Knoxville Real Estate and Community News

July 15, 2023

Interest rates are up and the real estate market has not slowed down. It's still increasing.

Interest rates are up and the real estate market has not slowed down. It's still increasing.

Why Now Is a Great Time To Buy a House

Interest rates should not stop you from owning a Home of your own.

Interest rates do affect house prices, and there’s typically an inverse relationship between the two. When the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, home buyers can’t afford expensive houses, so the prices will start to drop.

The reverse is also true – when mortgage rates are low, buyers have more money to spend, so home prices will start to rise.

Buying now locks in your home price ( when rates go down prices go up ), when interest rates come back down, you can refinance an old mortgage that you had at 6% or 7% or wherever it lands in the future.

The ideal scenario is to buy a home when both interest rates and home prices are low, but that isn’t always possible. So, as you’re considering home prices vs. interest rates, it’s important to keep in mind that one isn’t necessarily better than the other.

The housing market predictions are about as reliable as weather forecasts. That’s why it’s essential to do your research and ensure it’s the right time for you to buy before taking action in the market.

Posted in Buying a Home
June 24, 2023

Imagine Real Estate Group and team up with big online real estate marketers.

Imagine Real Estate Group and team up with big online real estate marketers.

Online real-estate sites often are go-to places for buyers wanting to search local listings of homes for sale.

When you list your property with Imagine Real Estate Group your property will appear For Sale On the World Wide Real Estate Web sites including REALTOR, Yahoo, Zillow, Nextdoor, Trulia, HomeFinder, Cyberhomes, Homes, HotPads, Movoto, Oodle, Point2Homes, Homesnap, CLR, Vast, Move, MSN, Along with all the Imagine Priority websites and additional public real estate websites.

“And the display of information that we know will be accurate direct from the MLS.”

But Wait There’s MORE ….. Get the value of your home NOW!

When you list your property with Imagine Real Estate Group your property also will appear on Companies and Agent IDX real estate  websites to include: Coldwell Banker®  Century 21®  GMAC ® ERA®  Real Living®  Re/Max® eXp Realty® Realty Executives® Sotheby's International®  Weichert Realtors®  Prudential®  Southland Realtors®  Exit® The Real Estate Firm®  Real Estate Crye-Leike®  Keller-Williams®

When you list your property with Imagine Real Estate Group Members Brokers and Agents That have direct Multiple Listing Service (MLS) access to your property information for their buyer: East Tennessee REALTORS®, Northeast Tennessee Association of REALTORS®, Tennessee/Virginia Regional MLS, Lakeway Area Association of REALTORS®, River Counties Association of REALTORS®, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®.

When you list your property with Imagine Real Estate Group - Less Time on the Market - More Money  Less Hassle - Fewer Reductions - More Multiple Offers.  No one can list your house faster You can have your house On the World Wide Real Estate Web sites in as little as two hours. Get the value of your home NOW!

Your Preferred Realtors® of Choice 2022  Michael Allen 865-803-3558 Direct/Text  Broker/ REALTOR …. Steve Albin 865-964-9476 Direct/Text REALTOR/Broker

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is reserved for its members: real estate agents and brokers and information is sent to their buyers. Internet Data Exchange (IDX) allows anyone to view these listings and perform a property search without an agent or broker’s help. Any appearance of an organization's name or logo on this website does not imply affiliation.


Posted in Selling Your Home
June 9, 2023

Amazing Grilling Ideas!

BBQ Recipes

Below you'll find our BBQ recipes.

