The Truth About These Common Homebuying Myths

Buying a home can seem like a daunting process. With the wide variety of information readily available on the internet it is easy to be left wondering what is true and what is not. Let’s take a look at a few of the prevailing myths about purchasing a home that may be holding you back from taking the first steps towards owning a home.

Myth 1: Owning a home is more expensive than renting. Mortgage rates are at all time lows making home ownership more affordable than ever before while rental prices are on the rise. It is true that owning your own home will mean that you are responsible for repairs but in exchange for that you gain the freedom to make your own choices about your living space.

Myth 2: You have to have perfect credit to buy a home. It is correct that the higher your credit score the more options you will have in choosing a mortgage. However, having a score in the lower ranges does not mean it is impossible to obtain a loan. If you are thinking of a purchase talking with a lender will help you to navigate your credit report and verify the loan options that are available to you.

Myth 3: You must have a 20% down payment. Sure, having a large down payment will lower your payments but is not always necessary. Many loan programs are available that will allow as little as a 3.5% or in some cases no down payment. We recommend talking with your lender about options such as an FHA or Rural Development loan.

Myth 4: Getting a mortgage is too complicated. Although lending guidelines have gotten tighter than they used to be, with the help of your lender and your real estate agent navigating the process is made much easier. There are some hoops to jump through and it may seem that your lender is asking for an endless supply of documentation but your agent and lender will assist you in making sense of it all and getting you to a successful closing on your home.

Myth 5: Foreclosures need a lot of work. Though some foreclosed homes are left in a state of disrepair this is certainly not the rule. Your agent will assist you with obtaining home inspections to determine the true condition of the property. In many cases you will find that like other homes a foreclosure just needs a little TLC. If the inspection reveals major items that need repaired your agent will be looking out for your best interests and help you negotiate through the inspection results.

Myth 6: Buying a foreclosure will get me a huge discount. Yes, the banks are looking to thin their inventory but they are also trying to protect their interests as well. Though some foreclosed properties are offered at lower than market value prices this is not always the case. The bank obtains a market analysis of the property and sometimes a full appraisal prior to listing it on the market and price it accordingly to see what the market will bear. In most cases the bank would prefer to lower the price in small increments until they obtain a reasonable offer rather than accept a cut rate offer.

Myth 7: The perfect home is out there if I just keep looking. Homes are a lot like people, none are perfect in every way but when we love them we accept the flaws. When you step into the house that is right for you for the first time you will know it. Prior to viewing homes make a list of the things that are most important to you in a home and of what things would be a deal breaker. Once you have an accepted offer we encourage you to have a home inspection which will reveal if any of your deal breaker items exist or if there are simple maintenance items that you are willing to address so that you do not lose the opportunity of owning the home that was meant for you.

The goal of our team is to make your home buying process as easy and stress free as possible. Armed with a great agent and accurate advice you will find the home that is right for you and be at the closing table before you know it. Take some time at to see the wide variety of homes that are available and when you are ready to take the next step we are available to assist with every aspect of the process.

Here Are A Few Of My Featured Listings:

View City Lights Against The Mountains Absolutely amazing views of downtown Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Incredible close up night lights view, you can actually see people on the sidewalks with a dramatic mountain backdrop. Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $359,900 Get more information >

 

180 Degree Mountain & City Light Views $14,300 rental income in 2010 with 2011 already ahead at $14,500 through October. Very private ridgetop retreat w/ wraparound covered deck that has amazing 180 degree views of the mountains & city lights. Type: Single Family Home Location: Price: $189,900 Get more information >

 

Mount Leconte Views Beautiful mountain home with view, wrap around decks, updates throughout including kitchen, new appliances, quartz counter tops and glass tile back splash. Great for permanent residence or rental. Type: Single Family Home Location: Chalet Village Price: $239,900 Get more information >

 

Owning A Home And The American Dream

National Association of REALTORS President, Moe Veissi, said “Homeownership is an investment in our future, but it’s also a gateway to our past. The homes of our country’s founders offer insights into their characters and values and reflect the spirits of their owners, just as our homes do for us today”.  As the Fourth of July steadily approaches we turn our thoughts to fireworks, parades and other traditions that are carried out each year in celebration of Independence Day. Today we would like to reflect on how homeownership has played a part in the history of our nation and the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

