Buying a home is possibly the single most significant financial decision that a person can make. With that in mind, here are six things you must know before you start looking for Knoxville real estate agents.

Find a Real Estate Agent You Can Trust

A good real estate agent doesn’t just show you different homes. They also protect your interests and guide you safely through every step of the process, from navigating home inspections to negotiating contracts. In fact, 78% of recent home buyers said their realtor was a helpful information source. When you’re searching for the home of your dreams, you need to rely on a real estate agent you can trust.

Buy for the Life You Expect, Not Just the Life You Have Now

As you’re looking around for your next dream house, it’s important to remember that your life won’t stay the same. If and when your lifestyle changes, will you be able to change homes with it? Try to think down the road to help guide your final decision. Will you be having kids in the future? Buying more pets? Taking up gourmet cooking or some other hobby that requires a specific kind of environment? Try to buy the kind of house that will grow with your lifestyle and your family.

Buy What You Know You Can Afford

Just because your mortgage company says you can afford to spend a certain amount doesn’t mean that’s the amount you should spend. You don’t want an unexpected pay cut to take you by surprise, making it impossible to make your payments on time. Similar to buying a home that can grow with you, try to predict ways your finances might change in the future. Don’t spend more than you can comfortably afford.

Don’t Obsess Over the Purchase Price Alone

Keep in mind that the purchase price by itself does not reflect the amount of money you need to own the home. There will be other expenses involved, including taxes, insurance, and even homeowner association fees. There will also be the cost of maintenance and any necessary repairs or renovations to make after purchase. Try to come up with an accurate estimate of what these extra costs will be and keep them in mind as you look at different options.

Keep Student Loan Debts in Mind

After the housing crisis, lending laws became more strict. As a result, student debt isn’t just an annoyance anymore: it’s treated as real debt by lenders. Now, borrowers are charged with 2% of all outstanding student loan debts no matter what the deferment status is. If you have a student loan in deferment and you’re planning to buy a home, you might want to enroll in an income-based repayment plan. That way you’ll have the documents in hand that you need for your lender can properly assess your ongoing liability.

Ensure Your Other Commitments Don’t Fall Apart

Besides your mortgage and student loans, there’s one other commitment you should consider when buying a home: the commitment to your significant other. If you’re buying a home with your spouse or partner, the two of you need to settle on a legal agreement about what you will do with the home should you ever decide to separate. This isn’t something any couple wants to think about, but statistically speaking, your relationship has about a 50% chance of ending at some point. Instead of letting that statistic disturb or frighten you, it’s best to prepare for the worst while you expect the best.

Buying a home is rarely easy, but relying on an experienced real estate agent can help mitigate the stress. Rely on Re/Max Tri Star Realty when you’re ready to find the home of your dreams.