Barbecue Chicken Halves

Barbecue Chicken Halves I’m calling this Half-Chicken Heaven! This is how you turn a basic whole chicken and make it BBQ Special! I brined my chickens, halved them and smoked them over hickory wood. After 1.5 hours, I wrapped them with butter and let them get good and tender. But after they come out the wrap, they are pretty ugly …

“Fall Off The Bone” Ribs Recipe

“Fall Off The Bone” Ribs There is a point where ribs are JUST RIGHT tenderness… and everyone has a different opinion on where that point is! Some folks like their ribs to be more of a “competition” texture and to have more of a bite. But A LOT of folks want their ribs falling off the bone. And this method …

Beef Cheek Birria Tacos

Beef Cheek Birria Tacos My Birria Tacos recipe is smokey, cheesy, crispy and delicious! If you don’t have beef cheeks, you could use chuck roast and cook them the exact same way… Season with Malcom’s Grande Gringo Mexican Seasoning and smoke for a couple hours to get some flavor and good color on the meat. Then make a flavorful mixture …

Smoked Easter Ham

Double Smoked Easter Ham with a sweet, Brown Sugar & Honey Glaze Easter is here and spring is springing! And that means it’s time to plan the Easter Dinner – and decide what’s going to be the big, delicious centerpiece of your Easter Meal. WHAT MALCOM USED IN THIS RECIPE: Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub 6″ Boning Knife – Red …

crawfish boil

Boiling Crawfish

Boiling the Best Crawfish At Home This recipe is a simple, one-pot crawfish boil method that cooks a perfect sack – with all the fixings – and with a little spice. And you know I got this cajun crawfish boil loaded with corn, potatoes, sausage and mushrooms. WHAT MALCOM USED IN THIS RECIPE: – Malcom’s King Craw Crawfish Boil Have …

Sausage Seasoned Ribs

Sausage Seasoned Ribs Country Sausage Seasoning on a rib is mighty delicious. I’ve used my sausage seasoning on pork butts but never tried it as a rib rub until now. But let me tell you it’s good! The perfect blend of peppers, salt, herbs, and a little brown sugar creates a savory bark with a touch of bite that has …

Boudin & Crawfish King Cake

Boudin King Cake topped with a Crawfish Cheese Dip Quick, Easy and Delicious! This is a different take on a King Cake. Your traditional King Cakes are a sweet pastry with an sweet icing. But I’m switching it up and doing a spicy, savory King Cake Recipe using Boudin Sausage and a Crawfish Cheese Dip. Then to really take it …

WalMart Prime Rib

WalMart Prime Rib For this recipe I picked up a nice, boneless, 5lb Prime Rib Roast from WalMart for about $66… and I turned it into something that is worthy of that Holiday Table. I seasoned it with beefy flavors, garlic and onions and then smoked it on a pellet smoker with Hickory pellets until it was medium rare (120 …

Mesquite Smoked Turkey

Mesquite Smoked Turkey Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe – brined with sweet tea, spatchcocked, injected and seasoned with Texas flavors, then smoked over mesquite wood for a flavorful, beautiful, juicy, smoked turkey. WHAT MALCOM USED IN THIS RECIPE: Malcom’s Bird Brine Meat Bags Pitmaster Meat Scissors  Meat Church Holy Gospel Killer Hogs TX Rub Killer Hogs Hot Sauce  Thermoworks DOT Malcom …

Smoked & Fried Turkey Recipe

Smoked Fried Turkey I brined this 12lb bird, then smoked it on a pellet grill until it hit around 150° internal, then I dropped it in 350° peanut oil until the breast was 165° in the breast. And as soon as it came out of the hot oil, I gave it a good shake of my cajun seasoning…. This turkey …

Cajun Pork Loin Sandwich

Cajun Pork Loin Sandwich How I Turned a $10 Pork Loin into a $20 Cajun Pork Loin Sandwich Malcom Reed Connect on Facebook Follow me on TikTok Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Follow me on Instagram Have a Question About This Recipe? Connect with us in our HowToBBQRight Facebook group for recipe help, to share your pictures, giveaways, and more!

