So, you are ready to buy a home? Congratulations! Homeownership is a huge milestone in your life and it is an exciting time. However, it can also be an incredibly stressful experience, especially for a first-time buyer. At Wright Realty we want to take that stress out of the equation and make this an enjoyable experience. With our wholistic approach to real estate, we will work with you to find your next home The Wright Way!
Let's take a look at some of the simple steps you can take to help make the process of buying a home run a little more smoothly.
In order to buy a home you are going to need a down payment. This is typically around 20% of the value of the property, so you will likely need to start saving long before you actually intend to buy unless you have come into some money like an inheritance or insurance payout that you want to use. Although it is possible to put down less than 20%, it will mean higher repayments and more interest over the life of the loan.
While saving for your down payment it is a good idea to start researching your preferred areas and comparing property prices. This is going to help you to determine how much of a down payment you need to aim for. Look at the prices of the style and size of home you would be interested in and research costs. Can you realistically afford the properties in the area? Or do you need to cast your net a little wider. Knowing your budget in advance is going to make finding the right property easier as you move through the process.
Once you have a down payment and are ready to start actively looking for your dream home, it is time to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This is essentially a letter from a mortgage lender agreeing to lend you up to a certain amount in order to purchase a home. It is not a loan agreement, just a confirmation that they will be willing to lend to you. This helps show sellers that you are a serious buyer with the financial backing to complete the sale. To get a pre-approval letter, a mortgage lender will need to review your finances and determine how much you can afford to borrow. This includes looking at your total income, current debts, and cash reserves. As a general rule of thumb lenders are looking for a debt-to-income ratio of around 35% or less. A pre-approval is not a commitment to one lender. In fact, many buyers get more than one pre-approval so that they can compare rates to get the best deal.
So, you have your down payment and your mortgage pre-approval - now we get to the fun part! It's time to find your home! Now you need to choose the 'Wright' realtor! This is a big transaction so you need to work with someone you can trust to have your interests at heart. With Wright Realty we believe that buying a home is more than just a transaction, it is a personal milestone in your life and we want to make sure we provide honest and ethical support to you through the whole process. We are a full-service real estate concierge handling every detail of your home purchase experience from inspection to financing and everything in between. Let us help you buy your home The Wright Way!
One of the first conversations we will have with you as your chosen realtor is going to be about your dream home! You likely already have an idea of what you want in terms of size, style, and location but let's get down to the details. We want to know your must have features and what you are willing to compromise on! Is having a pool essential? Would underfloor heating be a deal breaker? Once we have a detailed picture of your dream home we can start matching you to properties that check all of your boxes.
Once we have matched you with some of the available listings we can help you to arrange a viewing. Keep in mind that no home is going to be perfect. Look for the non-negotiable features first and foremost prioritizing your needs over wants. It is always possible to switch the decor or carry out renovations so try to keep an open mind. Sometimes we find clients find their dream home and discover what they wanted wasn't what they really need! That's why it is important to see these.
Once you have found your home, the next step is making an offer. As your realtor we can help you in writing a compelling offer that will help the seller choose you if their are multiple offers. It isn't just about making the highest offer, there are other things you can add to make it more attractive, such as agreeing to cover certain fees and waving contingencies. It is important to act quickly as Tennessee real estate has a fast turnaround. On average, homes only stay on the market for around 59 days before going under contract!
Once an offer has been made you will want to properly evaluate the condition of the home and confirm its value. Inspections should be carried out by a licensed professional to look for any unseen or unexpected issues with the roof, foundation, electrical system, and plumbing. As a full-service real estate concierge we can help provide this service. Your lender will also want to hire an appraiser to examine the property and confirm its value. You may also want to book a pest inspection in case of termite damage.
Following the necessary inspections, your lender should approve your financing and it is time to close! Closing is the finalization of your mortgage and transfer of ownership for the property. You will meet with the title company on your closing date to sign the paperwork and settle any closing costs. There are several legal documents to review at this stage including your loan application, the title deeds, and disclosure statements.
With closing complete and all of the legal steps handled it's time to pick your move in date! You should also think about transferring things like utilities into your name and forwarding your mail.
These steps are just a general guide for buying a home in Tennessee. Every transaction will be a little different, but it should give you a basic outline of what is involved in the process. At Wright Realty we are here to guide you through every step of the purchase, making your experience as smooth as possible.