Nashville New Homes: Your Very Own Dream Machine

The past few years have offered some incredible opportunities for home ownership, with many just now getting off of the fence and exploring.  What did they see, hear or feel that made them decide to act now? 

I love selling new homes.  You meet so many neat people.  While they may have different needs, they all have one common desire – they want to own something!

One prospect I recently worked with answered the question like this…. “If I don’t buy anything now, I won’t have anything to sell later!”

 

She explained her reasoning…. a friend in her office was retiring.  She and her husband were turning 60.  All of their kids were grown.  Their house was paid for.    Their dream was planned.  They wanted to see the world while they could still enjoy the experience.

They had recently sold their home of 35 years.  With the proceeds, they purchased a smaller town home so they would have a place to get the mail, or a “home base.”  They purchased a large Motor Home with plans to visit every state in the continental US, and Canada too!  They were leaving April 30th, with no firm plans other than to take a break for a 14-day European Cruise in September.  Needless to say, they still had a chunk of money left over from the sale of their home!

 

My prospect has similar dreams for her future, and like she said earlier, “If I don’t buy anything now, I won’t have anything to sell later!”

In essence, her new home is now her very own “Dream Machine.”  When she is retirement age, it will be paid for.  It will be hers to sell.  The proceeds will be hers to enjoy.  She put it even simpler…. “After 30 years of renting, all I would get is a Change of Address Form.  Now I will have something to sell!”

Everyone has a dream for the future.  Owning your own home will increase your ability to pursue that dream.  And as long as you continue to rent, you are giving your landlord the ability to pursue his or her dream.

What is YOUR dream?   There is a “Dream Machine” that can make it come true!  CLICK HERE to find yours.

Trey Lewis is VP Sales & Marketing for Ole South Properties Inc, Tennessee’s largest independent home builder,  615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340 or email TLewis@olesouth.com.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

 

 

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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

Nashville New Homes: Great Deal, Necessity, or Smart Financial Move?

In economic times like these, we should ask ourselves this question every time we consider purchasing something:

“Is this a Great Deal, a Necessity, or a Smart Financial Move?”

But most of us, including myself just don’t take the time.  Either we really don’t want to know the real answer, or we just don’t care.  We want whatever it is.

This week, a young professional couple pulled up at the model home in a brand new luxury sports car.  I know it was new because it still had the temporary dealer tag in the back window.  As they approached the door, I was confident that this was my next sale.

After a warm greeting, I asked them “what in a new home would be most important to them?”  Their answer…. “a new home…FOR RENT.”  Well damn!  

Even new home sales professionals know that home ownership isn’t for everyone.   So, lets find out why this couple shouldn’t buy.   Were they here in Nashville on a temporary relocation?   Were they expecting a transfer within the next year? 

No, they are from the area and have no intention of relocating away.   Further discussion revealed the reason for wanting to rent.  They were just unsure of the current Real Estate market.  They wanted to wait until the news media confirmed home prices have bottomed out, and appreciation certain.

I don’t want to appear cynical, but the car they drove up in was 1/3 the price of a nice home.   It lost approximately 30% of what they paid for it the second they signed the purchase agreement.  It has little chance of ever being worth what they paid for it.  And there are no tax advantages when they do sell it for less than they paid for it (unless they are self-employed and use the car for business.)  But, I know better than to make fun of something that someone purchased.  The car never came up in the conversation…. well not until later anyway.

If they had asked the above question about the car purchase, the only possible answer would be “a great deal.”    I bet the new car salesperson would have danced a jig around answering the question too!  But, they had received a nice discount, zero down payment, and 0% financing for 72 months.

 

For “First-Time Buyers” in Tennessee, buying a new home is almost that easy.  You can purchase a brand new home with zero-out-of-pocket money using the ‘Great Start” program, offered by THDA.  Coupled with today’s record low interest rates, you can more than likely own your new home for the same, or less, than a comparable rental would be.

The new home will not go down 30% in value the day you move in.  Real Estate has firm documentation of appreciation over time.  Chances are very good that your new home will one day be worth more than you paid for it.  Mortgage interest is tax deductible.  So are property taxes.   You can also turn your new home into investment property and rent it out, should you ever choose to move.    Try all that out with a car.  You can also borrow money on your equity.  Try that with an apartment.

Ole South has brand new homes, of all shapes and sizes, in a variety of locations throughout Middle Tennessee.  With prices ranging from $89,990 to $299,990, you are certain to find a home to meet your needs.    For more information on our locations, please visit www.OleSouth.com.   Visit any of our model homes and find out for yourself why thousands of Tennesseans are proud to say “Ole South Built It.”

And while you are there, ask yourself the above topic question.  At Ole South, the correct answer is “All of the Above!” 

After more discussion, the visiting couple decided the time was right to explore purchasing a new home.  I am sory to say that expedition did not take very long ….. their sparkling new car payment had pushed their debt-to-income ratio way over approvable limits.  For them, renting it is for a while longer.  And we’ll stay in touch until the time is right for them to explore again!

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

Nashville New Homes: The stupid questions are the ones you don’t ask!

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

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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.

Nashville New Homes: A new home or a puppy? Which is least expensive?

