Tips for Your First Meeting

Its your first time buying a home. You have researched the mortgage process and contacted multiple mortgage professionals before settling on the perfect Knoxville area lender. Now you have scheduled your first meeting and you aren’t sure what to expect.

The good news is, the hard part is over!

Now that you have made that decision as to who you will be working with on your mortgage, assuming you have made the right decision, preparing for your first meeting should be relatively easy.

This first meeting is designed for the mortgage professional you have chosen to work with to get to know you better. In order to find you the perfect financing, they will need to know as much as possible, not only about your financial situation, but your goals and what you are looking to get out of the mortgage and home buying process.

All of these factors are important in guiding your individualized mortgage process, so you should go into your first meeting expecting to ask and answer quite a few questions. To make this process as beneficial as possible for both parties, consider creating a list of questions or issues you may have before your meeting to bring in addition to any required documentation. This will help to ensure that you don’t forget any questions you have.

Of course, the right mortgage professional will make themselves available to you at any point after the first meeting should you forget to ask something or come up with additional questions.

You should also be prepared to discuss your current financial situation, including your income, debts and assets. If everything is in order, you may even begin going over the financing options that are available to you for the purchase of your home.

Don’t let the idea of meeting with your Knoxville area lender for the first time worry you. We know the mortgage process can seem confusing and intimidating, which is why we are here to help!

At Platinum Financial Funding, we know that your first meeting with a member of our team is an important one and we want you to feel as comfortable and educated as possible! If you are looking to purchase a home and are looking for guidance as to where to begin, give us a call and set up your first meeting today!

Knoxville Mortgage Rates – Knoxville Market Update

Knoxville mortgage rates can be affected by any number of things, from the national economy and interest rates set by the Fed, to local market statistics. Even your particular financial situation can affect the rates you are offered and approved for on your mortgage.

As professionals in the industry, we strive to stay up to date on all of this information, including local real estate markets, because we know these statistics affect more than just interest rates. They also effect where our clients will be choosing to live and build their lives.

During the month of April this year, there was a total of 1,412 single family homes sold in the Knoxville area. Of these homes, 206 had 2 bedrooms or less, 863 had 3 bedrooms, and 343 had 4 or more bedrooms.

The homes with 2 bedrooms or less sold for an average price of $112,678. The homes with 3 bedrooms sold for an average price of $176,931. And the homes with 4 or more bedrooms sold for an average price of $312,583. When these figures are considered as a whole, the average sales price of homes throughout the entire Knoxville area was $200,509 in April 2017.

Of the 1,412 homes sold, 574 were financed with a Conventional mortgage, 193 were financed with an FHA loan, 203 were financed with a USDA loan, and 92 were financed with a VA loan.

As of the beginning of May, there were still about 6,183 active listing in the Knoxville area in a variety of price ranges from $29,999 and under to $500,000 and over.

It is our hope that the above information gives you a bit more insight into the market you are living in or looking to purchase your new home in. Our goal is to make your home financing decisions as simple as possible and we believe that the more accurate and relevant information you have access to, the more likely that goal is to be reached.

If you have any questions about Knoxville mortgage rates or the local market or are interested in getting your mortgage process started, give us a call today! We are looking forward to helping you save on your home financing!






Chattanooga Loan Officers – How to Raise Your Credit Score

As a team of Chattanooga loan officers, we are well aware of the impact our clients’ credit can have on their mortgage options and approvals. Just like most people that are applying for a loan, we know that the higher your credit score is, the more choices you will have and the more likely you will be to get approved for the financing you need to purchase your home.

While raising your credit score won’t happen overnight, if you are worried your credit isn’t where it should be, there are some simple steps you can start taking today to work on improving it in time for your mortgage application.

The very first step is finding out what your credit score is. Once you check your credit score, you will know exactly where you are and how much improvement you need to make. This will also provide you with information on any outstanding debts or other issues with your credit that could prevent you from getting approved for your mortgage. It is important to check your score early so you have time to work on correcting these issues.

After you have checked your score and made a list of what needs to be fixed, now the work begins. From this point on, through the rest of your mortgage process, you will need to be vigilant with your credit and finances.