Deer Backstrap Tacos

Backstrap Tacos Venison Tacos – Deer Backstrap seasoned with Mexican Seasonings and smoked until medium rare. Then the venison backstop is sliced and served as deer tacos on a tortilla with fajita vegetables and a Gringo Green Sauce. WHAT MALCOM USED IN THIS RECIPE: Malcom’s Grande Gringo Seasoning Killer Hogs AP Seasoning Black Nitrile Gloves White “Hand Saver” Gloves  Malcom …

bbq chicken pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza Chicken thighs grilled and charred over charcoal grill. Then sliced and used for a quick and easy Pellet Grill BBQ-style Chicken Pizza using White BBQ Sauce, Jalapeños and lots of cheese! This recipe is a perfect Football Food! WHAT MALCOM USED IN THIS RECIPE: Killer Hogs Hot Rub Royal Oak Tumbleweeds Killer Hogs White BBQ Sauce Killer …

Dirty Bird Chicken Bites

Dirty Bird Chicken Bites Bacon-Wrapped Chicken stuffed with a Hot Dill Pickle – Charcoal Grilled – and Served with a Sweet and Spicy “Dirty Dip” Sauce WHAT MALCOM USED IN THIS RECIPE: Killer Hogs Hot Sauce  Killer Hogs Hot Rub  Killer Hogs Hot Dill Pickles  Royal Oak Tumbleweeds Green Thermoworks Thermapen Malcom Reed Connect on Facebook Follow me on TikTok …

Fried Catfish

Fried Catfish Mississippi pond raised Catfish Filets – fried Southern Style with a thin, crispy fish breading. Frying catfish really is easy, it’s all about technique. For starters, you want smaller, thin filets of catfish to start – so your catfish cooks evenly and is crispy. Next you need to let the catfish filets dry really well – using a …

Posted in Events
June 7, 2023

Guide to FHA Loans

A Comprehensive Guide to FHA Loans: Unlocking Affordable Homeownership

In today's competitive real estate market, many potential homeowners face the challenge of securing a mortgage with favorable terms. Fortunately, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers a viable solution through its FHA loan program. Designed to make homeownership more accessible, FHA loans provide an array of benefits for first-time buyers and individuals with limited financial resources. Let's delve into the basics of FHA loans, highlighting their key features, eligibility requirements, and advantages.

What is an FHA Loan?

At its core, an FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Unlike conventional loans issued by private lenders, FHA loans carry government-backed insurance, which mitigates the risk for lenders. This insurance allows borrowers to secure mortgages with lower down payments and more flexible credit requirements.


Eligibility Criteria

FHA loans cater to a wide range of borrowers, with eligibility requirements that are generally more lenient compared to conventional loans. Here are the primary eligibility criteria for FHA loans:

  1. Credit Score: While conventional loans often demand higher credit scores, FHA loans are accessible to borrowers with credit scores as low as 500. However, a higher credit score may lead to more favorable loan terms.
  2. Down Payment: FHA loans offer a significant advantage by requiring a lower down payment compared to conventional loans. Typically, borrowers can qualify for an FHA loan with a down payment as low as 3.5% of the purchase price.
  3. Debt-to-Income Ratio: FHA loans consider the borrower's debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, which measures the percentage of monthly income allocated to debt payments. Generally, a DTI ratio below 43% is preferred, although exceptions may be made in certain cases.
  4. Employment History: FHA loans typically require a stable employment history, usually with at least two years of consistent employment.

Key Components of an FHA Loan

  1. Lower Down Payment: One of the most significant advantages of FHA loans is the ability to secure financing with a lower down payment. This feature enables more individuals to enter the housing market, particularly first-time buyers who may have limited savings.
  2. Flexible Credit Requirements: FHA loans are known for being more forgiving when it comes to credit history. Borrowers with less-than-perfect credit scores can still qualify for an FHA loan, offering an excellent opportunity to rebuild their credit while becoming homeowners.
  3. Assumable Loans: FHA loans are assumable, meaning that a buyer can take over the loan and its terms when purchasing a property. This feature can be advantageous when interest rates are high, as assuming an existing FHA loan with a lower rate can result in significant savings.
  4. Streamlined Refinancing: The FHA offers a streamlined refinancing option known as the FHA Streamline Refinance. This process simplifies and expedites refinancing for existing FHA borrowers, often requiring minimal documentation and lowering the overall cost.


