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11 Things To Know When Buying A Home

Buying a home can be extremely stressful especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. From getting pre-approved to finding a REALTOR®, home inspector, and everything else in between, some of our buyers have said it was the most overwhelming yet wonderful thing they’ve ever done. Luckily for you, however, you’ve found this article. In it, we will tell you 11 things to know when buying a home whether it is your first home or 15th, we’re here to help.

11 Things To Know When Buying A Home

1) A Good Lender Is Everything

The first step in buying a home is getting pre-approved. If you aren’t pre-approved, most REALTORS® won’t show you any property, and if you find one who will, they won’t show you a lot. Thus, it’s important to have an incredible lender on your side to make sure that you can actually get the loan you need to purchase a home. How do you find a great lender? Well, there are a few options. If you know anyone else who has bought property in the area you will be purchasing your home, ask them who they used. If they had a good experience, they’ll be more than happy to recommend them. If they didn’t, they’ll tell you something to avoid. Another way to find a great lender is to, oddly enough, contact a great REALTOR®. Which, leads me into my next point.

2) Find A Great REALTOR® To Be On Your Side

A REALTOR® is an incredible asset for a buyer no matter how many homes you’ve bought and sold. A good REALTOR® knows the market, the process of purchasing, and things to look out for when buying a home because they do it every day. Some REALTORS® sell 100+ houses/year. I can’t think of anyone who would be more knowledgeable about buying a home than someone who helps people buy 100+ homes/year. Now, I’m not saying you need a REALTOR® that is doing that much business, but it is important to have a REALTOR® that sells houses full-time and knows the process up and down.

3) You Will Be Overwhelmed w/ Paperwork

When buying a house in Tennessee, you will sign around 30 pages of documents when you put in an offer. Not to mention what you’ll sign for your mortgage and then what you sign at closing to actually take procession of the home. Many old-school REALTORS® talk about the days of the one-page contracts, but in today’s world, that is far from the case. Now, all of this paperwork may be a little overwhelming; however, if you took the advice earlier and got a good REALTOR®, they will be more than happy to sit down and look everything over with you in order to make sure you truly understand what you are signing. If your REALTOR® won’t do this, they aren’t a good REALTOR®.

4) You May Have To ‘Lose’ A Few

In the current market in most of the United States, houses are selling just as fast as they come on the market. Because of this, many home buyers when they first start looking will lose a few houses they wish they had bought because they wanted to see more first. We see this time and time again with first-time homebuyers. As REALTORS®, we always try to prepare our buyers for this and educate them on how the market is working. If you find a house you love and can’t stop thinking about, buy it. There is a reason you can’t get it out of your mind. I understand taking a day or two, and in my market, that can usually be okay. However, if you are in a large metropolitan market, even that could be too long. Because of this, you’ll probably lose a few houses you love, but that’s okay. It’s all part of buying a home in the current real estate climate.

5) REALTORS® Are FREE For Buyers

Did you know that enlisting the services of a REALTOR® is completely free for buyers? I’ve heard multiple people say, “I don’t want to buy a house with an agent because it costs me money!” Well, I’m here to inform you that it doesn’t. As a buyer, using a real estate agent doesn’t cost you a dime. Your agent will be given a piece of the selling agents commission for bringing the buyer to the house. The reason they are willing to do this is because it’s one of the only ways to actually get the house sold. In our market, less than 20% of homes sold are actually sold by the listing agent. In over 80% of sales, the person who brings the buyer is another agent – not the listing agent. Thus, using a real estate agent to buy a home is completely free to the buyer and doesn’t cost them a dime. It really is a no-brainer to use a REALTOR® to buy a home!

6) Lenders Consider You Guilty Until Proven Innocent

This may seem a bit funny/extreme, but it’s true.  Lenders assume you don’t have a job, have no money to your name, and that you wouldn’t make a single house payment after you get the mortgage until you prove them otherwise. Because of this, they are going to want what seems like a ridiculous amount of documents and information from you. The truth is, however, this is necessary in order for them to feel confident in giving you a loan at the best rate possible. Thus, just remember when they are asking you why you bought that $5 cup of ice cream last week, they are trying to get you the best rate and loan terms possible while still getting you the house of your dreams.

