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Zelle is a fast, safe, and easy way to send money to family and friends using just a U.S. mobile number or email address. Available on the Southern First Personal Banking App.

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Three Things to Know Before Buying a House

Personal Banking
Stacks of moving boxes holding books and pillows next to household items that have not yet been packed.

With the rapid dip in the "cost of money", we have all seen home buying and re-financing skyrocket. It seems that almost everyone we know is buying a new home or re-financing their current one. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of what you can now afford with lower interest rates. Throughout the years I've spent in the mortgage industry, I have found that some easy tips can help make the home buying process less stressful all-around.Do the hard work of figuring out your budget BEFORE looking at houses.  I often find that clients have no idea what they want to spend. It's important to realize that the biggest question is not the amount you qualify for, because you may be able to get qualified for a number you would  never  feel comfortable paying every month. Start with your budget - or at least a rough idea of a range you know you would be comfortable with - and then work backwards by figuring out how much house a certain budget will get you.

  1. A thoughtful budget is the most crucial step of not getting into a situation that you'll regret down the road. Here in Atlanta, property taxes can be extremely high, so remember that your mortgage is not your only expense when it comes to moving. You also have to fill that house up with furniture! 

  2. Consider how much you want to finance. I'm frequently having this conversation with my clients right now. Many people wonder if they should finance more than normal since interest rates are low and put the extra cash into the stock market or other investment. One client re-financed their house and took extra cash out of the mortgage to pay off a rental property.

    Everyone's circumstances are different, but it's always a good exercise to think through how to maximize your portfolio. I recommend that you talk to your financial advisor or CPA to help think through the best resources for your investments.
     
  3. Don't go it alone. It's vital to work with a good realtor. I don’t get paid to say this! Right now, the market is too volatile and complex to try to make one of your largest financial decisions successfully without the advice of a good realtor. Most deals that I see without a realtor involved will fall through

Headshot of Southern First banker, Anna Park.It’s definitely a great time to consider buying or re-financing. We love getting to help clients’ dreams come true. If you have any questions or want to start the process, please give me a call at 404-372-4601 or email me at [email protected] and I’d be happy to help! 

by Anna Park, Mortgage Executive