| Milla Murad https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com First Time Home buyer Atlanta Mon, 24 Feb 2020 21:54:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.1 4 Tips for Decorating a Small Space https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2020/02/24/decorating-a-small-space/ https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2020/02/24/decorating-a-small-space/#respond Mon, 24 Feb 2020 21:54:23 +0000 https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/?p=718 4 Tips for Decorating a Small Space

Whether it’s a cramped bedroom or an office nook, many homes have a small room that’s difficult to decorate. 

Do you wish you could add more charm without forgoing square footage? Well, just because your space is limited, it doesn’t mean your style has to be. 

Make your tiny area more usable and trendy with these four tips.

1. Create a focal point. Designing without a focal point can make your space look cluttered. Instead, arrange a single, standout feature at the center of the room. Organize a gallery wall with several of your favorite photos or hang one attention-grabbing piece of art. 

2. Take decor to the top. If your home lacks high ceilings, use tall floor lamps and curtains to elongate your walls. You can further give the illusion of height by installing vertical shelves closer to the ceiling instead of at eye level. 

3. Make it bright. Bring in natural light by hanging sheer window curtains. You can also add a mirror to the wall opposite a window to reflect light. 

But if your small space doesn’t have windows, consider these ideas to illuminate it: 

  • Overhead lighting, such as bright bulbs in ceiling fixtures.
  • Diffused lighting, like opaque glass or shaded floor lamps.
  • Task lighting, including desk or reading lights. 

Arrange multiple levels of lighting so your gaze moves to various areas of the space, which can make it feel larger.

4. Add decorative storage. When a room is full of stuff, it tends to feel smaller. Use your walls for storage by installing hooks or racks to give your items a rightful place. 

If you want more space-saving ideas — or if you’re ready to start looking for a larger home — reach out today.

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3 Reasons to Sell Your Home in Winter https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2020/02/03/3-reasons-to-sell-your-home-in-winter/ https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2020/02/03/3-reasons-to-sell-your-home-in-winter/#respond Mon, 03 Feb 2020 21:24:26 +0000 https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/?p=713 3 Reasons to Sell Your Home in Winter

You’ve probably been told you should wait for spring or summer to sell your home. That’s when there’s a bigger pool of buyers, and your landscaping and foliage are at the top of their game, right?

Well, wait just a minute. There are actually some compelling reasons to go ahead and sell now.

Here’s a look at three ways selling in the off-season can work in your favor:

Less Competition 

There’s typically lower inventory in winter. The basic economics of supply and demand now work for you, the seller. When there are a ton of properties for sale, even a great home can look common. But when there are fewer options on the market and a listing is in good condition, it suddenly gains an edge it may not have in the summer.

More Serious Buyers 

People who are buying in the off-season are not your typical summertime browsers. These buyers are often more serious and motivated to make a move — and do it quickly. Maybe they had a sudden career or lifestyle change. Whatever it is, they typically need a new home now. If yours is ready and waiting, it can have added appeal. 

Stress-Free Summers 

Who wants to spend all summer packing and planning a move? Some buyers want to move before the school year ends to have summer free for travel and relaxation. When your home sale is already sorted during winter, it’s smooth sailing for summer fun.

Are you ready to sell? Get in touch today for a comprehensive review of your current home.

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Are you ready for a new home? https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2020/01/03/are-you-ready-for-a-new-home/ https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2020/01/03/are-you-ready-for-a-new-home/#respond Fri, 03 Jan 2020 22:53:22 +0000 https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/?p=710

Selling your family home is hardly ever about building your financial portfolio. For most of us, it’s usually a matter of necessity. 

A growing young family or a changing lifestyle usually demands extra space. Maybe your kids are old enough now that they need separate rooms. If you have outgrown your living quarters — for whatever reason — it’s time to explore a move-up forever home. 

How can you tell that it’s time to move? Here are four common scenarios:  

1. You’ve had a change in family size. Whether someone is moving in or you have a baby on the way, you naturally need more space for more people. If you’re struggling to achieve functionality with your current setup, then you need a home with additional rooms.

2. Your DIY and design projects don’t happen — or they cost too much. Maybe you bought your starter home intending to renovate it, but you underestimated how difficult it is to fix up a house. If your fixer-upper has become a money pit or a huge source of stress, it may be time to call it quits and seek greener pastures. 

3. You find it difficult to entertain or have guests over. If you have too little space to host or have few boundaries between your party and private space, it’s hard to entertain comfortably. A larger home that allows more freedom and possibilities for hosting will better align with your needs.

