Buying a Home? 4 Tips for Mortgage Approval

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You can dream about homeownership and even search for new listings online, only to find yourself disappointed when you are unable to qualify for the financing that is needed. Most home buyers don’t have enough cash to pay for the home, which means they need to qualify for financing through a bank or financial institution. Mortgage approval is an important step in this process.

In fact, applying for a mortgage is one of the first things you need to do when preparing for homeownership. Before you start touring properties and choosing your dream home, it is important that you talk to a lender to know what your options are for financing. You can get pre-approval for the money that will be needed, then provide the documentation to home sellers showing that you will be able to pay for the purchase.

4 Tips for Getting a Mortgage

Unfortunately, some people find that they can’t qualify for the money that is needed. If you are having a hard time getting a mortgage, then consider these four tips:

  1. Manage Your Credit: Your credit score and credit history will show the lender whether you are a reliable borrower. It is important you take steps to boost your credit score as much as possible. Then, be careful to maintain credit stability throughout the homebuying process.
  2. Home Appraisal: Most lenders won’t approve the mortgage without an official appraisal on the property. The home is going to be collateral for the loan, so the lender wants to be sure there is enough value to cover the amount of the loan. You need to be prepared to pay for this appraisal process to receive mortgage approval.
  3. Underwriting Process: The lender won’t issue the final approval on the loan until the underwriting process is complete. You might need to provide additional paperwork, income verification, tax filings, and other details. So, maintain close communication with your mortgage provider to avoid hang-ups during this stage of mortgage approval.
  4. Final Forms: When it is finally time to close on the home, you will need to sign a stack of paperwork for the mortgage as well as the ownership transfer of the property. Luckily, you can lean on the advice and expertise offered by your real estate agent and lender to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks when you are finalizing the paperwork.

Hiring a good real estate team is the most critical thing you can do to ensure success with your home purchase. Not only do you need to work with an experienced real estate agent, but you also need to work with a lender you can trust. DUFFY Realty is just a phone call away when you need real estate advice. Contact us to learn about the services that are offered for Atlanta real estate: (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

Is 2019 the Year You Will Buy a Home?

Is 2019 the Year You Will Buy a Home?

January ushers in a season when many people are thinking about their goals for 2019. Have you set a few New Year’s resolutions with the intention to improve yourself or your circumstances this year? While many people think about goals to improve health and wellness, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of improving your home for your family. So that leads to the question, is 2019 the year you will or buy a home?

Creating Memories to Last a Lifetime

Buying a home is more than choosing a safe, convenient place to live. This property is where you will create memories with your family and friends. Your children will look back on their childhood experiences and remember dinner around the kitchen table, game nights in the family room, and stories before bedtime. If you want to build the best memories, then you need to be sure that you have a home that creates the right environment you want to share with your loved ones.

Buying a home means that you have the opportunity to adjust the décor, furniture, and other elements to match your family culture. Be deliberate and selective about the property that you choose as well as the way the rooms are designed and decorated.

Setting a New Year’s Resolution to Buy a Home

If you are excited to buy your first home or you are ready to upgrade to buy a new home, then our team is here to assist. You might not be ready to move forward with this goal, but things can change faster than you might expect. 2019 could be the year that you move into a dream home with your family! The most important thing that you can do is talk to our team to learn more about the preparation steps you need to take to ensure that you are ready for the purchase.

Depending on your circumstances, your New Year’s goals might be focused on building your credit, finding a real estate agent, or searching for the right property. Build these goals around your long-term dreams, and take one step at a time to create the lifestyle and family circumstances that you desire. 2019 is a fresh start and the perfect opportunity to ensure that everyone is comfortable and happy at home.

As you are searching for a new home, it is important that you have the right real estate team to assist with the search, negotiations, and closing. Having an expert real estate agent makes a difference to ensure that you find a great deal and everything goes smoothly with the closing.

At DUFFY Realty, we’re always here to help with your real estate needs. Our team is leading the Atlanta real estate industry by offering an unbeatable customer experience and excellent solutions for every home buyer and seller. We’d like to wish you a Happy New Year and invite you to contact us to learn more about the real estate services that are available: : (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.

Give Thanks for a Beautiful Home to Share with Your Family

Give Thanks for a Beautiful Home to Share with Your Family

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is here? 2018 seems like it went by in a blink of an eye! It has been a great year, and this month is the perfect time to reflect on the blessings in your life. Have you given thanks for your family, comfortable home, career opportunities, and the other things that have come into your life this year?