The American Dream is a set of ideals which allows everyone the opportunity for prosperity and success according to their abilities and hard work. From early settlements in America forward to today, owning a home has been seen as a building block in achieving the height of these ideals. Certainly owning your own home creates freedom and independence simply by having a place to call your own. Along with pride of ownership you gain the freedom to choose the elements that go in to making your house a home. Economic changes have delayed this dream for many but surveys show most Americans still wish to own their own home. In a recent National Housing Survey from Fannie Mae we see that Americans still view owning a home as a positive thing. 64% of those surveyed said that if they were going to move they would be more likely to rent rather than buy. Why? Although modern day America is much different than it was in the 1800’s our ideals have remained fairly constant. A large number of those surveyed cited control over what you do with your living space, freedom to choose a community where people share your values and motivation to become a better citizen as top reasons they aspire to owning their own home.

Owning a home has numerous benefits not only to the owner but to the entire nation. Many have quoted Abraham Lincoln as saying, “The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people”. This simple truth is still valid today. Owning a home provides security and stability as well as enhances communities. It encourages participation in schools, government and community because owners have a vested interest in improving their homes and neighborhoods. All of these things work to strengthen the social fabric of the nation. The overall value to the nation’s economy from increased homeownership is priceless.

The dream of homeownership has not changed in America. With the low interest rates that are currently available housing affordability is at an all time high making the American Dream obtainable for more and more citizens. We wish everyone a happy Fourth of July and as you are celebrating our nation’s independence we hope that you will take a moment to consider how much owning your own home could add to your own pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. There are numerous available and we are here to help through every step of your journey towards being a homeowner.

Here Are A Few Of My Featured Listings:

Custom Home On Douglas Lake Custom built home on a lake front peninsula surround by water on three sides with expansive views. Type: Single Family Home Location: Douglas Lake Price: $975,000 Get more information >

 

A Taste Of Appalachia Consistently produced $21,000 in rental income over the last few years. A log home with true Appalachian feel. Take a look and fall in love. Type: Single Family Home Location: Chalet Village Price: $149,900 Get more information >

 

Close To Downtown Well over $30k rental income in both 2010 & 2011! Well built cabin in excellent condition within the city limits of Gatlinburg. Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $289,900 Get more information >

 

You’re Pre-Approved To Purchase A Home:What Happens Next?

In a previous we went in-depth about pre-approval, what it is, how to get it and why it is a very important first step to buying a home. So you have gathered your financial documents, talked with a and have your pre-approval in hand, now what? Let’s talk a little bit about a few things you can do to prepare further for your home purchase and a few things you can expect along the way.

We believe that with a large amount of inventory to choose from in the Smoky Mountain region it is important for you to start by making a list of your needs/wants in your future home. This list should include number of bedrooms, location, type of view and any other items that are important to you. Will the home be a second home or investment? If so will you be using it as a vacation rental? This will play a factor when your agent is helping you to locate a home and needs to help you analyze rental income history of prospective property.

Once you have narrowed down your criteria let us know the most important characteristics your future home needs to have. This will assist us in setting you up to automatically receive listings that may be of interest, letting you know as soon as we come across a home that may fit the bill and also in preparing for your first meeting to view homes.

When the time is right we will make an appointment to view property. You will want to bring along the list you have created as well as a notepad or electronic device to use for jotting down notes about homes you see. This will come in handy at the end of the day when houses seem to be blending together. You will know when you step in to the perfect home. When this happens be prepared to write an offer. The Smoky Mountain market is moving pretty steadily with a large number of buyers in the market. Remember, if you are rating a house at an 8, 9 or 10 someone else probably will too. This is where your pre-approval letter comes in to play because:

*Being pre-approved may expedite the acceptance of your offer to purchase. Many sellers will not respond to an offer to purchase without a pre-approval letter. In the meantime, they can continue to consider other offers.  

 *You will be in a much better negotiating position with a pre-approval in hand especially in the case of multiple offers on the same property.

Once you have identified that perfect Smoky Mountain home and are ready to make an offer we will assist you in preparing the offer by providing current market data to detail what the pricing trend for similar homes is indicating, thoroughly going through the required documents for your offer then preparing it and presenting it to the seller’s agent to begin your negotiations.

With a little bit of preparation and the guidance of our dedicated real estate team the journey from pre-approval to accepted offer will be much easier to navigate. As you are working on your list take a look at our and get a feel for all that the Great Smoky Mountains have to offer.

