Options For Low/No Down Payment Loans

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young girl giggling as butterfly lands on her nose

Buy A Home

These days, a mortgage loan that requires low or no down payment can be hard to find. They are typically only available to people who demonstrate they have the income to repay such loans and are a good credit risk. Depending on the lender (public or private), you’ll likely need a credit score of 620 or higher. If you are an aspiring homeowner with little money for a down payment, be sure to look into these potential loan options:

VA Loans

Veterans and their families may qualify for a home loan through Veterans Affairs (VA). As an insurance program, the VA offers 100% financing of mortgages and guarantees them up to $424,100. They do not require any down payment and mortgage insurance can be included in the loan itself. Lenders have different requirements, but in general, qualifying borrowers should have no more than a 41% debt-to-income ratio. If you can obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA, you can apply for a no down payment loan through this program.

USDA Loans

First-time homebuyers that live in designated suburban and rural areas may be eligible for a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Housing loan. The program is intended for those who live in remote areas, but there are places in suburbia that do fall under the locational restriction. Loan applicants must have at least a 600-640 credit score and make less than certain income amounts. A loan guarantee of 3.5% is required upfront, but borrowers can choose to include it in the loan itself so that no cash is required when the loan closes.

Navy Federal Credit Union Mortgage Loans

The biggest credit union in the U.S. in membership and assets, NFCU’s no money down mortgage loans are a lot like VA loans. You won’t be required to carry mortgage insurance, but there is a funding fee of 1.75%. This fee can be rolled into the loan balance. However, you need to be a qualifying credit union member to apply for the loan. Membership is exclusive to U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) employees and contractors at DoD installations, personnel from all military branches, and family members of any of these members.

FHA Loans

Loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration are intended to stimulate the economy and housing industry by encouraging first time home buyers to buy a home. They do require a down payment, but it is quite low. You can pay as little as 3.5% of the home sale price.

Talk with a Pro

Buying a home is a big commitment, and for some of us, it can feel out of reach. That’s where no down or low down payment loans can help. They lend quite a bit more than just a helping hand, making it possible for many people to get their little piece of the American dream. Here at DUFFY Realty, we can connect you with excellent lenders that understand the world of mortgage finance and will help you find a loan to meet your needs. Call us for a conversation today: (678) 318-1700
Rhonda Duffy

Rhonda Duffy

Real estate expert and consumer advocate Rhonda Duffy is documented and ranked the #1 Agent in the U.S. for resales three years in a row and #1 Agent in Georgia 12 years in a row. Rhonda is the media’s go to expert on real estate matters for her commonsense approach, consumer advocacy and work to educate the public on the rapidly changing landscape of her profession. She has been licensed in real estate for 20 years, has been a broker in seven states and is trained in staging certification.

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Mortgage vs. Rent: Making the Right Financial Decisions for Your Family

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Is there a right choice when it comes to the decision of mortgage vs. rent? Financial decisions are important to care for the financial needs of your family. Not only do you need to think about your current income and cash flow, but it is also important to look at the long-term outlook for your investment.

This rent vs. buy decision has many moving parts; you’ll find a variety of factors that will influence your decision. These are some of the pieces of information that should be considered when you are deciding to invest in a mortgage vs. rent:

  • Location or neighborhood where you want to live
  • Price of the home you would like to buy
  • Cost of the down payment
  • Mortgage terms and interest rates
  • The length of time you’ll be living there
  • Comparable cost of renting a similar property

Mortgage vs. Rent: Pros and Cons

The most obvious benefit of buying instead of renting is that the money you pay each month will go to build equity in your property. If you pay the mortgage long enough, eventually you will have a property that you own 100%, and you will be able to live there without paying a monthly cost. Most mortgages have 30-year terms, which means that you will be able to enjoy the home during your retirement years without the financial pressure of paying a mortgage.

On the other hand, renting is basically throwing money away each month. Yes, you have a place to live that solves your immediate needs. But, the money doesn’t go towards an investment that will benefit your family in the future. As a result, most people view renting as a short-term solution.

Here are a few other benefits of buying instead of renting:

  • Long-term stability by living in the same place
  • Options for renovations and redecorating
  • Set payment since the mortgage is predictable and not subject to landlord changes
  • Pride of owning a property you can call your own
  • Building home equity over the years

Keep in mind that homeownership means that you will need to keep up with maintenance and repairs over time. On the other hand, the landlord is responsible for maintenance costs and efforts when the property is rented.

