Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley - CENTURY 21 Cobb Real Estate



Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 3/25/2018

A real estate agent is a must-have for homebuyers, particularly in a highly competitive housing market. However, it is important to understand what it takes to work with a real estate professional to ensure you can enjoy a fast, seamless homebuying experience.

What does it take to get the best results from the homebuying journey? Here are three rules to follow so that you and your real estate agent can work together to find your dream house.

1. Establish Realistic Homebuying Expectations Before You Begin Your Home Search

Buying a home can be a long, costly process if you're not careful. But with the right real estate agent at your side, you can simplify your house search.

Ultimately, you should work with a real estate agent to establish clear-cut homebuying expectations before you embark on your search for the perfect residence. This will enable you and your real estate agent to work together to achieve a common goal.

With realistic homebuying expectations, you'll be able to help your real estate agent understand what you'd like to find in your dream residence. Meanwhile, your real estate agent can get to work and keep you up to date about available homes that will meet or exceed your expectations.

2. Understand Your Real Estate Agent's Role in the Homebuying Process

A real estate agent should define his or her role in the homebuying process. That way, you'll know exactly what to expect as you go from homebuyer to homeowner.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. He or she also should be available to respond to your questions throughout the homebuying journey.

Your real estate agent will be happy to assist you in any way possible. By doing so, he or she will make it simple for you acquire to acquire your ideal residence at a price that matches your budget.

3. Ensure That Both You and Your Real Estate Agent Are Comfortable Working with One Another

Communication plays a key role in the success of a homebuyer and his or her real estate agent. If you keep the lines of communication open with your real estate agent, you should have no trouble staying on top of the housing market.

In most instances, a real estate agent will be able to keep in touch with a homebuyer via phone, email and text. At the same time, you should try to remain available to your real estate agent as much as possible.

With ongoing communication with your real estate agent, you'll be able to stay informed as new properties become available that fit your homebuying criteria. Furthermore, your real estate agent can help you alleviate stress by listening to your homebuying concerns at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Many real estate professionals are available in cities and towns nationwide. Start your search for a real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to discovering your dream home.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 3/4/2018

When you’re buying a home, there’s a lot to think about. Your finances probably have the biggest impact in the entire home search process. The amount of a down payment you have and the amount of loan you’re approved for help decide what you can buy. 


When you hear about closing costs, what do they entail? How much will you need to cover these costs? Many people get to the closing table for their home purchase and feel unprepared. You’ll need a certain amount of cash on hand when you finally close on a home. Learn more about closing costs, so that you understand everything that you need to know about your home purchase.    


Closing costs are spelled out pretty plainly in just about every kind of real estate contract. These costs are the fees associated with the title companies, attorney, banks, lenders and everyone else who is involved in the purchase of a home. The closing table is also the time when you provide your sizable down payment. The closing costs that are being referred to are considered a separate expense independent of the closing costs.


Closing Costs Vary


Closing costs can range from anywhere between 2 and 8 percent of the purchase price of the home. You can’t really “choose” what’s included in the closing, so you’ll need to have an idea of how much money you’ll need to write a check for. Lenders can give you an estimate of about how much closing costs will be. 


Negotiations 


Certain things like the realtor’s commission fees can be negotiated and can be paid for by the buyer or the seller. The good news is that you can roll your closing fees in with your mortgage in some cases. You may also be able to negotiate with your lender to pay the closing costs for you in exchange for a higher interest rate. 


What’s Included In Closing Costs?


Depending upon where and what type of home you’re buying, what the closing costs actually cover varies. Here’s just some of the things that closing costs cover:


  • Appraisal
  • Escrow fees
  • Credit reports
  • Title search
  • Title exam fee
  • Survey fee
  • Courier fee (Most transactions are done electronically, but in some cases this may be necessary)
  • Title insurance
  • Owner’s title insurance
  • Natural hazards disclosure
  • Homeowner’s insurance (Your first year of insurance is often paid at closing)
  • Buyer’s attorney fee
  • Lender’s attorney fee
  • Transfer taxes
  • Recording fees
  • Processing fees
  • Underwriting fee
  • Pre-paid interest
  • Pest inspections
  • Homeowner's association transfer fees
  • Special assessments


These fees vary widely by state and the type of property that you’re purchasing. Not every fee is required, but the above is just a list of many of the possible fees that could be included in on the closing of the home you choose.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 11/26/2017

Buying a home should be simple. Unfortunately, purchasing a residence can become complicated quickly, especially if you fail to consider the immediate and long-term costs associated with a house.

Ultimately, there are many hidden expenses that a homebuyer needs to consider before he or she purchases a house, including:

1. Utilities

Heating and cooling costs, water fees, electricity expenses and other utility bills may prove to be overwhelming if you're not careful. Fortunately, if you learn about various utility costs now, you may be better equipped to keep your utility bills in check at your new residence.

Ask your real estate agent for information about a home seller's utility bills. By doing so, you can get a better idea about how much your utilities may cost if you decide to purchase a particular residence.

Also, if you plan ahead for your utility bills, you can budget accordingly. Keep in mind that utilities are essential in any home. As such, you'll need to account for these costs in addition to your monthly mortgage payments, regardless of the home you buy.

2. Commuting

If you're moving to a new city or town, you'll want to consider how your move may impact your daily commute to work, school or any other locations that you visit regularly.

Consider a home's proximity to highways. If you move to a house that is located near a major highway, you may encounter heavy traffic at various points throughout the day, resulting in a lengthy commute.