Loan Limits and Mortgage Insurance

FHA loans have specific limits that vary by county, taking into account the average home prices in the area. These limits ensure that FHA loans are accessible to a broad range of borrowers while accounting for regional variations in housing costs. Additionally, FHA loans require borrowers to pay mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) to protect the lender against potential default.

For those seeking an affordable path to homeownership, FHA loans offer an attractive solution. With their lower down payment requirements, flexible credit criteria, and additional benefits such as assumable loans and streamlined refinancing, FHA loans empower individuals and families to achieve their homeownership dreams.

Posted in Buying a Home
May 30, 2023

Knoxville Area home sales in April 2023

Market Pulse

May 2023

  • Home sales in the Knoxville Area increased in April – up 8.0% from the previous month but down 8.9% from a year ago. Overall, home sales were down 17.5% in the first quarter of 2023.
  • Apartment rents in Knoxville were up 10.7% from the previous year in April 2023, compared to 3.2% growth nationally.
  • In the first quarter of 2023, home prices across the Knoxville metro area increased 6.1% from the previous year compared to 4.3% growth nationally, according to the FHFA House Price Index.
  • Knoxville's economy grew at nearly twice the pace of the U.S. economy in 2022, according to KAAR analysis.
  • New listings in April were down more than 20% year-over-year across the Knoxville metro area, according to KAAR analysis of data.
  • KAAR released its 2023 State of Housing Report this month. The signature report is published annually and provides a comprehensive analysis of East Tennessee's housing landscape using the latest available data.

Reader's Note: All real estate is local. Pay attention to local trends and be careful when you read national news as it doesn't necessarily reflect what's currently happening in East Tennessee.

Home Sales Report


  • Knoxville Area home sales decreased in April — down 14.5% from the previous month and down 23.3% from a year ago.
  • Median home sales price was $325,000 in April — unchanged from the previous month and down 0.3% from the previous year. However, the median price per SqFt of sold homes was up 3.7% from the previous year.
  • Total housing inventory continued to increase – up 43% from a year ago but still approximately 62% below pre-pandemic levels.
  • Half of the homes sold were under contract in 9 days or less, down from 16 days in the previous month.
  • 30% of homes sold for more than the asking price, up from 24% the previous month, with 15.5% selling for at least $10,000 over asking and 5% selling for at least $25,000 over asking.
  • New construction represented 10.5% of total home sales.


KAAR reports home sales patterns using a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR), an adjusted rate that takes into account typical seasonal fluctuations in data and is expressed as an annual total. Comparing month-over-month housing market data using this method provides a more accurate depiction of home sales.

What you need to know: After consecutive months of accelerating home prices, the median sale price in April declined from the previous year. However, the median price per Sq Ft remained 3.7% above 2022 levels – meaning the actual value of homes after adjusting for size still increased over the past year.


Overall, housing market activity declined considerably in April as a lack of inventory and higher mortgage rates continue to weigh heavily on demand, pushing home sales to their lowest level since November 2022. As of April, new listings were down more than 20% from the previous year – a trend that is likely to (1) persist into the summer months and (2) keep home sales relatively low.

Access the Report

The Knoxville economy grew at nearly twice the pace of the U.S. economy in 2022, according to analysis from KAAR's 2023 State of Housing Report.


From 2015 to 2019, Knoxville’s inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (real GDP) grew at an average annual rate of 2.1%. After a decline in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, Knoxville's real GDP grew 9.3% in 2021 and 4.0% in 2022 – outpacing growth of 5.9% (2021) and 2.1% (2022) nationally.

Although Knoxville’s fast-growing economy is expected to moderate in 2023, competitive real estate prices and a relatively low cost of doing business suggest the region will continue to outpace the U.S. in addition to many of its in-state peers.


After consecutive years of above-average growth, Knoxville’s inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (real GDP) is projected to grow by 1.1% in 2023 and 2.6% in 2024. By comparison, real GDP in Tennessee is expected to grow 0.7% in 2023 and 1.6% in 2024, while U.S. real GDP is forecasted to contract 0.2% in 2023 before growing 1.3% in 2024, according to estimates from the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research.

