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You Probably Can Afford More.
There are dozens of loan choices. If you are not going to live in your home for 30 years why pay a higher rate for a 30 fixed mortgage? Consider 5 or 7 year adjustables with lower interest rates.  How about an interest only loan? They're not for everyone but at least explore your options ahead of time.

The main point is to make sure that you sit down with a good loan officer. They will listen to what your current situation is and listen to what your future plans and dreams are.  If you are up front with them they'll usually be able to provide you with several options that will work for you.  

If you are self employed or only have been on your job for 1 year you might just assume that it will be difficult getting a loan.  There are "no doc" loans that don't require the usual documentation such as two years at your current job.  

Maybe you think you need to have 10 or 20 percent as a down payment.  There are several low down payment loans now.  Also, there are "piggyback" loans like an 80-15-5 or a 80-10-10.  These are 80% first mortgages with the rest being 2nd mortgages or equity lines.  You pay a little higher rate on the 2nd but you avoid the private mortgage insurance.

There are also down payment assistance programs such as Nehemiah.  You get a 97% FHA loan and get the seller to pay the other 3% for the down payment.  You can also get the seller to pay the closing costs and actually get into a home without spending any of your cash.  

How about interest only loans?  Right now they offer some unbelievably low rates.  They're not for everyone but you should at consider the possibility. 

Is much of your money tied up in the stock market and you don't want to sell at a time when the market is at a low point?  There are programs where you can pledge your stocks as collateral for your down payment.  This allows you to use your stock to buy a home and not have to suffer selling at a loss.   Or if you have a gain you can avoid having to sell and pay taxes on the gain.

How do you find a good lender that you can trust?  We deal with lenders all the time and can refer you to some really good people who can give you good advice and also have very competitive rates.  The loan is the most important part of buying your home.  Make sure you're dealing with someone you can trust.

You might try searching out deals on the Internet.  Many times what you'll see posted on an Internet site sounds great and gets you to call in to get more information.  Unfortunately, when you finally get all the figures it's not really that different from all the rest that initially seemed just mediocre.

To really compare rates make sure you are comparing apples with apples.  You need to make sure all of the following are accounted for because they all affect the final price:
Type of loan
Discount points
Origination fees
Loan amount
(know whether or not some fees are being rolled into the loan amount)
Closing costs such as application fees, underwriting fees, processing fees.
Lock period(15 day locks will be cheaper than 60 day locks)

Rates change a couple of times a day so you really need to shop at the same time.  Some lenders offer great rates on one type of product but are terrible in others.  Make sure you get everything in writing.

I like working with a local person that I can visit if need be.  It's also nice to have the loan officer attend the closing.  If something is needed it's nice having someone there who can pick up the phone and contact the right person to make things happen.

Knowing what your finance options are in the beginning usually determines what homes you are able to buy.  Being pre-approved is also a very powerful negotiating position.

We go over this in our initial consultation.  We'll recommend a few of our best lenders so you can get approved before you find your dream home.  We also can help you compare various lenders to make sure you're not overlooking any important details. Call us today to set up a free consultation.  404-845-0265


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Where We Do Business

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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Call Home Atlanta with any questions you might have. 404-216-0472

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