Friday, December 22, 2017

9 Ways to Curb Stress When Selling your Home


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The moving process can be overwhelming. However, there are ways to help curb stress during the process. Regardless of all that’s going on, there are some techniques to consider to make this process less stressful. Century 21 Atlanta GA offers a few ideas on how to combat the stress you will face through the selling and moving process. Try out these strategies to turn this significant life event into an exciting and memorable one with as little stress as possible.

First, take time to choose the right realtor

Hire a realtor that is not only capable of handling the market but your expectations as well.  A realtor has the knowledge and experience to get you to the closing table as quickly as possible with little or no setbacks. Here are some tips to look for when finding a realtor.

Trust the choice you make.

Once you make a decision, trust that choice. You hired this agent for a reason, and they are here to make your life much easier. Accept that the home selling process is in their hands, and you are their number one priority. A significant amount of stress during this process stems from the lack of control that a seller has over the home selling process. You as a seller should not be afraid to speak up, ask questions, and stay in the loop. Remember your agent is there for you.

Don’t sweat the little stuff.

Selling a home is one of the most life-changing events one can go through. There will be multiple complications that are bound to arise through the process. So, it is important to focus energy on fixing the big things and don’t waste time on the small ones. Selling a home can also be one of the most exciting events in one’s life. It’s an opportunity to start new and move into a new chapter of life. Remain positive through the process. Offers will change, you might have to fix a broken water pipe but don’t sweat it too much. It will be worth it when you close and are able to move on.  

Stay in constant communication with everyone involved.

Always stay in communication. Stay in communication with your agent, buyer(s), and all the others in your life that selling your home will have an effect on. Utilize your support system there are there for a reason.   Also, remember to allocate time for other things besides just selling your home.

Try your best to stay in the right mindset.

Selling your home might not be as quick and easy as you might think.  It is a marathon, not a sprint. You cannot rush the process. It is important to remain calm even when things don’t go as planned. Take a few deep breaths. You don’t have to stop living Just because you are selling your home. Be sure to take a few minutes each day to organize your thoughts. Maintaining your healthy lifestyle throughout the process is very important.  Do whatever you need to do to help calm your mind.

Preparation is the key.

Start the process when you feel that you are fully prepared to take on all the responsibilities that are associated with it. Being prepared will help you deal with any possible pitfall that rose during the selling process. Talk to your agent so that you know all that you should expect as the seller, and from all other parties involved in the process. Keep dialogue open with your realtor as the process goes along.

Like it or not it’s a business transaction:  Don’t take it too personally.

Selling a home can sometimes be an emotional roller-coaster. Sometimes the offers you are getting are not what you expected, or you may not be getting any offers. These are all very common in real estate. Sometimes homes sell very quickly. Sometimes they take a little longer sell. Don’t take anything personally. It might have nothing to do with the worth of your home.  You might just have to be patient.

Market condition

Most sellers are prideful of their home. Sometimes, however, this pride causes sellers to demand unrealistic sale price which will, in turn, low offers or sometimes get no offers at all.  Don’t let your pride in your home impaired your realistic view.   Listen to the market and your realtor’s advice about the worth of your home.  Price a home right attract qualified buyers.  Overpricing your home more than not will delay the sale.   

Be Proactive.

Think about what you can do to get the highest offer and make the transaction smooth. Think about any home improvements and repairs that might be needed to be done before listing the home. Remember to make the home uncluttered as possible.   Taken care of these things beforehand will be fewer things you’ll have to worry about while the home is on the market or under contract.

Some of these tactics are easier said than done, however, try your best to put them in play.  The key is to reduce the stress levels as much as you can during the home selling process.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Crucial facts about FHA loans

What is an FHA loan?

National Home Search

An FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Borrowers with FHA loans must pay for mortgage insurance, which protects the lender from a loss should the borrower defaults on the loan. Because of the mortgage insurance, lenders can offer FHA loans at attractive (lower) interest rates with less stringent and more flexible qualification requirements to borrowers.

Here are some facts about FHA loans.

Credit does not have to be perfect!
 The minimum credit scores for FHA loans depend on the type of loan a borrower needs.  A credit score of 580 or higher can get a borrower a mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent.  With credit scores of 500-579, you will need down payments of at least 10 percent. Those with credit scores under 500 generally are not eligible for FHA loans. However, FHA will make allowances under certain circumstances for applicants who have what it calls "nontraditional credit history or insufficient credit" if they meet requirements.  Check with your FHA lender or an FHA loan specialist to see if you are qualified with a score under 500.

Down payment of 3.5 percent
For most borrowers, FHA requires a down payment of 3.5 % of the home purchase price. That's a huge attraction, especially for first time home buyers. In late 2014, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reduced minimum down payments to 3 percent from 10 percent, but such loans have limited availability.

