After the good-ole days of school, the thought of owning a home seldom crossed my mind. I knew nothing about the process and was living under the assumption that I would have to have a large down-payment whenever the time came. I didn’t feel comfortable asking questions. I did not want to appear stupid.
A few years later, a friend who was a mortgage geek asked me why I had not purchased a home. Being self-employed, I really did not know where to start, and did not want to admit it. Swallowing my stupid pride, I finally laid all the pieces to the puzzle out there and purchased a home weeks later. Then, I backed up to the “ass-kicking machine” for not asking someone sooner! It really was that easy…and still is today!
Every year you do not own a home is another year you will not build financial security. If the home you purchase does not go up in value at all, it will still be yours when it is paid for and you still have something to sell. Home Equity loans have also put many children through college. No apartment complex has ever managed to do that… except for its owners!
Lets address a few of the many questions that our first-time buyer of today might want to ask:
1) How much down-payment will I have to have? Don’t you just hate hearing the answer, “it depends.” I do, and refuse to use that as an answer. In most cases, you will have to have a minimum down-payment of 3.5% of your home’s purchase price. In Tennessee, first-time buyers using THDA’s Great Start can purchase a new Nashville area home with ZERO down payment and ZERO cash out of pocket. Of course, certain credit and income restrictions apply, but the program is relatively easy to qualify for. Visit www.thda.org for more details.
Members of our US Military, Veterans and Active-duty, are also eligible for ZERO DOWN financing and can now receive a 1/2% reduction in their fixed interest rate under THDA’s new “Homeownership for the Brave” program. Please contact me anytime and I will tell you all about these great options! 615.593.6340.
2) Just what are closing costs? Much like purchasing a car, closing costs include sales taxes and various fees. The costs of obtaining your loan are also closing costs, and there are many options there as well. Also included is an escrow account where you property taxes and insurance is pre-paid into the future. Typical closing costs to range between 3 to 4% of the purchase price of your home. This amount is due at the time of closing.
3) Who pays closing costs? Everybody pays in one way or another! Who gives the money at closing is negotiable. It is very common for buyers to negotiate with the seller to pay closing costs. If you purchase a new home with Ole South, ALL of your closing costs are paid when using our network of preferred lenders. In any case, we will pay 2% toward your closing costs with any lender. We make it easy to own a new home.
4) How much money do I need when I decide to contract on a home? The deposit amount you place when you contract is a negotiable figure between buyer and seller. That deposit is called “Earnest Money” and is held in escrow to apply toward your cash requirements at closing. We at Ole South ask for a minimum $500 deposit at the time of contract. If you use the THDA Great Start program through Ole South Financial, you will receive this deposit back at closing!
5) When do my payments start? Payments on your new home do not start until the home is completed and the transaction is closed. Typical first payments are due 30 days forward to the 1st of the next month. If you close on April 15th, your first payment will be due on June 1.
So get out there and explore the many homeownership options that are in front of you! See for yourself how new homes are better. Start by visiting the new home neighborhoods of Ole South. And remember, if you have questions….. we have the answers! www.OleSouth.com
Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019 direct 615.593.6340. Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.