Good Reasons to Buy During the Holidays

Did you know that the holidays are among the best times of the year to buy a home? Put a giftwrapped set of housekeys under your Christmas tree and ring in the new year with a new abode you’ll love. Here are a few reasons why now is the time. Home prices aren’t going down. […]

Super Sleuth Your Next Home

You’re ready to make an offer on a home. You’ve got the seller’s disclosure of material (physical and environmental) defects, but is that all the information you need to move forward? Before you sign your purchase offer, do a little quick research. Get a loss history report. The Insurance Information Institute advises homebuyers to obtain a loss history […]

Buying a Condo Just Got Easier

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently revised its condominium loan policies to allow consumers greater access to mortgage loans that are federally guaranteed through the Federal Housing Administration(FHA). After Oct. 15, 2019, as many as 60,000 additional condo units will meet FHA-certification, making them eligible for buyers to purchase with an FHA loan. The new guidelines […]

Buying a Historically Significant Home

From the historic homes of North Carolina, to the Victorian-Edwardian “Painted Ladies” of San Francisco, CA, to the Gilded Age homes of Swiss Avenue in Dallas, TX, historically designated homes are beautiful and charming, but you should consider a few things before you buy one. Historically designated homes are overseen by city preservation associations and/or homeowner’s […]

Fun Math Rules for Homeownership

There are some easy ways to remember how to handle your money so that you can become a homeowner, prosper as a homeowner, and ultimately, sell your home at a profit. The 50/20/30 rule. Your spending can be divided into three categories – Needs, Wants, and Savings. Allocate 50% of your after-tax income for needs […]

Appraisals Can Protect Buyers & Sellers

Seeing something with one’s own eyes is the best way to make an evaluation. That’s the purpose of bank appraisals, which are designed to protect banks from over lending, homebuyers from overborrowing, and home sellers from overpricing their homes. Once the purchase offer is accepted by the seller, the homebuyer’s lender orders an appraisal of […]

Recourse & Nonrecourse Mortgage Loans

Recourse or non-recourse loans are a topic that may never come up while you’re applying for your mortgage, but it’s nonetheless important to know what they are. They’re not a type of loan like fixed rate or adjustable rate, nor are they conventional or government-guaranteed loans like FHA and VA loans. Whether a mortgage loan […]

Running a Business From Your Home

As a homebuyer who intends to work from home, you want to find the perfect place to start or expand your at-home business. But there’s a lot more to consider besides finding the right space to do your work, including how your at-home business may affect your neighbors. While telecommuting is unlikely to bother anyone, […]

Three Ways to Get Your Finances in Shape

You want to buy a home, but first you need to get your finances squared away. You’ll need money for a down payment, for moving and for other costs. How can you get more money in just a few months? Here are three ways that work together as nicely as compound interest. 1. Slow down […]

Quarterly Market Update

Watch our Q4 2018 market update for a recap of national and regional trends. See how median home prices, home sale and inventory serve as indicators for our housing market in 2019. As always, feel free to contact one of our real estate professionals for local market data. Thank you for reading our Smoky Mountains Of […]

Fall in Love With the Right Home

You’re ready to fall in love with your first home. As you write your wish list, you may find that it grows longer than you’d imagined. You want more living space, a place to do your art and crafts, enough bedrooms to expand your family or accommodate relatives and friends, a separate master suite, and […]

When to Fire Your Real Estate Agent

by Eugene Strickland, Broker/Owner GRI, MBA Management, Marketing & Finance Luxury Collection Specialist What I’ve written here is a simplistic view of a possibly complex, but certainly provocative topic. It is one that needs to be addressed. Over the last 20 years or so I’ve seen numerous articles written with titles like, “How to Pick […]

The Credit Scores You Need to Buy a Home

Mortgage lenders check your credit history before approving a home-buying loan. Your credit scores are crucial to getting the amount you want to borrow at a good interest rate. Your income vs. your debt, your payment history, the length of time you’ve had credit, new credit you’ve opened, and the types of credit you owe […]

Your Rights As a Borrower

When you shop for a mortgage loan, you have certain rights that are guaranteed by the federal government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Knowing your rights will help you get the best loan possible. You have the right to: Receive equal treatment by the lender, so that a credit decision isn’t based on your race, color, […]

Renegotiating After the Home Inspections

Negotiations don’t necessarily end when you and the seller sign the contract to purchase. You have the right to have the home you’re buying inspected for soundness, which you can include as a contingency to your offer. That way, if the inspection reveals a serious issue, you and the seller can address it through renegotiations. […]

Too many Clothes, No Down Payment

Crazy fashion trends do more than strain closet space. They can sometimes send the message that trendiness is more important than building wealth. Here’s how to save the money you spend on new clothes for something more rewarding – a down payment on your own home. Reduce your wardrobe. Consign, donate or give away clothes […]

A Commercial Transformation

Sometimes we see things that others do not. That has certainly been the case for Eugene (Gene) Strickland, Owner/Broker of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Great Smokys Realty. Gene has been eyeing 39 Island Street in downtown Bryson City for years. While some saw a tired HVAC storage warehouse and office, Gene saw a diamond in the […]

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 […]