Monthly Archives: June 2013

4 Tips to Avoiding First Time Home Buying Mistakes

Earth-conscious homebuyersBuying a home is likely the biggest financial decision you’ll make. What should first time home buyers know before getting started? The Equifax Finance blog real estate pros came up with a list of four things every first time buyer should know to help avoid common first time buyer pitfalls/mistakes, in the recent article, “

First-Time Homebuyers: The Four Mistakes You Need to Avoid.”

  • Know Your Credit Score: If you have a bad credit score, you’re wasting time (unless of course you have the funds to buy a home in cash — which is unlikely). Without a decent score, you won’t be able to get financing for a mortgage. Knowing your score in advance will set you up for making decisions about whether or not to buy, and what kind of lending terms and interest rates you can expect. Check your credit for free three times a year from the three major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax) and make smart credit decisions, like paying bills on time to keep your score up.
  • Get Pre-Qualified: Getting pre-qualified early in the process will not only let you know how much you can afford, it will set you apart from other buyers who are less serious and/or may not be able to get the financing that they want. Getting pre-qualified not only helps you, but it helps your agent and sellers, as it signals to them that you are ready and able to buy.
  • Know Home Values and Prices: Knowing the home values and prices in the areas you’re looking will arm you with the knowledge to be a savvy shopper and get the best deals. You can and should look up prices of homes for sale online, but you should also ask your real estate agent to provide you with some recent sales statistics. He/she can pull recent figures that will help you in your search, and will help provide perspective about pricing on homes that you’re interested in.
  • Assemble the right team: Find an agent that is knowledgeable about your area, experienced and trustworthy. You need an agent that you can feel confident in, and you’re likely to find the best fit through word of mouth as opposed to finding someone online. Ask your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc., for recommendations on an agent. Then, meet him or her and find out how long they’ve been working in your area, how many clients they have, if they have expertise with first time buyers, etc.

Get more real estate tips at the Equifax Finance blog as well as tips on retirement, insurance, taxes,

credit score, identity theft protection and more.

Green Atlanta Home Builder Uses Family Farm as Natural Resource

green Atlanta home builderWhen it comes to buying an energy-efficient new home in Atlanta, you want to choose a builder you can trust. Many builders say they can build you a green home, but finding one that actually encompasses earth-friendly qualities in their everyday lives is rare. Brock Built’s dedication to not only building green, but also living green is what makes them stand apart.

In fact, when you purchase a Brock Built home, you can rest assured that all of the natural stone in your new place came from Fox Mountain, which is located on the Brock family farm. The stone is harvested from their property, sifted and carried by dump truck back to Atlanta. Then, their on-site masons hand chisel the stone to make sure every single piece is a unique work of art. Once they are done, the stone is then ready to be used in fireplaces, firepits, home exteriors, landscaping boulders and retaining walls.

In addition to gathering all of their natural stone from the property, the farm is also run completely on solar power. Their solar energy system uses a series of panels to send the energy the home and well require to batteries. And, all of the home’s water is heated through tankless water heaters, which are more efficient in terms of energy and money.

Being committed to an eco-friendly lifestyle is just part of what makes this Atlanta home builder‘s GreenSmart program stand out from others like it. All of their homes are built to high standards for energy efficiency, and they include features such as radiant barrier roofing, spray-on fiberglass insulation, house wrap, high efficiency light bulbs, ENERGY STAR appliances and 14 Seer A/C units.

To learn more about Brock Built’s communities of Atlanta new homes and their GreenSmart program, visit the Brock Built website.

Ashton Woods Homes has Brilliant Basement Plans

Ashton Woods HomesHeritage at Kennesaw Mountain, Sterling Walk and Belmore Manor are Atlanta new homes that are sure to attain your homeowner dreams! Ashton Woods Homes created finished basement floor plans that are alluring, energy-efficient and selling out quickly. On a rainy or hot summer day, these charming basement spaces are perfect for having a chilled drink or playing board games with the kids.

Heritage at Kennesaw Mountain offers the popular Cambridge plan priced at $612,613 and provides 5,600 square feet. The Cambridge features six bedrooms and five baths as well as a gourmet kitchen on the main floor of the home. The breakfast room leads outside to a gorgeous patio deck with a screened in option that views a professionally landscaped yard perfect for rest and relaxation. The second story offers three additional bedrooms and a master suite with master bath. The basement also offers a sixth bedroom option as well as a study or game room space. Continue reading