7) Don’t Be Afraid To Look At ‘A Lot’ of Houses

We’ve shown 30 houses to people before they’ve finally pulled the trigger and bought one. Now, that’s not to say they didn’t lose a few homes, but when they did eventually put in an offer, they were confident in the market and the value that they were getting in the home they were buying. Some real estate agents may not like showing you 30 or more homes before you buy, but a good REALTOR® won’t mind as long as you stay loyal to them, and when you do find the home you want to buy, you work with them to do so. If you need to look at 70 homes over the course of a year before you purchase one, that’s fine. Just be sure to do it with the same agent that you can trust. That way, you’ll build an honest relationship with the agent, and he or she will eventually be rewarded for all of their work.

8) If You Like It, Look At It

Home buying has changed from 20 years ago. Now, you will preview all of the homes you see online before you actually go look at them in person. Because of this, if you like the home online, go see it in person. We’ve seen so many home buyers skip over houses online for one reason or another and regret it later. If you like the look of the house online, and if it’s in your budget, go look at it. If you’re pre-approved, your agent won’t mind at all, and who knows? It could end up being the dream home you’ve been looking for. There is a reason you love the home online. More often than not, you’ll love it in person too. Our clients send us more homes than we send them these days!

9) Use The Knowledge Your REALTOR® Has

You found a REALTOR® for a reason. Use them! They do this every single day. They’ve done tons of transactions, and they know what they’re doing. Don’t be scared to ask them what they think this home is actually worth or if this home is typically for the price range. They go in homes everyday and should have answers to these questions. Now, they aren’t an expert in everything. For example, I have no clue if that foundation crack means the house is falling over or if it just normal settling. That’s the inspector’s job. Not mine. With that being said, I can talk price, taxes, updates, feel of the home, and even quality of materials all day long. Take advantage of your REALTORS® wealth of knowledge, and ask them as many questions as you can. Even if you think they may not know, ask! A good REALTOR® will tell you who to talk to in order to get a correct answer.

10) You Won’t Get Everything You Want

This may be a tough thing to swallow especially for first-time home buyers, but there is absolutely no way for you to get everything you want in a home. Even custom built homes usually have some sort of compromise. Because of this, it is best to pick your ‘top 3’. This ‘top 3’ would be the things you MUST have in order to buy a home. An example maybe you have to be in a certain school zone, you have to have an updated kitchen, and you must have a 2 car garage. Now, some of those may seem ridiculous to you, and that’s okay. Everyone is different, and who knows what your top three would be. The key, however, is to figure them out, and only look at houses that have those things. Be willing to compromise on everything else.

11) Things Will Be Wrong w/ The House You Buy

General home maintenance can be difficult and sometimes forgotten whenever you’re trying to live your everyday life too. Because of this, we try to prepare buyer’s to expect that SOMETHING will be wrong with the house they end up purchasing. The good news is you will have a home inspector that will be able to tell you all of the things wrong with it, so when you move in, you’ll know what needs to be fixed. Another benefit of this is that you can ask the seller to fix things before you move in or lower the price because of the issues. Be careful with this though, the inspection contingency is the main reason homes sales fall through, so if you really want the home, make sure you HAVE to have the issue fixed before you move in. Otherwise, you may regret it later.

Check out these 5 crazy things your home inspector could find!

Bonus) Be Grateful For & Use The Resources You Have

If you’ve followed this article and the recommendations in it, you’ll have a lot of incredible resources to use when purchasing your home. Now, you need to use them, and you need to say thank you. The job of mortgage lenders, real estate agents, home inspectors, and even closing attorneys is usually thankless. If you are grateful for the services you get from these people, they will be much more likely to go above and beyond for you. If you’re not, they’ll be professional, do what needs to be done to get the deal closed, and that’s about it.