Here are a few of my featured properties:

Wears Valley Dream Come True You’ll notice the unusually high quality construction from the moment you pull in the driveway. Type: Single Family Home Location: Pigeon Forge Price: $597,000 Get more information >

 

Unbelievable Price On A Mountain Home Opportunity knocks with this can’t be beat price on a Smoky Mountain home. Just minutes from Ober Gatlinburg & tucked away on a wooded lot with level parking. Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $129,900 Get more information >

 

Pigeon River Right Outside Your Door! This remodeled riverfront home is a sure to please. With the calming sounds of the Pigeon River right outside your door this completely remodeled home complete with sauna and hot tub are sure to take the stress away! Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee Price: $289,900 Get more information >

 

Are you a First Time Buyer Looking at a Gatlinburg Home for Sale?

Gatlinburg City Night Lights

Gatlinburg homes, like others across the nation, offer challenges to a first time home buyer.  Today’s blog explores five mistakes that novice home buyers commonly make. The source for our material came from the National Association of Realtors.  As the key trade association for real estate in the U.S., much research is conducted to advise our membership.  This material helps agents assist buyers and sellers in the potentially complex transactions of real estate exchange.  

Mistake number one is the novice buyer fails to ask enough questions of their lender.  This can lead to missing a great deal on a home.  Especially in our current home market, getting pre-qualified is crucial.  Today there is a fast pace driven by foreclosures and short sales.  Knowing what amount and whether you qualify in this tighter credit market is key.  First-time mistake number two is failing to make a quick decision.  This allows someone else to buy your house.  As previously noted, speed is the quintessential element in discount priced property.  Mistake number three is not finding the right agent.  New buyers need a representative who is patient and relates well to them.  Home buying is a huge commitment and it is critical to have a trustworthy ally on your side.  This takes much of the first time stress and fear out of the process.  The fourth common mistake is first time buyers do not make their offer look appealing to a seller.  The best deals offer a win/win for both parties.  There are often extra items that can sweeten a deal for the seller.  Often something like more time or flexibility on some aspect of the negotiation would not cost the buyer, but it could seal the deal.  The last of the five common mistakes is failing to think about resale before purchasing a home.  The U.S. average is four years living in a first time home purchase.  What might be a deal today, could become tomorrow’s nightmare, if the new home is not easily resold.  Nobody wants to tie up their capital in a home that is not easy to resell.  

Avoiding these five mistakes are important even for experienced home buyers.  The Jason White Team gears our website, and the experience of our people to help our buyers avoid these 5 potentially expensive mistakes.  We encourage buyers to work with lenders in advance.  With pre-approval you can act with confidence when a deal appears.  Also, setting up your personal search criteria on our website, allows you to focus on only those properties that match what you want. We can also send you listings daily or weekly that match your needs.  Contact us online or by phone 877-678-2121 and begin today. 

Here are a Few of My Latest and Current Listings: 

Foreclosure/ Furnished!
Foreclosure with ample parking. This property is generating a strong rental income in 2009 of $46,503! Massive open floor plan with cathedral ceilings. Features include movie projector,bar w/fridge,hardwood floors,gourmet kitchen and much more.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $329,900
Get more information >
Premier View of Smoky Mountains!
Condo with sought after mountain views and 3 bedroom plan. Indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs and saunas and really close to the Great Smoky Mountain Nat’l Park and ski resort.
Type: Condo
Location: Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Price: $109,900
Get more information >
Updated with Private Bedroom Suites!
Want a great investment property? Then this is it! Already on a rental program and has a great rental history. Recently updated, offers private bedroom suites, and has a sky walk to balcony and mountain views.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Chalet Village
Price: $249,900
Get more information >

Real Estate Outlook: Warning of Slow Down?

Smoky Mountain CabinThough some economic analysts are warning that the housing market’s rebound will slow down as the weather turns colder, this week’s numbers show no hints of that. In fact, they’re actually pretty warm.

Start with house prices. The Clear Capital Home Data Index, which tracks price movements in thousands of neighborhoods and ZIP codes across the country, reported a 6.3 percent gain for the period covering August 27th through September 25th.

The latest index found prices up for the first time since 2006 in two of the hardest-hit real estate markets – Riverside-San Bernadino, California, and Orlando, Florida. Though the gains weren’t big – just 1.2 percent in Orlando, and half a percentage point in Riverside- San Bernadino – just the fact that they’re finally bottoming out has got to be good news for property owners and sellers there. Baltimore also saw its first positive price change in seven quarters on the Clear Capital Index, while other major markets continued their multi-quarter strings of gains.

