Buying a Home

How Much Money Do You Need To Buy A Home In Atlanta, GA

This question comes up from time to time in various forms, from, "how much money should I save before buying a house" to "how much money do I need to put down?" or "How Much Money Do You Need To Buy A Home In Atlanta, GA?"  While there are financial entertainers out there that will give you a different opinion there is a "facts-based" answer to this.   One such entertainer, Dave Ramsey, suggests 20% down.  He's so popular that even popular websites like credit.com and forbes.com recommend this same amount.  If you put 20% you'll be way ahead of the game and that's outstanding, however, with a median price of $330,000 in Atlanta, GA, that's $66,000 cash that most don't have.

So, How Much Money Do You Need To Buy A Home In Atlanta, GA?

Fortunately for you, the answer is far less than 20%.  If you're looking for what is required to buy a home for the average American, it's about 4% of the purchase price.   On a $330,000 median price point home, that's roughly $11,550.   This amount includes a 3.5% down payment as well as money for incidentals, appraisals, and inspections while using an FHA mortgage. 

Loganville Real Estate Market Media Price

Keep in mind we're talking about Atlanta real estate here which includes areas like Buckhead.  So there's more affordable homes all over the city as well as the suburbs.  Take Loganville real estate for example, with a median price point of $194,000, you have a better example that matches the infographic below.

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April Listings, 2017

The Stan Jones Team listed 3 homes during the month of April!

There has been some great inventory come into the market the past few months here in the Gwinnett County area. Approximately 1,969 homes sold in the month of April and that number is increasing by the day. Don’t lose out on the opportunity to be a part of this market. To view all of our listings, visit our home page at www.AtlantaHomesToday.com

We have a team of agents that are ready to help serve you into your dream home. Call us today at 678-542-1380 and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay in the know!

www.facebook.com/stanjonesteam  & www.instagram.com/stanjones_team

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Appraisals - What is important to know?

Appraisals! They can be great and they can be a nightmare!  The most important items to know are the basics of how it all works.  

So, what does an appraiser do and what are the guidelines he has to follow?  

http://www.grec.state.ga.us/PDFS/About/newsarticles/2012DECGRECRENews.pdf

A definition that is important is - Gross Living Area.  Scott Murphy from the appraisers association stated the article below about living area.  (this helps to understand how square feet are calculated)

Probably one of the most important elements of a home, in terms of value, is the overall living space or gross living area (GLA). It is probably one of the most misunderstood elements as well. There are a number of standards for calculating GLA but the one that is used by appraisers is the “ANSI” – American National Standard Institute. The ANSI standards define "finished area" as “an enclosed area in a house suitable for yearround use, embodying walls, floors, and ceilings that are similar to the rest of the house.” Measurements must be taken to the nearest inch or tenth of a foot, and floor area must be reported to the nearest square foot. Garages are specifically excluded. The way I explain it is that if you put your foot on the floor of any given level and any portion of that floor is below the grade of the ground, it is considered below grade space and CAN NOT be included in GLA. Another way to think of it is that if you could not put a door on any part of the perimeter than it is below grade space. This comes into play in parts of the country where there are homes with basements and other home styles such as split level and split foyer homes where some levels are below the grade of the ground. The appraiser then will take the areas above grade and count the rooms. The appraiser...

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Getting a Home Mortgage

There is no doubt that mortgage credit availability is expanding, meaning it is easier to finance a home today than it was last year. However, the mortgage market is still much tighter than it was prior to the housing boom and bust experienced between 2003 - 2006.

The Housing Financing Policy Center at the Urban Institute just released data revealing two reasons for the current exceptionally high credit standards:

  1. Additional restrictions lenders put on borrowing because of concerns that they will be forced to repurchase failed loans from the government-sponsored enterprises or Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
  2. The concern about potential litigation for imperfect loans.

What has been the result of these concerns?

6.3 Million Less Mortgages

The Policy Center report went on to say:

“It was so hard to get a mortgage in 2015 that lenders failed to make about 1.1 million mortgages that they would have made if reasonable lending standards had been in place. From 2009 to 2014, lenders failed to make about 5.2 million mortgages thanks to overly tight credit. In total, lenders would have issued 6.3 million additional mortgages between 2009 and 2015 if lending standards had been more reasonable.”

In an interview with DSNews, Laurie Goodman and Alanna McCargo of the Policy Center further explained:

“Our Housing Credit Availability Index (HCAI)* measures the probability that mortgage borrowers...

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a recent survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home values are projected to increase by 5.3% over the next 12 months.

What does that mean to you?...

Have You Saved Enough for Closing Costs?

Have You Saved Enough for Closing Costs?There are many potential homebuyers, and even sellers, who believe that they need at least a 20% down payment in order to buy a home or move on to their next home. Time after time, we have dispelled this myth by showing that many loan programs allow you to put down as little as 3% (or 0% with a VA loan).

If you have saved up your down payment and are ready to start your home search, one other piece of the puzzle is to make sure that you have saved enough for your closing costs.

Freddie Mac defines closing costs as:

“Closing costs, also called settlement fees, will need to be paid when you obtain a mortgage. These are fees charged by people representing your purchase, including your lender, real estate agent, and other third parties involved in the transaction. Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of your purchase price.”

We’ve recently heard from many first-time homebuyers that they wished that someone had let them know that closing costs could be so high. If you think about it, with a low down payment program, your closing costs could equal the amount that you saved for your down payment.

Here is a list of just some of the fees/costs that may be included in your closing costs, depending on where the home you wish to purchase is located:

  • Government recording costs
  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit report fees
  • Lender origination fees
  • Title services (insurance, search fees)
  • Tax service fees
  • Survey fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Underwriting fees

Is there...