This doesn’t mean checking your credit daily or obsessing over every penny you spend, but it does mean you need to be mindful of both. You should be keeping an eye on your credit card balances and trying to keep them as low as possible. If your balances are already high, work to pay off as much of this debt as you can. This can be accomplished by applying payments to your account twice a month and paying off any new debt before interest is charged on it.

This concept should be applied to any bills you have. Use a calendar to make sure you are paying all your bills on time. As we mentioned in the case of your credit cards, this can help you avoid interest, and with your other bills, this will help you avoid any fees that may be associated with late payments. These fees can add up and could be used instead to pay off more of your current debts.

It is also important that as you pay off your debts, you make sure they remain on your credit. Removing old debts will also remove your history of payment on those accounts, which can actually hurt your credit score.

If you are interested in purchasing a home but aren’t sure how to check your credit or where your credit should be to qualify for the financing you need, give us a call today! Our trusted team of Chattanooga loan officers will be more than happy to help you figure out your financial situation and set realistic goals to accomplish your dream of homeownership!




Chattanooga Market Update – May 2017

When it comes to Tennessee mortgages, as with mortgages in any other area of the country, our client’s options and qualification requirements can be influenced by local and national market news and trends.

This economical information is taken into account by both the federal government and private lenders, as they make decisions about current mortgage rates, and may be useful to borrowers as they begin their search for the perfect home.

In March of 2017, the Chattanooga Association of Realtors reported the median sales price of homes that were sold in the local area at $174,000. While this figure is up year over year from 2016, the 2016 figure had risen only 0.7% from the year before.

The median price per square foot of Chattanooga homes listed on a reputable real estate website was $90. This is on trend with the last year, which showed only a slight bump up to $100 per square foot in January before the price dropped back down.

As is typical with this time of year, the number of new listings on the market has begun to increase as we head into summer. At the time of the report’s release, there were 2,988 homes still actively listed for sale, equaling nearly 4 months of supply on the market.

This increase in supply is typically a result of an increase in demand for homes in the warmer months of the year. Of the 860 homes that were sold in March of 2017, the average took about 68-70 days, barely over two months, to sell.

Whether you are interested in taking advantage of the Chattanooga spring market’s increase in supply or finding out more about other opportunities where your home financing is concerned, give us a call today! Our experienced team can’t wait to save you money on your Tennessee mortgages!

What’s the Difference Between FHA and Conventional?

It’s no surprise that there are a number of options when it comes to Tennessee home loans. Each different loan comes with different qualifying requirements and can be modified further by term and interest rate.

With all of these options, the mortgage process can seem intimidating without the help of a qualified and experienced mortgage professional, like you will find at Platinum Financial Funding.

Our team of mortgage experts is here to help you find the best financing options when you decide to purchase a home. Because there are so many different options, working with a professional in the industry can save you the time and headache of researching every type of loan and save you money by securing you the lowest rate possible.

While every mortgage is different, even within the same category of loans, this post will go over the differences between two of the most common mortgage loan options available today, the FHA home loan and the Conventional mortgage loan. It is our hope that the information provided below will serve as a great foundation for you as you begin to explore your mortgage options.

The following chart details some of the main characteristics associated with these two types of loans:


FHA Home Loans Conventional Mortgage Loans
Insured (by Federal Housing Administration) Not Insured by Government Entity
Insurance Premiums Required No Insurance Premium Required (With Down Payment of at Least 20%)
Federal Government and Lender Approval Required Lender Approval Required
Minimum Required Down Payment: 3.5% Minimum Required Down Payment: Typically, 10%
Less Strict Qualification Guidelines Stricter Qualification Guidelines


Of course, there is more involved with each of these loans options, all of which can vary based on your current financial institution. There are also some benefits of each that are not included in the table above.

For example, FHA home loans provide borrowers with better refinance and transfer options and Conventional mortgage loans can be used for the purchase of investment properties or properties worth much larger dollar amounts.