In Conclusion

Buying a home can be stressful, but now that you have learned these 11 things to know when buying a home, it will be a lot smoother. Take a deep breath. Millions of people buy homes each year. Your REALTOR®, mortgage lender, home inspector, etc. deal with this stuff every single day. When you feel overwhelmed, use them. They know what they are doing, and they’ve probably already solved problems like the one you’re having before. Now, go out, and find your dream home!

If you are looking for your dream home in East Tennessee, give us a call at (423) 748-0999 or contact us online at We look forward to helping you buy or sell your next home!

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Here Is What You Need To Know When Buying Land

Buying vacant land can be a stressful process. Usually, you have a lot of land to choose from, and even when you find the piece of property you want, it is extremely overwhelming putting in an offer and getting to closing. To make it easier, we’ve created this list of what you need to know when buying land.

Here Is What You Need To Know When Buying Land

1) How Narrow Down The Search

Usually, when you start your search for a piece of land, you have a wide area to search. We’ve had buyer’s considering the entire state before. This makes the search for the perfect property not only difficult but overwhelming. The way to narrow this down is to ask yourself the 4-6 things you want in the area you’re going to purchase the property. Do you want mountains or flat land? Do you want access to water or is the view more important to you? How long do you want it to take to get the grocery store? These are just a few things to consider when buying a piece of vacant land for building a house, placing a camper, benefiting from HOA amenities & tax benefits, etc.

After you have the answer to those questions, you can narrow down your search area. If you want to be 10 minutes away from a grocery store, you don’t want to be considering property on the top of a curvy mountain road. However, if you want seclusion, that may be exactly what you want. From here on out, compare every property you look at to these criteria. If it meets them, add it to your short list; if it doesn’t, move on, as it isn’t worth your time.

2) What Should You Offer

This is a hard question to answer, as it will be different for every single property. The best thing you can do here is find an agent who has experience selling land and work with them. It is important that they know the area you are purchasing in. If they don’t, they won’t be able to guide you on price. Many vacant pieces of land have been on the market for a long time, but if the seller has been coming down on price regularly, you may not be able to undercut them on the offer.

On the flipside of that, we’ve seen land sell for 50% of its asking price because it has been sitting on the market for years. It truly does just depend on the property and what the local land market in that area is doing. This is why getting an agent in the area to represent you is so vitally important.

Check out of all the land available in the Lakeway Area in East Tennessee by clicking here.

3) See What Utility Services You’ll Have

You’ve got to get power and water somehow, so it is important to know how this will happen before you purchase a piece of property. We also encourage buyer’s to get quotes about the cost of hooking up to power, sewer, public water, etc. In some areas, it can cost up to $10,000 do hook up to the sewer. This is a cost best known up front than after purchase when you are building a home.

It also worth mentioning that if you plan to get water from a well, have the potential well water tested as a contingency in your offer. If you have contaminated water, you will not be able to safely use it without a lot of money, testing, and cleaning. It is an expensive process that can be avoided if you get it tested before closing.

4) Does It Have Restrictions

Many people assume that if a property isn’t in a neighborhood, it is unrestricted. This cannot be further from the truth. Because of that, it is important to have a real estate agent pull the most recent deed as well as any past deeds to confirm that a property has no restrictions, and if it does, what they are. Some restrictions may not cause any issues.

Understanding the restrictions on the property you are buying before you even put in an offer is extremely important to make sure the deal goes smoothly without any issues. It’s also worth noting that if you get a good real estate agent like we mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t have to ask for this. They will get it for you and have it ready when you are looking at the property.

5) Are You In A Flood Zone

Luckily, this is super easy to check for. All you have to do is go over to FEMA’s website and type in the address of the property you are buying. It will then pull up the property, and you will be able to see if the property has flooded for as long as FEMA has been keeping track or could find records.

The main problem this can cause, even if the property hasn’t flooded in 20 years, is that you will need flood insurance if you are in a flood zone. This extra insurance could make hard to resell if you build on the property, not to mention the extra cost it will bring to you. If you do, however, find out the property is in a flood zone, call and get an insurance quote as if the structure you want to build is already there. This way, you will know what to expect.