FHA borrowers can use their own savings, a gift from a family member, or a grant from a state or local government down-payment assistance program to make their down payment.

Closing costs may be covered
The FHA allows home sellers, builders, and lenders to pay some of the borrower's closing costs, such as an appraisal, credit report or title expenses. For example, a builder might offer to pay closing costs as an incentive for the borrower to buy a new home. Resellers do the same as well to attract buyers to the sale of their home. (Ask your realtor to negotiate some or all of the closing costs in your purchase and sales agreement).

Lenders typically charge a higher interest rate on the loan if they agree to pay closing costs. Borrowers can compare loan estimates from competing lenders to figure out which option makes the most sense.

Lender must be FHA-approved
Because FHA is not a lender, but rather an insurer, borrowers need to get their loan through an FHA-approved lender (as opposed to directly from the FHA). Not all FHA-approved lenders offer the same interest rate and costs savings on the same FHA loan.

Costs, services, and underwriting standards will vary among lenders or mortgage brokers, so it's important for borrowers to shop around.

Two-part mortgage insurance
There are two mortgage insurance premiums that are required on all FHA loans: The upfront premium is 1.75 percent of the loan amount ($1,750 for a $100,000 loan). This upfront premium is paid when the borrower gets the loan. The upfront premium can be financed as part of the loan amount.

The second is called the annual premium and is paid monthly. It varies based on the length of the loan, the loan amount, and the initial loan-to-value ratio, or LTV. The following premiums are for loans of $625,500 or less.

Annual premiums for FHA loans
30-year loan, down payment of less than 5 percent: 0.85 percent
30-year loan, down payment of 5 percent or more: 0.80 percent
15-year loan, down payment of less than 10 percent: 0.70 percent
15-year loan, down payment of 10 percent or more: 0.45 percent

Cash can be borrowed for needed repairs.
FHA has a special loan product for borrowers. Borrowers who need extra cash can finance up to $35,000 for nonstructural repairs for items such as cabinets, fixtures, and painting. This loan is called a 203(k) loan and is not based on the current appraised value of the home. It is based on the repair cost to the home.  

Financial hardship relief allowed
FHA insurance isn't supposed to be an easy out for borrowers who are unhappy about their mortgage payments. It is a loan service that offers some relief to borrowers who have an FHA-insured loan, who have suffered a serious financial hardship or are struggling to make their mortgage payments. Such relief might be in the form of a temporary period of forbearance, a loan modification that lower the borrower’s interest rate, extend the payback period, or a deferral of part of the loan balance at no interest.

For more Information on FHA  CENTURY 21 ATLANTA GA, ATLANTA GA REALTORS or HUD.GOV

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Monday, July 10, 2017

IMPROTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN BUYING A HOME

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If you are in the market to buy a home, the process can seem overwhelming. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin your home search.

Contact a local real estate agent
The first step is to find a local real estate agent who is familiar with the market which you are interested in. This alone can be a process, so make sure you are well informed. Do your research and ask questions until you find someone who is experienced and one you can trust.

Know what you are looking for
Remember it is hard to get everything you want when buying a home. So, think about what most important to you. It’s good to jot down the requirements of what most important to you. What are your must-haves and what you willing to compromise on? Communicate those needs to your real estate agent.

Consider the Cost of Homeownership
Owning a home costs more than just the mortgage payment so, budget accordingly. In addition to your monthly payments, consider property taxes, utility bills, homeowner’s insurance, and Home Owner’s Association (HOA) dues, (if there are any). You also want to think about transportation and cost of living in your new neighborhood. You may also plan on some upgrades and repairs if you are purchasing reseal home. Remember larger the home is the greater the utility and maintenance expenses.

Location Is Important
A home is only worth as much as it’s neighborhood. So, be sure that you purchase a home in a neighborhood you like to live in. Again, make a list. What kind of neighborhood would you like? If you have school-age kids, the school district might be very important to you. How far are you willing to commute to and from work? And what is the overall feel of your ideal community? If you have never visited the area that you would like to live in do so (more than once if possible). Make sure this is where you can imagine yourself living.

Know Your Loans-Financing Options
Every home loan advertisement looks great on paper but what’s in is the fine print? Make sure you know your interest rates, down payment requirements, and penalties. Make sure your loan officer go over these with you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something is not clear. Also, don’t be afraid to shop around and turn down loan offers that seem troubling or confusing.

Obtain Full Property Disclosure and Home Inspection
By law, the home seller is obligated to disclose any problems with the home or condo that you are buying. However, there may be additional costly repairs such as foundation problems that the current owner is not aware of. So, hire a professional home inspector to inspect the home. Your real estate agent should be able to recommend a quality home inspector. Get a professional home inspection regardless of whether or not purchasing a new or reseal home. You don’t want to buy a home that may potentially cost you thousands of dollars in additional repairs.