Housing inventory rose modestly over the past month. As of the end of May, active listings are up around 45% from the previous year but remain well below their peak in November 2022. For-sale inventory remains well below pre-pandemic levels.

The spring selling season is a little sluggish this year as fewer people are choosing to list their homes for sale, keeping housing inventory suppressed and competition high.


As outlined in KAAR's 2023 State of Housing Report, more than 8 in 10 homeowners with a mortgage are locked in with an interest rate below 5% – well below prevailing rates – creating a powerful financial incentive for people to stay in their current home, or retain their current residence as an investment rental property if and when they do decide to move.

Moreover, such a low inventory environment is to some degree a self-reinforcing cycle: existing homeowners are hesitant to sell their homes due to the uncertainty of finding a new one.


All in all, new listings have been down more than 20% year-over-year throughout the early months of 2023, defying the typical seasonal trend of increased new listings during the spring. As of writing, there are few indications new listings – and thus available inventory – will rise significantly in the near future.


Mortgage Rates Continue to Increase


Mortgage rates were steady throughout May, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate (30Y FRM) was 6.57% for the week ending May 25, nearly 1.5 percentage points higher than a year ago.

Why It Matters: Mortgage rates are still nearly 1.5 percentage points higher than this time last year, and there are few indications that rates will fall substantially in the near term – partly because inflation remains stubbornly high and well above the Federal Reserve's 2% target rate.


As of mid-May, the required monthly principal and interest payment for the median-priced listing is up more than $300 from the beginning of the year – a trend that is keeping home buyers and sellers on the sidelines. Until affordability conditions improve (i.e. until mortgage rates fall), home sales are likely to stay fairly sluggish.

The current housing affordability crisis is a product of many structural trends, or market conditions that aren't easily shifted in the span of one or two years.


One example is the mismatch between the size of existing homes and the number of people living in them. According to KAAR analysis of U.S. Census data, nearly one-third (1/3) of all households in Knox County are made up of a single person; however, only one-fifth (1/5) of the housing stock are studio and one-bedroom units. To look at it another way, two-thirds of the households have two or fewer people, but nearly two-thirds of housing units in the region have three or more bedrooms.

As a result, households with just one or two people must spend more on a relatively large home, not because they want the extra space but because smaller, more affordable options are simply harder to find.


This leads to an important question: if there is so much pent-up demand for smaller homes, why aren't we building more of them? In addition to rising material and labor costs, government-imposed zoning and land use regulations oftentimes make building smaller homes prohibitively expensive, if not illegal altogether.


For example, many jurisdictions regulate the minimum lot size per housing unit or maximum floorspace-to-lot-size ratio for new residential development. These regulations are often supported by existing homeowners and residents as a means to "maintain the character" of the neighborhood. In practice, however, such regulations exclude lower-income households who could only afford homes that are smaller than what is allowed.


In other words, it's not that smaller (and thus more affordable) homes are strictly illegal; rather, zoning regulations and building codes in many areas effectively make it difficult or impossible to build smaller homes – and East Tennessee is no exception.


So, yes, there are a lot of empty bedrooms out there.



A Debt-Ceiling Crisis Would Hit the Housing Market Like a Hurricane

Forbes | May 18, 2023

A Problem for the Housing Market: People Won't Quit Their Cheap Mortgages

Washington Post | March 14, 2023

The Home Buyer's Quandary: Nobody's Selling

Wall Street Journal | May 10, 2023

Coastal Cities Priced Out Low-Wage Workers. Now College Graduates Are Leaving, Too.

New York Times | May 13, 2023

5 Reasons Buying a Knoxville Home in 2023 Won't Get Cheaper or Easier

Knox News | May 22, 2023

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Market Pulse is a newsletter providing a rundown of local news and the

latest housing and economic research and analysis in the Knoxville Area.