Dallas-Ft. Worth, for example, saw prices rise by an average 2.3 percent. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale was up 3.4 percent, Houston 3.1 percent and even New York, which has had a tough time recently in Manhattan, posted a 1.6 percent jump. Meanwhile, the mortgage market continued to provide plenty of financing fuel for home buyers looking to use the $8,000 tax credit before it possibly disappears at the end of November.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says average thirty year rates dropped again last week in its national survey — hitting 4.89 percent — the lowest they’ve been since May. Fifteen year fixed rates decreased to just 4.3 percent, which is the lowest ever recorded in the mortgage association’s survey history. Not surprisingly, record low rates are pulling in massive numbers of new loan applications. Overall applications were up by 16 percent last week. Loans to people planning to buy homes jumped by 13 percent, while refinancing applications soared by 18 percent.

And here’s a truly amazing statistic: New mortgage applications to buy houses using FHA loans were 52 percent higher last week than they were a year ago! With mortgages flying out of banks with interest rates in the mid -to -upper four percent range, you don’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about a slowdown in the real estate rebound. Unless, of course, Congress doesn’t extend the $8,000 tax credit into next year. 
Feel free to contact the professionals at the Jason White Team for an in depth look at the Gatlinburg real estate.

                    Here are a couple of Jason’s Latest Listings!!    

 

 

 

 

Cozy Condo w/ Balcony Overlooking Stream
This conveniently located condo is only 1.5m from downtown Gatlinburg’s shopping and dining. Even has a woodburning fireplace and balcony to enjoy the beautiful mountain stream.
Type: Condo
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $86,900
Get more information >
This Spacious Home Has Lots to Offer!!
This spacious home has a wrap around deck with hot tub and covered front porch to enjoy the beauty of nature. Homeowner has included the vacant lot next door in the price and if you finish off the basement it would add 948 sq ft to this property.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $185,000
Get more information >

Things to Know Before You Buy Your First Home

I ve got the key
Take your time and know what you are doing before buying your first home

It is a great time to buy a first home.  Not only are home values down and mortgage rates at historic lows but the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit will give you 10% of your home’s value (up to $8,000) at closing.  These three items can add up to significant savings for the first time home buyer, making it an ideal time to start looking at real estate.  However, there are important things to keep in mind before buying your first home to make sure this important decision is the right one for you and your wallet.

  • Get Information.  Most communities offer free seminars for first time home buyers.  There are also non-profits that offer helpful advice and information.  Visit www.HUD.gov for helpful tips and a list of agencies near you that have free information available.
  • Know What You Can Afford.  Analyze your monthly budget.  A good rule of thumb is that your mortgage should be 28% of your expenses or less to be successful financially.  Remember to factor in home owners insurance and property taxes into this scenario.
  • Talk to a Lender. Start talking with a bank or mortgage lender and get the ball rolling.  The process of being approved by a lender is a longer process these days and you want to make sure that you get approved before the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit expires on November 30.
  • Find a Real Estate Professional.  Finding the right real estate agent to work with can make your deal run that much more smoothly.  A good real estate agent will help find you a home that works for you, not against you.  A good real estate professional can also help you find a good lender if you have had a hard time during that step.
  • Know What You Are Committing to. During a real estate deal you are signing a lot of papers.  Know what you are signing.  If your real estate agent is having a hard time explaining things to you you might want to take the extra step and get a real estate lawyer to review your documents.

When it comes to buying your first home you want to make sure your are buying something you can afford, something located in a neighborhood you want to live in and, most of all, a place that you want to call home.  Take all of the information and advice you can get, filter and decipher it and make the best decision for you.  Please feel free to call me, Jason White, at the Jason White Team or my staff for more information on purchasing your first home. Our expertise and knowledge of the local area will certainly help in finding just the right home for you here in the Smoky Mountains.

Unique-Time Sensitive, Opportunity in Real Estate Available Now

 

The Real Estate Opportunity we are speaking about is the 2009 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit which provides an $8000 tax credit for first time home buyers purchasing a principal residence from Jan 1, 2009 thru Dec 1, 2009.  This tax credit is potentially a great invitation to buy a home, and with about six months left it is generating activity in home buying across the country according to Realtor.org

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There is some flexibility in this plan and some are taking the credit up front to use for larger down payments, lower mortgaged amounts, etc.  It is certainly worth talking to your financial advisors to see if you qualify and be sure to check out the knowledgeable people at the Jason White Team for a wide range of possibilities that could fit the tax credit or could fill your other real estate needs.