4. You spend all your time in other parts of town. Imagine being closer to work and your favorite restaurants. Instead of wasting hours in your car, why not pick a home that’s close to everything you love?

And if everyone else in the neighborhood is selling, it may be a sign that it’s the perfect time for you to do the same. 

Are you ready to find your next home? Get in touch today.

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First-time Shopping for a Mortgage? Keep These Tips in Mind https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/12/13/first-time-shopping-for-a-mortgage-keep-these-tips-in-mind/ https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/12/13/first-time-shopping-for-a-mortgage-keep-these-tips-in-mind/#respond Fri, 13 Dec 2019 22:55:04 +0000 https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/?p=707

Buying a home for the first time can be exciting but also intimidating. There’s a lot of paperwork involved, especially when it comes to financing a home.

For many first-time homebuyers finding the right mortgage lender might seem like an easy thing to pull off. However, it has a lot of risks to offer home-buyers, one of which is choosing loans with unreasonable rates.

Getting the best mortgage deals involves finding the right lenders. This could be difficult at best, but with the right tips in mind, you can find a better and less costly path towards financing your home.

1. Get accurate estimates of your budget

When looking around for the right mortgage lender, it’s important to have a clear idea of your capacity for home financing. Think about the utilities you will have to pay for and the monthly income you earn. Lenders will look into these factors in deciding to have you pre-approved for a mortgage.

2.  Compare mortgage rates

There are a lot of mortgage lenders out there who would be eager enough to help out with financing your dream home. It’s only a matter of picking one that offers the most favorable rates based on your needs. You can ask for referrals from people you know or you can check out ConsumersAdvocate.org for a list of the country’s top-rated lenders!

3.  Improve your credit record

Lenders will take a good look at your credit score, so there’s always a good chance of not getting preapproved if your credit score is below a 600 baseline. You will need to pay off any outstanding debt, clean up your credit record by requesting a rescore and point out any errors in your credit report.

4.  Make sure to understand the terms

Getting a deal done with a mortgage lender is never easy. Some lenders might not provide all the necessary information, so you will need to read the fine print on the contract before signing it. Homebuyers often end up paying unreasonable fees because they were unable to notice them at first glance. It’s important that you take a closer look at the terms and ask the lender if you suspect something off. This could save you a lot of time and money as you zero in on acquiring the home you love!

Need help finding the right lender? Contact your realtor, Milla today! Remember she works FREE for home buyers and you don’t need a 20% down payment to buy a house.

Connect with Milla on social media.






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The True Value of a Real Estate Agent https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/12/05/the-true-value-of-a-real-estate-agent/ https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/12/05/the-true-value-of-a-real-estate-agent/#respond Thu, 05 Dec 2019 21:57:55 +0000 https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/?p=704 The True Value of a Real Estate Agent

With the wealth of information available online, many of today’s consumers are incredibly knowledgeable about the homebuying and selling process. Add in the desire to save — or make — as much money as possible, and it’s easy to see why you might be tempted to pass on hiring an agent. 

But before flying solo, consider the benefits of having an empathetic and experienced negotiator on your side.

Local Data and Insider Knowledge  

You may have lived in your neighborhood since the kids started school and know exactly how much the neighbor’s house sold for. But do you have all the tools of an expert? An agent’s local data can show you everything that’s selling right now and what buyers in your area are prepared to pay for your house.

Contract Expertise

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make — and the amount of paperwork and legal jargon required proves it. Omitting or miswording even one line can lead to a costly mistake that’s much higher than the price of an agent’s commission. 

Skilled Negotiation

Haggling over contract contingencies and home pricing can lead to negotiation fatigue and poor judgment calls for emotionally invested buyers and sellers. One key reason to work with a real estate agent is to have an experienced negotiator who’ll put your best interests first. 

Professional Networks

The complexity of property transactions means contractors, attorneys, lenders and financial advisers are also involved. A well-connected agent can put you in touch with other qualified and trustworthy real estate professionals who are ready to help. 

Thinking about listing your home? Or looking for a new place to call home? Reach out today.

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Renting vs. buying: Where do you land? https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/11/11/renting-vs-buying-where-do-you-land/ https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/11/11/renting-vs-buying-where-do-you-land/#respond Mon, 11 Nov 2019 21:04:24 +0000 https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/?p=700 Renting vs. buying: Where do you land?

You’ve always been told that owning a home is the ultimate American dream. 

Imagine renovating your master bath into a mini spa or choosing your favorite appliances for your dream kitchen. Or just getting to repaint whatever room you want. Plus, there’s the potential for financial gain when you own.