Here are 4 Stress Reducing Tips Every Homebuyer Should Know!

6) What Is It Zoned For

Now, if the property you are buying is a lot in a neighborhood, this won’t be as big of an issue, but let’s say you’re buying a 20-acre farm that has 300ft of road frontage on a major highway. This is a case where zoning can come into play. For example, you may be able to purchase the farm, sub-divide the road frontage off, and sell the new lots as commercial if they are zone appropriately. This zoning could, however, affect your ability to use the property as a farm depending on the area.

Luckily, zoning is an easy thing to check. Just call the local zoning commission/city planning commission in the area the property is located and ask them what the property you are buying is zoned for. Usually, they will be able to tell you very quickly. You could also have the agent you are working with do this as it is part of the job.

7) Have A Plan In Mind

This may seem obvious, but when you purchase a piece of raw, vacant land, you need to have a plan in mind for its end use. This better helps you determine what kind of property you need to be looking at. If you are going to purchase a property with the hopes of building a grocery store, you don’t need to be looking in neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, if your goal is to build a house, looking at property on a very busy public road probably isn’t a good idea either. Make sure that you know exactly what you are going to do with the land you’re going to buy before you even look at it. Otherwise, you’ll probably just be wasting your time.

8) Does It ‘Perc’

What does that even mean? By ‘perc’, we mean what kind of percolation test does the property rate for. A percolation test is a test that sees how much water, and eventually sewage once a septic is installed, a piece of land can absorb. The land will the get a rating for how many bedrooms a potential home could have before having consistent and overwhelming septic issues.

This is extremely important to test, and many lots are sold having already been ‘perc’d’. Just be sure that if you are buying a lot that will need a septic tank, the lot will allow for the kind of house you want to build. You cannot legally sell a house with 5 bedrooms if the lot only percs for a 3 bedroom septic. You must sell it as a 3 bedroom. We’ve seen this happen to many times. Write this in as a contengency or you may pay the price. Get more information on how a percolation test works here.

9) Should You Get A Survey

This is a question we get very often on land. Should we get a survey, or should we just purchase the property without one? The answer is most definitely to always get a survey. The little bit of money you pay to get it done could save you tons of money in potential legal fees from lot discrepancies in the future.

No matter what you are told and even if you are just purchasing a lot in a neighborhood, please get a survey. We have had an issue where beautiful million dollar views could have been blocked by another house simply because no survey was done. Don’t let this happen to you. Spend the money and get a survey. It’s basically a home inspection for purchasing land.

Click here to see all the land for sale in the Lakeway Area!

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5 Crazy Things Your Home Inspector Could Find

Home inspectors can be the buyer’s savior. They assure to the best of their ability that you are getting a home that is in working condition when you purchase it. With that being said, home inspectors can run into some pretty crazy stuff while they are inspection homes for buyers. Here are 5 crazy things your home inspector could find.

Extreme Termite Damage

Termite damage is something that every homeowner will most likely have to deal with at one time or another. The hope is, however, you catch it and treat it before it gets to the point of the image above. This is a perfect example as to why you need a home inspector. In this case, he went where most buyers wouldn’t and found a huge issue.

An Exhaust Fan Exiting Directly Into The Attic

While some may say this isn’t a huge issue, an exhaust fan exiting directly into the attic instead of outside means anything that fan is pulling out of your house from steam and smoke to bad smells is heading straight for the attic where it will linger with possibly nowhere to go!

Be sure to check our Home Buyer’s Guide before your purchase your next home!

The Fact Your Crawl Space Is Heated And Cooled!

Now obviously this is a problem. The air duct here should definitely be covered up as this is literally blowing money out the vent in the crawl space by spending the money on the electricity to heat/cool the area. Not to mention what can crawl up into your air vent and into the house from a hole such as this one.

No Insulation In The Attic

Speaking of wasting money on heating and air, no insulation in the attic of your home is a great way to spend some extra money. In this case, there was absolutely no insulation whatsoever in the attic of the home. Cost cutting by the builder? Possible. Acceptable? Never.

