Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

May 1st is National New Homeowners Day, and since the spring selling season is ramping up, it’s a great time to talk about things would-be homeowners need to know. 

Our own Andrew McGranaghan gives some great information in this segment from Living East Tennessee on WATE 6 On Your Side.

Learn more by watching the video below!

Finances First - 

One important first step is to talk with a local lender who knows the market, has a good reputation, and can educate you on the various first-time home buyer financing options. 

One misconception buyers often have is thinking they need a significant amount of money for a down payment, but this isn’t necessarily the case. 

A mortgage professional can also help you establish a realistic budget. Wallace Real Estate has had a trusted mortgage partner in CMG Financial for the past eight years, and David O’Block’s team does a tremendous job for our buyers. 

Work with a Realtor - 

Next, it’s crucial to find a local real estate professional who can guide you through the process. A quality Realtor is worth his/her weight in gold when navigating this process of becoming a new homeowner. He or she will act as an advocate for you, which is especially helpful during the negotiation process. 

Make sure you choose an agent whose company is focused on training to ensure they have the knowledge and expertise to be a trusted source of information. 

At Wallace Real Estate, our agents are trained and committed to helping buyers. Each of our nearly 500 agents has a passion and a heart for first-time buyers. Being a guide on this journey is probably the part of our job that gives us the most joy and satisfaction. 

A local real estate expert with extensive knowledge of the area will prove to be very helpful during the home search process. They can help buyers determine the areas you’d like to live in based on lifestyle, needs and budget. 

Be Realistic About Wants & Needs - 

While it’s important to identify your “must-haves,” as a first-time buyer, you will also need to be realistic about wants and needs, to balance that with the current market. 

If you’re in a couple, talk with your partner before your first showing about expectations on price, size, and location. Drive around neighborhoods or areas of town to explore and help you get a rough idea of where to start. 

One example of this was a homebuyer couple who were set on living in a historical neighborhood in close proximity to downtown Knoxville. Properties were available in the area they wanted, but may have required more work than they wanted to tackle. 

As a first-time home buyer in a seller’s market, most buyers will have to make concessions. You may have to sacrifice certain wants to get into the area you want to be in, or perhaps sacrifice on the area to get the home you want. 

Waiting for the perfect home may leave you feeling disappointed and burned out. Your first home doesn’t have to work for every stage of life, but consider it as the immediate next step in your journey. 

A trusted local Realtor can help you find the balance you need, with options that satisfy your wants and needs. 

Look for Major Issues with No Fix - 

This issue came up with a homebuyer who was interested in buying a mountain property. 

One of the homes we toured was in a beautiful setting, with many desirable features, but because of the location, it was challenging to access the property via the driveway. We chose to walk up to access the home, and ended up slipping all the way back down. 

While a property may have some things you’d like to change, make sure it doesn’t have any major issues or deal-breakers that can’t be fixed. 

Ask Questions - 

You’ll want to work with a Realtor who is willing to help guide you through the process, and one way they can do this is by providing answers to your questions. 

The better you understand the process, the more informed you will be to make the best decisions. 

Wallace Real Estate offers a one-stop shop for our clients, from mortgage and closing services, to home warranty and insurance. We also have our Property Management division should you end up deciding to rent the home later down the road. 

Be Ready to Act Quickly, If Necessary - 

A final tip that is relevant to the fast-paced market we’re currently in, is be ready to act quickly. With fewer homes on the market in certain price ranges, there are more buyers competing for these properties. 

If the right home comes along, it’s important to decide quickly to get the opportunity to go under contract. Your Realtor will help analyze the situation to make sure it’s a good investment for you, and ensure you have peace of mind by allowing for home and termite inspections, as well as other safeguards in the contract. This will help you make the right financial decisions that best meet your needs.