What are Your Family Financial Goals?

The best thing that you can do is consider your long-term financial goals and how you want to support your family. If you are looking for financial freedom in the future, then homeownership can be an essential part of your plan.

Don’t overlook the importance of hiring a good real estate team to help you find the right property that matches the needs of your family. For more information, talk to us at DUFFY Realty. We are the leading real estate team in Atlanta, and we’d love to help your family buy a home: (678) 318-1700

Overcoming the 5 Biggest Roadblocks to Homeownership

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Do you have the dream of owning a home, but you haven’t been able to make the investment yet? Sometimes, first-time buyers face common roadblocks to homeownership. But, just because you are facing one or more of these issues, doesn’t mean that you can’t move into the home of your dreams. Talk to our team here at DUFFY Realty for advice and help regarding the best solutions to help you overcome these common roadblocks.

5 Roadblocks to Homeownership

These are some of the most common problems faced when people want to buy a home:

  1. Down Payment: Don’t assume that you can’t buy a home if you haven’t saved for a down payment. Yes, a bit of cash will be needed for the transaction. But there are programs available for down payment assistance if you can qualify for the loan but don’t have money in the bank for the down payment.
  2. Credit Score: Qualifying for a mortgage can be a challenge if you have a rocky credit history. If you know you have a few late payments and balances that need to be paid, then we can help you find the right financial pro for assistance. Start improving your credit score now so that you are ready for the home purchase in the future.
  3. Self-Employment: Some people are worried about qualifying for a mortgage when they have a variable income. Certain loans can be used that look at the money moving through your bank account when determining the income you are receiving.
  4. Market Trends: Are you worried about buying a home because the prices are too high right now? While it is true that real estate prices move up and down with time, the overall market is on an upward trend when you look at the long-term investment of home ownership. Think about the money that you are throwing away on rent each month. Instead of giving that money to pay for someone else’s home, your monthly payment can be building equity for your own home.
  5. Dream Home: Everyone loves the idea of moving into a big, beautiful home. But it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy a property if you can’t afford the price point that you desire. The best way to get your dream home in the future is to build equity in a good starter home. Be realistic about your current financial situation and buy something that you can afford. Our team will help you find a great match that your family can enjoy. This purchase is a stepping stone to help you afford a bigger home in the future.

DUFFY Realty is here to help with the best real estate strategy for your family. If you are thinking about buying a home, then we invite you to start a conversation with our team. We’ll help you overcome some of these common roadblocks to homeownership. Call us at (678) 318-1700

5 Easy Steps to Prepare for Homeownership

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Are you feeling the excitement and anticipation of buying your first home? Nothing describes the feeling of being a property owner: having a place to rest your head at night that you can call your own. But some people find that nerves overshadow the excitement of homeownership. Here are five tips to help you figure out how to navigate this transition in life:

Tip #1: Save Money

It might seem simple that you need to set aside money for closing costs and a down payment. But some people find it a challenge to set aside enough money to get started. Set a budget right now and start a conversation with a mortgage expert. You can create a budget and financial plan to ensure that you are ready for homeownership soon.

Tip #2: Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

DIY is a good idea when it comes to meal preparation or home craft projects. But don’t make the mistake of attempting DIY when buying a home if you know nothing about the real estate industry. Find a good real estate agent to locate the right property to help you work through potential problems that come up with inspections, negotiations, closing paperwork, contracts, and more.

Tip #3: Know What to Expect

When you step into the shoes of being a new homeowner, it is important to understand that you are taking on more responsibility than just paying the mortgage. You need to pay for various repairs, maintenance, and renovations. Be ready to mark your calendar, so you don’t miss any essential steps for protecting your investment.

Tip #4: Evaluate Your Credit Score

Your credit score will play a role in your ability to get the financing that is needed for the purchase. If you’ve encountered financial problems in the past, then it is important you are proactive with improving your credit score. Stay consistent with your payment history and pay down credit card balances to improve your debt-to-income ratio. These seemingly small steps can have a positive impact so that you receive the financing needed to buy your dream home.