A Flooded Basement

Flooded basements are never good, but you can image the surprise when the home inspector walked in and found a flooded basement. Needless to say, the buyer’s of this home were very happy they had gotten a home inspection.

All of these crazy things your home inspector could find were found by Compass Home Inspection located in Morristown, TN.

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What Not To Do After You Apply For A Home Loan

You’ve applied for a mortgage, and you’ve been accepted. Your loan is about to go to underwriting, and you’re going to be getting your very own home in no longer than a month. Or, you will as long as you don’t do anything mentioned on this list below. We’ve seen so many people mess up their home loans and not be able to close on a house because of the items listed below. Here is our list of what not to do after you apply for a home loan. Don’t let any of them happen to you!

1) Apply For A Credit Card

Do not apply for any sort of credit cards while you are in the home buying process. From an American Express to a store card from Kohls, Lowes, or Home Depot. Do not apply for any sort of credit cards. This can throw your credit score out of whack, and it can make your entire home loan fall through. To you, it may just be a little credit card, but to the mortgage company/bank, it is another item that you have to pay.

2) Buy A New Car

Your car breaks down two weeks before you’re supposed to close on your home. It’s completely paid for, but you want a new one. So, you go down to the local Toyota dealership and buy yourself a brand new Toyota Sequoia. No big deal right? You’ve got plenty of money to make the new car payments and still pay your mortgage. Unfortunately, the bank doesn’t care. Even though you may think you’ll have enough money, the bank probably won’t think that. To the bank, it’s another debt that may take priority over your house payment in the future and cause you to stop making your house payment. This will almost always kill a mortgage. DON’T BUY A NEW CAR UNTIL AFTER CLOSING!

3) Quit Your Job

Even if you have another job lined up, stay in your current job until after you close on your house. You have to have an income in order to pay for a house. No money equals no house, so if you quit your job, you’re out of luck. You won’t be able to buy a house. Mortgage companies also like to see two years of continued employment – something that quitting your job will obviously hinder.

*Note: We are not mortgage lenders or bank officials of any kind. Please consult a lender or mortgage company before doing anything in the home buying process even if it isn’t mentioned on this list.

4) Don’t Start Using Your Credit Cards Like Crazy

Continue to use your credit cards like you normally would, but do not go overboard. Don’t buy a bunch of stuff at the monthly sale at Belk or buy a bunch of ‘new home’ items on Amazon. Any big purchases are something else you’ll have to pay back, and the bank doesn’t want you to have any more debt with anyone else before your loan closes. Control yourself and keep your spending as normal until your loan closes.

5) Do Not Start Buying Big Ticket Items

Even if you’re not putting purchases on a card, the lender will want to know exactly where that cash you took went and possible even why you took it out of your bank account. Lenders and underwriters only think about whether or not you will foreclose on the property, and if you buy a big ticket item while you’re waiting for your loan to go through, they question what you will do if times are tight and you need to make your house payment. Will you get pressured by the salesman and buy a new couch instead of making your house payment? They need reassurance not.

6) You Are Guilty Until Proven Innocent

What do I mean by that you ask? Lenders will assume you are guilty. That the reason you are doing whatever you are doing is for a bad reason that goes against you purchasing a home. All they think about is how likely you are to stop making the payments on your loan causing them to have to foreclose on your home. They assume that everyone is extremely likely to be foreclosed at first, and you then have to prove that you are not likely to get foreclosed on through the loan process. If you assume this is how it will be going into the loan process, you won’t have any issues.

Contact us if you are looking to purchase a home anywhere in East Tennessee. You can also call Patrick or me anytime! Nic: (423) 748-0999  Patrick: (423) 312-4543 

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How To Become A Real Estate Mogul Starting With Your First Home

Buying your first home can be a big achievement for many young people. It gives them their first big investment that they hope will increase in value and make them more money overtime. The truth is, however, many young people don’t realize that their primary residence isn’t actually an asset, and as they do normal maintenance, renovations, and upkeep, it will end up costing them much more than they’ll ever make when they eventually resell it.