If you are making the choice between FHA and Conventional for your mortgage, in addition to consulting with a mortgage professional, your decision may be easier if you consider the following question. Do you want to pay more up front and spend less each month on mortgage insurance, or do you want to spend less up from and more on insurance?

If you prefer the former, a Conventional mortgage loan is probably better for you. If you went with that latter, you are probably looking for an FHA home loan.

Whether you have already narrowed your options down to Conventional or FHA, or you aren’t sure where to even begin, give us a call today so we can discuss your options and save you the most money on your home financing!




Knoxville Market Update – April 2017

Tennessee mortgages can be impacted by the local real estate market, and vice versa.

As mortgage professionals serving clients throughout Tennessee, we are regularly checking on the local real estate market to see how it is currently preforming in comparison with the past and how real estate experts believe these trends will impact the future.

In the most recent report by the Knoxville Area Association of REALTORS that was released in mid-March, the average price of homes across all single-family units in the area was recorded at $198,962. This figure is only slightly higher than the average price of $194,905 that recorded for the same time period last year, which shows great stability in the Knoxville housing market.

Of the single-family homes that were sold between February 1st and February 28th this year, the majority were 3-bedroom homes in the $200,000 – $249,999.99 price range. The next largest category of homes sold were also 3-bedroom homes, but these homes were in the $120,000 – $139,999.99 price range.

Most condominium sales during February 2017 also came from the sale of 3-bedroom units in the $29,999.99 and under price range.

While there was a total of 1,050 single-family homes and 153 condominium units sold last month, there are still around 5,984 active single-family home listings and 638 active condominium listings available for purchase.

A significant 463 of the total sales in February were financed by conventional loans. The rest were mostly financed by cash and FHA, USDA, and VA loans.

Regardless of your financial situation or your loan requirements, we can help you find the best options to meet your home purchase needs! Call us today if you are interested in one of these or any other financing options or have any general mortgage questions. We are happy to help and look forward to saving you money on your Tennessee mortgages!



Characteristics of a Great Broker

As a team of skilled and experienced professionals in the mortgage industry, we have helped countless clients secure the financing they needed to purchase the houses of their dreams with Tennessee home loans.

Over the years, we have had many clients explain past experiences they have had with other mortgage professionals that didn’t possess the qualities that we believe are crucial to our excellent customer service and ability to find the perfect financing options for every individual situation.

We want to make sure that everyone receives the best experience possible as they make the most important financial decision of their life, and to that end, have created a list of what we believe are the characteristics that make a great mortgage broker.

One of the most important characteristics your mortgage broker should possess is integrity. You are putting a lot of resources into finding the perfect home and you certainly don’t want to be trusting your finances to someone that is known to be dishonest. Our team takes great pride in operating under complete honesty at all times.

Of course, being trustworthy isn’t the only trait a mortgage broker needs to possess. They must also be qualified and knowledgeable about the mortgage industry. Our team loves what we do and we are constantly looking for ways to improve our knowledge on the field we have chosen to work in. Working with someone who has a concrete understanding of the area will be extremely beneficial not only to the products and services you will be receiving but when you have questions for them as well.

When you do have questions about your options or the process as a whole, a great mortgage professional will be able to effectively communicate the information you are looking for. We stay in communication with our clients from the initial meeting to closing. This can be especially helpful for homebuyers who are going through this process for the first time.

At Platinum Financial Funding, whether you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing mortgage, we are eager to demonstration the great qualities we possess as we help you through the process.

Contact us today for more information or to schedule your mortgage consultation!



Tips for Renewing Your Mortgage

Just when you think you have already completed the most important financial decision of your life by obtaining home financing through a mortgage, it is time to renew it.

It is important not to just blindly renew your mortgage without considering the other options that might be available to you. Depending on when you obtained your original mortgage, there may be new mortgage products or programs available, lower rates, or better options now for you to choose from.

When it is time to renew your mortgage, there are a few important steps you should take to ensure you are still getting the best mortgage for your needs while saving the most amount of money.

