If you’ve been watching the real estate market’s ups and downs over the past few years, you may be unsure about the best time to buy a home. The Atlanta housing market continues to thrive, with a wide range of offerings available, from condos to townhomes to single-family residences. Potential homebuyers will find a large inventory of homes on the market, accompanied by interest rates below historical norms — two favorable conditions for a successful real estate search.
Take another look at the neighborhoods you love
Atlanta’s median home price of $184,900, while up 12 percent from last year according to Investopedia, indicates that affordable homes are available in just about every neighborhood. Although you may have previously judged prices to be too high in certain areas, with today’s favorable interest rates and large inventory, you might want to take a second look. Rather than searching for houses at the top of your price range in a highly desirable neighborhood, trying viewing slightly less-expensive houses. A smaller or older home in a great location can be updated or expanded in the future, and the lower price leaves room in your budget for renovations.
Decide on your personal “must haves”
Every buyer comes to the market with certain attributes in mind for a home. Some look for a certain size house or a particular layout. Others want to relocate their family to a great school district. To find the house that’s best for you, make an itemized list of which characteristics are “must haves,” and share this information with your real estate agent. The Atlanta real estate market is highly specialized. A knowledgeable, experienced agent who knows what you’re looking for may be able to quickly and easily find a home that works for you. Real estate agents can also help you see through cosmetic issues and factor necessary updates into your overall purchase price.
Foreclosures have slowed, but deals still abound
As of September 2014, the number of foreclosed homes going to auction in the Atlanta area remained has relatively flat. However, bank-owned foreclosures were down 61.7 percent from the year before, according to RealtyTrac. Although many homebuyers seek out foreclosures as the best deals in the real estate market, with fewer of these types of properties now available, there are other ways to find good deals. One benefit of buying a nondistressed property is that they are not typically sold “as-is,” and therefore they are not as risky for first time buyers.
Although no one can predict the future of the Atlanta housing market, low interest rates, a large range of available homes and a median price below $200,000 means great deals exist. If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines of the market, now is a great time to begin a new home search.
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