Nashville New Homes: Work Equity as your New Home Downpayment?

What is the one thing that everyone in this world has in common?   A FUTURE.  

That’s right…everyone has a future of some kind.   Although there are no guarantees in life, there are steps each one of us can take to make our future more stable and secure.  Owning a home is one such step that everyone can position themselves to take.  Your future really can be in your own hands.

Home mortgage criteria has changed a lot over the recent years, but that doesn’t mean it has to be more difficult to purchase a home.  It just means you have to provide more proof of your ability to be a responsible homeowner. 

FHA loans are the most widely used programs, where 3.5% of the purchase price is required as a downpayment, without exception. 

WAIT A MINUTE…. aren’t there ZERO DOWN home mortgages?  Technically, NO…. but actually…. YES! 

In Tennessee, there are loan programs where the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (www.THDA.org) will grant first-time buyers up to 4% of the purchase price to be used toward the downpayment and/or closing costs. 

If the seller of the property agrees to pay your closing costs, which Ole South will, you can use the THDA Great Start grant for your downpayment and administrative fees.   How does THDA do that?  What is the catch?

There is no catch.  The fixed interest rate for loans using the downpayment grants are slightly higher than those FHA loans with your actual down-payment.   If used responsibly, the Great Start program can be a very useful tool in financial planning. 

With today’s historicaly low interest rates, the money you would normally put down can be used to pay off other debts with higher interest rates.  A trusted mortgage professional can help you evaluate your options.  I happen to know many, so please let me know if you would like to know more.

There are other ways in addition to THDA to secure a downpayment.  You may have a relative or close friend that will give you the money, which has to be documented in the form of a gift letter affidavit that no repayment is required or expected.

And there is another provision that has been around a long time, but has basically been forgotten….WORK EQUITY.   Most builders hate it because it really is a pain in the ass to deal with.  BUT, it is a tool that can bring willing homebuyers to the closing table much quicker!  We offer the program at Ole South and you do not have to be a first-time buyer to participate!

FHA allows the seller to credit the buyer an amount up to $2.00 per heated square foot living area for painting the interior of the home, including all wood trim and doors.  The seller can also furnish the paint!  Please remember in your negotiating, that is the maximum allowed amount and the builder can get the same job done for 1/2 of that amount. 

You can also receive “work equity” credit toward your required downpayment for seeding and strawing your own lawn.  And the seller can furnish the grass seed and straw as well!

Lets do the math using an 1800 s/f,  $150,000 new home example, which Ole South offers plenty of choices.  (www.OleSouth.com

The required down-payment is $5,250.   Paint the home and you can receive $3,600 credit toward your downpayment.  You can seed and straw a typical new home yard and receive approximately $750.00 credit.  That leaves your total cash out of pocket at $900…. and you still get to take full advantage of the lowest rates available!

History proves that over time, owning is always better than renting.  Why not improve your financial future today by visiting one of our Middle Tennessee neighborhoods in Nashville, Smyrna, Murfreesboro, Spring Hill, and Clarksville?  Find out why thousands of home owners are proud to say:

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

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2 comments on “Nashville New Homes: Work Equity as your New Home Downpayment?

  1. Peggy James says:

    Trey, what an interesting blog post. I’ll bet their are a lot of home buyers who did not even know that Olde South was offering the Work Equity Program. Here in Virginia I do not beleive we have such a program, however it might serve some of the builders well if they considered it.

    As always, great Tips From Trey. Or shall we coin them TFT’s!

    • Trey Lewis says:

      Thanks! Also for a good laugh – TFT! As far as I know, the work equity provision will apply in Virginia also, since FHA guidelines are nationwide. There is very little documentation out there, and many originators say it does not exist, but it does. Have already closed 2 this month that way. Another great tool for this program is that buyers can apply any money they normally would have used on downpayments for terminating their apartment leases early and taking advantage of the great rates offered right now.

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