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BUYING | 8 Posts
Buying a Condo | 2 Posts
Buying a House | 31 Posts
Chattanooga TN | 107 Posts
Homeowner Tips | 24 Posts
LeadingRE | 1 Posts
Luxury Homes | 1 Posts
Moving Tips | 4 Posts
Ooltewah TN | 1 Posts
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Selling a House | 19 Posts
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Chattanooga Real Estate 2021

As we move closer to the New Year, many homeowners and aspiring homeowners wonder what exactly 2021 has in store. No one could have predicted that 2020's pandemic would have such a dramatic, long-lasting impact on nearly every person, place, and industry around the world. One of the industries that has been surprisingly resilient in much of the United States is the real estate industry.

Real Estate in 2021: What to Expect

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Retire in Chattanooga

Fantastic food, live music, endless outdoor attractions, an affordable lifestyle, and close, tight-knit neighborhoods... what more could you ask for? If you've been searching for the perfect place to retire, then Chattanooga is more than worth your time. The city has seen extensive growth in recent years without losing its welcoming, small-town atmosphere and has plenty to offer for retirees of every interest. Our real estate agents are here to help you get to know Chattanooga, starting with 5 reasons why the city is a great place to retire.

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Home Inspection

No matter how carefully you examine a home during an open house or private viewing, there will be aspects of a home that a professional home inspector will be needed to identify. While a home inspection isn't always mandatory, getting a home professionally inspected will help you determine whether the house you have your eye on is truly ready for you to move in. 

Home inspectors must be licensed in Tennessee and in many other states. It takes specialized training to identify various home building materials, learn current building codes, and spot specific signs of damage or deterioration. Our real estate agents want you to know what to expect when home inspectors are looking at Chattanooga homes for sale

A Look Around 

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Before House Hunting

House hunting is an exciting but stressful exercise. You're looking for a home you'll fall in love with, but also one that comes closest to your needs, in terms of location, size, and cost. Along with the excitement come concerns about going over budget and other pitfalls. 

As you search for Chattanooga homes for sale, you need a strategy. To get you started, here are several things you should do before you get serious about house hunting.

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Competitive Market

Based on data from the National Association of REALTORS®, existing-home sales bounced back at a record pace in June, showing positive signs for a recovery from the pandemic-influenced downturn. If you are looking to buy right now, chances are you'll be met with some competition. Luckily, there are several ways you can make your offer a stand out. Beat the competition with these tips for making a winning offer on Chattanooga homes for sale

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Flipping in Tennessee

Flipping a home isn't just profitable but fun and exciting. Our real estate agents here at Fletcher Bright Realty know many of the best Chattanooga homes for sale that might be attractive to investors. Beautiful homes of many different architectural styles can be found right here in Chattanooga.

House flippers of all experience levels have a reason to rejoice: Tennessee has been named a Flip Friendly State for 2020 according to a recent Bigger Pockets article.

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Dream Home

You've done your homework. You've been pre-approved. Now, you want to be one of this year's 5 million homebuyers. Finding your dream home takes patience, research, and a little luck. Whether you buy the first or 50th home you view, use the list below crafted by our REALTORS® to help determine that the search is over, and you've found the home of your dreams.

