Buying a home (especially your first) can be a momentous decision, and not something to be rushed into or taken lightly. Especially during the pandemic, people who hastily brought their home has admitted to buyer’s remorse:
- 55% regretted taking out a mortgage during the pandemic because they were lured by low interest rates
- Twice as many homebuyers in 2020 felt feelings of stress and anxiety compared to buyers in the last five years
- Homebuyers in 2020 were also less likely to report feelings of pride, comfort, happiness, and security after purchasing property
To avoid feelings of regret after buying a home, it pays to take your time, do your research, and talk with your real estate agent so you can plan your purchase wisely.
After all, homeownership is still the American Dream across generations, favored by:
- 68% of Gen X (40 years and older)
- 62% of millennials (aged 24-39)
- 45% of Gen Z (aged 18-23)
Prospective home buyers need to ask the right questions before they go shopping. Here are some of them:
How much is the home worth?
Look beyond the list price and tune out the stories of outrageous bidding wars. Instead, consult your real estate agent to determine if the asking price stacks up against other homes that have been sold in the same neighborhood. That comparison is likely to be closer to the value to your bank’s appraisal, which will become the basis for determining the amount they’ll lend you to buy the home.
Are there multiple offers?
In Metro Atlanta’s highly competitive housing market, the short supply of homes can lead to multiple offers. Are you willing to outbid the others? Don’t be afraid to wade into a multiple offer situation. Sit with your agent and strategize your move based on your own ceiling price, market conditions, comps or comparative market analysis, the quality and quantity of the offers, and so on.
What is the condition of the house?
Is it move-in ready? A fixer-upper? In need of an update? You won’t really know the full extent of the condition of a home until you order a home inspection, which occurs after you’ve signed a purchase agreement. Therefore, consult with your agent to make sure contingency clauses are in place so you have time to order an inspection, back out of the deal if certain conditions are not met, or renegotiate terms. For example, you may ask the buyer to take on repairs based on the home inspection report.
What’s the neighborhood like?
It’s an old real estate adage that it’s all about location, location, location. Desirable areas can end up costing you more, but can end up providing you with tangible and intangible benefits so consider wisely. The pros and cons of urban homes for sale in Atlanta might be wildly different from the factors involved in homes for sale in Roswell, Brookhaven, or other Metro Atlanta suburbs.
The surrounding neighborhoods are just as important. They can affect long-term property prices. Up and coming areas promise good returns in the future. Conversely, proximity to industrial areas, apartments, and commercial development can have a negative effect on home prices.
Your location also determines the school district of your child. If top-ranking schools are your priority, look for homes in the right neighborhoods. Consult your agent or browse websites like GreatSchools.org and Niche.com to evaluate local school districts.
What do you want in your neighborhood?
Aside from schools, what do you deem important in a neighborhood? Surely, the crime rate is a concern – will you look for homes elsewhere or rely on a gated community? Are there environmental risks such as flooding – which will necessitate taking out additional flood insurance? Consider nuisances, like the sound of traffic. If you resume office work, how will your commute look like? Are the neighbors standoffish or warm?
Make sure you answer the questions listed above before you buy a home. For other in-depth concerns, hire an experienced local Realtor to help you. They will be in the position to guide you every step of the way especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer.
In northern Atlanta, the Page Morgan Team will help you find the home that fits your needs. With more than 25 years of experience in one of Georgia’s most competitive markets, we are ready to help you with one of the most important financial decisions of your life.