Essential Tips for Securing the Lowest Mortgage Rates in Knoxville, TN

Dated: May 30 2023

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With mortgage rates doubling since early 2022, obtaining the lowest mortgage rate possible has become crucial for homebuyers in Knoxville, TN. Affordable homeownership depends on securing favorable terms, and while rates may decrease slightly this year, experts agree that they will likely never return to the three or four-percent range. To help you navigate this challenging market, the Knoxville Living team of real estate agents at NextHome Makers City has compiled essential tips to help improve your eligibility for the best mortgage rates available.

  1. Enhance your 4 Cs of Mortgage Qualification:

a. Capital: Accumulate savings and investments to provide for a down payment, closing costs, and future unexpected expenses. Consider potential sources such as family gifts, grants, down payment assistance programs, and personal investments. Ask us about programs to help!

b. Capacity: Demonstrate the ability to repay the loan by showcasing stable income, job security, savings, manageable debt payments, and responsible financial obligations. Lenders will request several years of tax returns, W2s, and recent pay stubs. Self-employed borrowers may require additional documentation. Manage existing debts, including car payments, student loans, credit card payments, personal loans, child support, alimony, and co-signed debts.

c. Credit: Establish a solid credit history and maintain a high credit score. While minimum credit scores exist for various mortgage types, the best rates are available to borrowers with excellent credit. Regularly monitor your credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax through to identify and correct errors. Pay bills on time, avoid maxing out credit limits, and aim for a credit utilization ratio below 25%.

d. Collateral: Lenders consider the value of the home and other pledged possessions as security for the loan. Choose a property that aligns with your financial capabilities to enhance collateral value.

  1. Comply with the Ability-to-Repay Rule: Since January 10, 2014, lenders require borrowers to provide and verify financial information, ensuring sufficient assets or income to repay the loan. The rule prohibits teaser rates that conceal a mortgage's true cost. Expect additional verifications shortly before closing to ensure no changes affect the underwriting decision.

  2. Begin Financial Preparation Early: Start preparing your finances long before house hunting. Request your credit reports and correct any errors promptly. Understand that payment history plays a vital role in your credit score, and maintaining a healthy credit utilization ratio is crucial. Save for the down payment and closing costs.

  3. Seek Guidance from a Trusted Mortgage Professional: Consult a reputable mortgage professional who can guide you through the pre-approval process. They can provide insights on improving your credit score to qualify for a lower mortgage rate. Local mortgage officers offer face-to-face discussions and personalized advice, unlike online lenders who may have limited counseling options. If you aren't already working with a Trusted Mortgage Professional, give us a call. We can give you the contact information for several local lenders that will walk you through the process step-by-step.

In the current real estate landscape, securing the lowest mortgage rate is desirable for most all homebuyers in Knoxville, TN. By focusing on the 4 Cs of mortgage qualification, complying with the Ability-to-Repay Rule, and starting your financial preparation early, you can position yourself for favorable terms.

We recommend you seek guidance from trusted mortgage professionals and leverage the expertise of the Knoxville Living Group at NextHome Makers City to make informed decisions throughout the home-buying process.

Remember, we want to be your real estate resource. If you have any real estate questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to Knoxville Living.

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Deanna Mendenhall-Miller

Deanna graduated from the University of Tennessee, where she was a member of both the Equestrian and Horse Judging teams. Following graduation, Deanna joined a local restaurant company and worked as p....

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