Tip #5: Be Confident in Your Decision

Sitting on the fence for too long could mean you miss out on opportunities for your home purchase. If you are preapproved for financing and your real estate agent helps you find your dream home that fits your budget, then don’t waver on your decision. It is a competitive real estate market, which means you need to be prepared to send an offer as soon as you find a good home.

At DUFFY Realty, we’ve helped thousands of people in the Atlanta area find their dream homes. If you are ready to be a first-time homeowner, then we invite you to tap into the industry experience offered by our professional team. Call to learn more about the available services: (678) 318-1700

Historic vs. New: Compare Your Options for a Home Purchase

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There is something charming about moving into a home with history. While many families love the feeling of new construction and a custom-built family home, other people prefer to buy an existing property with character. These historic homes have a rich history and carry the stories of people who lived there for so many years. It is a unique experience to move in and make the home your own.

Considerations When Purchasing a Historic Home

If you want to buy a home with character, then it is important to understand your limitations and the possibilities for the property. Often, homeowners invest a bit of money into renovation projects to not only update the living areas, but also to protect and preserve the history of the building.

Keep in mind that many historic towns have planning commissions that oversee the historical aspect of the neighborhood. Certain guidelines will need to be followed, and you might need to obtain approval before making changes that affect the facade of the property.

Also, architectural elements need to be evaluated. You can’t just knock out walls or match the crown moldings and wainscoting without a consultation with an architectural expert. Most of these historic homes are in conditions that are less than perfect, which means a little bit of TLC will likely be required to ensure the home matches the needs of your family. You might even consider the services of an architectural salvage company or a restoration contractor that specializes in historic renovations.

Avoiding Extensive Maintenance and Repair Work

When buying an older, historic home, you need to know that maintenance and repair work will be part of the package. Not only do you need to think about the appearance and comfort of the home, but there are possibilities of problems with major systems such as electrical or plumbing.

If you don’t want to spend money, time, or energy on these tasks, then it might make sense to choose a newer, move-in ready property instead. A real estate agent can help you find the right home that offers the comfort levels you desire, without the need for major updates or renovations.

There are pros and cons to new construction and historic homes, so it’s up to you to decide on the property that will be a good fit for your preferences and personality. History buffs find it fulfilling to put in the money and time commitment to create a one-of-a-kind home. If you are someone who appreciates the architecture and you enjoy DIY renovation projects, then a historic home might be the right solution for your needs.

The best way to get started is to share your vision and wish list with an experienced real estate team. DUFFY Realty can help you find the property that will be perfect for your family. Call today: (678) 318-1700

What Does Your Dream Home Look Like?

What Does Your Dream Home Look Like?

Do you feel the excitement about buying a new home for your family? Many people are filled with hopes and ideas about what their dream home will look like. So it can be frustrating to begin your home search, only to find that you can’t locate a home that matches your preferences.

Keep in mind that your dream home is out there! You just need to find the right real estate agent who will help you find the best property. At DUFFY Realty, we’re here to assist. We understand the local real estate market and have the tools and resources necessary to ensure that you find the perfect home for your family.

Getting Clear on Your Goals

One of the most important steps that you can take is getting clear on the features that are essential for your new home. Design a “want” and “need” list to identify the things that you are looking for. “Needs” might include anything that is make-or-break for the home. For example, if you work from home, then an office space is likely high on your priority list, so this feature would be placed on your “Need” list.

On the other hand, the “want” list is filled with your desires. The hope is that you will find a property that incorporates everything on both lists. But these are the items that can be adjusted if you find something that meets most of your preferences. For example, you might be willing to do a little bit of renovation work if you find a home that meets most of your needs and wants, but the kitchen needs a little updating. Regardless of the details, your real estate agent will help you find the right home.

Communication is Key

Now that you’ve put together your list of priorities, make sure that these details are shared with your real estate agent. Open communication from the beginning will help you avoid a headache and wasted time. When your real estate agent knows what you are looking for, then you don’t need to spend time touring homes that don’t meet your needs.

Additionally, make sure that you maintain open communication throughout the process of finding and buying a home. You might discover that your preferences change when you see the options that are available on the market. A little bit of flexibility can go a long way to help you find something that is going to work for your needs.

A great real estate agent can offer suggestions and solutions. Not only can you get references to lenders and financial professionals to ensure that you have the money available for your dream home, but your agent can also help with the selection of renovation contractors, inspectors, pest control services, and more.

