Buying a Metro Atlanta home remains a dream for many people. Whether you are a young professional, part of a new family, or an empty-nester, the desire for permanence, peace of mind, and independence can be extremely motivating, in part because almost everyone considers these factors important for having a good quality of life.
When looking for a Metro Atlanta home, whether for the first time or not, many would-be homeowners finding themselves wondering: what kind of Metro Atlanta home can I actually afford and how do I find one that is affordable on my budget?
Determining a Budget for Your Metro Atlanta Home
You must take an objective look at your finances to understand exactly how much you can afford to spend on creating your perfect home.
You must look closely at all your debts, bills, and earnings, and that can be uncomfortable or even depressing, depending on your circumstances.
A good place to start is by talking to a financial adviser, loan officer, or other professional to get an accurate picture of your finances and potential budget for buying your Metro Atlanta home.
In the end, however, you should have a figure in mind in terms of the monthly payment you can afford. Remember the payment includes more than just the principal and interest associated with the home loan. You will also be paying property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and possibly mortgage insurance, making the payment higher than you may initially think.
Finding an Affordable Metro Atlanta Home
In recent years, some of the best real estate deals have been on foreclosures and short sales. Foreclosures are homes sold by the bank holding the mortgage, usually due to non-payment by the owner. Sometimes, homes may be sold at auction by the state/city due to non-payment of property or other taxes. Foreclosures are generally sold well below market value, primarily to prevent the bank or other interested parties from losing even more money on the property. Lists of foreclosures can be found online or sometimes in local newspapers.
Short sales are similar, however, the list price of the home may be higher than a foreclosure. Keep in mind, many of these homes are not necessarily in good condition and may need work, either cosmetic or structural, to make the home livable or nice inside.
If you choose to purchase such a Metro Atlanta home, a property inspection beforehand can save you a lot of potential heartache. Replacing a roof, for example, generally costs thousands. Mold remediation is likewise expensive, not to mention hazardous. Homes for sale by-owner are likely to be affordable; however, the transaction itself can be much more difficult without having professional assistance working on behalf of both parties.
These reasons alone should be convincing enough to hire your own agent to look after your best interests in any purchase of a Metro Atlanta home.
Other Expenses When Buying A Metro Atlanta Home
Closing costs can be one major expense. Ideally, the seller should pay the majority of these costs. To avoid surprises, be certain to understand fully which expenses are your responsibility and which ones belong to the seller. High closing costs can represent a serious expense that could be unnecessary or at least negotiable.
The same goes for insurance. It is entirely possible to overpay for a policy that does not provide any additional benefits to you as the homeowner. You should get quotes from several insurance companies prior to choosing a policy. Do not skimp on coverage! Just make an attempt at getting what you need for an affordable rate through comparison shopping.
We have more articles to help in the process of buying a Metro Atlanta home over in our Atlanta Home Buying Tips section of articles under the Atlanta Real Estate Categories to your right.