Buying a new home is an exciting moment in a family’s life. Whether this is your first property or you have purchased a home before, learning how to buy a house in Georgia can help simplify the process. This popular housing market has homes for every budget, so there is bound to be the perfect place for every prospective home buyer.
Figuring out the steps to purchasing a home doesn’t have to be all that difficult. In most cases, the process is the same in Georgia as it is for the rest of the country. From working with a lender to finding a real estate agent, there is a key procedure to follow that will keep the process smooth, simple, and even enjoyable.
Steps for Buying a House in Georgia
1. Start Working With a Real Estate Agent
Most local real estate agents have years of experience working in Georgia. They know what types of prices are normal for an area and when to bid lower. If you plan on buying a house, an agent will make the process much easier and provide with insight into key strategies.
More importantly, a real estate agent has your best interests at heart. You can guarantee the seller’s agent will do everything possible to get a higher price. To make sure that you get a good deal, you need a real estate agent who is working only for you.
Finding a real estate agent can be as simple as a quick online search. Try looking a few up on Google to check their reviews or testimonials and request to meet with some of them in person. The National Association of Realtors is another great way to find agents in your area.
You can also try asking your neighbors, friends, and family members for a referral. If a friend thought an agent was truly great, you can feel confident that they know what they are doing.
2. Get Approved for a Mortgage
This is often an intimidating stage, but it’s also one of the most important steps to buying a house in Georgia. Unless you are independently wealthy, you will most likely need a mortgage to purchase your home. This mortgage will help you cover closing costs, agent fees, and the purchasing price of your home.
Most people start by going to their local bank to see what type of mortgage they are qualified for. You might also want to check with a credit union to see if you can get a better rate or a lower down payment. If you’re buying in a rural area, an FHA loan only requires a 3.5% down payment.
Spend some time discussing what you can afford with your lender. The bank will look at your debt-to-income ratio, your total income, your credit history, and other financial metrics to see how much house you can afford. Once you are pre-approved, go ahead and apply for the mortgage.
3. Go on a House Hunt
Now, it’s time to actually find the house you want to live in. Spend some time talking to your real estate agent about what you want.
Do you want a fixer-upper on a large plot of land? Are you interested in a condo in the city? Would you rather have a home in a new development or a stately, old home?
To get the best help from your agent, you need to tell them the kind of home you want, the number of bedrooms, the location, and other details you’re looking for in a property. Start looking in the type of neighborhood you want to live in and see if there is anything in your price range.
4. Submit Your Offer
Once you have found the perfect place of residence, the next step is to make an offer to the sellers. Your real estate agent will help you write up a contract, make an offer for the purchase price, and detail any stipulations. You may want to include things in this contract like the duration of the closing process or requirements to remove furniture or other items.
Many home buyers include escape clauses in their purchase agreement. For example, you can state that purchasing the property is contingent upon the property passing certain inspections.
At this stage, you need to place a deposit known as earnest money in a trust. This shows the seller you are serious about making an offer. In most cases, the earnest money is around 1% of the price of the house.
And now, the negotiations truly begin. The seller will either accept your initial offer or send you a counter offer. Talk to your real estate agent about whether you should continue the negotiations or accept the counter offer.
5. The Closing Process
After so many weeks or months searching for a home, the end is finally near. If you and the seller agree on the purchase price, you can set what is called a closing date. In the remaining time, you’ll need to hire inspectors to completely check out the house.
Before you officially close on the house, do a final walkthrough to make sure it is fully prepared for you to move in. The closing attorney will handle your final paperwork such as distributing payments and transferring the title to your name.
When everything is completely done, you can finally close on the house and get the keys. You simply have to hand over the down payment, cover the closing costs, and sign the last few documents. Then, you get the keys and ownership rights to your new home.
Best Cities in Georgia to Buy a House
Finding the best cities in Georgia to buy a house can be a challenge. Some people know exactly where they want to live right away, while other home buyers need to take extra time to research each city. Whether you want to enjoy a country lifestyle or a vibrant culture in downtown Atlanta, there are many places where you can live in Georgia.
If you want to live in Georgia, there are a few neighborhoods that are popular spots. Hanover West, Woodfield, and Peachtree Park are favorite options for families who want top schools, a safe environment and plenty of parks.
If you want a safe, comfortable environment to call home, check out Alpharetta. This Atlanta suburb has one of the lowest crime rates and unemployment rates in the state. Meanwhile, the mid to upper-class community has excellent schools, high salaries, and plenty of local amenities.
The city of Milton is another big favorite among home buyers. This small city has some of the highest home prices in the state because of how many people want to live in the area. Like Alpharetta, Milton has a low crime rate and some of the top schools around town.
If you want to escape from the hustle of the cities and suburbs, Georgia has a number of neighborhoods and small towns that are wonderful to live in as well. Isle of Hope, Lookout Mountain, Talahi Island, and Avondale Estates are all popular choices with populations of just 1,400 to around 3,000 residents.
Ready to Buy Your Georgia Home and Move In?
No matter where you live in Georgia, you can enjoy a unique culture and legendary Southern hospitality. From Civil War monuments to amazing cuisine, this state is a popular place to call home. Whether you want the excitement of city living or plan to start a small homestead in the country, there is a residence out there that is just waiting for you to buy it.
By working with a real estate agent and a mortgage lender, home buyers can figure out how to buy a house in Georgia. While this process may seem complex at first, it is easy to do when you have the right support. With a little planning and legwork, you can find your dream home and make an offer within the Peach State.
And once you’ve completed this exciting purchase, our team is here to help you with the next step! Wirks Moving & Storage provides top-notch moving services to get you and your belongings safely into your new home. Give us a call today at (404) 635-6683 to learn more and get a free moving estimate.