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Closing Costs.  It's amazing how much all the little items add up to be.  Everyone is looking for their piece of your pie.  Make sure you know what to expect.  But don't worry if you don't have that much cash.  There are ways to deal with them without shelling out cash at closing.

Let's first be clear on terminology.  Closing costs are a combination of various items associated with a real estate transaction.  There are 7 catagories on the closing statement.  Most of the costs are associated with the costs of obtaining a new mortgage.

Items in Connection with a Loan
Loan origination fee
Loan discount 
Appraisal fee
Credit report
Underwriting fee
Tax Service fee
Georgia Residential Mortgage fee
Flood Certification fee
Application fee
Processing fee

Items Required by lender to be paid in advance
Interest for the rest of the month
Mortgage Insurance Premium
Hazard Insurance Premium

Reserves Deposited with the lender
Hazard insurance
Mortgage insurance
City property tax
County property tax
Annual assessments

Title Charges
Title examination
Title insurance binder
Document preparation
Notary fees
Attorney fees
Lender title insurance
Owner title insurance

Government recording and transfer charges
Recording fees
State tax/stamps

Additional settlement charges
Pest inspection
Courier fee

Closing costs for the buyer will usually add up to 2-3% of the mortgage amount.  Most of this is the cost of getting the mortgage.  If a buyer were to pay cash, there would only be an attorneys fee of about $400, a recording fee of $10, and maybe a few small processing fees.  The buyer would also have the option of getting a survey and purchasing title insurance.

The seller is usually responsible for paying for the Realtor's commission if there is one and some state transfer tax($1/thousand dollar of sales price).

As everything in life, it's all negotiable.  Many times you'll see sellers paying part or all of the buyer's closing costs.  But don't get fooled into believing that the seller is actually paying anything.  The only one bringing money to the table is the buyer.  And usually the one walking away with a check is the seller.  If a seller agrees to pay the buyer's closing costs he is actually only accepting a lower offer for his home.  The important thing to the seller is how much he actually nets out at closing.

Having the seller pay closing costs ends up being a way a buyer can finance these costs.  An offer of $200,000 with the seller paying $5000 in closing costs is exactly the same as an offer of $195,000 to the seller.  But the first way allows the buyer finance the $5000 closing costs and frees up the buyer's cash for other things.  Don't get bogged down on who is paying what costs. Focus on the big picture and the bottom line.  Sellers need to know what they will net out at closing.  Buyers need to know their total cost, and monthly payment.

Have you heard the ad on the radio about how closing costs are a "racket" and a "rip off"?  I hate hearing someone distort the truth like that.  Yes, there are things like "no closing cost" loans. But the interest rate you pay will be higher.  There is no free lunch.  If you will be living in the home for 30 years, the increased payments due to a higher interest rate will be much more than just paying for the closing costs up front.  If you will only be living in the home for a few years it might make sense to do one of those loans.

Come in and we'll discuss all of this in detail.  Know what to expect before you get the process started.


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Our market area is in the north metro Atlanta area.  We service Cobb County, north Fulton County, Dekalb County, Forsyth County and Gwinnett County.  We are very familiar with Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Marietta, Roswell, Alpharetta, Buckhead, and Midtown. 

We have sold homes inside the perimeter and outside the perimeter.  We can't know everything so for clients who want to look for property in Peachtree City, Newnan, Stone Mountain, Douglasville, Macon and areas further out we will gladly recommend a good agent who specializes in those areas.

We help buyers negotiate with builders for residential new construction houses. New houses in Atlanta are hot right now. We can represent you in the purchase of your new house built by any of the following builders: Torrey Homes, MDC Homes, Centex Homes, Pulte Homes, Morrison Homes, Ryland Homes, John Wieland Homes, Winmark Homes, Meridian Homes, John Willis Homes, Benchmark Homes and many more home builders.

We can help clients find short term apartments for rent but normally we don't work with clients who are just looking for rentals.  We do help clients find Atlanta condos.  We can also help you purchase HUD homes in Atlanta.  We are an authorized agent with them and have the HUD key to get into HUD homes.  We have access to foreclosure homes that banks want to sell.

We love showing executive homes and luxury homes. We always like to know how people find our site.  Send us an email and tell us which search term you used. Some terms that we might be found by are realty Atlanta, Ga homes, Atlanta realty, condos Atlanta, Atlanta realestate, Atlanta property, houses Atlanta, Atlanta realtors, Ga houses, or realtors Atlanta.  Maybe you found us by typing in Atlanta MLS listings, or Atlanta MLS search, or MLS Atlanta GA. Hopefully we don't come up under nursing homes or funeral homes.

It is always amazing to me how the Internet can allow total strangers to find each other and build new business relationships.  It truly is becoming a small, interconnected world.


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Atlanta Home Buyer Rebate

All information about homes from the Atlanta MLS home search engine is input by thousands of individual real estate agents throughout Atlanta and is made available through a service called ListingBook. We provide access to this data for the convenience of our clients.  We have no control over this database.  All information on this web site is copyrighted and intellectual property of It is deemed to be current and accurate, but is not warranted. 2002. Tim is a licensed Realtor with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage.

Tim Maitski is a member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors