1. Decide to buy.Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. We call home ownership the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. But, we believe when it is done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.

Base your decision to buy on facts, not fears.

  1. If you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy
  2. There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. All you need to do in the short run is find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold it for the long run
  3. The lack of a substantial down payment doesn’t prevent you from making your first home purchase
  4. A less-than-perfect credit score won’t necessarily stop you from buying a home
  5. The best way to get closer to buying your ultimate dream home is to buy your first home now
  6. Buying a home doesn’t have to be complicated – there are many professionals who will help you along the way

2. Hire your agent.

The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals-insurance assessors, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer’s agents, seller’s agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed. It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout.

Seven main roles of your real estate agentA Buyer’s Real Estate Agent:

  1. Educates you about your market.
  2. Analyzes your wants and needs.
  3. Guides you to homes that fit your criteria.
  4. Coordinates the work of other needed professionals.
  5. Negotiates on your behalf.
  6. Checks and double-checks paperwork and deadlines.
  7. Solves any problems that may arise.

Eight important questions to ask your agent

Qualifications are important. However, finding a solid, professional agent means getting beyond the resume, and into what makes an agent effective. Use the following questions as your starting point in hiring your licensed, professional real estate agent:

  1. Why did you become a real estate agent?
  2. Why should I work with you?
  3. What do you do better than other real estate agents?
  4. What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?
  5. What are the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them?
  6. What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?
  7. What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?
  8. Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?

3. Secure financing.

While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment.

From start to finish, you will follow a six-step, easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home.Six steps to Financing a Home

  1. Choose a loan officer (or mortgage specialist).
  2. Make a loan application and get preapproved.
  3. Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
  4. Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.
  5. Get an appraisal and title commitment.
  6. Obtain funding at closing.

4. Find your home.

You may think that shopping for homes starts with jumping in the car and driving all over town. And it’s true that hopping in the car to go look is probably the most exciting part of the home-buying process. However, driving around is fun for only so long-if weeks go by without finding what you’re looking for, the fun can fade pretty fast. That’s why we say that looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms.

Questions to ask yourself

  1. What do I want my home to be close to?
  2. How much space do I need and why?
  3. Which is more critical: location or size?
  4. Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
  5. How important is home value appreciation?
  6. Is neighborhood stability and priority?
  7. Would I be interested in a condo?
  8. Would I be interested in new home construction?
  9. What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?

5. Make an offer.

When searching for your dream home, you were just that-a dreamer. Now that you’re writing an offer, you need to be a businessperson. You need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies (or “conditions” in Canada).

Price-the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. Your agent’s market research will guide this decision.

Terms-the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.

Terms fall under six basic categories in a real estate offer:

  1. Schedule-a schedule of events that has to happen before closing.
  2. Conveyances-the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
  3. Commission-the real estate commission or fee, for both the agent who works with the seller and the agents who works with the buyer.
  4. Closing costs-it’s standard for buyers to pay their closing costs, but if you want to roll the costs into the loan, you need to write that into the contract.
  5. Home warranty-this covers repairs or replacement of appliances and major systems. You may ask the seller to pay for this.
  6. Earnest money-this protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly pulling of the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.

6. Perform due diligence.

Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can’t return it if something breaks or doesn’t quite work like it’s supposed to. That’s why home owner’s insurance and property inspections are so important.

A home owner’s insurance policy protects you in two ways:

  1. Against loss or damage to the property itself
  2. liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property

The property inspection should expose the secret issues a home might hide so you know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign your closing papers.

  • Your major concern is structural damage.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things that are easily fixed can be overlooked.
  • If you have a big problem show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist. If the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you might want to walk away from the purchase.

7. Close.

The final stage of the home buying process is the lender’s confirmation of the home’s value and legal statue, and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finance. Your agent will keep you posted on how each if progressing, but your work is pretty much done.

You just have a few preclosing responsibilities:

  1. Stay in control of your finances.
  2. Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly.
  3. Communicate with your agent at least once a week.
  4. Several days before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.
  5. Obtain certified funds for closing.
  6. Conduct a final walk-through.

On closing day, with the guidance of a settlement agent and your agent, you’ll sign documents that do the following:

  1. Finalize your mortgage.
  2. Pay the seller.
  3. Pay your closing costs.
  4. Transfer the title from the seller to you.
  5. Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record.

As long as you have clear expectations and follow directions, closing should be a momentous conclusion to your home-searching process and commencement of your home-owning experience.
8. Protect your investment.

Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, you’ve probably spent a lot of time with your real estate agent and you’ve gotten to know each other fairly well. There’s no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed. In fact, your agent wants you to keep in touch.

Even after you close on your house, you agent can still help you:

  1. Handle your first tax return as a home owner.
  2. Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling.
  3. Help your friends find homes.
  4. Keep track of your home’s current market value.

Attention to you home’s maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment.

Home maintenance falls into two categories:

  1. Keeping it clean: Perform routine maintenance on your home’s systems, depending on their age and style.
  2. Keeping an eye on it: Watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear. Fixing small problems early can save you big money later.

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1358 Page Rd Nashville, TN 37205

Price $17,999,999
Beds 6
Baths 11
Living Area SqFt 20,533
Status Active
MLS # 1872362
Property Type Residential
 

625 Westview Ave Nashville, TN 37205

Price $11,950,000
Beds 7
Baths 11
Living Area SqFt 15,103
Status Active
MLS # 1864560
Property Type Residential
 

1608 Chickering Road Nashville, TN 37215

Price $10,900,000
Beds 7
Baths 10
Living Area SqFt 20,156
Status Active
MLS # 1462957
Property Type Residential
 

2325 Golf Club Ln Nashville, TN 37215

Price $10,000,000
Beds 8
Baths 9
Living Area SqFt 18,449
Status Active
MLS # 1847277
Property Type Residential
 

0 New Hwy 96 Franklin, TN 37064

Price $9,800,000
Beds 3
Baths 2
Living Area SqFt 1,824
Status Active
MLS # 1812004
Property Type Residential
 

1577 Moran Rd Franklin, TN 37069

Price $9,500,000
Beds 5
Baths 10
Living Area SqFt 10,862
Status Active
MLS # 1836040
Property Type Residential
 

123 Summit Lane Hendersonville, TN 37075

Price $8,750,000
Beds 7
Baths 11
Living Area SqFt 20,121
Status Active
MLS # 1805636
Property Type Residential
 

3773 Hwy 231 N Shelbyville, TN 37160

Price $8,500,000
Beds 4
Baths 7
Living Area SqFt 12,514
Status Active
MLS # 1857831
Property Type Residential
 

1816 Pace Haven Franklin, TN 37069

Price $8,100,000
Beds 5
Baths 12
Living Area SqFt 19,137
Status Active
MLS # 1836063
Property Type Residential
 

801 Mooreland Ln Murfreesboro, TN 37128

Price $7,400,000
Beds 6
Baths 13
Living Area SqFt 23,084
Status Active
MLS # 1543137
Property Type Residential
 

1382 Walker Rd Centerville, TN 37033

Price $7,250,000
Beds 5
Baths 8
Living Area SqFt 19,900
Status Active
MLS # 1846150
Property Type Residential
 

1235 Hidden Valley Rd Brentwood, TN 37027

Price $6,995,000
Beds 4
Baths 4
Living Area SqFt 6,467
Status Active
MLS # 1828282
Property Type Residential
 

3375 Hawkersmith Ln Winchester, TN 37398

Price $6,900,000
Beds 18
Baths 37
Living Area SqFt 50,000
Status Active
MLS # 1871715
Property Type Residential
 

1078 Vaughn Crest Dr Franklin, TN 37069

Price $6,900,000
Beds 5
Baths 9
Living Area SqFt 20,576
Status Active
MLS # 1872086
Property Type Residential
 

1704 Old Hillsboro Road Franklin, TN 37069

Price $6,898,000
Beds 5
Baths 6
Living Area SqFt 7,748
Status Active Under Contract
MLS # 1872805
Property Type Residential
 

5005 Lilly Valley Trail Franklin, TN 37064

Price $5,750,000
Beds 8
Baths 10
Living Area SqFt 10,307
Status Active
MLS # 1850897
Property Type Residential
 

21 Northumberland Nashville, TN 37215

Price $5,500,000
Beds 5
Baths 7
Living Area SqFt 10,100
Status Active
MLS # 1841232
Property Type Residential
 

204 King Davids Ct Franklin, TN 37067

Price $5,500,000
Beds 5
Baths 6
Living Area SqFt 11,305
Status Active
MLS # 1844359
Property Type Residential
 

4750 Columbia Pike Thompsons Station, TN 37179

Price $5,500,000
Beds 4
Baths 7
Living Area SqFt 8,485
Status Active
MLS # 1874793
Property Type Residential
 