Posted in Buying a Home
May 30, 2023

17,000 short-term rentals in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

For Immediate Release | Vacation Home Sales Surge | More Buyers See Opportunity in Vacation Homes: Some buyers are calling the vacation-home market the “perfect storm, Questions? Speak with Steve Direct/Text 865-964-9476 REAL ESTATE FOR BUYERS / SELLERS.

Data shows more than 17,000 short-term rentals in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge; 2,000 in Knoxville

Properties that had at least one day booked or available during April 2023 were included in the map, according to AirDNA.

People traveling to East Tennessee likely stayed in the Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge area, according to AirDNA.

The company tracks vacation rentals and analyzes data about occupancy rates, pricing and other kinds of data points. They found that in April 2023, there were just over 2,000 available short-term rental units in Knoxville. The properties included on the map had at least a day booked or available during the month.

In the broader Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area, they found there were almost 17,000 rental units. The company also said more than half of these units were cabins.

Airbnb, a popular short-term rental company, said they believed more people went to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for Memorial Day because of the weather and the number of available summer activities.

"I just can't imagine a better place to be right here, right now, than in East Tennessee. I mean, the weather's perfect. You're up in the mountains, grills everywhere. I mean, it's just explosive popularity," said Ben Breit, a spokesperson for Airbnb.

They expect to see another spike in short-term rentals during football season in East Tennessee.

Posted in Buying a Home
May 26, 2023

ONE+ by Rocket Mortgage® Offers 1% Down Payments!

ONE+ Benefits

Increasing interest rates, housing prices and inflation have made many pause their home search. Not anymore. If you’re in a similar situation, we can help you get into your new home – without a hefty down payment.

We know that the down payment is one of the biggest obstacles home buyers face when they can otherwise afford a mortgage payment. ONE+ allows you to get a mortgage by putting as little as 1% down, combined with a 2% grant from Rocket Mortgage, you start with 3% equity and mortgage insurance is not charged to you.

Who is eligible?

ONE+ by Rocket Mortgage is for eligible first-time home buyers and repeat home buyers who make less than or equal to 80% of the area median income (AMI) of the location they’re buying in, Los Angeles County being $78,320 with credit scores of 620 or better, on single-unit, primary residence only.

It’s only available for purchase loans with a maximum loan amount of $350,000 and can’t be combined with other promotions although temporary rate buydown options are available if they come from the builder or agent.

Are there other low down payment options if I don’t qualify for this program?

There are several other low down payment options that may be available to you depending on your situation. For example, if you need to qualify with a higher income, you can still put as little as 3% down on a conventional loan as a first-time home buyer. If your credit score is 580 or better, you can put 3.5% down for an FHA loan.

If you're thinking of buying want to get connected to one of my preferred lenders w/ Rocket Mortgage, then contact me today! 📲 Ben Dueweke Banker Rocket Mortgage T (313) 546-2193 C (586) 945-6591 F (855) 455-2531 NMLS# 1332763

Posted in Buying a Home
May 22, 2023

2023 Knoxville State of Housing Report

Home price growth is decelerating but remains above the historic average. Home prices in the Knoxville metropolitan area rose 15.9% from the previous year in Q4 2022, according to the FHFA House Price Index (HPI).

• Rent growth remains high, although rent increases have moderated in recent weeks, with rents in the Knoxville metropolitan area up 14.06% from the previous year in Q4 2022 – outpacing the rent growth of 6.60% nationally during the same period.

• After a record-breaking year in 2021, home sales declined 9% year-over-year in 2022. The deceleration in home sales will likely continue this year, with home sales forecasted to decline between 10% and 12% in 2023.

• Despite the expected decline in home sales due to deteriorating affordability conditions, a lack of inventory continues to place upward pressure on prices, with home prices forecasted to increase between 3% and 5% in 2023.

• Knoxville’s rental market is poised to experience moderate growth in 2023, with rents forecasted to grow around 4% next year. • After reaching an all-time high of 98.86% in Q4 2021, the rental occupancy rate is forecasted to decline to an average of 96.5% in 2023.

