RE/MAX Center
Toni Curtin - Associate Broker
1140 Old Peachtree Road Suite D
Duluth  GA 30097
 Phone: 770-827-1288
Fax: 1-866-407-4374 
curtint@charter.net
Buying Your First Home
Toni Curtin - Associate Broker

(770) 827-1288 Cell

(770) 932-1234 Office

(866) 407-4374 Fax

1) Of course the first thing you need to do is call me!

2) The next most important thing is to get prequalified for a mortgage.

  • This is a must! The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a home only to find out later you can't afford it.
  • Please use a reputable lender.
    • There are many companies out there that will make promises they can't keep.
    • Possibly you know a friend that has had a positive experience who can give you a personal referral or please visit my link titled mortgage services.

    Scott Mackie with SUPREME LENDING ( 678-230-9390) is excellent. They provide great service with competitive rates!

    • Be sure to get your lender to send you a "good faith estimate" of the cost associated with the loan. This estimate is very important making loan application and very common to ask for.

3) Buying your first home!

  • Now it's time to decide where you want to buy your first home. That's where I come in.

    You may want to think about the proximity to:

    • Your job,
    • family,
    • friends,
    • places you enjoy
    • and most importantly an area and house with good resale value!

  • I will then personally sit down with you and we will search and choose homes through the listing service that I am a member of and then line up homes to see.
  • There is also a link to " Property Search" on my website that is easy to use.
  • In addition I can email listings and we can narrow down the selection before we head out to find that special house!

4) Once we find a home that meets most or all of your needs we will then do a market analysis to make sure it's worth what the seller is asking before you make an offer. (Very important)

5) When you make your written offer (no verbals) you will need a prequalification letter from your lender and earnest money which is usually around $1,000.00 depending on the price range.

  • Re/Max Center has a trust account for the earnest money to be held in safely until the day of closing which at that time is credited back to you as part of your funds to close.

6) I will then thoroughly explain the entire Georgia Residential Real Estate Contract and answer any questions you may have. I promise to listen to your needs and work hard for you as a buyer's agent during the negotiation process.

7) Chances are there will be a broker/agent representing the seller that has the house exclusively listed.

  • I will deliver the offer in person or faxing is perfectly legal and the most common way these days.
  • The listing agent must present all offers to the seller and then there will be a negotiating process.
  • Once the offer is accepted by all parties there will be a recorded binding agreement date and all parties will get a copy.

Inspection time!

8) It's very important to do an inspection.

  • 99% of the buyers today are doing them.
  • The buyer hires and pays for the inspector.
  • They are typically around $295-$400 depending on the size of the house.
  • An inspection is typically done within 7-10 days from the binding agreement date since the contract is contingent upon an inspection.
  • I have a very detailed inspector that I use and there happens to be a link to their website on my home page (or you can click here, which will open their link in another window).
  • It is a really good idea for the buyer to be present at the inspection.
  • They take a few hours.
  • I try and make sure to be present at all my inspections !
  • The contract will be contingent upon your home inspection and acceptance of any defects found during the inspection.
  • Many times we can get the seller to make repairs or sometimes give a monetary allowance in lieu of making repairs that you may or may not request.
  • Our contracts say you have the right to request repairs and if the seller says no then you can decide not to purchase the home and your earnest money is quickly returned.
  • 95% of the time we can get through this process successfully!

9) After the inspection process and an agreement by all parties to move forward we will then remove the inspection contingency in writing.

10) Well, now it's time to make sure the mortgage company has all of your financial documents which may include:

  • tax returns,
  • bank statements,
  • pay stubs, etc.
  • Typically the closing date is within 21-60 days at the most from the day you write the contract and that is spelled out in detail and agreed upon in the already accepted contract entered into by the buyer and seller.

11) At about this time an appraisal is ordered by your lender.

  • You do not have to be present for the appraisal.
  • The house has to appraise for at least the sales price or more spelled out in the contract.
  • In my years of experience we very rarely have problems with the appraisals.

12) Hazard insurance is something everyone has to get on their home.

  • It covers
    • fire,
    • flood,
    • theft, etc.
  • You will now need to shop for some hazard insurance.

Here are a couple links to help you get started shopping for hazard insurance (each of these links will open in a new window):

The insurance agent will ask you information about the house you are buying like square footage, type of construction, proximity to a fire hydriant, etc..

  • They will quote you a price and that is going to be part of your escrow account that you will have to start with a deposit into an escrow account the day of closing.
  • This figure is on your "good faith estimate" that you will get from your lender .
  • It is also part of what will be calculated in your monthly payment along with the property taxes for your house.
  • So most likely your monthly payment will consist of principal and interest for your loan and hazard insurance and taxes for the year (taxes and insurance are divided by 12).
  • Then your mortgage company will pay the property taxes and insurance each year for you out of your escrow account.

13) Our contracts read, the buyer has a right to a final walk thru.

  • Typically the day of or before closing to check on any agreed upon repairs or just to take that final look before signing the loan documents to close on your new home.

I will tell you how important a final walk thru is. I had a situation a few years back where a water pipe had broken in the front yard of a home I had sold representing the buyer and if we had not done our walk thru just before closing my buyer would have been paying for that repair instead of the seller. So it's very important to do a final walk thru!

14) Closing usually takes about an hour and is held at a local real estate attorney's firm and conducted by an attorney approved by the buyer's lender.

You will need:

  • proof of your hazard insurance policy,
  • drivers license
  • and if there are any funds from you to close spelled out on your "good faith estimate" provided by your lender then those funds would need to be a bank drawn check payable to YOU and then at the closing you will endorse the back and sign it over to the attorney firm.

I look forward to representing you at closing !

You will be signing many important documents so come prepared :-)

Congratulations you have just bought your first home SUCCESSFULLY!