When you are getting ready to buy or sell a home, then you deserve to work with the best real estate team in the area. Call DUFFY Realty of Atlanta at (678) 318-1700

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Family: A Safe, Comfortable Home

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Family: A Safe, Comfortable Home

As you are wrapping gifts to put under the tree, it is important to think about the best family gifts that might not fit into a box. It is fun to open toys and clothes on Christmas morning, but these items often get lost in the back of the closets after the thrill of Christmas wears off.

Instead of putting money into small items that will be overlooked in the future, consider the ways you are creating a perfect home for your family.

The Difference Between a House and a Home

Buying a home is more than putting a roof overhead. Choosing the right property means that your loved ones will have a safe place to sleep at night and a thriving environment to enjoy the activities of each day.

A family home is a place where you can work together and play together. You can take any property and transform it into a home by adding the personal touches that will create a comfortable, safe environment to share with the people that you love.

The Best Investment for Your Family

If you aren’t satisfied with your current home, then it might be time to invest in a new property. Depending on the stage in your life, it could make sense to upsize to a bigger home to fit your expanding family. Or, you might consider the advantage of downsizing if you no longer have a house full of little ones.

Investing in a real estate property is more than choosing a place to live. This decision will create an environment where you will build memories and cherish the times that are shared over the years. The best thing that you can do is put together your list of essential home features, and then talk to our team here at DUFFY Realty to find the perfect location to match your needs.

You Can’t Put a Price Tag on Family Relationships

Even though it costs money to buy and maintain a home, you can’t put a price tag on the memories and relationships that will be built over the years. Your family deserves a comfortable place to share. Creating the right environment means that you will be able to relax knowing that you are offering the best care for the people that you love.

At DUFFY Realty, we understand the importance of creating a safe sanctuary for your family. Our team is here to assist when you are ready to buy a home. If you are interested in learning more about your options, then we invite you to call us right away for more information about the services that are available: (678) 318-1700

We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas! Sending our thoughts and care to you and your family during this beautiful holiday season.

Common Problems that Delay the Closing on a Real Estate Purchase

Common Problems that Delay the Closing on a Real Estate Purchase

As you are feeling the excitement of purchasing a new home, it can feel like a letdown to face delays that impact your closing timeline. This article is about the common problems that delay the closing on a real estate purchase.  You are anxious to get settled into a beautiful home that you can share with your family. At the same time, there are certain steps that need to be followed to protect your financial outlook for the future.

Luckily, a good real estate agent can help you stay on track by minimizing the impact of potential problems that come up along the way. It is important that you choose an experienced team to help with the purchase, giving you the peace of mind to know that you can trust the advice that is offered. Here are some of the most common reason why your real estate closing might be delayed:

  • Inspection Problems: If an unexpected problem shows up on the inspection, then it is important that these details are addressed before moving forward with the closing. A seemingly small issue could cost you thousands of dollars in the future. Luckily, the inspection will help you identify the problems so that you can build the repairs or expenses into the closing negotiations.
  • Title Issues: When something shows up on the title of the property, then you need to proceed with caution. You should only buy a home if it has a “clean” title. Otherwise, you might be held liable to pay for liens or other issues. Often, these problems will delay the closing or make it difficult to get the financing that is needed.
  • Obtaining Sufficient Financing: Most home sellers want to see verification that the buyer can pay for the property. A preapproval letter can be sufficient to show the qualification for the financing that is needed. But, there are still possible problems that might pop up and delay the financing. For example, the lender might request additional documentation that slows down the closing timetable.
  • Completion of Agreed Repairs: Has the seller agreed to address specific repairs that need to be completed? If the seller is bound to complete the work, then the closing might be delayed until the work is finished. If it’s written into the contract, then you should wait to sign on the bottom line until all of the agreed steps have been fulfilled.

Yes, it is possible that you might encounter one or more of these problems. Additionally, there are many other scenarios that can impact the closing timeline for the property. But, these problems don’t mean that you won’t be able to buy the home of your dreams. Instead, you might need to be flexible in the way the closing is handled to ensure the satisfaction of all parties involved.

At DUFFY Realty, we have a proven system in place to minimize the delays as much as possible. If you are looking for an experienced real estate team in Atlanta, then we invite you to contact us as soon as possible: (678) 318-1700

Another great post for you to read.