1645 Old Hillsboro Road Franklin, TN 37069

Price $5,400,000
Beds 4
Baths 4
Living Area SqFt 5,295
Status Active
MLS # 1769524
Property Type Residential
 

4447 Long Ln Franklin, TN 37064

Price $5,100,000
Beds 6
Baths 7
Living Area SqFt 10,601
Status Active Under Contract
MLS # 1750123
Property Type Residential
 

7050 Wikle Rd W Brentwood, TN 37027

Price $5,000,000
Beds 4
Baths 1
Living Area SqFt 5,468
Status Active
MLS # 1862237
Property Type Residential
 

1020 Vaughn Crest Drive Franklin, TN 37069

Price $4,999,990
Beds 6
Baths 10
Living Area SqFt 14,179
Status Active
MLS # 1870453
Property Type Residential
 

8363 Miller Rd Christiana, TN 37037

Price $4,990,000
Beds 3
Baths 3
Living Area SqFt 2,837
Status Active
MLS # 1811033
Property Type Residential
 

4414 Chickering Ln Nashville, TN 37215

Price $4,950,000
Beds 5
Baths 8
Living Area SqFt 7,569
Status Active
MLS # 1814453
Property Type Residential
 

1707 Old Hillsboro Rd Franklin, TN 37069

Price $4,950,000
Beds 4
Baths 5
Living Area SqFt 6,891
Status Active
MLS # 1875567
Property Type Residential
 

1363 Narrows Harpeth Rd Kingston Springs, TN 37082

Price $4,900,000
Beds 3
Baths 5
Living Area SqFt 7,600
Status Active
MLS # 1837392
Property Type Residential
 

600 Boyd Mill Ave Franklin, TN 37064

Price $4,900,000
Beds 5
Baths 4
Living Area SqFt 6,950
Status Active
MLS # 1819758
Property Type Residential
 

785 Plantation Blvd Gallatin, TN 37066

Price $4,750,000
Beds 5
Baths 10
Living Area SqFt 17,976
Status Active Under Contract
MLS # 1676534
Property Type Residential
 

4444 Tyne Blvd Nashville, TN 37205

Price $4,750,000
Beds 7
Baths 9
Living Area SqFt 9,572
Status Active
MLS # 1870977
Property Type Residential
 

1033 Vaughn Crest Dr Franklin, TN 37069

Price $4,579,000
Beds 6
Baths 7
Living Area SqFt 7,898
Status Active
MLS # 1818801
Property Type Residential
 

6615 Eudailey Covington Rd College Grove, TN 37046

Price $4,500,000
Beds 3
Baths 1
Living Area SqFt 3,512
Status Active Under Contract
MLS # 1856025
Property Type Residential
 

838 Redwood Dr. Nashville, TN 37220

Price $4,450,000
Beds 5
Baths 7
Living Area SqFt 8,936
Status Active
MLS # 1863176
Property Type Residential
 

137 Windmere Court Bowling Green, KY 42103

Price $4,300,000
Beds 9
Baths 11
Living Area SqFt 19,613
Status Active
MLS # 1855389
Property Type Residential
 

3104 Boxley View Ln Franklin, TN 37064

Price $3,999,000
Beds 4
Baths 6
Living Area SqFt 11,150
Status Active
MLS # 1865058
Property Type Residential
 

28 Governors Way Brentwood, TN 37027

Price $3,999,000
Beds 7
Baths 10
Living Area SqFt 14,651
Status Active
MLS # 1865675
Property Type Residential
 

6677 Leipers Creek Rd Columbia, TN 38401

Price $3,995,000
Beds 5
Baths 6
Living Area SqFt 4,641
Status Active
MLS # 1811341
Property Type Residential
 

1400 Harris Hollow Rd Charlotte, TN 37036

Price $3,995,000
Beds 3
Baths 2
Living Area SqFt 1,050
Status Active
MLS # 1863127
Property Type Residential
 

5850 N Lick Creek Rd Franklin, TN 37064

Price $3,990,000
Beds 5
Baths 5
Living Area SqFt 4,336
Status Active
MLS # 1816321
Property Type Residential
 

5223 Lysander Lane Brentwood, TN 37027

Price $3,950,000
Beds 6
Baths 11
Living Area SqFt 14,680
Status Active
MLS # 1746744
Property Type Residential