buy the right home at the right price…
Buying a home is an exciting, but often overwhelming experience, particularly if you are buying your first home. Being the top real estate team in the Knoxville area comprised of highly trained real estate agents, we can help you through the home-buying process and assure that you find the right home for you, at the best price.
Setting a Time Frame
There are a lot of variables in the home-buying process, which means the time it takes to find and buy your new home varies too. A typical home search process may take three to four months, including the mortgage approval process, comparing and evaluating properties, making an offer, and the closing process. The loan process typically takes 30 to 45 days.
The Lending Process
Perhaps one of the most intimidating aspects of buying a home is the mortgage approval process. We’ll be here to help guide you through this, but there are many ways you can prepare early to make the process smoother. Start by making sure your budget is under control by making a list of all your monthly expenses, then compare it with your income and see if adjustments need to be made.
You should also try to pay off small credit card balances. Start gathering documents you may need, such as W-2 forms, income tax returns for the past few years, pay stubs, records of child support or alimony, bank statements for the past several months, and your credit report. As for closing costs, the lender you decide to work with will go over all of the costs associated with buying your home.
Determining How Much You Can Afford
A general guideline to consider is that most buyers purchase a home that costs about one and a half to two and a half times their current annual income. For example, someone earning $50,000 a year might purchase a home for $75,000 to $125,000.
Mortgage payments should be about 26-28 percent of your gross monthly income. Existing debt is also considered in the mortgage process, and total debt payments (car payments, credit cards, student loans, etc.) should not exceed 40 percent of your gross monthly income. Click here to use our easy mortgage calculator for an estimate of monthly payments.
Finding a Home That Meets Your Needs and Wants
Before you start looking at properties, make a list of “must-have” features along with optional features you’d like to have. “Must-have” features may include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need to accommodate your family, location (consider commute to work, which schools your children will attend, etc.), lot size, and special needs (handicapped access, etc.). Optional features may include architectural styling, bay windows, landscaping, etc. Having a clear idea of what you want in a home will help us find the perfect property for you.
Educating yourself about the home-buying process is key to getting a home you will love and can afford. We are here to answer any questions you might have and guide you through this process.