Luckily, there are a few different ways to turn your first home/residence into a true, income producing asset while still living there and calling it yours. This is how to become a mogul starting with your first home!

Option 1: Buy A Multifamily Unit

The overall best way to become a real estate mogul with your first home is to buy a multifamily complex. This could be a duplex, triplex, or quadruplex, and it will allow your first home to instant start producing an income and making money.

The great thing about this is you can get an FHA loan on a multifamily complex up to four units — a quadruplex. Thus, you’ll only need a maximum or 7.5% down. That means you could get 3 additional income streams from your first home for just 7.5% of the purchase price of the complex. You then live in one of the units and pay all of the income from the property towards the mortgage. By doing this, you’ll pay it off in no time.

After that, you pull out the equity in the complex and purchase a few more complexes with 20% down conventional loans. You then put all of those units income into paying off those mortgages. Once you do this a few times, you’ll have thousands and thousands of dollars in income every month.

Option 2: Rent Out The Spare Bedroom

Thanks to AirBNB,, HomeAway, and more, renting out an extra bedroom has never been easier. If you live in a suburb of a large city, in a large city, or in a tourist city, this can be a great way to generate enough income to not only pay your house payment but pay it down quicker than you would have previously.

Once you’ve paid down your house enough, you can pull the equity from it using a home equity credit line, and then move into vacation rentals, flipping houses, or general long-term rental properties. The choices are endless.

Another advantage to renting out the spare bedrooms is the fact that you’ll be able to meet a lot of different people who are traveling and wanting to experience a new place. Chances are you’ll make some friends along the way, and you’ll be the owner of your very own home.

Check out these 4 Tips Every Home (or multifamily complex) Buyer Should Know!

Option 3: Buy A Fixer-Upper

This option is not for everyone. There are very few people who can buy a fixer-upper as their first home and make a good profit on the purchase. It’s also hard to live in this home, but if you work with a Realtor® and have your expectations set right, this can be a great way to make some liquid cash and start building your real estate empire.

Something that is worth mention here is you will most likely have to buy a fixer upper on an 80/20 conventional loan which means you’ll need a 20% down payment. You also need to have enough liquid cash to actually complete the repairs. Basically, you need a lot of money to make this work, but the return could be huge.

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Home Buyer’s Guide – Steps to Purchasing a Home

The process of buying a home can be a stressful one filled with lots of emotions, which is why we think one of our most important tasks is helping our clients get through the process of buying a home as easy as possible.

To help simplify the process at first, we’ve created a guide to purchasing a new home.

Step 1: Talk to A Lender

Your lender should be your first stop when you’re looking into buying a home. One of the first questions your real estate agent will ask you is if you are pre-qualified. The best thing you can do for yourself is get pre-qualified before you start looking in order to avoid looking out of your price range.

When you talk to a lender, you’ll also need to determine what loan program you will be using (Conventional, FHA, USDA, etc.), as this can drastically change the process of purchasing your new home.

You’ll also need to make sure that you provide your lender with the documentation they request so that they can verify your debt to income ratio.

Step 2: Finding a Home

Step 1 and 2 are typically switched by most buyers; however, your agent will not be able to provide you the service you require if they are looking in a price range that doesn’t line up with your financing options. After you have nailed down your price range, it’s time to start looking for a new home.

Research your desired location in order to find all of the information you can about the area. If you’re new to the area, visit the local City Center or Chamber of Commerce. They will be able to provide you statistics for the area that your agent may not be able to provide immediately.

Be up front with your agent, and ask as many questions as possible in every house you tour. We’re all here to assist with anything our clients need, and the best thing you can do is gather as much information as possible.

Finding the right home should be the most fun step for you as the buyer, so be sure to make the experience enjoyable.

Step 3: Negotiations

Once you’ve found that house that ticks as many of your boxes as possible, it’s time to make an offer. Determine the best price to offer with your agent, and be sure that you are offering around fair market value.

Negotiations often go sour after about 2 or 3 counter offers, so be sure to come in strong enough to be able to work with the seller while also protecting your investment.

