How to get creative when buying a home in Atlanta
Home prices continue to climb, interest rates are headed up, and even rent is rising. There seems to be no relief in sight. So we challenged our own FOX 5 Atlanta real estate expert John Adams to share some creative ways to find a house to rent or buy in today’s challenging market.
With prices up, and interest rates jumping almost daily, there are still opportunities for homebuyers who may be looking for a house today.
The housing market always produces opportunities, but you have to be ready and know where to look. Here are five areas that can give today’s buyers the edge they may need to successfully become a homeowner in today’s market:
1. Learn the market so you can act quickly.
Hesitation is a deadly sin in today’s real estate market. While you are sitting around trying to make up your mind, somebody else is submitting a written offer at the asking price (or above). That hesitation comes from a lack of confidence on your part, and that stems from a failure to see enough houses for sale. So be prepared to see a lot of houses, and make a lot of offers.
2. Take Control of your Credit
Learn your credit score for free at CreditKarma.com, and if your score is anything below 720, get to work NOW cleaning up your credit problems from the past. Most lenders will help you examine your credit and give you tips for boosting your score.
3. Learn about down payment assistance programs
Interestingly, there are more down payment assistance programs than ever before, and while many of them have income restrictions or are limited to certain census tracts or professions, more and more are unlimited. Also, don’t forget to apply to the First National Bank of Mom and Dayd if you are a customer of that institution.
4. Consider Rent-to-Own Programs
Many landlords will rent to you and give you an opportunity to buy the property under certain terms and conditions during the rental lease period. The advantages to you are twofold:
First, you get to try out the house and the neighborhood to see how much you like it. And second, if you do proceed to buy the rental house, the landlord may give you a credit toward the down payment based on the number of rental payments you have paid. Enter rent-to-own in your favorite search engine.
5. Buy a Fixer-Upper and Do It Yourself
Finally, there are always homes for sale that have been neglected over the years for whatever reason. Most prospective buyers never consider these homes, even though the defects may be more cosmetic than structural. You can easily learn to paint, install ceramic tile, and build a deck at one of the big box do-it-yourself stores. And if your project takes 24 months or more (and you lived there in the meantime), you can sell your masterpiece at a new and improved price and keep 100% of the profit tax-free!
If your goal is to become a homeowner, know that you definitely can reach your goal, but you may need to educate yourself, work hard, and be persistent, and look for an opportunity until you find it.
Atlanta native John Adams has been a real estate broker and investor in residential real estate for the past four decades, and has seen the market go up and down and back up. He hosts “The Real Estate Coffee Break” every Saturday at 11am on the world wide web at www.RealEstateCoffeeBreak.com, where you will find free special reports on BUYING A HOME and SELLING A HOME. John believes that, for most Americans, the best investment they will ever make is their own home.
John Adams will be here for the next hour to answer all your real estate questions on our Fox5 Atlanta Facebook Page. He is happy to field all real estate questions, not just those related to today’s topic.