Buying Your Home
Thinking about making a home purchase soon? I would love to help!
Check out my buyers information guide below.
Find A Great Agent
A real estate agent is a huge asset to you as you you go through the home-buying process. This is one of the biggest decisions of your life and you need a skilled professional guiding you through the process.
Your agent will be working with your best interests in mind and can help guide you through all the stages of home buying.
A great real estate agent can also offer:
Connect You With A Perfect Home
Agents often have access to information about homes going on the market before the public. They can also arrange open houses and tours of homes that match your criteria.
Agents will be able to offer insightful details about the neighborhoods you are considering.
Attention to Detail
The process of buying a home requires a good deal of paperwork. Your real estate agent will help you fill out all documents and get them submitted properly.
Agents deal with any difficult conversations that need to happen. They will also help you submit
a strong offer and negotiate with the seller on your behalf.
Realtors are there to help you with any questions you have along the way. They offer an objective opinion when you're analyzing the features you're looking for.
How Much Can You Afford?
Lenders recommend that you spend no more than 3-5 times your annual income on a new home. You can find many mortgage calculators online, which provide a great starting point. When calculating, don't forget to include extra expenses like attorney fees, home inspection and appraisal costs and money for any home improvements.
Do You Need A Down Payment?
While it's ideal if you can put a 20% down-payment on your new home, it certainly isn't necessary. There are many ways to put down much less and with certain types of loans you may need as little as 3.5%.
It is important to have a credit check done as this will be a factor in determining your mortgage approval and interest rates.
While sometimes a score in the 500's can get you a loan, ideally you want to aim for 620 or above. The higher the score the lower the interest rate. If you do not know where to start- don't worry. Your lender will help you through this.
Being pre-approved shows the seller that you're serious and that you most likely have the funds to purchase the home should you choose to place an offer. A pre-approval can also help you budget as you will know exactly what you can afford.
This pre-approval does not guarantee a loan will be offered so you still want to be careful with your spending during this time. Don't make any large purchases, change jobs or apply for new credit cards during this time.
Contact me today and I will recommend the BEST Knoxville lenders for you to get pre-approved.
Make a list of all the things you need and want in a new home. Think about how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need.
Do you want a big kitchen or is a fenced-in yard more important to you?
We will start touring homes and weigh all the positive and negative aspects of each one.
When you find THE house, your next step will be to make and offer and go through any negotiations.
Home Searching Tips...
Take photos with your phone while visiting each house. Organize the photos at home with the address of the property so you can remember details later.
Focus on the things you can't change like the neighborhood, lot or size of bedrooms.
Test things as you walk through the home. Open and close windows, turn faucets on and flush toilets to make sure everything is in working order.
Make An Offer
Once you've found the home you want, the next step is to make an offer. We will look at comparable properties in the area and decide on a strong first offer.
Many owners price a little high expecting to negotiate so we will take that into consideration as well. However, this also depends on the market.
In some cases, we have to negotiate the offer.
Many times after the initial offer is presented the owner will come back with a counter-offer.
As a buyer, don't be afraid to bargain for what you want. Whether that be cost, a new roof, or the whole house painted. You don't know what they're willing to do unless you ask.
It's always a good idea to add a contingency clause into your offer stating that you have a certain amount of time to have the property inspected. This gives you the right to back out of the agreement if you and the seller can't agree on repairs.
Plan to attend the inspection at the end and be prepared to ask any questions you have.
You will receive a report of findings, but it's sometimes easier to see the issue and hear the information directly from the inspector.
After the inspection is complete, decide if there are any pressing issues you want to negotiate with the seller.
Be careful to not be too picky, but also not let major concerns go unaddressed.
Your lender will require an appraisal of the home before finalizing the loan.
The home appraiser will take into account the neighborhood, housing market, age and condition of the home, etc.
A property title search will ensure that the sellers are truly the owners of the property and any leins or judgments are disclosed.
The loan is only fully complete after the lender approves the loan. You will receive a final approval letter after they review your income, credit report and employment status once more.
Home owners insurance is also required before the mortgage company will finalize the loan.
Schedule Your Move
You will want to get movers scheduled as soon as possible. Make sure to avoid scheduling the move and closing on the same day if possible. If you will be doing renovations, start getting quotes from contractors.
Make sure you set up the transfer of utilities for closing day. Ask me who the utility companies are and I will help you.
Closing is the final step for you to become the legal owner of your home. Make sure you have this whole day free. You will take a final walk-through just before closing to assure that negotiated work has been completed and everything is in working order.
The closing process itself requires a lot of paperwork and patience. Be prepared with your government issued photo ID, cashier's check and any other documents required by the title company or loan officer.
Don't forget to re-key all the locks and change the garage door opener code when the property is officially yours. If you buy a home warranty through Choice Home Warranty, who I recommend, you will have 4 free re-keys. Take advantage of this!
Congratulations on your new home!
Get in Touch
Karli Pritchard, Realtor
Realty Executives Associates
10255 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37922