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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4810 Scenic Oaks Lane Thompsons Station, TN 37179

Price $2,995,000
Beds 5
Baths 7
Living Area SqFt 9,387
Status Active
MLS # 1875441
Property Type Residential
 

704 Brass Lantern Pl Brentwood, TN 37027

Price $2,995,000
Beds 6
Baths 9
Living Area SqFt 9,840
Status Active
MLS # 1818773
Property Type Residential
 

114 Clarendon Ave Nashville, TN 37205

Price $2,995,000
Beds 5
Baths 6
Living Area SqFt 6,409
Status Active
MLS # 1862058
Property Type Residential
 

144 Steeplechase Ln Nashville, TN 37221

Price $2,990,000
Beds 6
Baths 9
Living Area SqFt 8,435
Status Active
MLS # 1713963
Property Type Residential
 

6322 Johnson Chapel Rd W Brentwood, TN 37027

Price $2,975,000
Beds 5
Baths 4
Living Area SqFt 3,824
Status Active
MLS # 1872842
Property Type Residential
 

1021 Odoms Bend Private Ct Gallatin, TN 37066

Price $2,950,000
Beds 5
Baths 5
Living Area SqFt 10,088
Status Active
MLS # 1740989
Property Type Residential
 

255 Old Douglas Rd Gallatin, TN 37066

Price $2,950,000
Beds 3
Baths 4
Living Area SqFt 5,974
Status Active Under Contract
MLS # 1795762
Property Type Residential
 

405 Jackson Blvd Nashville, TN 37205

Price $2,950,000
Beds 5
Baths 6
Living Area SqFt 7,451
Status Active
MLS # 1850355
Property Type Residential
 

5005 Mountview Pl Brentwood, TN 37027

$2,950,000 - 7Br/8Ba -  for Sale in Mockingbird Hill, Brentwood
Open House
Price $2,950,000
Beds 7
Baths 8
Living Area SqFt 7,900
Status Active
MLS # 1851824
Property Type Residential
 

4301 Forsythe Pl Nashville, TN 37205

Price $2,950,000
Beds 4
Baths 7
Living Area SqFt 5,882
Status Active Under Contract
MLS # 1856327
Property Type Residential
 

539 Trace Creek Dr Nashville, TN 37221

Price $2,950,000
Beds 3
Baths 5
Living Area SqFt 5,612
Status Active
MLS # 1857092
Property Type Residential
 

31 Inveraray Nashville, TN 37215

Price $2,950,000
Beds 4
Baths 8
Living Area SqFt 10,857
Status Active
MLS # 1874498
Property Type Residential
 

9650 S Harpeth Rd Nashville, TN 37221

Price $2,900,000
Beds 4
Baths 7
Living Area SqFt 6,065
Status Active
MLS # 1830465
Property Type Residential
 

5478 Pinewood Rd Franklin, TN 37064

Price $2,900,000
Beds 4
Baths 3
Living Area SqFt 2,488
Status Active
MLS # 1835107
Property Type Residential
 

543 Lamb Ferry Rd Loretto, TN 38469

Price $2,900,000
Beds 4
Baths 3
Living Area SqFt 3,620
Status Active
MLS # 1866331
Property Type Residential
 

6450 Penrose Dr. - Lot 9 Brentwood, TN 37027

Price $2,875,000
Beds 5
Baths 10
Living Area SqFt 10,367
Status Active
MLS # 1871232
Property Type Residential
 

6994 Giles Hill Rd College Grove, TN 37046

Price $2,850,000
Beds 5
Baths 6
Living Area SqFt 5,693
Status Active
MLS # 1879960
Property Type Residential
 

7600 Buffalo Rd Nashville, TN 37221

Price $2,825,000
Beds 6
Baths 8
Living Area SqFt 10,230
Status Active
MLS # 1840314
Property Type Residential
 

700 12th Ave S Unit 1413 Nashville, TN 37203

Price $2,800,000
Beds 3
Baths 3
Living Area SqFt 3,334
Status Active
MLS # 1875397
Property Type Condo
 

3052 Old Murfreesboro Rd College Grove, TN 37046

Price $2,800,000
Beds 3
Baths 4
Living Area SqFt 4,536
Status Active
MLS # 1793128
Property Type Residential
 

1046 Vaughn Crest Dr Franklin, TN 37069

$2,799,000 - 8Br/12Ba -  for Sale in Laurelbrooke Sec 11-a #11, Franklin
Open House
Price $2,799,000
Beds 8
Baths 12
Living Area SqFt 11,923
Status Active
MLS # 1878566
Property Type Residential
 

900 20th Ave S. #1707 Nashville, TN 37212

Price $2,795,000
Beds 2
Baths 4
Living Area SqFt 2,905
Status Active
MLS # 1846483
Property Type Condo
 

900 20th Ave S Apt 1705 Nashville, TN 37212

Price $2,795,000
Beds 2
Baths 3
Living Area SqFt 2,832
Status Active
MLS # 1875028
Property Type Condo
 

1205 Robinson Rd Old Hickory, TN 37138

Price $2,750,000
Beds 4
Baths 6
Living Area SqFt 5,349
Status Active Under Contract
MLS # 1694234
Property Type Residential
 

1765 Warren Hollow Rd Nolensville, TN 37135

Price $2,750,000
Beds 6
Baths 8
Living Area SqFt 8,857
Status Active
MLS # 1843476
Property Type Residential
 

5195 Old Harding Rd Franklin, TN 37064

Price $2,750,000
Beds 7
Baths 7
Living Area SqFt 11,182
Status Active
MLS # 1863749
Property Type Residential
 

3706 John Lunn Rd Spring Hill, TN 37174

Price $2,700,000
Beds 4
Baths 3
Living Area SqFt 3,853
Status Active
MLS # 1819115
Property Type Residential
 

230 Rose Acres Ln Winchester, TN 37398

Price $2,700,000
Beds 3
Baths 3
Living Area SqFt 2,854
Status Active
MLS # 1820290
Property Type Residential
 

364 Blue Stocking Hollow Road Shelbyville, TN 37160

Price $2,700,000
Beds 4
Baths 6
Living Area SqFt 9,646
Status Active
MLS # 1825785
Property Type Residential
 

1453 Witherspoon Dr. (#152) Brentwood, TN 37027

Price $2,695,000
Beds 5
Baths 8
Living Area SqFt 7,810
Status Active
MLS # 1875631
Property Type Residential
 

337 White Swans Xing Brentwood, TN 37027

Price $2,695,000
Beds 6
Baths 9
Living Area SqFt 11,144
Status Active
MLS # 1823593
Property Type Residential
 

860 So Curtiswood Ln Nashville, TN 37204

Price $2,695,000
Beds 4
Baths 5
Living Area SqFt 5,951
Status Active
MLS # 1837290
Property Type Residential
 

6677 Leipers Creek Rd Columbia, TN 38401

Price $2,687,000
Beds 5
Baths 6
Living Area SqFt 4,641
Status Active
MLS # 1812559
Property Type Residential
 

45 Governors Way Brentwood, TN 37027

Price $2,650,000
Beds 4
Baths 8
Living Area SqFt 8,875
Status Active
MLS # 1873897
Property Type Residential
 

1004 Cartwright Close Dr Brentwood, TN 37027

Price $2,649,900
Beds 5
Baths 8
Living Area SqFt 7,124
Status Active
MLS # 1875353
Property Type Residential
 

4 Crooked Stick Ln Brentwood, TN 37027

Price $2,600,000
Beds 5
Baths 7
Living Area SqFt 8,120
Status Active
MLS # 1873740
Property Type Residential
 

423 Canterbury Rise Franklin, TN 37067

Price $2,599,000
Beds 5
Baths 9
Living Area SqFt 11,237
Status Active
MLS # 1872814
Property Type Residential
 

1044 Vaughn Crest Dr Franklin, TN 37069

Price $2,500,000
Beds 6
Baths 8
Living Area SqFt 9,698
Status Active
MLS # 1810193
Property Type Residential
 

544 Barlow Ln Lascassas, TN 37085

Price $2,500,000
Beds 5
Baths 6
Living Area SqFt 5,894
Status Active
MLS # 1825139
Property Type Residential
 

108 Bancroft Ct Nashville, TN 37215

Price $2,500,000
Beds 5
Baths 8
Living Area SqFt 7,306
Status Active
MLS # 1842982
Property Type Residential