CLICK HERE to Read the Complete Report

Posted in Buying a Home
May 20, 2023

5 Unwritten Etiquette Rules Home Buyers Might Not Even Realize Are a Big deal 5 Unwritten Etiquette Rules Home Buyers Might Not Even Realize Are a Big deal If you're looking to buy a home, you're probably eager and excited. That's fine, but just keep in mind that in this heightened emotional state, it's easy to get swept up in the moment and behave, well, not perfectly.
This can lead to trouble since, just like anything else, buying a home comes with its own set of rules. Some may be fairly obvious since they're outlined in all that real estate paperwork you'll soon be signing. But some of these rules are the unwritten, etiquette-based kind. And if you break 'em, it could still stop a real estate deal in its tracks.
Worried you might not be aware of all the things you might do that could inadvertently rub home sellers or real estate agents the wrong way? Then heed these five etiquette rules that many homebuyers might all too easily overlook.
Rule 1: See a house online you love? Don't call the listing agent.
You're not going to get a better deal by going directly to the listing agent, they represent the seller and are just trying to get the seller the best price.
As buyers agents, provides buyers with the most accurate, up-to-date data on homes in their area, access to Zillow, Homes, Amazon, Nextdoor, Trulia and Realtors alongside MLS Listed Homes.
Rule 2: Don't ask your agent to show you homes until you sign a buyer-broker agreement.
A buyer-broker agreement is a contract that defines the relationship between the buyer (that's you) and your real estate agent. The agreement is good for both parties since it outlines exactly what services the broker is going to provide.  Remember that buyer's agents are only paid if they close a deal—they aren't paid for their time. 
Rule 3: Don't make an offer without mortgage pre-approval
A mortgage pre-approval is a letter from a lender saying it will provide you with financing to buy a home up to a certain loan amount. It makes everyone's lives easier since it provides proof of how much home you can afford to buyers and agents—and that you can put your money where your mouth is with an offer. Without it, your offer is an empty promise.
Rule 4: Don't be late to home showings—or bail entirely
If you have an appointment with your agent to view a home, treat it like a priority. If you're going to be late or can't make it, call your agent and let him know.
Rule 5: Don't pretend you're ready to buy if you know you're really not
This one might sound like a no-brainer, but it's such a big part of real estate etiquette it's worth driving home: Don't pretend that you're ready to buy if you aren't.

Your Preferred Realtors® of Choice 2022  Michael Allen 865-803-3558 Direct/Text  Broker/ REALTOR  …. Steve Albin 865-964-9476 Direct/Text REALTOR/Broker

New Listings Today and Every Day updated every 15 minutes


Posted in Buying a Home
May 16, 2023

Mortgage questions that buyers ask us

Obtaining a mortgage is a complex process that can be challenging for even the most sophisticated buyer.

 Here are some answers to mortgage questions that buyers ask us.

 A residential mortgage is a long-term loan (usually 15 or 30 years in length) provided by a bank, credit union, or other financial institution secured by the property the buyer is purchasing. If the buyer defaults (fails to make payments in a timely fashion), the lender may start foreclosure proceedings to force payment of the debt through the sale of the property.

 What are the most common types of mortgages?

There are wide variety of loans available to borrowers. Here’s a list you can share with your buyers:


Government-backed loans

These include Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veteran’s Affairs loans (VA), and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans. Government backed loans offer various types of down payments, interest rates, repayment terms, and eligibility standards. 


Fixed-rate mortgages

Fixed-rate purchase mortgages are typically 15 or 30 years in length and the interest rate is locked for the entire term of the loan.


Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs):

The rate on ARMs fluctuates based upon changes in the index to which the ARM is based. According to

 ARMs have variable interest rates which float up or down with the fed funds rate. This means if the fed funds rate goes up by a quarter of a percentage point, your ARM rate will increase as well at the next reset. However, there are caps on the amount of interest you’re on the hook for. There are three types of rate caps:

Initial adjustment cap: This is the maximum interest rate on an ARM, if the rate rises, after the fixed-rate period ends. Usually, 5 percentage points is the maximum amount.

