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HOW TO BUY A HOUSE . . . STEP TWO, FINDING THE RIGHT HOUSE FOR YOU

July 17, 2012 posted in Blog, by dora

If you have never bought a house before, the process may seem overwhelming.  But once you have talked with a lender to find out if you can buy a house and how much you can afford to pay, the next step is finding the house.

DEFINE YOUR CRITERIA

There are thousands of houses on the market.  You need to make a list of FEATURES that are important to you.  Then prioritize your list.

Is location important?  Do you want to live in Lamar County?  Or perhaps one of the surrounding counties.  Some people are literally looking “south of Atlanta.”  Other people want to live within 10 miles of their job.  The question is What do you want?

How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want.  Do you want 4 bedrooms, but 3 is OK?  Or do you have to have 4 bedrooms because your father lives with you.

Do you need one level because someone has knee trouble?  Or do you want a one level, but two is OK?

What size lot?  Do you want to live in the country on 2 or more acres?  Or do you want to live in the city on a quarter acre lot?

What age or “year built” house do you like?  Do you like old houses?  Or do you want a brand new house?

If you take a moment to define your criteria–what you want and what you have to have, you will have more fun looking for a home.  Once you have figured out your criteria you can start your search.

LOOKING ON THE INTERNET

There are many good sites on the internet to look for homes.  There are also many not so good sites you can use to look for your new home.  In my opinion the criteria for a “good” or “not so good” site is how often they update the listings on the site.  Sometimes I get calls from buyers on houses that have been sold six months ago.  The site they were looking at never updates!!  The site must pull up new listings, but never removes old listings.  You do not want to waste your time on a site with old listings.

At www.DoraCoxRealty.com, We update out website every business day.  Also the button “Georgia MLS click here to search” is actually a link to Georgia Multiple Listing Service that agents use to communicate to each other.  That site is updated daily.

Also www.Realtor.com is a good site that is updated daily.

At these sites you do not waste energy finding your dream home only to learn it sold six months ago!!

CALL AN AGENT, HOPEFULLY AN AGENT AT . . . DORA COX REALTY.

We can open the door for you–both figuratively and literally.   We can show you the houses.  We can unlock the door.  We can also perform more focused searches.  If you really want a screened in porch, you cannot look for that but an agent can.  Include an agent early in your search for a house.

If you are looking for a “fixer upper,”  we can tell you which ones qualify for a loan and which ones will be far more difficult to buy.  Although, if your heart is set on a fixer upper, we can also direct you to a lender and a loan program that might make that possible.

Once you have looked at homes with an agent, you’ve looked online to educate yourself on the market and you are ready to jump into home ownership, then . .

LOOK ON THE INTERNET EVERYDAY

This is very much a foreclosure market.  The government owns most of the foreclosures.  The government’s goal is not to get the highest price.  The goal is to move the houses quickly.  With so many houses and so many different people involved sometimes a house gets listed significantly below the market.  Even this market.

So look everyday.  If a real deal hits the market you will be familiar with the market and ready to act.  Do not be slow!!  Good deals go quickly.  We frequently have multiple offers on a really good deal!  One day can make the difference between getting a deal and “coming close”.  Remember close only counts in horseshoes.

NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO BUY.  PRICES ARE LOW AND INTEREST RATES ARE INCREDIBLY LOW. 

 