Tips for Long-Distance House Hunting

Tips for Long-Distance House Hunting

Are you willing to buy a house sight unseen? If you are preparing to move your family across state lines or to another area that is far from your current home, then it might feel like a challenge to search for a home to purchase. There are many resources online to look at homes that are available, but most people prefer to walk through the properties before submitting an offer.

Fast-Moving Real Estate Market

You might not have the luxury of an in-home tour if you aren’t in the local area. At the same time, it might not make sense to wait on the offer until you see the home, because properties are selling so fast in the current market.

When offers are rolling in fast and the sellers are motivated to move, you are forced to act without delay. You probably don’t have time to fly to the Atlanta area to view properties, which is why you need a trusted real estate team on the ground to oversee your home search. Buying a house sight unseen can be a scary experience because it is hard to evaluate the property through photos and written words. But, there is no reason to worry if you have the right assistance with the search and transaction.

Assistance from the Best Real Estate Team

The good news is that you can work with a trusted real estate team, knowing that your agent has your best interests in mind. Even if you can’t be present to see the homes in person, it is possible to shop the real estate market with the assistance of your agent.

The first step is to hire a team with a good reputation in the local industry: DUFFY Realty. Then, you need to put together a list of must-haves and wishes for your new family home. These details will be evaluated as your agent helps you search through the listings that are available. You can look at online photos to see images of the home, or also work with the agent to Facetime or Skype so that you can see a real-time walkthrough if desired.

Should You Buy a House without Seeing it First?

Buying a home is a big investment, which is why our team always encourages an in-person tour before offering and closing on the deal. But, there are situations when you might not be present to view the home, which is when you need to lean on the services offered on the ground.

We are working hard to provide the best real estate services in the industry. Whether you are buying or selling a home in Atlanta, we invite you to contact us so that you can tap into the expertise that we offer. Our team has an unblemished reputation as the leading real estate group in the area, and we invite you to contact us for the assistance that you need. DUFFY Realty is here to help: (678) 318-1700

If you enjoyed Tips for Long-Distance House Hunting read this article next: https://duffyrealtyofatlanta.com/how-to-save-money-on-moving-costs/


Buying an Older Home? Watch for these Catastrophes Waiting to Happen

Buying an Older Home? Watch for these Catastrophes Waiting to Happen

It’s no surprise that you will need to spend a little money on home improvement projects if you choose an older home. Whether you are preparing for renovate the whole property or you are looking at the essential tasks that need to be addressed, it is important that you have a clear understanding about the cash that will be needed for the construction.

You will need to cover the initial costs of buying the property, moving, and transforming the house into a home. Plus, you need to be ready to cover unexpected costs in case a catastrophe hits after you move in. A good home inspector will be able to identify potential problems that you might be facing. So, you should never skip the home inspection before closing on the sale! Here are a few other things that might cost money after you move in:

Dead Trees Near the Home

Even in the yard is in good condition, you need to consider the health of the trees that are located near the home. If an old tree is too close to the building, it is possible that the tree could damage your property if it came crashing down in a windstorm. If the tree hits the house, then you could have thousands of dollars in costs to repair the roof, replace the windows, fix the siding, and more.

Don’t wait for the disaster to hit! Protect your home by hiring a landscaping or tree trimming company that can cut back the dangerous branches. Or, it might be necessary to cut down the tree if it is a threat to your home.

Leaky Gas Connections

Many homes have gas connections for various appliances in the building: the gas stove, water heater, dryer, and more. Check the connections to ensure that you aren’t facing any leaks.

The smallest leaks could be a potential threat to your home and family. If the gas catches a spark, then your house might go up in flames. This accident can be prevented by hiring an expert to check all of the gas connections and repair the problems that are discovered.

Appliances that Haven’t Been Serviced

The water heater, stove, fridge, HVAC system, and other appliances in the home could have problems if the previous homeowners didn’t keep up with regular servicing and repair work. If you aren’t planning to buy new appliances, then it is best to hire an expert to complete an inspection and identify repair work that might be needed. A little bit of prevention can save you thousands of dollars in the future.

DUFFY Realty has been leading the Atlanta real estate industry for many years. We understand the potential catastrophes when buying a home. Our team is here to help you identify possible issues so that you can choose the best property for your family. For more information about buying or selling a home, we invite you to call our team to schedule a consultation: (678) 318-1700