Memphis is the second largest city in Tennessee and the “Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” The affordable cost of living, quality schools, big-city amenities and small-town hospitality are several reasons individuals and families choose to call the city home.
Moving to an unfamiliar city is exciting yet intimidating. This guide to buying a house in Memphis will help ease the stress associated with your big move.
How to Buy a Home in Memphis Step-by-Step
It pays to take advice from the experts when you buy a house in Memphis, Tennessee. Follow this step-by-step process to simplify the home-buying experience.
- Find a Trustworthy Memphis Real Estate Agent
A knowledgeable and professional real estate agent is essential to the home-buying process. Choose an agent based in Memphis, as they understand the market and which homes are underpriced or overvalued. Your real estate agent will help you find the right home, negotiate and complete all the necessary paperwork.
Take your time when searching for a Memphis-based real estate agent. Read testimonials online and ask around for references. You’ll likely spend a lot of time with your agent throughout the home-buying process, so choose a qualified professional who you enjoy being around.
- Get Your Personal Finances in Order
Buying a home is a significant investment. Meeting with a financial advisor can make the process of getting your finances in order much easier, especially if you haven’t been meticulously tracking your monthly spending for the past several years.
Set Your Budget
Understand what your actual budget is before you start looking for homes. Start by checking your credit score and evaluating your monthly spending. Consider your assets, other loans, your income, the loan offer from the bank, your down payment and other “new home” factors, including home furnishings, maintenance and renovations.
Experts suggest keeping your housing costs at 30% of your monthly income or less.
Don’t Forget Closing Costs
You’ve probably heard plenty about paying a down payment on a new home. However, many homebuyers forget that closing costs are part of the process too.
Closing costs vary based on the type of loan you receive, the house you purchase and your contract. They often include prepaid taxes, prepaid insurance, inspection fees, an appraisal, lender fees and attorney fees. Closing costs can add up, so be sure to think of them while getting your finances in order.
- Find a Lender and Get Pre-Qualified
If you don’t already have a lender in mind, now is the time to find one. Your lender is as critical to the home-buying process as your real estate agent. They will help you submit your mortgage application and hopefully get you prequalified.
Your lender can also help you with any loose ends when getting your finances in order. They can assess your credit score, down payment and income to help determine what you can afford.
While there are many free mortgage calculators available online, they don’t typically take into account additional mortgage expenses, such as property taxes, homeowners insurance and mortgage insurance. A knowledgeable lender can help you determine a more realistic monthly mortgage calculation that includes all these factors, so you have a clear idea of what to expect.
Keep in mind that real estate agents may prefer certain lenders. You always have the right to choose any lender you please. Ask for references and read reviews to find a reputable lender in Memphis.
As a potential home buyer, you must solidify your lender before viewing homes. There’s no doubt you’ve been hounding Zillow and realty websites for weeks, but the Memphis real estate market is competitive. It’s critical to have a lender in place and mortgage pre-approval before you start making offers.
- Start Your Search and Make an Offer
In most cases, choosing a house is a monumental decision. It’s a place where you’ll make lasting memories and could be your home base for raising a family in Memphis. However, not everyone’s priorities are the same when choosing a home.
Ask yourself a variety of questions to determine the most important factors in your home search. This may help you eliminate some homes without even looking at them and move some unexpected options up your list.
- Do you plan on living in this home for several years, 10 years, 20 years or for the rest of your life?
- Do you have children you will place in public or private schools in Memphis? How far are you willing to travel to those schools?
- How many renovations are you willing or financially able to perform?
- Do you prefer the action of the city or a quiet suburb?
Similarly, creating a list of must-haves can help you determine which homes check the boxes and which ones fall short.
Your real estate agent is an invaluable asset in the process of searching for a home and making an offer. Make sure your agent knows all the factors on your wish list and which types of homes to avoid.
Make an Offer
You’ve found a potential dream home, and it’s time to try to make it yours. You and your realtor will discuss a fair offer and send it to the seller’s real estate agent. The seller may accept your offer, reject it or submit a counteroffer.
- Get Ready to Close!
As previously mentioned, the closing process is a critical part of buying a home. Your realtor will help you with every step of the closing process, including negotiating terms and a sale date with the seller.
The closing process generally includes a home inspection to identify any interior or exterior problems with the home. You may negotiate one more time with the seller depending on any issues that arise during closing.
When the closing date comes, you and the seller sign the final papers, and you receive the keys to your new home.
Make Memphis Home
You bought your home in Memphis, and it’s finally time to move into your new house. Whether you chose a condo in the heart of downtown or a single-family home in the suburbs, Big League Movers is here to help. Our team of experienced professional movers is ready to assist in every step of the moving process, from handling the logistics and packing your items to unloading them at your destination.
Contact us now to request a free quote and get your moving process underway!