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Arleen Sealy-Hannibal
Mobile Phone:
678-350-8522
contact@arleenhannibal.com
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Arleen Sealy-Hannibal
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Mobile Phone:
678-350-8522
contact@
arleenhannibal.com
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Work With Me
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Buyer Info
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Seller Info
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Your Home's Value
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Neighborhood Information
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Real Estate Glossary
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 Before You Look at Your First Home

Experienced home buyers know that one of the first-steps in beginning a successful search for a new house is taking a hard, objective look at finances. Determining how much money you can dedicate to the purchase of your new house affects almost every aspect of buying a new home.


Here are the questions that each home buyer should ask:

  • How much cash is available for a down payment? The amount you have available for a down payment will affect what types of loans for which you can qualify. 
  • Am I ready to write a check for the earnest money? Earnest money is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property. This amount is often forfeited if the buyer decides to withdraw his offer.
  • How much additional cash will be available to pay for closing costs? There are certain standard costs associated with closing the sale of a house. These fees are split between the buyer and the seller, as spelled out in the sales contract. 
  • What is the maximum monthly mortgage payment that I can afford? Most lenders will use the 28/36 rule to determine the maximum mortgage payment you can afford.

The 28/36 Rule
No more than 28% of your gross income can be applied to your mortgage, real estate taxes and insurance. And no more than 36% of your gross income can be applied to your mortgage expenses plus your regular debt expenses (car payments, credit cards, other loans, etc.).

 

Are you buying a new home in Georgia? I can help.

With a little planning ahead of time, purchasing a home isn't too confusing, but the event can be stressful for a lot of people. So you'll understand exactly what to expect, I like to give my buyers an outline of the whole deal. Below are my nine steps to buying a home.

If you have any questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, just contact me here or send e-mail to contact@arleenhannibal.com.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
Prior to starting your home search, there are a lot of things you'll want to take into account. You'll most likely want to assemble an outline of items you need to have, get an idea of what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is around a third of your monthly income is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Step 2 – Get with a real estate agent in Georgia 
This is where I can help. I'd like to book a time to get together with you and talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the area of your choice, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that may potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll assist you in getting started on your loan. There are some great mortgage professionals in Georgia, and I work with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They'll help you decide which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin your home search
After we meet, I'll start searching for houses on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll preview many of the homes and reject the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses whenever it's convenient for you.

As we tour the houses, I'll identify positive features, as well as bad ones. I'll also ask you what things you like and dislike. It's widely common for buyers to revise their wish list as we view houses and some features become more necessary than others. If that happens, I'll look through all the listings once again and trim it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
My awareness of the Georgia housing market is an indispensable asset in your search. I'm mindful of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I'll alert you to what districts are "hot" and require immediate action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for careful analysis.

As we tour houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Every REALTOR® in Georgia will claim to comprehend the market, but be on guard, and make sure you ask your agent a lot of questions. If it appears they don't know everything, call me at 678-350-8522 or e-mail me at  contact@arleenhannibal.com and I'll be happy to answer your questions. My knowledge of the market will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
I'm confident we'll find your dream house in the an area of your choice. When we do, I'll meticulously develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs, including a lot of contingencies, such as getting financing, completing the home inspection, and a clear title.

Let Maximum One Greater Atlanta Realtors® guide you through finding your dream home in SmyrnaWhen we submit your offer, you'll likely want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property, and it's often applied to the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most contracts aren't closed on the first offer – it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this alarm you. We'll talk about whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on the state of the market. In addition, we'll work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll formulate a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure your loan
Upon completion of the contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. This shouldn't take long at all if you've been pre-qualified, but you'll want to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll take care of all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.>

Step 8 – Close the deal 
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of getting your application. The estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to include all closing costs and be within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll examine the estimate and let you know if it all looks all right.

Then we'll close on your house. This will likely take place at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and easygoing occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
You made it! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, be sure to contact me at 678-350-8522 or send me an e-mail.

Your REALTOR For Life.

 

 

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Remember, whether you are BUYING or SELLING...my specialty is YOU!

 


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