Once your contract is accepted, it is extremely important not to open any new lines of credit (credit cards, car loans, etc.). Do not quit or change your job at any time before closing on the deal. These two can shut a deal down almost instantly.

Step 4: Homeowner’s Insurance

After a deal has been negotiated, contact an insurance representative at a reputable company to set up the necessary steps to insure your new home.

Typically, buyers will combine auto & home insurance at one company in order to save money on their insurance rates. Talk to your agent about the best policy options for you.

Step 5: Home Inspection

The home inspection process is a tricky one, and many deals fall through in the inspection. Be ready to negotiate, but do not expect the seller to fix everything you request.

Most likely, if the seller has never experienced an issue with it, they won’t fix it. For example, if the heat pump is 16 years old but never had a problem, the seller is not likely to replace the entire HVAC system.

Be sure that anything the seller agreed to fix is finished before the final inspection/walkthrough.

Step 6: Time to Close

If you’ve made it this far, you should be good to go! It’s just about time to start moving into your new house. All that’s left to do is pay the seller and close the deal! You’re good to pack up and start enjoying your new home!

Previous Article: 4 Stress Reducing Tips Every Home Buyer Should Know


Is It Time For You To A Buy Home – Should You Buy A House or Keep Renting

Owning a home is something many young people dream about, but figuring out if it is time for you to buy a home versus renting from someone else can be extremely challenging. This article sets out to answer that question – should you buy a house or keep renting?

What location do you want to be in?

When deciding whether to buy a home or continuing to rent, it is important to consider how long you are going to be in your current area. If you’re going to stay less than two years, renting is usually the better option. However, if you plan on staying in the place you’re moving for 2 or more years, buying is most likely the better option. It will allow you to make the changes you want and truly make the home yours. In addition to this, it is very likely that you will be able to make money when you sell your home assuming you were smart with the loan you got.

Overall, when it comes to should you buy a house or keep renting, location is one of the most important factors to consider. Specifically, how long you’ll be living in the area you’re considering. The longer you plan to stay, the smarter it is to buy!

Are you financially ready to buy?

The biggest reason most people keep renting, from what we’ve seen as real estate agents, is because they don’t think they can financially afford a house. They plan on staying in the area for a long time, but they think you need 20% down in order to purchase a home. This, however, is actually far from the truth.

USDA is now offering 100% no money down financing in certain areas, and FHA allows you to get loans with less than 10% down, sometimes as low as 3.5% down, all across the United States. Additionally, a house payment is typically cheaper than renting an apartment, so if you can afford $650 per month in rent, you could buy a $130,000 home for $25 LESS per month.

I would suggest talking to a local lender in your area. They will be able to give you the best advice when it comes to getting a home loan. Call a real estate agent and simply tell them, “I’m interested in buying a home, but I need to talk to a lender. Who would you recommend?” Any good agent will be happy to get you two to three recommendations of all-star lenders in your area.

*Just a quick side note. Online lenders like Quicken are usually horrible to deal with. Stay local as these are people you can meet face-to-face and hold accountable. 

Are you emotionally ready to purchase a home?

What do we mean by ’emotionally ready’? Well, the answer is simple. Buying a home is a taxing process, and even if you use our 4 Stress Reducing Tips Every Home Buyer Should Know, you’ll still most likely be an emotion wreck by the time the home buying process is done.

Additionally, you need to be emotionally ready to keep up with owning a home. Mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters, pressure washing the sidewalks, these are all things you never have to do as a tenant that will become part of daily life as a homeowner. Are you ready to give up your Saturdays for this? If so, it’s time to buy a home!

Can you fix a toilet?

This may seem a little odd to include, but there are a lot of little things that can and will go wrong when you own a home. From the toilet leaking to changing the furnace filter, these are little things that you need to know how to fix before jumping in and buying a home. Luckily, there are tons of videos on YouTube telling and showing you how to do all of these different home improvement projects, so it’s not as big of a deal if you don’t know how to do them when you first buy your home. You, however, need to be ready, willing, and able to learn them as time goes on and problems come up. There is no reason to call a handyman to change your air filter. He’ll most likely laugh at you and then ask for $150. Learn to do it yourself, and save the money.

