Good Day Atlanta Viewer Information December 1, 2015

- All Aboard! Southeastern Railway Museum Hosts New Holiday Festival:

It's the south's largest transportation museum -- and right now, the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth is the perfect holiday destination.

The Museum is currently hosting its 1st annual Festival Of Trees, featuring more than twenty trees decorated by businesses, civic groups, and individuals.  The entire event benefits the Duluth Historical Society and the Southeastern Railway Museum.  However, visitors can vote for their favorite tree (by donating a quarter), and that money raised will go to Habitat For Humanity.  The trees will remain on display through the start of the New Year, and while there, visitors can check out the rest of the Southeastern Railway Museum, which features exhibits focused on the history and function of transportation in the state and region.

Good Day Atlanta's Paul Milliken took a trip to Duluth to check out the trees -- and also learn a little more about the museum!



Real Estate expert John Adams joins Buck Lanford about the" Five Steps To Your First Home Purchase."  For more information on John Adams or today's topic click here. 

If you would like to email John Adams directly you can at


Step One: Review your credit

Go to and request free copies of each of your 3 credit reports

from the 3 national credit repositories-Equifax, Experion, and Trans Union

This is the only official source of free credit reports available online.

In addition, you can review your three digit FICO credit score for free at

This is a non-governmental, unofficial site that offers free credit scores online, that I personally use myself.  Your 3 digit credit score is critical in the process of being approved for a home loan.  

If your score is above 700, you will do fine.  If your score is below 600, you may encounter problem.  In between, you may  pay higher interest rates and fees.,

By focusing on your credit report now, you can address and correct errors or omissions to benefit your application.

Step Two:  Get pre-qualified with a lender

Find a reputable and local mortgage lender, such as your community bank or credit union, and ask to get pre-qualified for a 30 year fixed rate home loan at current rates.  At this point you are not committing to any specific lender or program.  This process should cost you absolutely nothing.

This mortgage lender will explain different loan programs with different terms and different down payment requirements, and help you find the program that may be best for you.  Once you have been pre-qualified, you will have a very specific idea of your price range and buying power.

Step Three:  Find a Realtor

Interview at least 3 real estate professionals to determine if they are a good fit in helping you look for your first home.   You will want an agent who has at least several years experience, is active in listing and selling homes in the area you seek, and is recommended by others you trust.  


Begin by asking your lawyer, accountant, friends and others whom they might recommend.

Select the agent who feels like the most comfortable fit.

Step Four:  See a lot of houses

Ask your agent to begin showing you homes which meet your wants and needs on a weekly basis.  The average buyer sees 12 to 15 homes before purchasing one/feeling comfortable with making an offer.  My advice is that you see at least that many homes before you even make an offer. Determine where do you want to be, then saturate yourself with homes for sale in that area.

Only by seeing a variety of homes can you be sure that you gained a full exposure to the marketplace in your desired price range and location.

Step Five:  Make an offer

Realize that any home that is reasonably priced and in good condition will not sell at a significant discount. The market is an efficient pricing engine.  Recognize that in the retail market of homes, there is

The seller cannot expect to get 10 percent more than market value,

and it is unlikely that the purchaser can get a price less than 90 percent of market value,

unless there is an unusual factor.


When you find a home you think you would like to buy, ask your agent to perform a Competitive Market Analysis, also known as a  CMA,, detailing comparable homes nearby which have sold recently.

This report will give you insight into market trends and values in the neighborhood surrounding your target property.  


These steps are a good start on the road to home ownership.  Additional helpful information can be found in the Freddie Mac brochure found on the money99 wesbsite available for free download.


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