The late spring and early summer is traditionally the busiest home-selling season in Georgia and around the country, but the winter months are no longer as slow in the real estate business as they once were. A shortage of inventory has made the residential real estate market extremely competitive in recent years, and buyers looking for a bargain seem willing to venture out in poor weather if it means finding a good deal.
When buying a foreclosed home in Georgia, it is important to know as much about the property as possible. In most cases, a buyer will acquire the property in an as-is condition. This means that the buyer assumes responsibility for any upgrades or other work that needs to be done on it. It is possible that the previous owner of the property intentionally damaged it just prior to being forced to leave.
Georgia residents may believe that it is a good idea to buy a home with a friend or sibling. However, there are issues to consider before signing an agreement to purchase real estate with other people. For example, creditors could put liens on the home if another person in the group is past due on a loan payment or tax bill. Furthermore, everyone in the group should be realistic about how much they can afford to pay.
Georgia residents may believe that they need to put 20 percent down to buy a house. However, there are loan options available that allow a person to buy a home with a lower down payment. According to a U.S. Mortgage Insurers study, the median down payment in 2017 was only 10 percent. The Realtors Confidence Index Survey from November 2017 found that 61 percent of first-time buyers made a down payment of 6 percent or less.
Georgia homeowners generally want to get the most from their properties when it comes time to sell. While some factors influencing a home's value are not in their control, there are several ways to get a higher price. For instance, a homeowner can improve the home's curb appeal by planting flowers or painting the front door. By making the outside look nice, buyers are more likely to want to see what's inside as well.
Only 15.9 percent of homes that were flipped in the first quarter of 2018 were sold to those who bought them with Federal Housing Administration loans. That is the lowest rate in the last 10 years. Rising home prices are one of the reasons why first-time buyers in Georgia and elsewhere are not buying flipped properties. The median price of a flipped property was $215,000 through the first three months of 2018.
Georgia residents who are looking for a home could find themselves interested in a foreclosed property. However, they should be aware that with fewer houses on the market today, foreclosures could cost just as much as any other home listed for sale. There were 676,535 foreclosure filings in 2017, and that was down 76 percent from roughly 2.9 million in 2010. The 2017 figure was also 27 percent lower than the number of filings in 2016.
Georgia residents who are looking to buy a home in the near future may find have to face more expenses. This is because home values are increasing while interest rates on mortgages are also going up. Mortgage rates on a 30-year loan with a fixed rate went up to 4.46 percent in March. This is the highest level since January 2014. Furthermore, the average mortgage payment for a home at the national median price point is up 13 percent from a year ago.