Buying your first Knoxville home is an exciting, overwhelming experience.
If you’re thinking about buying your first home, you may be wondering where on earth to start. To help make the process a little easier, we’ve created a guide to help you make it through the process. Here are 12 steps to buying your first Knoxville home.
Owning your first Knoxville home may sound great in theory, but when it comes down to it there can be some harsh realities that not all buyers are prepared for. To determine if you’re ready to buy your first home, consider the following:
- Are you planning on staying in the home 3-5 years?
- Do you have stable income?
- Are you ready to commit to a 30 year mortgage payment?
- Are you fully prepared to be your own landlord?
If you’re on the fence about any of these questions, you may want to do a little more research or consider waiting until you’re fully sure that you’re ready to buy a Knoxville home.
Talking with a loan officer is so important for every first time home buyer. A loan officer can tell you how much home you can afford and explain what loan programs you may be eligible for.
In addition, if there are any credit issues that need to be sorted out, they can help you work through those issues. Having a trusted loan officer help you through the buying process is critical.
3. Hire A Buyer’s Agent
As a Knoxville first time buyer, you can hire yourself an agent and it costs your absolutely nothing. Yes, that is correct, a buyer’s agent costs your absolutely nothing.
When it comes to choosing the right agent for you, keep in mind you need to hire the best person to represent you. Just because your parent’s used one person a few years ago or you’ve got a family friend in the business, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right person for you.
Find someone who specializes in working with first time buyers or in the area you want to buy our first home. You want someone who will be there throughout the process to be your advocate and help guide you through the process.
4. Come Up With A List Of Your Wants & Needs
What you want in your first Knoxville home, and what you need in your first Knoxville home are two very different things.
You may need a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a fenced in yard, and a particular area and you may want an updated kitchen, neutral paint, and a large master bath.
This line is very thin, so be sure you know the difference between these two items. When you start your home search, you start off buying meeting most of your needs, and trying to fulfill as many of your wants as possible.
In this day and age, a vast majority of Knoxville first time home buyers start their home search online, which is great. Looking at homes online can instantly give you an idea of what homes are on the market in your price range in your desired search area.
Once you’ve started to looking online, compile a list of homes you want to see and get your agent to set up some showings. Be sure that you’ve given your agent a good understanding of what you’re looking for in your first Knoxville home. The more you’re able to communicate with them, the better. It will only help them help you.
Keep in mind, when it comes to starting to look at houses. It can be helpful to take some notes or even snap a few pictures on your phone. After looking at a few different houses, they can all start to blend together. In addition seeing more than 8-10 houses in one day can be altogether overwhelming, so try to keep it under that number, if possible.
6. Rank The Homes You’ve Seen
After looking at a few houses, they can sometimes begin to blend together, which is why taking notes and snapping some pictures with your phone can be helpful.
Most likely, you will be able to rule out some homes pretty easily. If there are a few that you like easily, consider making a list of pros and cons for each and consider going back to each home for a second look. If you’re still not sure, continue your home search and keep those homes in mind as a benchmark for the standard of home you’re looking for.
When it comes to finding the right home, you’ll know the right home when you see it. It may be the first house you see and it may be the 12th house you see, but you will feel something different when you find the right home.
7. Make A Offer
Making an offer on your first Knoxville home is exciting and overwhelming. Your Knoxville realtor is there to help you through the process and help you write the best offer possible. While you don’t have to take every piece of their advice to heart, just keep in mind they speak from experience and they’re there to help.
Just remember, as you write an offer, it’s all about negotiation and making all parties happy. You might not get everything you want, but if you get most of what you want, you end up in a good place.
Getting a home inspection is one of the most essential parts of buying your first Knoxville home. A home inspection will cost anywhere for $300 to $500, depending on the type of home inspection you get. As the buyer, you are able to attend your inspection or to show up at the end of the inspection to walk through everything with the inspector. This can be very helpful as a buyer so you are able to ask questions if there are any issues found. A buyer may also opt to do other inspections, like a termite inspection during this time.
If any issues are found during the inspections, depending on the severity of the issues, a buyer can ask the seller for a list of repairs. Depending on the repairs being asked for, the buyer and seller will either come to an agreement or they won’t. If they cannot come to an agreement, the buyer is able to walk away from the transaction and get there earnest money make (just be sure your contract is contingent on a home inspection, as most contracts are).
Once you’ve received an accepted offer on your first Knoxville home, your lender will start processing your loan. During this time, your lender will require information about your income and finances for loan approval. They will collect documents such as bank statements, pay stubs, W-2s, and tax returns, if they had not already collected those items for you. Depending on the situation, you may be required to provide further information. The home will also be appraised during this time.
Securing financing is a very part of the buying your first Knoxville home. Any delays in getting your lender documentation can possibly delay your closing, so be sure to get them things quickly. Finally, don’t forget to check with your loan officer about some things you should absolutely not do during the loan approval process. Things like changing jobs, applying for additional lines of credit, or changing jobs can hurt your loan approval chances.
10. Prepare For Your Move
In the few weeks prior to closing, life will be a little crazy. You’ll take care of hiring movers, setting up utilities and cable, and taking care of packing up your belongings. Keep in mind, certain utility companies may require deposits and a copy of the contract to turn on utilities.
11. Complete Your Final Walk Through
Prior to closing, you will walk through your first Knoxville home with your agent to ensure everything is as it should be. If you asked for any repairs, you can inspect that they’ve been done. You’ll also be making sure that nothing has changed in the home and that all items that should be left in the house are still there.
Buying your first home is not complete until you’ve signed all of your closing paperwork. Closing generally takes less than an hour. You should know a day or two prior to closing how much money you’re bringing to the closing table.
Keep in mind, funds will need to be in the the form of a bank wire to the title company or a cashier’s check. Be sure to check with your title company about their requirements. You may also be required to have two different forms of identification. Again, be sure to check with your title company or lender to see what you may need. If you’re moving from out of state, keep in mind you may want to make arrangements to get closing funds prior to leaving town. Your lender should be able to give you an idea of what you should be bringing to closing.
Once all closing paperwork is signed, you’re officially a homeowner!
Are you thinking about buying your first Knoxville home? Please let us know if there is anyway that Knoxville Home Team can assist you in your home search. You can contact Rick at 865-696-9002 or via email at [email protected]. Or, you can contact Kati at 865-392-5880 or via email at [email protected].