Subsequent adjustment cap: This is the maximum rate after the initial adjustment.

Lifetime adjustment cap: This is the maximum interest rate you can be charged over the entire span of the loan.


Home Equity Loans (HELOCs)

A HELOC is a line of credit borrowed against the homeowner’s equity in their home. Their home equity is the difference between the appraised value of their home and their current mortgage balance. 


Interest only loans

In an interest only loan, none of the principal is paid down. Consequently, most interest only loans either require a balloon payment where the entire principal must be repaid at the end of the loan, or the loan shifts to being fully amortized after a period of being interest only.


Jumbo loans

According to Bank of America: 

A loan is considered jumbo if the amount of the mortgage exceeds loan-servicing limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — currently $726,200 for a single-family home in all states (except Hawaii and Alaska and a few federally designated high-cost markets, where the limit is $1,089,300).

 Jumbo mortgages are available for primary residences, second or vacation homes and investment properties, and are also available in a variety of terms, including fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loans. A jumbo loan will typically have a higher interest rate, stricter underwriting rules, and require a larger down payment than a standard mortgage.


What are the interest rates for home mortgages?

Interest rates vary due to a wide variety of factors including the type of mortgage, the length (term) of the loan, the borrower’s credit score, as well as market conditions including the indices to which the various types of loans are based.

 What are the closing costs and fees associated with getting a mortgage?

Closing costs are the fees and expenses associated with finalizing a mortgage, including loan origination fees, appraisals, fees, title insurance, and escrow fees. They vary based upon the type of loan and the lender. As a rule of thumb, three percent of the loan amount is often a good estimate of the amount of closing costs.

 Closing costs are usually in addition to the down payment amount, although in certain situations, they may be rolled into the loan amount.

 Unlike rent, the buyer’s mortgage payment is paid at the end of the month rather than at the beginning. (For example, the payment made on July 1st is for the month of June.)

 What is the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval for a mortgage? 

According to the CFPB, the pre-qualification letter is:


A document from a lender stating that the lender is tentatively willing to lend the borrower up to a certain amount. This document is based upon a certain assumptions and is not a guaranteed loan offer.


Rather than settling for a pre-qualification letter, buyers should always obtain pre-approval if possible. According to Bank of America:


Preapproval is as close as you can get to confirming your creditworthiness without having a purchase contract in place. You will complete a mortgage application and the lender will verify the information you provide. They’ll also perform a credit check. If you’re preapproved, you’ll receive a preapproval letter, which is an offer (but not a commitment) to lend you a specific amount, good for 90 days.


Pre-approval is a more in-depth process and provides buyers with a substantial advantage, especially if they find themselves in a multiple-offer situation.

 What are the documents I need to get a mortgage? 

The documents required for completing a mortgage application typically include proof of income (W-2 statements, tax returns, and pay stubs), credit history including current credit card balances and monthly payments, employment verification, recent bank statements, and identification (which typically includes the borrower’s residences for the last 10 years). Additional documents may be required depending on the buyer’s financial situation and the type of mortgage.

 How does the mortgage application process work? 

The mortgage application process consists of several steps: pre-qualification, pre-approval, loan application submission, underwriting, appraisal, title search, and closing. Each step involves the collection and verification of various documents and information, culminating in the final loan approval and property purchase.


The process can take as little as 30 days (and sometimes less) although 45-60 days is the most common. If there is a problem with the appraisal, a lien on the property, a title problem, or a different issue, loan approval can take much longer.


Ideally, buyers should be pre-approved for a loan prior to writing an offer on any property.

 What happens after I get approved for a mortgage? 

After being approved for a mortgage, you'll receive a loan commitment letter outlining the terms and conditions of the loan. You'll then proceed to the closing process, which involves signing the loan documents, transferring funds, and ultimately acquiring the property title.


Posted in Buying a Home