA - JYB Realty

It's Tuesday night, and you don't feel like cooking. Some Mexican food would be great, but not just any Mexican food. If you really want to make your Taco Tuesday a cut above, you'll want to find some birria tacos. Birria is a delicious meat stew (traditionally goat meat, but it can also be made with beef or lamb) that's sweet, sour, spicy, tender, and amazing. It's great on its own, and it's even better as a taco filling.

But you've just moved to a new house. Where are the good Mexican restaurants in your area, and which ones serve birria? Fear not. Our real estate agents know where all the best places for birria tacos in the Atlanta area and can help you find one near you. Here are some favorites, to take your Taco Tuesday to the next level.

  • DMT - 479-B Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316
    Tuesday through Friday nights, as well as weekend afternoons, you can find this pop-up in front of We Suki Suki Vietnamese restaurant, in East Atlanta Village. The birria tacos from DMT have delicious braised beef on a corn tortilla, along with onion, cilantro, and avocado salsa. You can also get the birria-queso taco, which comes with cheese. In addition to tacos, they also have mulitas, tortas, and a host of other amazing menu options, including a few surprise offerings that they announce on their Instagram.

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Getting Paint Right the First Time - JYB Realty

Few decorating moves can transform the ambiance of a room as easily and inexpensively as a fresh coat of paint. The shade we pick to adorn our interior walls provides a background on which the rest of our aesthetic choices are based on. Picking the right color, however, is no walk in the park. It's a boggling world of various shades, tints, and hues, each one just a little different from the last. Many just choose their favorite color or go all-out with the color of the day, only for it to look like a dud once it's up on the walls. To put this age-old problem to rest, our real estate agents have compiled a list of the best tips on how to find the perfect interior paint color the first time.

  • Do Your Homework Before Shopping
    Finding the perfect paint color starts at home. Before you make a trip to the paint store, gather inspiration from fabric swatches, magazines, and catalogs. Pinterest is also a great place to start, so login, make an inspiration board for your room, and pin designs that catch your eye. The inspirational ideas can help you visualize the perfect space and narrow down your paint color choices.

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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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Planning a remodel? Be sure to ask potential contractors these 5 questions.

One of the most important decisions you'll have to make when remodeling or adding on to your home is finding the right contractor for your job. After all, you're putting a whole lot of trust into one person by giving them a lot of money and letting them and their crew in your home. You also expect them to deliver solid and satisfactory results without major confrontations. With that in mind, our real estate agents have compiled five questions to ask potential contractors that can help you find the best fit for your project.

  1. Are You Licensed, Bonded, and Insured?
    A resounding yes is the answer you want to hear in response to this question. A license shows you that the contractor is qualified for the job you're looking to have completed and keeps up to speed on code changes and best practices. Having a surety bond is a security that if the contractor does not complete the job, you're protected by the surety company. The contractor should have general liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance to protect you from liability if something in your home is damaged or someone is injured while working on your property. Don't just take their word for it; ask for copies to ensure the contractor is current on credentials. If they can't provide papers, that should raise a red flag.

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Atlanta Craft Breweries for Beer Day - JYB Realty

Beer Day is coming, and our real estate agents know some places around Atlanta where you can celebrate.

Believe it or not, beer has been around for thousands and thousands of years. It far predates coffee, and many of the traditions around beer have been passed down intact since oldest antiquity. At different times, brewing beer was considered a feminine or masculine art. Medieval monks were often dedicated to the craft.

After all this time, the resurgence in craft brewing has shown that there's still more to learn when it comes to beer. Homes for sale in Atlanta benefit from a vigorous brewing culture with lots of local startups. Some have become known around the United States, while others remain among the area's best-kept secret.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Early Mortgage Payoff-JYB Realty

Our real estate agents help people with all kinds of financial backgrounds to purchase Atlanta homes for sale. Many people have questions about the process of getting a loan—and most are concerned about what it means for their long-term financial health.

A common question we hear at Josey Young & Brady Realty has to do with pre-payment. Pre-payment is the term for paying off your loan before the anticipated date, typically 15 or 30 years from the time the loan is issued.

Some lenders specify that paying off a large loan early will cause the lender to incur a penalty. However, this practice has largely been done away within the world of home loans. In general, if you end up with a windfall of spare cash, you can pay off your mortgage whenever you wish.

It may seem intuitive that the sooner you pay off your mortgage, the better. It's a huge milestone in life and a weight off your mind. However, it's not always wise to take the plunge.

Even if you end up with a large lump sum such as an inheritance or contest winnings that could pay off your mortgage, you might be better off continuing monthly payments.

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