Check out HouseImprovements on YouTube for great home improvement how-to videos.

Overall, the little things that go wrong in a home are easy to fix as long as you’re willing to learn from YouTube/Google how to get the job done. If you aren’t willing to learn, stay in the rental and call the landlord for repairs. If you are, buy a home you can call yours! You’ll build equity, and over time, you’ll make much more money and be more financially successful because of it.

In Conclusion: Should You Buy A House or Keep Renting?

Deciding whether or not you should buy a house or keep renting is one of the hardest decisions you will ever make. Truthfully, however, it just comes down to some simple and basic decisions. Are you going to be staying in your home for more than 2-3 years? Have you talked to a lender, and can you get financing? And, lastly, are you okay with having to keep up with the maintenance of owning a home? If you answer yes to all of these questions, you should buy! It just makes sense. You’ll make more money over time, and if you keep renting, you’re just throwing money away.

Contact us if you are looking to purchase a home anywhere in East Tennessee. You can also call Patrick or me anytime! Patrick: (423) 312-4543 Nic: (423) 748-0999

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4 Stress Reducing Tips Every Home Buyer Should Know

Buying a home is an extremely stressful process. From getting financing to working through the numerous problems you’ll have before you close, some may say it is one of the most stressful things you will ever do. That is why I’m writing this article – to give you 4 stress reducing tips every home buyer should know in order to keep them calm, cool, and collected when buying their next home.

1) You’re Not Going To Get Everything You Want

We work with a ton of people who are looking for their dream home. One thing many of these buyers forget is that they will have to compromise. Buying a home comes down to truly figuring out the 3-4 things that are most important for you and looking for and getting those. These important 3-4 things are going to be different for everyone, but it’s impossible to find an all brick home with a pool, a kitchen the size of a basketball court, bedrooms bigger than a tennis court, and bathrooms the size of cathedrals all for less than $100,000. It doesn’t exist. Anywhere. The unfortunate truth though is many buyers expect all of this when they start looking. Lower your expectations and focus on 3-4 reasonable things you want in a home.

2) A Good Lender & A Good Agent Are Must Haves

There are two people that pretty much every real estate deal needs. A lender and a real estate agent. These two factors allow you to get a home and find a home. Without them, your stuck having to save up a TON of cash to buy your home, and your market is limited to the few people not working with agents. Thus, make sure your lender and real estate agent are the best in the game. The good news is a good real estate agent will be able to recommend some good lenders, and any good lenders will be able to recommend good real estate agents. Ask around, read reviews, and see who everyone else is using. There is a reason everyone is using them.

Selling before you buy? Check out 6 Things You Must Do Before Selling Your Home!

3) Don’t Freak Out About Your Home Inspection

Get a home inspection. It’s an extremely important part of the home-buying process, but don’t freak out if it comes back with 30 things wrong with it. Most homes have a few little things wrong with them. This is okay. Look past the little stuff that could be fixed with a wrench in a weekend. Focus on big things – flooded basements, termite damage, water damage. These are things that can be not only costly but add up over time. Another little tip – if it’s working, a seller isn’t going to fix it. If the roof or HVAC system is old but functioning, ask for a home warranty, not a new roof or HVAC because the seller isn’t going to replace them.

4) Breath; It’ll Be Okay

As I said at the beginning, buying a home is a stressful process. The best thing you can do is breath and lean on the people who you’re working with who do this every day – your lender, your real estate agent, your inspector, etc. We all do this every single day. Termite damage? We know how to handle it. Not going to have your down payment in time for closing? We can still make the deal come together. Seller not wanting to fix anything? We can keep pushing. We are professionals, and you’re working with us for a reason. Keep us informed, and let us solve problems for you. If you do this, your transaction will go a lot smoother and with a lot less stress.

If you are looking for a home anywhere in East TN, give me or Patrick a call! We are more than happy to help you find your dream home! Nic: (423) 748-0999 Patrick: (423) 312-4543