Thankful for a Home to Share with Your Family

There’s no doubt that a beautiful, comfortable home is at the top of your gratitude list. Having the right home to share with your family is important. Not only do you have a safe place to gather at the end of a busy day, but the right home creates the perfect environment where you can create lasting memories together.

Your property doesn’t have to be flawless to be the perfect home for your family. Instead, it needs to have all of the features that support your family goals, dreams, and desires. Find all of the features in your home that you are grateful for, such as a large family room, a kitchen for preparing family meals, a fun yard for a game of touch football on Thanksgiving day, or a big bathtub to soak with a bath bomb when you need to unwind.

Creating Family Traditions to Show Gratitude

One way to make it a special holiday is to create family traditions that help you show gratitude for the things that you’ve been blessed with. These traditions could be as simple or elaborate as you desire. For example, you might take a moment to share gratitude around the Thanksgiving table, giving every family member an opportunity to share something that they are thankful for.

Or, make it a month-long reminder of gratitude by putting notes on the wall or a cork board. Create a Thanksgiving wall where friends and family members can put up sticky notes with their thoughts and gratitude.

A Thanksgiving Message

Focusing on thanksgiving and gratitude is a good way to recognize the blessings that are in your life. At the same time, you can also set your sights on other things that you want to share with your family in the future. For example, it might be time to upgrade your home or create new memories with family traditions.

At DUFFY Realty, we would like to express our gratitude for your ongoing support and confidence in the real estate services that we provide. We’re grateful to be part of this amazing community. Over the years, our team has built solid relationships with families in the Atlanta area. Call us any time to learn more about the ways that we are leading the industry and supporting the community: (678) 318-1700

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! Have a safe, memorable holiday with your loved ones.

Summer Bucketlist: The Best Activities to Plan with Your Kids

Summer Bucketlist: The Best Activities to Plan with Your Kids

Many families agree that summer is the best time of year. Not only can you enjoy the beautiful weather outside, but it is the perfect time to build meaningful memories with the people that you love.

Are you trying to choose the best summer activities to share with your kids? Remember, that the best memories don’t have to cost a lot of money. Instead, you just need to get out of the house and create opportunities to spend quality time with your children. There are many things that you can do at home or in the neighborhood that are free or cheap.

Here are a few options that should be added to your summer bucket list. This list will keep the kids busy and help you have fun at the same time:

  • Go on a nature walk
  • Plan a picnic in the park
  • Enjoy stargazing in the backyard on a clear night
  • Draw chalk murals in the driveway
  • Spend a day doing random acts of kindness
  • Read a book series together
  • Go on a weekend road trip to a new destination
  • Fly a kite
  • Spend a day at the community pool
  • Set up a lemonade stand
  • Plant a garden
  • Prepare a meal with the food that was grown in the garden
  • Ride your bike to the park
  • Set up a tent in the backyard for a camping trip at home
  • Watch a firework show
  • Learn to fold origami
  • Set up the Slip N’ Slide and run through the sprinklers
  • Schedule a tea party with neighborhood friends
  • Buy popsicles when the ice cream truck drives by
  • Do a service project
  • Go fishing
  • Jump in puddles and play outside in the rain
  • Have a craft day
  • Have a car washing party
  • Put on a puppet show with homemade sock puppets
  • Race paper boats down a stream
  • Write a story together as a family
  • Attend a movie night at the park
  • Send postcards to friends and family members
  • Eat out at a new restaurant
  • Make handprint art
  • Play frisbee golf
  • Visit a nursing home
  • Order pizza and have an indoor picnic while watching a movie
  • Learn to bake a new treat
  • Take those treats to the neighbors
  • Visit a drive-in movie theater
  • Spend a day at the water park
  • Buy ingredients for dinner at a farmer’s market
  • Look for classes or workshops at the library or community center
  • Have a water gun fight
  • Make tin foil dinners and roast marshmallows
  • Find a snow cone shack (or snow ball stand for those of us from New Orleans)
  • Schedule an evening of night games with families in the neighborhood
  • Have a pillow fight
  • Build and sleep in a blanket fort

And this week, find a 4th of July celebration complete with barbecue, watermelon, sack races and a splashdown in a nearby pool during the day and a comfortable seat for one of the many fireworks displays around Atlanta once the sun goes down. My vantage point, sparklers in hand on the back deck of our North Georgia Mountains home where we take in all the colorful bursts in a panoramic sweep from Lake Lanier to Stone Mountain to downtown Atlanta. A southern flavored Happy Birthday party!