  1. The House Matches Your Checklist
    Before starting your search, you probably made a personal checklist of your dream home. Depending on your lifestyle, the list may include the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen area, home office, and backyard space. The house matches everything (or almost everything) that is on your list.
  2. An Instant Feeling of Home
    After viewing numerous houses, you realize this is the only one that embraces the feeling of being home. Using your intuition is essential in finding the right home for you. Do you get the overall sense you are home? Then, the house is the one for you. 
  3. Fits Your Budget
    Remember to stay within your budget! No matter the number of other listings in your budget, you keep returning to one particular home that stands out. 
  4. Right Location
    The location of the house is perfect for you. When looking at homes, the community is always a priority. The house matches your needs for commutes, public transportation, or neighborhood activities.
  5. You Are Already Decorating Inside and Out
    Before placing an offer, you are already decorating the home. The empty walls are calling for new paint and customized décor. Each room comes alive in your mind with the arrangement of furniture and other details. Starting with the interior design to the outdoor landscape, you can view the home's entire appearance.
  6. You Find the Minor Flaws Endearing
    Is the second bathroom smaller than you wanted? Or does the kitchen need upgrading? Every house on the market will have its own set of minor flaws. If you are willing to overlook the little imperfections and instead are thinking of opportunities for improvement, the home is a match. 
  7. You Share Your Excitement for the House
    The excitement you have cannot be contained! You immediately begin sharing all the amenities of the home with your family and friends.
  8. You Cannot Wait to Entertain
    When you stand in the middle of the house, you immediately envision future events. You can easily see birthday parties, holidays, or family gatherings in the home. The idea of bringing friends and family into this particular house is a good sign.
  9. You No Longer Want to Look at Other Houses
    When the desire to look at other houses is gone, it's a pretty good sign the search is over!

The ongoing search for your dream home can be both exciting and frustrating. Need some help with your search? Our team can tell you more about Chattanooga homes for sale! Contact us today.  


Moving with Pets

Moving is a stressful experience, and it's even more so when you have pets. You have the added responsibility of looking out for their well-being, managing their anxiety, and making sure they settle happily into their new home.

Our REALTORS® suggest the following 7 tips for moving with pets:

  1. Check Rules and Regulations for Your New Home
    Counties, cities, and states have rules and regulations that govern pet ownership. You'll need to bring documentation showing that your pet has been vaccinated and check to see whether your pet needs to be licensed in your new home. You'll also need to know about any other applicable laws, such as leash laws, that will apply to your pet.

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Buying a Home During Retirement

You've put in years of hard work, and now it's time to relax and make the most of your retirement years. Sometimes that means purchasing a new home. Whether you want to downsize or relocate to a warmer climate, there are many things retirees need to consider when purchasing a home in retirement. The following are seven tips our REALTORS® recommend you use as a guideline before making your decision.

  1. Consider Your Costs
    Property taxes, sales taxes, utility bills, HOA dues, maintenance, and general upkeep can amount to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per month. Take these expenses into account and discuss them with your accountant when calculating how much home you can afford.
  2. Look Closely at the Layout
    Most retirees prefer a single-story house or condo when they retire. These are easier to clean and maintain. When choosing a home, you will want to choose one that fits the lifestyle you anticipate and isn't too large or too small for your needs.

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Veteran Loan 2020

Our REALTORS® have worked with many clients who make use of VA loans to buy their first home. The VA home loan, available to most service members, reservists, and National Guard members, can be genuinely life-changing.

In 2020, benefits associated with the loan will get even better.

If you are looking at Chattanooga homes for sale – or even just considering whether it's time to buy – it's important to know about these pending changes. Many of them can make it easier to get the home you want.

Two crucial adjustments are coming as of January 1, 2020.

VA Loan Limits Will Be Eliminated – For Good

As part of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, signed into law in June, VA loan limits will be removed for all qualified loan applications in 2020 and beyond.

Loan limits specify the highest sum the Department of Veterans Affairs can guarantee with zero down payment. Naturally, the lack of down payment is one of the most attractive aspects of the VA home loan. It can save loan recipients thousands of dollars.

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Closing Costs Guide

Closing costs are inevitable when you purchase Chattanooga homes for sale. It is essential to include these in your accounting when choosing your home. Knowing what these fees are, and how much they will cost, will protect you from "sticker shock" during the closing process. When closing on a home, be aware of these potential closing costs you may run into. 

  • Origination Fees & Points
    As a general rule, you can expect all of your closing costs to run between 2% to 4% of the total purchase price. The final amount is heavily dependent on the origination fees and points assessed by the lender. The law requires lenders to provide a loan estimate to buyers that provides a full accounting of application/origination fees, and points.