Do Your Research

  1. Start looking into your options as early as you can. Putting off your research will only put you at a disadvantage when it comes time to renew your mortgage.
  2. Begin your research at least a month in advance. This will give you enough time to research mortgage rates, check out your options in a mortgage calculator and test out a certain rate before locking it in.
  3. Keep an eye on the local market. By starting your research early, you will be able to watch any movement in the market and adjust accordingly.
  4. Mortgage professionals, like Brandon Born and his team, constantly monitor local market news and trends and are your best bet for making the research process more time efficient. They can guide you in the right direction, or even perform the research for you!


  1. Financial institutions will try to lock you into the highest rate possible, especially if you blindly sign your mortgage renewal without attempting to negotiate your rate.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for a lower interest rate or negotiate the offered rate down closer to what you want. This is especially true if you have done your research.
  3. Use a mortgage calculator to figure out what rates you can comfortably afford and be prepared to use those points in your negotiations.
  4. Having well-connected mortgage broker on your side can greatly increase your ability to negotiate a lower interest rate for your mortgage renewal.

Renewing your mortgage is nearly as impactful as obtaining your original mortgage so don’t make the mistake of trying to go in alone. As Knoxville mortgage professionals, Brandon and his team will work hard to get you the best financing options and to make sure your mortgage renewal is something you don’t regret.

Call (865) 474-1757 today for more information or to set up your mortgage consultation!

Knoxville Mortgage | Difference Between Pre-Approval and Pre-Qualification

When you are considering a Knoxville mortgage, it is important to know the distinction between getting pre-qualified for a mortgage and getting pre-approved.

These terms, although seemingly similar, are in fact quite different and knowing the difference between the two can save you from headaches down the line.

A mortgage pre-qualification is simply an initial assessment of your credit and assets. A mortgage pre-approval involves a deeper look at your income, expenses and even your credit score.

Prior to the Great Recession, mortgage pre-approvals were not hard to get. As time has gone on and with changes in the American economy, however, it has become harder to secure a pre-approval.

The fact that they are now harder to get does give pre-approvals more weight, which comes with benefits:

  • You can confidently confirm a model of what your monthly payments would look like
  • You will have a better idea of what home price range you should be looking in
  • You will be aware of any possible credit issues you would need to take care of before purchasing your home
  • You will have greater bargaining power when making an offer on the home of your dreams

Again, it is important for potential home buyers to make the distinction between being qualified for and being approved for a mortgage. Being pre-qualified does not guarantee you a loan. Being pre-approved does greatly improve your chance of securing a mortgage when you decide to purchase a home.

Don’t search any further for your dream home without speaking to Brandon Born about getting pre-approved for your Knoxville mortgage! Call Brandon today at 865-474-1757 for more information or to schedule a mortgage consultation!


Knoxville, TN Market Update – November 2016

Chattanooga Market Update - Chattanooga mortgage broker

October home sales remained on track with the rest of the third quarter, which is surprising for this time of year.

This year, home sales in October accounted for nearly a third of the quarter’s sales in Knoxville. Of the 4,354 single family homes sold in these three months, 1334 were sold in October. This number is up slightly from the 1,229 homes sold the same month a year before.

Not included in these figures are the pending sales for Knoxville single family homes. As of November 1, there were 2097 pending home sales. Compared to October of a year earlier, this year has roughly 80 per cent more pending sales.

The greater demand for Knoxville homes had left fewer homes available on the market. In October of 2016, there were 7301 active listings for single family homes, 19 per cent less than the number of active listings in October of 2015.

With demand steadily increasing for homes in Knoxville, know is the time to contact a local Knoxville mortgage lender.

By consulting with a local mortgage professional, you will have access to a greater wealth of information, which will make your home financing decisions easier.

A large part of my job is staying up to date on Knoxville mortgage news and trends. I use this knowledge in combination with the Knoxville mortgage calculator that I offer my clients, to provide an in depth look at your mortgage options.

This information is important to have and to consider when deciding what Knoxville mortgage is right for you.

If you are interested in purchasing a home, or even refinancing an existing mortgage, I am here to offer my knowledge of the mortgage industry and to assist with any of you mortgage related needs.

Please feel free to contact me at (865) 474-1757 with questions you may have.

Let’s start calculating your future, today!