Summer might also be the right time to move to your next view in a new home with your family. You can be settled in before the kids go back to school! If you are looking for your dream home, then you need to talk to the experts here at DUFFY Realty. Call today: (678) 318-1700

City or Suburb Living? Choosing the Right Lifestyle for Your Family

City or Suburb Living? Choosing the Right Lifestyle for Your Family

When you are in the market to buy a new home, many details need to be considered. Not only do you need to choose a floorplan that will support the needs of your family, but you also need to think about schools in the area and the commute to work.

Some families are looking for a quiet neighborhood where the kids can ride bikes with the friends in the culdesac. Other families need to prioritize convenience because they spend a lot of time working downtown. The best thing that you can do is consider the optimal lifestyle for your family. Then, talk to our team about your goals so that we can help you find a property to match your preferences.

Benefits of Suburb Living

The suburbs offer the best of both worlds: you can choose a quiet neighborhood while still have access to the city as needed. If you work downtown, then you might have a bit of a commute each day. But, many people feel like it is worth the travel so that they can enjoy a suburb lifestyle with their children.

Depending on your line of work, you might be able to work from home a few days a week to minimize commute time. Some parents prefer having personal time in the car to listen to audio books or get caught up on emails before getting to the office each morning.

Most homes in the suburbs have larger yards and more space to play outside. The houses are usually a little bigger as well, giving you extra square footage for playrooms or in-home offices.

Advantages of City Living

City living also offers a long list of benefits for your family. If you want to be in the middle of the action, then look for a condo or townhouse near the city center. A city lifestyle gives you quick access to some of the most popular restaurants and activities. Plus, you don’t have to worry about sitting in traffic to get to work in the mornings.

In most situations, city homes are a bit smaller compared to the suburb properties. But, families find ways to enjoy the parks and community activities that are available in the area. There is never a dull moment when you are living in a big city!

Personalized Real Estate Services

Whether you want a home in a quiet neighborhood or a stylish condo in the heart of the city, our team is here to help. DUFFY Realty is leading the real estate industry in Atlanta, offering the best services that are available for families who are ready to buy or sell their home. Not only do we offer unbeatable customer service, but we also help you save money with our flat-fee real estate services. Contact us to learn more about the ways that we can help with your real estate needs: (678) 318-1700

Read this article too: How to Build Home Equity Quickly.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas – Finding the Perfect Way to Show Mom that You Care

Mother's Day Gift Ideas - Finding the Perfect Way to Show Mom that You Care

Mother’s Day is the holiday when we celebrate the women in our lives. Whether you are helping your children choose a gift for your wife or you are looking for ways to thank your own mother, it is essential that you consider the gifts that will create the perfect lifestyle that she can enjoy.

If you want to leave an unforgettable impression, you could choose a gift that will change her life: a new home or a new car. But, it doesn’t have to be a big gift to show that you care. Small, thoughtful presents can go a long way to communicate the gratitude that you feel for your mother.

Here are a few gift ideas that she might enjoy:

  • Weekend Getaway: Whisk her away for a weekend of relaxation and fun. Consider a beach destination or a quiet cabin in the mountains. Send her for some personal time, or pack up the kids to make it a family trip.
  • New Furniture: Have you recently purchased a new house? Buy trendy furniture to turn your house into a home. Take her shopping to choose the pieces that match her preferences and style.
  • Spa Day: Every mother deserves a little pampering and care. Book a massage for her or purchase a gift card to her favorite spa. Take care of the kids so that she can enjoy an uninterrupted afternoon.
  • Backyard Patio Set: Now that the weather is warming up, it is the perfect time of year to invest in new patio chairs. Relax with the family on the back porch. Don’t forget to fire up the grill so that you can cook her a delicious meal for Mother’s Day.
  • Jewelry: You can’t go wrong with a beautiful piece of jewelry! Have a necklace engraved with her name. Or, choose a pendant that includes the birthstones of all of her children.
  • Family Tree: Hire a genealogy specialist to put together a family tree. Print the tree with photographs of the family members so that it can be hung on the wall.
  • DNA History: Another family-history gift is to choose a company that offers DNA testing to determine the origins of the family. It can be exciting to receive the results and see where family roots came from.

It often makes sense to match the gift to major life changes that she has experienced. Whether you have recently moved or you are preparing to buy a new home, it might make sense to choose a gift that will help her create the home of her dreams.

Or, better yet… help her choose a dream home! Moving to the perfect family home might be the best Mother’s Day gift that you can offer.