Get Everything in Writing.
Real estate jargon can be confusing. Get it all in writing and if you don’t understand something, make sure to ask your real estate agent. To buy a home, it is imperative that you collect each piece of information and the overall transaction in writing so, that you are covered in case something goes wrong.

Before Closing
Before your purchase is final, make sure to purchase home insurance and title insurance. In addition, consider purchasing a home warranty, if it’s not included in the transaction. On the day of closing do a final walkthrough with your real estate agent to make sure the home is in the same condition as it was when you initially agreed to purchase.


Tax deductions
Owning a home will also qualify you for certain tax deductions. It is important that you take advantage of them each year. Your tax preparer will help you get these deductions.


Get Excited
Most importantly, get excited. You will now be a proud homeowner and this is a big accomplishment. A place to call your own!The first step to buying your home is to find a local real estate agent in your area to help you. CENTURY 21 REALTY only works with the best real estate agents in each city. Let CENTURY 21 REALTY help you find your real estate agent today.

To find your dream home in Atlanta/Metro Atlanta click here National Home Search click here

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Security Tips to Keep Your Home Safe and Your Family Protected!

National Home Search
When you sleep to sleep at night, can you rest easy knowing that your family is protected? There may be some neighborhoods that are considered than others to live in. However, it is always a good idea to do what you can to help protect your home to avoid unwanted entry. Here are a few things that you can do to protect the safety of your family:

Assess the Lighting In and around Your Home

Proper lighting is essential to deter intruders.  Good lighting makes it harder for anyone to sneak in undetected. If possible put some lights on automatic to come on in the evening until early morning. Lights on evening make it appear as though someone is home even if no one is. In some areas on the outside, you should consider installing motion detector lights. If someone approaches your home and the lights come on it increases the likelihood that they will turn around and leave.  It’s also a good idea to leave a bedroom light on a radio or TV on when you are away on vacation or away overnight.   

Security Systems

There are some great security systems that can be used to improve the safety of your home. Some of these systems can be managed from your smartphone and internet giving you updates and notifications every time a door or window opens. Other features include motion sensors that can be tripped to notify monitoring services if someone enters your home when they (alarms) are on.  

Change the Locks

When you purchase your home, the first thing to do is change the locks or replace the key(s) on all entrance doors. You never know who still has a copy of the keys! The previous owner could have provided keys to friends or family, giving people access to your home if the locks are left in place.

If you decide to only change the keys can take the door handles and deadbolts to a local hardware store, and they will switch out the locks for a reasonable price.  There are also locks reinforcements that can be installed on the doors, such as a door brace that can only be locked and unlocked from the inside of you home.

Keep all entrance doors lock, even when you are at home. It takes no time for someone to enter your home if your back is turned. So, maintain a good habit of always locking the doors. The vast majority of the time intruders come in through the front or back door so; you can reduce the likelihood of intrusion by keeping those doors locked and install proper lightings.

At Century 21 Realty, our goal is to fulfill your real estate needs in all neighborhoods. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, then we invite you to contact your experienced realtor to learn more: (770) 262-7533 or atlantahomes@live.com  or visit my website: www.atlantafinestrealtor.com


Monday, January 2, 2017

Tips That Will Help Speed Up Your Home Sale


By Royan Johnson @ CENTURY 21 | January 2, 2017

Every seller wants a faster home sale. Make a good impression on buyers to increase your chances of a speedy sale. Not sure how to do that? Here are some tips for every step of the home sale process.
Optimize Your Listing: A picture tells a thousand words. Make sure or your agent takes professional quality pictures of your home. You want to stand out among the abundance of online listings (for all the right reasons). Work with your CENTURY 21 listing agent to write your listing and seller’s marketing plan. 

Upgrade Your Curb Appeal: The outside of your home is the first area a potential buyer will see. Spruce up your yard and exterior (mow the lawn remove debris). If necessary add a fresh coat of paint, a new mailbox, new landscaping, and more. 

Clear Clutter: Getting rid of clutter makes your home appear larger and more appealing to buyers. Put away or donate usable items, and get rid of items that are unusable. Once you’ve paired down, get organized so everything looks neat and tidy. 

Make Your Home Feel Larger: Use light paint colors, incorporating mirrors, adding extra lighting, and sticking to a monochromatic color scheme may make your room appear larger. Home decor and home improvement changes should be made before your open house. 

Accomplish Home Improvement Projects: Pick up a hammer and nails, and complete some home upgrades. However, don’t improve things too much.  

