5 KEY points for home buyers
Make sure buying a home is less like a search for a needle in a haystack and more like a quest for your castle. The Realtors at Sun Realty Group, LLC are available to help you with every facet of the home buying process. While most people know to make sure a house they are looking at is thoroughly inspected, or to get pre-qualified for a mortgage, here are 5 key to home buying in North Georgia or anywhere for that matter. This should get you on your way to a smooth purchase.
Choose a REALTOR®.
Not all licensed real estate salespersons (or brokers) are REALTORS®. REALTORS® agree to abide by a Code of Ethics in their dealings with buyers and sellers. REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and participate in a local Board of REALTORS®. REALTORS® typically have valuable knowledge regarding the price at which other homes in a neighborhood sold, how to negotiate various terms in a purchase and sale agreement and the features of different homes. REALTORS® can also provide buyers with and help them fill out a pre-printed purchase and sale agreement form. REALTORS® routinely work with and, upon request, can provide buyers with the names of attorneys, mortgage lenders, home inspectors, termite companies and persons providing other services relating to real estate transactions. Therefore, when buyers need help in finding the right home, they should always choose a REALTOR® first. The professionals at Sun Realty Group, LLC would love to be your first choice to help you find the perfect home! Meet our team of qualified Realtors HERE.
Thoroughly investigate the property.
There are many other tests and studies buyers can do in deciding whether to purchase a property. These include, for example, a radon test to determine if the home has elevated levels of radon, mold tests to determine if the property has high levels of certain kinds of dangerous mold, well water tests when the property is served by well water and septic system inspections when the property is served by a septic system. Homes should also be tested for lead-based paint. Normally, this is only an issue in homes built prior to 1978 (since after this time lead-based paint sales were prohibited). Ingestion of lead-based paint chips or particles can cause lead poisoning, a serious health condition, particularly in children. Buyers of older homes should read the EPA brochure entitled “Protect Yourself from Lead in Your Home”. Renovators of older homes should read the EPA’s Renovate Right brochure and other related materials. Many factors can affect the value of a property and the ability of an owner to use and enjoy it. These include, for example, the school district in which the property is located, whether the property is subject to flooding, the availability and cost of property insurance, whether the property is subject to recorded covenants and the nature of those covenants, the governmental jurisdiction in which the property is located and whether the property is on a historic registry or in a special tax or zoning district. Websites exist to determine if a home was used to illegally manufacture methamphetamine (which generates environmental contaminants) and whether registered sex offenders reside in the neighborhood. Before buying a home, buyers are encouraged to use reasonable diligence to investigate the properties they are buying for issues of special concern to them.
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3. Inspect the neighborhood in which the home is located.
The neighborhood in which a home is located can be as important as the home itself. Buyers should familiarize themselves with the neighborhood in which the homes they are considering buying are located to determine if there are any objectionable conditions nearby. If buyers go far enough away from any home, they will eventually discover some neighborhood condition that they wish were not there. What those conditions are and how far away they need to be from a house before they are no longer a concern is a decision that only the buyer can make. For example, a nearby grocery store may be a convenience for some buyers and a disruptive commercial use for others. Buyers can also contact local government planning officials to determine what changes, if any, are anticipated in a neighborhood over time.
Consider Purchasing a Home Warranty.
Georgia law does not require the seller of either a new or existing home to provide the buyer with a home warranty. If the seller is not offering a warranty, buyers can purchase a limited warranty on both new and existing homes as a part of the purchase of the home. Buyers should review the terms of any warranty that is offered or purchased to understand what it covers and excludes and how to file a claim.
Have the home inspected by a professional home inspector.
Home inspectors help buyers evaluate the condition of the home based on one or more visual inspections of the property. Most homes have at least a few items that will need to be repaired and/or replaced. A professional home inspector can assist in identifying these items by performing an inspection of the property. Requests for repairs are normally received more favorably by sellers when the need for the repairs has been documented in the report of a professional home inspector. Many home inspectors are members of professional associations that, among other things, require their members to perform a standardized inspection of the property. Buyers are encouraged to ask inspectors about their qualifications and expertise in inspecting homes before selecting an inspector.