At DUFFY Realty, we would like to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day! We are working hard to provide the leading real estate services in the Atlanta area. If you need a new family home, then we invite you to contact us for more information: (678) 318-1700

Happy Valentine’s Day: Love Where You Live

Happy Valentine's Day: Love Where You Live

Valentine’s Day is a holiday set aside to remember that special someone in your life. But, showing love is more than just a romantic relationship. You can also share the love with close family members and friends. At the same time, consider the lifestyle you have created and how you are building strong memories with the people that you care about.

Do you love where you live? If you aren’t happy with your current home or location, then show love to your family by choosing a new place to live. Home is where the heart is… and you need to make sure that you love where you live and the life you are building.

Set Priorities for Your Family

What are the priorities for your family? Do you want to live downtown near the hustle and bustle of the big city, with easy access to the best attractions and restaurants in town? Or, would you rather live in a quiet suburban neighborhood where you can host backyard parties and relax in your private jacuzzi?

There are neighborhoods in the greater Atlanta area where you can enjoy the best of both worlds. The most important thing you can do is design a list of priorities for your family home. Then, talk to our real estate team to find the perfect property to match your needs.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with the Kids

Whether you live in your dream home or you are preparing to upgrade to a better property for your family, there are things that you can do to improve your current home. Put in a little effort to build lasting memories together. Celebrating the holiday is the best way to show that you care about your home and the people in it.

Start with a festive breakfast as a family. Set the table with small Valentine’s gifts placed by the kid’s plates. Simple things are great, such as pencils, new clothing, or coloring books. Cook a Valentine’s themed breakfast with heart-shaped pancakes, or pick up your favorite donuts with red and pink sprinkles from the local bakery.

Show love by giving your family members handwritten notes and homemade Valentine’s. Leave small notes in the kid’s backpacks, pockets, and lunch boxes. Make it a festive home by bringing in balloons or hanging up Valentine’s streamers.

For dinner, consider having a family Valentine’s celebration at your favorite restaurant. Make a reservation and be sure to pick a place with candlelit tables and a memorable menu.

Valentine’s Day in Your Home

A little bit of effort can go a long way to create a home environment that fosters love and friendship on Valentine’s Day, and throughout the year. If you are ready to upgrade your home to create a better environment for your family, then you need to talk to our team to find the home of your dreams. DUFFY Realty is here to help: (678) 318-1700

5 Simple Tips to Help You Find the Right Home for Your Family

Outdoor Features to Add to a Home to Improve Property Value

Are you searching to find the perfect home for your family? Many people have big dreams about their new home, but then feel frustrated when it is a challenge to locate the right property. Don’t worry! The right home is out there… you just need to find an experienced real estate agent to help you locate the property.

At DUFFY Realty, we have been serving the Atlanta real estate market for many years. Our experienced team has the network that you need to find a home that will work for your family. Here are a few tips that you might use when you are searching for a new home:

1. Create a List of Priorities

What are the must-haves for your new property? Write down your priorities and provide the list to your real estate agent. Then, we can watch for new properties that match your specifications. Clear communication is essential to ensure that the recommended homes are a good fit for what you need.

2. Setup Notifications

If you are using an online search tool to look at new listings, then set up notifications so that you know when a new home is available that matches your search parameters. These push notifications give you first notice so that you can have an opportunity to tour the property and make an offer right away.

3. Consider Renovation Options

It might be a challenge to find the perfect home that fits your budget. But, don’t overlook the benefits of home renovations. Locate a property that is a close fit for what you need. Then, talk to a contractor to transform the home before you move in. A few small changes can go a long way to update an old property.

4. Talk to the Lender in Advance

Make sure that you have the pre-approval documentation ready so that you can submit an offer when you find the right home. The market is hot, which means that you might miss the opportunity if you don’t act fast. Gathering the information right now ensures that you can submit an offer as soon as you locate the perfect home for your family.

5. Never Skip the Inspection

Having a home under contract is exciting! Even though you are anxious to have the keys in hand, you shouldn’t skip the inspection before closing. There might be problems with the property, leading to thousands of dollars in repair work in the future. A thorough inspection ensures that you are getting a home that is really as good as it seems. If something comes up in the inspection, then you can re-negotiate the deal or back out of the contract if the problem is a deal-breaker.

At DUFFY Realty, we understand the importance of finding the perfect home for your family. Our team is here to assist with everything that you need when you are buying a home. For more information, contact us at (678) 318-1700