Avoid Common Seller Slip-Ups:  Overpricing: Attract few buyers, Poor Condition: Create low buyer’s excitement produce lower offers if any, Weak Motivation: you the seller not responding to offers on a timely basis, Limiting Access: very few viewers and not Understanding Marketing: Similar to overpricing. Believing that your house is worth more than it actually is.   

Open Houses: An open house is a key component of the home sale process. You want your open houses to run as smoothly as possible. Make it your agent’s job to handle the open house process. Don’t hang around the open house. Also pets out of the homes as well.

Set the Price: Setting a price can be tricky. You don’t want to price too high or too low. Your agent should do their research by completing a full CMA of prices of similar houses in the immediate neighborhood that was sold in the last 6 months. (Before listing with an agent asks for a CMA. A CMA will help you understand why the agent came up whit the recommended list price that they do.  
 http://www.atlantagarealtors.com/


Make Century 21 Atlanta GA  your go-to for all your real estate needs in Greater Atlanta. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Keeping your home functioning safely and efficiently in the winter


The winter is upon us again. Here are a few tips to keep your home functioning safely and efficiently:
KEEP THE BILL DOWN.
Installing a programmable thermostat will help regulate your usage. Set the thermostat at 68 degrees or below to save energy and money.  In the daytime keep window curtains and blinds open to let in sunlight. Sunlight helps to keep a warmer temperature in your home.  Now is also the perfect time to complete a household check to prepare for colder weather.

THE FURNACE
Have a professional check furnace to ensure the pilot light and burners are working properly. The filter should be changed regularly.
THE DETECTORS
Be sure to check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Make sure they are working properly with adequate battery life.
SPACE HEATERS
Space heaters should be away from anything flammable and be off when no one is at home. Make sure space heater is approved for indoors use, to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
 FIREPLACE
Properly inspected the fireplace before starting a traditional fire or igniting gas logs. It is also wise to have you chimney check and clean by a professional.
HOME RANGE & DRYER
Remember to removing excess buildup from both of these appliances on a regular basis.

KEEP THE HEAT IN PLACE
Keep warm air in and cold air out. Pay close attention to openings around windows and doors.  Seal air leaks with weather stripping and caulking.  Also, check attic to make sure it is properly insulated.


Make  Century 21 Atlanta GA  your go to for all your real estate needs in Greater Atlanta. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Avoid These Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes


Buying a home for the first time can be cumbersome. You’ve never done it before, so it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed. Luckily, we’ve pulled together some of the common mistakes first-time home buyers make. Learn from them, and you may have a smoother home buying process.
·         Forgetting About Costs:
Your mortgage will probably not be the only cost when it comes to buying a home. Smaller costs like property insurance, taxes, electric and water bills, and other fees may start to pile up. Before buying a house, you may need to look further into your savings to figure out if you can pay for all of these additional charges.

·         Looking for a Home Before the Loan:
Once you find a house and decide to buy it, you don’t want to spend time wondering if you can afford it. Knowing your budget, and that you are a qualified buyer before you begin your search may make the process easier and more efficient. Once you decide that it’s time to buy a home, get pre-approved for a loan. Contact your Century 21 real estate agent to talk about getting pre-approved for a loan that suits you.


·         Not Hiring Professionals:
Moving isn’t as simple as packing up your stuff and renting a van. It takes a village to move into a new neighborhood. Your team can only be as good as your weakest link, so you may want to ensure that you have only the best players. Get your home buying team in place before starting the search.  A Century 21 real estate agent can help you put the right team together.


·         Being Too Picky:
There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you want when it comes to buying a home. But if your “must-have” list gets too long and too specific, you may end up looking for your perfect house for a very long time. Also, remember that you can make changes once you move in. It may be wise to take the time to figure out what you really need versus what you want. If you are unsure where to start, our checklist may help!


·         Lacking Vision:
Some of the open houses you attend may not look move-in ready. But plenty of homes have hidden potential. When you look for a home, try to look past the 70’s shag rugs and lava lamps. Imagine what the home will look like after you’ve moved in with all of your own belongings, or try to envision the structure of the home without the stuff inside it. This will be an important skill, especially if you’re looking to buy a fixer-upper as your first home.

·         Ignoring the Future: 
If you plan on living in this house for a long time, you may want to think ahead. You may decide to have kids in a few years, and then you’ll have to worry about another set of questions. Will there be enough bedrooms? Is the house located in a good school district? These may be things to think about when buying your home.
So whether you’re just starting to think about buying your first home, or you’ve already spent some time looking, there may be a lot to learn from this list of mistakes.
Source: century21 real estate blog.

 For all your real estate needs in Greater Atlanta, GA visit: Century 21 real estate agent's website.