But renting has its own advantages: flexibility, a smaller financial commitment and the chance to try before you buy.

So when do you know it’s time to take the plunge on a purchase? Answer these questions to see which side of the rent vs. buy debate you might land on:

Why do you want to buy?
Sure, owning a home might be the great American dream — but is it your dream?

For some, the idea of a home where you can raise a family, be close to schools and build a community is enticing. For others, buying is a great investment. But for many, it’s about freedom: the ability to keep pets, renovate and be independent.

Will you stay in the area?
No one has a crystal ball — but knowing how long you plan to live in an area can help as you consider the pros and cons of buying. Generally, longer stays align with purchasing. 

If the thought of travel fills you with more passion than the idea of settling down in your dream property, you may not be ready for your forever home. But there’s always the possibility of turning your house into an investment property. 

What can you afford?
While renting usually costs less in the short term than purchasing property, owning a home can build long-term net worth. A rent vs. buy calculator can help you understand the costs of each option.

Don’t have the deposit for your dream home now? That doesn’t mean you can’t buy. We can work together to find affordable homes, and there are plenty of low or no down payment mortgage options.

Have questions about buying or financing your purchase? Let’s discuss your next steps. 

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The Do's and Don'ts of Selling Your Home https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/10/28/the-dos-and-donts-of-selling-your-home/ https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/10/28/the-dos-and-donts-of-selling-your-home/#respond Mon, 28 Oct 2019 22:36:47 +0000 https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/?p=697 The Do's and Don'ts of Selling Your Home

Many homeowners will tell you how emotional it was to buy their first home, but you rarely hear about their experience selling it. It’s only natural to grow attached after creating so many wonderful memories, which can make selling a challenging process. 

Fortunately, you’re not in it alone. Together, we can simplify the process and make sure you get top dollar when selling your home.

Let’s get started with some simple do’s and don’ts for selling your first home: 

What should you do?

  • Get your home ready for the market. We’ll collaborate on strategic repairs and updates, home staging, photography and more options to attract buyers. 

  • Plan for your next move. We’ll work together to make sure that you’ve got your next home lined up when your current home sells. 

  • Be aware of your timeline. While our goal is to sell your house fast, you never know what hiccups a buyer might encounter along the way. Being aware of your timeline is essential.

  • Prepare to negotiate. After the home inspection, the buyer may ask for repairs or concessions. That’s why it’s always best for you to have a local real estate expert represent you when selling.

What shouldn’t you do?

  • Don’t assume you have to sell in the spring. Homes are sold every day. In fact, it can often be in your best interest to avoid selling in the spring because you’ll have less competition. Ultimately, the right time to sell is when you’re ready. 

  • Don’t price based on your emotions. You value your beloved home, but if it’s priced beyond its worth, it will sit on the market. We’ll review local comps and discuss your home’s market value together.

  • Don’t forget to plan for the closing. To seal the deal, be fully prepared for settlement. Bring your ID and be prepared to review and sign paperwork.

Have you been thinking about selling your home? Or are you just curious about what it’s worth in today’s market? Reach out today for a comprehensive review.

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Why Photos are an Essential Part of Selling your Home https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/10/14/why-photos-are-an-essential-part-of-selling-your-home-2/ https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/10/14/why-photos-are-an-essential-part-of-selling-your-home-2/#respond Mon, 14 Oct 2019 20:22:08 +0000 https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/?p=693 Why P

Why Photos are an Essential Part of Selling your Home

So you’re ready to put your home for sale…There’s so much to do to get ready that taking pictures is usually forgotten or pushed to the side. I’m here to say that not considering the picture-taking process as important is misguided. Here are 4 good reasons why good pictures are important when selling your home. 

  1. No photos mean no traffic The biggest sin on the photo-front is having no pictures of your home. The first thing that buyers agents and buyers do when filtering through home search results is cross off any homes without any pictures. If you don’t have any photos up to show your home then you are immediately eliminating your home from being an option. This is for a number of reasons, but mostly because home buyers think that there are no photos because there is something wrong with the house that the listing agent or owner doesn’t want them to see. Not exactly the impression you want to send when selling your home!
  2. If you don’t care, they won’t either Another drawback to having a few pictures or less is that buyers think that if you didn’t care enough about your home to take quality pictures, then why should they care about your home? Buyers may even take it to mean that if the owner didn’t take care of this easy step, what easy home maintenance issues weren’t taken care of either. It’s a stretch, but buyers are looking for any reason to back out. Don’t give them a chance!
  3. Make the Short List With so much inventory available in the Atlanta real estate market, buyers and agents don’t have time to waste searching out the homes that don’t supply good pictures. This is a way (along with price) that buyers are filtering their search results to end up with a more palatable list of homes to go out and visit.
  4. Wine and Dine Online Almost 9 out of 10 home buyers start the home buying process online searching for their new home. If you don’t have any pictures of your home, your home is not getting their attention. Good photos grab buyers by the throat and politely insist that they come to check it out in person. This is even more important in the Atlanta real estate market vs other real estate markets because in Atlanta over 97% of residents have access to a high-speed internet connection. This means that buyers are doing their legwork online and doing their initial viewings virtually. If you don’t have photos readily accessible, buyers don’t have the time or desire to seek them out and you better believe that they have plenty of other homes for sale to choose from…

