For Buyers

Congratulations! After time spent renting, your ready to purchase a home as a first-time or repeat buyer. The home-buying process can be a terrifying edge-of-your seat endeavor, especially for first time buyers. 

Owning your own home is one of the most rewarding experiences you'll enjoy. But how much you know about the buying process-and whom you choose to help you-can save you from unnecessary headaches and unforeseen hassles. There are many aspects of the home buying process that require explanation and the more you know, the better position you will be in when it's time to sign papers. 

This is where I come in-offering the guidance, information and assistance that only a qualified real estate professional can provide. And because I stay on top of all the latest real estate laws and regulations, you can rest assured that you are always getting the expert advice and service you deserve. I can also help you team up with a proven financial expert to put the best loan package together-for you. When you have a dedicated partner/team working together on a planned strategy, chances are you'll be moving into your dream home sooner than you might imagine. 

Here's what every buyer needs to know to dive into homeownership with confidence:  

Step 1: Get Your Credit in Order 

A credit report details your borrowing history, including any late payments and bad debts, and typically includes a credit score. Lenders lean heavily on your credit report and credit score in determining how much, and at what interest rate to lend for a home. Most require a minimum credit score of 620; but I do work with some lenders who only require a 580 credit score for a home mortgage. You're entitled to free copies of your credit reports annually from the three major credit reporting agencies:

Step 2: Start Saving!

Have you save enough money to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? You can purchase a home with as little as 3.5% down.

However, the lower your down payment, the higher the loan amount you'll need to qualify for, and if you still qualify, the higher your monthly payment. Your down payment size can also influence your interest rate that the type of loan you can get. 

Finally, if your down payment is less than 20%, you'll be required to purchase private mortgage insurance. Depending on the size of your loan, PMI can add hundreds to your monthly payment. Check with your state and local government for mortgage and down payment assistance programs for first-time and repeat buyers who have not own a home in the past three years. Some of the down payment assistance programs include Georgia Dream Home that's offered in most counties (standard DP assistance is $5,000); USDA Rural home offers 100% finance (although you have to pay for earnest money, appraisal & credit report); Buy Cobb Neighborhood Stabilization program; Gwinnett County Homestretch Downpayment assistance program offer up to $7,500 but must occupy the home for 5-years in order to satisfy the loan and no repayment; and other DP programs that your lender will advise you of.

Step 3: Meet with a Lender to get prequalified/pre-approved for a mortgage

Meet with a lender to get a prequalification letter that shows how much house you're qualified to buy. Start gathering the paperwork your lender will need. Most want to see W-2 or 1099 tax forms for the past two years verifying your employment and income, 1 month of pay stubs, 2 years tax statements, photocopies of your driver's license and social security card, two to four months of banking statements. If you're self-employed, you'll need your current profit and loss statement, a current balance sheet, and personal and business income tax returns for the previous two years. Keep in mind, your lender will charge you to pull your credit report, and estimated cost between $30-$45. The items listed above are the standard, and each lender will require additional information that will be discussed once you meet with them.

Step 4: Starting the process to purchase your home

You followed steps 1-3 and now have a pre-approve or a approval letter that tells you exactly how much you qualify for. Develop your home wish list. Be honest about which features you must have and which you'd like to have. Come up with your top-five must-haves and top-five wants to help you focus your search and make a logical, rather than emotional, choice when home shopping. Next make a list of your top-five community priorities, such as commute time, schools, recreational facilities. Explore my website and enjoy searching for properties that meet your criteria.

Step 5: Work with your Realtor to find your home

Ask your Realtor to identify three to four target neighborhoods based on your priorities in step 4. Once it has been determined the communities and what the must haves and wants, your Realtor will have you complete a form of your home needs and will send you properties that fits your criteria on-line through the FMLS and MLS Services. You then select the properties you're interested in viewing and then schedule time for showing.  Once you made an offer (earnest money) and it has been accepted by the seller, this is when it becomes time sensitive to complete all of your contingencies.

A lot will be going on around this time, you are in constant contact with your lender as they are working on your loan and will need additional information, scheduling to have the home inspection done which is your cost and can run up to $300 or more depending on the square footage, paying the cost to your lender to have the appraisal completed, obtaining and paying for your home insurance as it has to be paid prior to closing, a final walk through, wiring your closing to the attorney. On my end, I'm right there with you, negotiating on your behalf on any contingencies, inspection repairs, home warranties, in constant communication with your lender, title company, listing agent, ect. to ensure were all working together with the same goal in mind...getting you in your home.  

Contact me via email, cell, or use the form below with any questions you may have. I look forward to helping you achieve success with this major milestone in your life!



Contact Me

Contact The Brenda Hall Team

Office: 770.427.6262

Direct: 404.441.3237

efax: 678.840.0239


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