Buying your first home can be intimidating. Not only is it one of the biggest financial commitments of your life, navigating the process can be confusing. Are you in the military or a veteran? If so, you’re entitled to VA loan benefits that can help make buying your first home much more manageable.
Thanks to the past decade’s economy, the average age of a first-time home buyer has increased to 32. Young people are renting longer as they try to balance saving for a down payment with paying student loans and other bills while wages remain stagnant. While there are programs out there that only require a 3.5 percent down payment, they often come with private mortgage insurance (PMI) or other fees. That all changes if you’re a veteran. VA loans don’t require a down payment and don’t have private mortgage insurance mandates for borrowers. So while other people your age are struggling to save for their down payment, you’re able to take the plunge into homeownership whenever you feel comfortable.
It can be hard for anyone to build good credit. The good news is, if you served our country, you could qualify for a VA loan. VA loans only require a score of 620 to approve your loan. Which is comparable to some conventional loans and FHA loans. But when you use a VA loan, your 620 credit score doesn’t come with any additional fees or down payment requirements. To compare, an FHA loan requires a 580 credit score with a 3.5 percent down payment. If your score is lower than that, you’ll need to put 10 percent down.
It is important to take note of price appreciation and principle payments in the Atlanta real estate market. Check out this illustration for the amount of equity Atlanta homeowners have accumulated since 2008.
• Homes purchased in the Atlanta, GA housing market one year ago have appreciated, on average, by $12,452. The national average was $15,781 over the same period.
• Homes purchased in the Atlanta, GA housing market three years ago have appreciated, on average, by $58,930. The national average was $49,356 over the same period.
• Homes purchased in the Atlanta, GA housing market five years ago have appreciated, on average, by $75,642. The national average was $68,727 over the same period.
• Homes purchased in the Atlanta, GA housing market seven years ago have appreciated, on average, by $64,836. The national average was $59,758 over the same period.
• Homes purchased in the Atlanta, GA housing market nine years ago have appreciated, on average, by $19,029. The national average increased $16,435 over the same period.
Price appreciation in the Atlanta, area continues to rise, as gains in the last three years have extended the trend of positive prices growth after the recession. Factors assisting appreciation gains in Atlanta is the number of properties in some stage of foreclosure, or lack thereof. According to RealtyTrac, there are currently less than 3000 properties in some stage of foreclosure.
Conclusion, if you live in Georgia now is the time to buy and sell homes. Happy New Year.
Jennifer Adams is a Real Estate Agent with Adams Realty Group. Jennifer can be reached directly at 404.944.5933 and by email at Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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