Good photos make rooms seem bigger and more open, they make “life” at your home seem better. Great pictures are an underrated selling tool in your home selling toolbox. Take full advantage of them and show off your home to the people that want to see it!

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Easy Ways to Prepare Your Home for Fall https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/10/10/easy-ways-to-prepare-your-home-for-fall/ https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/10/10/easy-ways-to-prepare-your-home-for-fall/#respond Thu, 10 Oct 2019 20:13:00 +0000 https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/?p=691 Easy Ways to Prepare Your Home for Fall - Milla Murad Real Estate

Fall is a busy time of the year. With the changes in the weather and Halloween and Thanksgiving right around the corner, take a second and follow these steps to make sure your home just as ready for the new season as you are.

Fertilize your lawn. Just because it’s fall and you and your neighbor paused the “who can keep their grass greener” competition, that doesn’t mean your grass doesn’t need preparation for those cold months. Fertilizing your lawn ensures that it’s protected over the winter and will help it green up quickly once it’s spring.

2. Service the HVAC. Your AC has been working non-stop all summer and now it’s time to give it a break. In order to make sure it’s ready for fall there are a few things you can do which include checking your air filters, cleaning up your outdoor unit of any debris, and scheduling a maintenance checkup.

3. Drain and turn off outdoor faucets and sprinklers. Once temperatures fall below freezing, your outdoor hoses and sprinklers are prone to bursting. Disconnecting all outdoor hoses and draining them of any remaining water will lessen the chances of burst pipes.

4. Inspect the Chimney. If you plan on using your chimney, having it cleaned and inspected is a must. Soot, smoke, and carbon monoxide are very dangerous and they are aren’t something you want filling your home. Set up an inspection so you can be sure your chimney is in perfect condition for your next cozy fire.

Prepare and gather your snow equipment.
Waiting until you’re frantically searching for that shovel and gloves isn’t the best idea. Go ahead and locate anything you think you will need for when it gets cooler outside and put it in an easy to access spot. Whether that’s a shovel and a snowblower or simply heavy coats and gloves. When you find yourself needing these items, you’ll be happy you know exactly where they are.

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What incentive is better than money? https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/10/07/what-incentive-is-better-than-money/ https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/2019/10/07/what-incentive-is-better-than-money/#respond Mon, 07 Oct 2019 21:33:48 +0000 https://1sttimehomebuyeratl.com/?p=689

Are you wondering how to avoid getting into a fast and furious bidding war once you find your dream home? Even if you can afford to pay more, it’s not always the best move. 

Money is one thing that turns sellers’ heads, but it’s far from the only incentive when you’re competing with other buyers. So why raise the ante with more money? 

If you want to offer your seller something they can’t refuse, try offering a flexible closing date.

Why is the closing date important?
On closing day, the home’s sales documents are signed and ownership changes hands. In most cases, that’s about 30 to 60 days from when your offer is accepted. 

But what if that doesn’t work with the seller’s timeline? 

How can a flexible closing help you? 
Some sellers need to get out fast. They could be relocating and need to move immediately. Maybe they already bought a new home. By offering a fast closing, you can help them to avoid paying two mortgages. 

Other sellers need more time. Maybe they’re building their dream home and hit an unexpected construction delay. Your flexibility with a delayed possession date offers them the security of having their new home lined up before they have to move. 

How else can we sweeten the deal?
Let’s say the best bid you can make is a bit lower than the listing price. Offering a seller rent-back might encourage them to choose your offer over others that are less accommodating. This lets the seller rent the space from you for a set amount of time until they’re ready to move.

To make a flexible closing date work for you, remember to go on a month-to-month lease or have alternative housing options ready. 

When you’re ready to make an offer on a home, keep in mind that understanding what motivates the seller is how we’ll get your offer accepted. 

Ready to start your search? Reach out today.

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