    Points are fees paid to the lender at closing to secure a lower interest rate. This can be a wise investment that can save you significant money over the years. 
  • Title Fees
    Roughly 70% of your closing costs will be related to title fees. These fees cover the cost of conducting a title search, securing title insurance, and settlement services.  

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Buying a home in Chattanooga

According to the National Association of Realtors, one-third of all homes sold in 2018 were purchased by first-time buyers.

How do you know when to make the transition from renter to the owner? If the following signs apply to you, it's time to start looking at Chattanooga homes for sale

  1. Is Your Rent Going Up ... and Up ... and Up?
    Only four states have rent control provisions, which means most renters are subject to periodic increases. Last year, apartment rents in the South went up an average of five percent. Timing and amounts of rent increases can vary, making it difficult to budget and save.

  2. Do You Have a Healthy Savings Account?
    For many people, down payment and closing costs are the biggest barriers to buying a home. While the traditional 20 percent down payment means no additional fees such as private mortgage insurance, FHA loans can be secured with as little as 3.5 percent down. In the meantime, you're building equity, and you can eventually refinance.

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Mortgage Interest Rates
You negotiated a good deal on your dream home with the beautiful kitchen, and you are approved for a mortgage. Now, all that's left is to sign the paperwork. All those pages you are signing detail what you will pay for the house you are making a home. One specific number to pay attention to is the interest rate, which of course, adds to the final amount you pay back.

So how is the interest rate calculated for people buying Chattanooga homes for sale? Here is a quick primer:

  1. Debt to income ratio
    This number shows lenders how much income you have to the amount of debt you are responsible for paying back. If you have a lot of debt payments already, you might find it difficult to pay a larger mortgage. One of the best things you can do before buying a house is pay down as much debt as possible. Not only will this let you get a better interest rate, but it will also give you breathing room as you begin homeownership.

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5C's of Credit
The process of buying a home starts long before you start looking at listings. It starts when you begin building credit. The ways you spend money and the debts you carry will have a significant impact on your credit. Our REALTORS® are here to help you understand the "Five C's" of credit and what lenders are looking for when you're buying a home.

  1. Character Counts
    Lenders will examine your credit report to determine your credit risk. They will look at how long you have worked for an employer and how long you have lived at the same address. Lenders want to see stability and consistency as these are the foundations of good character.

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Understanding the Mortgage Process
If you are ready to become a first-time homeowner and are itching to get started shopping Chattanooga homes for sale, it is time to learn a few things about how to get the mortgage you need for your purchase. The mortgage process can often be the most complicated part of buying a home, but being well-prepared to tackle it can make things easier and less stressful. Here are some key points to understand the mortgage process:

Preparing Before You Apply is Essential

Having all your ducks in a row before beginning the mortgage process can help ensure that you can make the process work to your best advantage. Here are some important steps to take to get ready to apply for a mortgage:

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Hunter Museum - Museums Boost Real Estate
Whether you're buying or selling a home, the neighborhood where that home is located should always be one of the most important considerations. A strong school district, attractions, parks, shopping, and employment options nearby can all make a neighborhood a more desirable place to call home. When a neighborhood becomes more attractive to a wide range of potential residents, real estate values in the area tend to go up. Museums, in particular, can help add significant value to nearby properties, and the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga is a great example of the concept in action. Our REALTORS® have more on how museums add value to neighborhoods, and what you can expect at Chattanooga's Hunter Museum.

How Popular Museums Bring Added Value to Nearby Real Estate

When the world-famous Guggenheim Museum opened in Bilbao, Spain in 1997, the city was well-known, but not yet an iconic international destination for the arts. The museum quickly changed that, turning Bilbao into one of the hottest arts and culture destinations in the world, which lead to a massive increase in real estate values. This effect can be seen to varying extents whenever a popular museum opens, proving that museums can add value to a neighborhood in a variety of different ways.

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