Also, find out whether public transportation is available near your new home. In some instances, you may be able to take advantage of buses, trains and other public transportation options to get where you need to go without delay.

3. Home Upgrades

Although a home may appear to be a dream come true, there are problems beneath a house's exterior that could bubble to the surface after you complete your purchase. Thus, you may want to put aside money for home upgrades that may be necessary in the near future.

For example, an older home may require a new hot water heater and furnace soon. And if you start saving for a new hot water heater and furnace today, you may be able to replace them before it's too late.

A home inspector can help you identify home problems. This professional will conduct an in-depth review of a residence and provide honest feedback about any problems that could escalate quickly.

After a home inspection, you can always ask the home seller to perform the necessary repairs, or you can walk away from a home offer. On the other hand, you can keep your current home offer, move forward with your home purchase and complete the upgrades on your own.

When it comes to planning ahead for hidden home expenses, a real estate agent can point you in the right direction. Your real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions and will do everything possible to ensure you are fully satisfied with any residence you purchase.





Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 9/17/2017

Are you a Millennial who is interested in buying a home? If so, now may be an excellent time to purchase a house. Millennials who understand the ins and outs of buying a house will be better equipped to make a great home purchase. So what should a Millennial look for in a new house? Here are three factors that every Millennial should consider when they evaluate a house: 1. Location Location is everything in the real estate market, and Millennials who consider a house's location relative to their personal needs are sure to find a wonderful house. For instance, if you don't own a car, you may want to consider purchasing a house that is located near public transportation. Conversely, if you want your home to be a haven from the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day office work, you may want to consider buying a house outside the busy city. Examine the location of a prospective residence during the home evaluation process. By doing so, you'll improve your chances of finding a home that fulfills your personal needs both now and in the future. 2. Price A home is a long-term investment, and as such, you'll need to consider the house's price before you begin your search for the perfect residence. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage generally is a good idea before you start looking at homes. Pre-approval means you'll be able to establish a homebuying budget and determine the maximum amount that you can spend on a house. Also, you should examine your personal finances closely prior to your home search. This may allow you to find ways to save extra money for a down payment on a house and explore other cost-cutting measures to ensure you have enough money to afford a new residence. 3. Debt Unfortunately, debt plagues many Millennials and can destroy your chances of purchasing a house quickly and easily. As a result, you'll want to examine your debt and find ways to reduce it before you buy a house. To minimize debt, you'll first need to know your credit score. Fortunately, you're eligible for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) at least once a year. Get a copy of your credit report so you know your credit score. Then, you can review the sources of your debt and work toward paying off outstanding credit card bills and other debt that may hinder your ability to purchase your ideal residence. Of course, buying a house can be a stressful endeavor for Millennials. And if you need extra help along the way, it is essential to remember that you can employ a friendly, experienced real estate agent. A real estate agent enables you to take the guesswork out of the homebuying process, and ultimately, may make it simple for you to find a house that fits your personal needs and budget. With the right real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to streamline the process of buying a house and discover a residence that suits you perfectly.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley on 8/20/2017

Buying a home will be the biggest purchase of your entire life. It’s not a decision that anyone should or will take lightly. You want to buy a house that you can live in. Sometimes, it’s even best to think of your home purchase from the perspective of others. Ask yourself, “Would other people want to live here?” When it comes to your home, the financial buzzword is “equity.” As the buyer, you want to be able to build some equity into your home so that if you should choose to sell it, you’ll make a profit. Whether your home is only meant to live in for a few years until your family outgrows it, or you think it’s going to be a forever home, life happens and you don’t want to be stuck with a home that you must take a loss on. Keep these aspects of the home in mind when you are ready to buy: Size Most people search for 3 to 4 bedroom homes. Whether they are married and want to have children or just need extra space for another baby that is on the way, families typically look for places where they have room to grow. The number of bathrooms in a home is also key. Families don’t want to share one bathroom among 4-5 people. These factors are even more important than the actual space available in the home by square footage. On the flip side, you don’t want your home to be too big either. Larger homes aren’t as energy efficient and can cost more to maintain. Know that there is a “sweet spot” for your square footage. Usually this is somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet of living space. Room To Expand Look at the home to see if there is room to expand. Perhaps you need another bathroom, but there’s some space to construct an additional half bath. This factor of expansion is key when it comes to a home or property. Look Past The Appearance Things like paint colors, floors, carpets and other aesthetics aren’t as important as the big things when it comes to buying a home. You can easily change these without much cost or effort on your part. While everyone loves a move-in-ready home, don’t let a little paint separate you from a home that you love! Curb Appeal Helps While it’s easy to fix some things like the color of a home or the shrubs, find your vision to give the home you’re about to purchase some curb appeal. If you can see past the imperfections and make your home your own from the outside in, your home will be attractive. There’s plenty of things you can add and fix from doors to landscaping to paint to a new mailbox. All of these can give your home some serious curb appeal. Sound Structure If the structure of the home is not in good condition, you’ll face many problems down the road. You want to avoid costly repairs by ensuring that you buy a home without serious structural damage or wear. The most important part of a home’s structure is that of the foundation. If a home has a cracked foundation, it’s going to cause some problems. Be sure that you hire a reputable inspector and attend the inspection so you know exactly what’s going on with the home you are about to purchase. You can prepare yourself for any problems or issues this way, and make a decision from there. A home that has a good structure to start will undoubtedly continue to help you build equity in your purchase.