Market Conditions Matter

Market conditions are like a weather report; they show you what to expect so you can make plans, pick your listing price and decide on your marketing strategy. One thing is certain: Markets are either going up or they’re going down, so as conditions change, you need to know the long and short-term trends. If […]

How to Buy a “Spec” or Model Home

What should you expect when you buy a model or “spec home” from a builder? A model home features upgrades to show the builder’s floorplans to advantage. If you can wait until the builder sells all their inventory, you may get the model at the initial offer price and with more upgrades than other homes […]

All About Contingencies

As you browse listings on 4Smokys.com or realtor.com, you may find homes you like that appear to be unavailable, due to some kind of contingency. If you find the perfect home, but it’s labeled Active Kick Out or Contingent, should you pursue it or forget it? The reality is that contracts fall through sometimes. If you have […]

Homeowners, Buyers: It’s Either a Teardown or A Remodel

Older homes that served our grandparents and parents well may appear poorly planned for today’s families. They tend to be smaller with narrow lots, closed-off kitchens, and fewer bathrooms and bedrooms. On the other hand, older homes tend to offer character and quality craftsmanship that is unmatched today. So, should you tear down an older […]

Should you wait for lower prices & interest rates?

Home prices have been rising for over seven years, and mortgage interest rates for five years. Should you wait to buy a home? The numbers say no. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the median existing home price is more than $250,000, the highest it’s ever been. If you wait to buy a home, […]

How Late Payments Impact Credit Scores

FICO scores, the Fair Isaac Corporation credit-scoring system, are used by lenders to determine your creditworthiness. The lower your scores, the more risk you pose to lenders, resulting in higher interest rates or loan denial. Scores fluctuate for many reasons, including your debt-to-income ratio, making minimum payments only, credit inquiries and other factors. But nothing […]

Using Gifts for A Down Payment

Merry Christmas, homebuyer! Don’t cash Mom and Dad’s check yet! Your loan could be denied if the money isn’t carefully documented. Why? Gifts can cause confusion. Is your parents’ money a gift or a loan? Unless the terms are clearly defined, don’t mix the gift with your own funds. It alters your bank statements and […]