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HOW TO BUY A HOUSE . . . STEP ONE: HOW TO PAY FOR THE HOUSE

June 28, 2012 posted in Blog, by admin

Are you thinking of buying a house, but do not do know how or who to ask?
Buying a house these days is relatively simple.  Most of the people buying today are young, first time home buyers. Let me give you the five easy steps.
1. Find out how you are going to pay for the house.  Some people pay cash, but 90% get a loan. There are 3 most popular types of loans.
a. A USDA loan is the most popular because it requires 0% down payment. It is available in rural areas, such as Pike, Lamar, Monroe and parts of Spalding or Butts Counties.
b. A FHA loan, which requires a 3.5% down payment, is the most common loan because it is available throughout the nation.
c. A conventional loan usually requires a 20% down payment. The advantage of a conventional loan, is that with a 20% down payment, you will not have to pay primary mortgage insurance, which may add several hundred dollars a month to the payment.
2. Next, choose a lender. THE LENDER IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE PURCHASE OF YOUR NEW HOME. GO WITH AN EXPERIENCED LOCAL LENDER.
a. Ask your real estate agent for his/or recommendation. Most real estate agents want to make money. They only make money if the deal closes. They know the good lenders! A careless lender will make your home buying experience a nightmare even to the point of not closing.
b. Get your paperwork ready before you call a lender. Have your job history, bank statements, and most recent tax returns ready when you call. Talk with several recommended lenders. If several lenders pull your credit report it a short period of time it will not affect your credit score.
3. Choose the right real estate agent. Real Estate signs are a little misleading. All real estate signs list the name of the company and telephone number of the agent that has the property for sale. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO CALL THE LISTING AGENT TO SEE THE PROPERTY. ANY REAL ESTATE AGENT CAN SHOW YOU ANY REAL ESTATE PROPERTY. You can choose the agent you want to work with. Generally, the best agents do this full time. Talk with several agents and choose the agent with whom you fill most comfortable. A good real estate agent will make the process pleasant. From choosing a lender, to choosing a house, to getting the home inspected, right to the closing table, a good agent will make the process easy.
4. Call Dora Cox Realty. We would love to help you find your dream home.

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How to Make Your Home Stress-Free

April 29, 2012 posted in Blog, by admin

When you leave the office, the last thing you want to do is bring the day’s stresses into your home. Start by leaving as much as you can at the office, and listen to classical music, your favorite CD or just silence on the way home so you don’t hear annoying commercials or songs. Then make your home a peaceful, stress-free place by following the tips.

Organize your home

When you have time, organize a small space so you feel less stressed during the weekdays. Purchase colorful folders and a binder or filing box and file your bills, medical records, pets’ records, insurance policies and other important papers. Put clothes and shoes you no longer wear in bags to donate to charity, and put all of your jewelry in its proper place. Store seasonal items in the attic and get rid of things you no longer need. For 10 minutes each day, clear out clutter – any clutter – from one room.

Decompress for a few minutes

Each day when you get home from work, excuse yourself to a bedroom or quiet section of the house and take deep breaths for a few minutes. Leave the lights off if necessary or listen to relaxing music to clear your head from meddlesome thoughts.

Keep work separate

If you can’t leave work completely at the office, set up your own “office hours” at home when you will check and respond to emails. Keep work-related technology and papers in your home office or just out of sight of your home’s living spaces.

Make over your bedroom

Just as you keep your work out of your living space, keep your living space out of your bedroom, making it a stress-free, relaxing spot to unwind. Clean your room thoroughly, and remove the television, computer and any cell phones from the bedroom. Block out the light using heavy curtains or blinds that close completely. Paint your room in a calming shade of soft blue, green, purple or taupe, and purchase ultra-comfortable, luxurious bed linens. Install a ceiling fan, as cooler night temperatures will help you rest and relax.

Cook meals on the weekends

Part of weekday stress involves wondering what you will have for dinner, if you have the ingredients on hand and if you have time to make something. Take the guesswork out of weekday dinners by scouring weekday recipe sites such as KraftRecipes.com or Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food site and shopping for ingredients on the weekends. Or, look at sites such as Once a Month Mom to learn how to cook entire meals on a free Saturday or Sunday and store them in the freezer. Either thaw them overnight in the fridge or cook them straight from the freezer by adjusting the temperature and cooking time.

Indulge in aromatherapy

Essential oils in chamomile, lavender, marjoram, neroli, sandalwood and ylang ylang reduce anxiety and relax you, so look for those ingredients in candles and light air fresheners for scenting your home.

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