Mike Croxall: Preparing To Buy In 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - by Mike Croxall, president, Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga

If you are like hundreds of other Greater Chattanooga families, then 2017 is the year you’ve decided to purchase a new home. Whether as a first-time or move-up buyer, it’s wise to start preparing now. Following a few simple tips will help put you in a better position to find a home that’s right for you.

Prioritize Your Must-Haves

First-time home buyers should take the time to determine what their needs are, especially regarding size, location and amenities. But even seasoned home owners will find that having a must-have list can save significant time by helping them avoid listings that may look great in the photos, but in reality, won’t meet their needs. Home buyers should always prioritize the items on their checklists, as most will need to compromise on some items to fit within a realistic budget.

Check Your Credit Score

Even if you’ve purchased a home in the past, stricter credit requirements are making it more challenging for some buyers to find home loans. Having a favorable credit score can make a difference in your ability to be approved for a loan. Even if you think nothing has changed recently on your credit report, it’s good to check periodically to ensure you aren’t being unfairly penalized for old debts, which can sometimes linger on credit reports. Borrowers with scores in the low 600s and even high 500s can still find lenders who will qualify them, but borrowers should strive for scores in the mid- to upper-700s to land the best rate.

Determine What You Can Afford

Don’t let your maximum loan approval amount dictate what your home-buying budget should be. You are the best person to judge what you can realistically afford. Experts say that your total monthly home expenses should not exceed more than one-third of your gross monthly income. You’ll also need to determine how much you’ll need in order to cover any loan fees and closing costs. 

Sell Your Current Home

If buying a new home is contingent on the sale of your current home, it’s a good idea to start the process by reaching out and consulting with your realtor. Ask him or her about your best strategy to sell your home quickly, but at the right time and for the best price possible. You’ll want to identify any maintenance issues your home has, and determine if, how and when each one will need to be addressed. You can also ask your realtor if making any upgrades to your current home would be worthwhile and result in a favorable return when it comes time to sell.

For more information about the home buying process, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at HBAGC.net or visit nahb.org.   


Hard Hats And Heels Habitat For Humanity Event Set For April 1

Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland’s fourth annual Hard Hats and Heels event will take place on April 1 at Toyota of Cleveland, 3560 Village N Blvd. in McDonald at 6 p.m. This fundraising event includes a time of raffles, silent auction, and a live auction. The proceeds from Hard Hats & Heels will fund the construction of the Basora and Bell families in Bradley County. ... (click for more)

HFF Closes Sale And Arranges Financing For Cleveland Towne Center

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. announced Tuesday that it has closed the sale and arranged acquisition financing for Cleveland Towne Center, a 152,839-square-foot regional power center. HFF marketed the center on behalf of an institutional client.  Wicker Park Capital Management, LLC purchased the asset free and clear of existing debt.  Additionally, working on behalf ... (click for more)

School Board Votes To Issue RFPs For Private School Bus Service; Allows Independent Drivers To Add 20 Routes

The Hamilton County School Board voted unanimously to issue a Request-for-Proposals (RFP) to private bus companies at a special-called session early  Saturday  afternoon.   The vote came at the end of a two-day strategy session where the school board has confronted a list of challenges but the busing question, spurred by the tragic bus wreck in November ... (click for more)

3 People Shot Early Saturday Morning On East 3rd Street

Three people were shot on East 3rd Street early Saturday morning. They were identified as Countess Clemons, 24, Kezia Jackson, 23, and Dutchess Lykes, 26.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at 2:40 a.m. to a person(s) shot call at a local hospital. All three victims were transported to the hospital via a personally-owned vehicle.   All three ... (click for more)

A Light Rain Began To Fall - And Response (2)

Around noon Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the most powerful nation on Earth after a long and sometimes bitter campaign where 17 GOP candidates of his own party and two of the opposing party competed for the honor.   Thousands rejoiced in the Washington D.C. streets while policemen who had come along with national guardsmen pushed ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Jumoke’s Thuggery Ends

Jumoke Johnson, the most notorious criminal in Chattanooga’s recent history, was killed by a rain of bullets in the 2100 block of East 12 th Street at little after 8 o’clock Friday night and for the many of us who have kept up with the 23-year-old, you wonder how he ever lasted this long. He was aptly proclaimed as the “most dangerous man” to ever have been sentenced in Chattanooga’s ... (click for more)