Back in February, I returned from a mission trip in Honduras to find out we were getting a puppy.  Here is Ruby, our new “Blue Doberman” at 6 weeks old.  (Notice she has floppy ears)

For those that are keeping up with the news regarding housing, things are really looking up for a change!   And the word is getting out too.  Read on…. http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/flowchart/2011/03/28/one-sign-the-housing-bust-could-end-soon

Back to Ruby.  She is now 12 weeks old.  And her ears are now different.  (I always thought a Doberman came with pointed ears until now.)

To my point. 

We got Ruby on February 13.   She has now had her ears “clipped”  (which I still think is mean) and various other puppy charges,  and the responsibility of pet ownership has already set in.  And it adds up.

If someone bought a new home on February 13th, the first payment has still not come due.  And when it does, with today’s historically low interest rates, that payment will not break your budget.  After all, everyone has to live somewhere…why not in your own place?

FACT:  You can purchase a new home, and spend less cash than purchasing a puppy.

Here is a great example combining the purchase of a new home – and cash flow management. 

This brand new home in Rivendell Woods of Cane Ridge is all ready to be your next home, especially if you already have a puppy.  The back yard is already fenced in!  At 156,990, just bring your furniture and food.  Even the window blinds and all kitchen appliances are included.

What cash flow?  Using THDA’s “Great Start” program (www.thda.org) through Ole South Financial, you can move in this new home with ZERO cash out of pocket.   And your first payment will not be due until July, if you want to plan it that way!  Right now, you can own a brand new home in Nashville for less than $750/month, including taxes and HOA!

We’ve got a great selection of traditional homes and townhomes all over Middle Tennessee.  From 89,990 to 299,990, you are certain to find the perfect home for your needs.  And one that your puppy will like too! 

Call me anytime and let’s explore your many options!  If I cannot answer, please leave a message.  I’ll probably be taking Ruby out to pee!

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 home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

Nashville New Homes: Good times ahead for Landlords.

Buying a home isn’t for everybody.  If you are not sure about your current job, marital status, or a host of other varibles, you may be better off just renting a bit longer until your life settles in.  It may also be that you are self-employed and find it hard to obtain financing with all the changes in the mortgage market.  Or, through no fault of your own, you may have lost your job and not been able to pay everything on time every month over the past years and now your credit score is hindering your ability to get a home mortgage.

For those that do not fit any of the above scenarios, but are still renting for whatever reason, you really should give serious consideration to home ownership.  Read more here:

http://www.ehow.com/info_7930598_average-apartment-rent-increase.html

Rising costs are based on supply and demand.  The cost of many materials used in the construction of new homes are increasing.  The price of oil effects the cost of everything too, and we all see what is happening there.  Good news for prospective home buyers – these rising costs have not been passed on to the consumer – YET!

But at some point they will be.  If you don’t believe me, perhaps you can believe Warren Buffett:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2010-03-01-buffett01_ST_N.htm

First time home buyers can still purchase a new home with zero cash out of pocket.  So can eligible Veterans when using a VA loan.  And don’t forget, certain members of the US Military may still be eligible for last year’s $8000 tax credit!  Here it is direct from the IRS website:

  • Members of the military and certain other federal employees serving outside the U.S. have an extra year to buy a principal residence in the U.S. and qualify for the credit. Thus, an eligible taxpayer must buy, or enter into a binding contract to buy, a principal residence on or before April 30, 2011. If a binding contract is entered into by that date, the taxpayer has until June 30, 2011, to close on the purchase. Members of the uniformed services, members of the Foreign Service and employees of the intelligence community are eligible for this special rule. It applies to any individual (and, if married, the individual’s spouse) who serves on qualified official extended duty service outside of the United States for at least 90 days during the period beginning after Dec. 31, 2008, and ending before May 1, 2010.
  • So get out there and explore your possibilities!  It doesn’t cost anything to look.  But it might cost you something if you don’t…on the first day of every month! 

    Here are our newest spots from Home Center Network, Comcast Channel 49.  You can see all of our neighborhoods daily at 9:00 am & pm, as well as our website, www.OleSouth.com

    Where are YOU going to be when the rent goes up?  Why not in your very own brand new Ole South home?

    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 home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

    Nashville New Homes: 2011 – The Year of the New Home.

    For the past several years, those bearing bad news have held a firm grip on the microphone.   After all, they had a lot of negative things to report, so lets not blame them.   Bad news does sell.  And people do buy it…that is, until they have heard enough!

    Since the first of January, I have been asking prospective home buyers a question…. “If you had purchased 60 days ago, you could have saved a little bit more money.  Interest rates have edged up slightly, even though they are still at record lows.  Just what has made you come out to explore now?”  (Please keep in mind that these prospective buyers are among the NINETY PERCENT of people that still have jobs in this country.)

     The responses are very much the same across the board.  “I’m hearing more positive news, I feel good about my job, and I know my rent will probably go up next year.”   OR …  “We’re getting closer to retirement and probably won’t have another chance to buy with interest rates this low.”

    Folks, the “bearers of good news” are now getting their time at the microphone!   And the message is getting across.  It is certain, and sad, that many Americans are still without work.  The NINETY PERCENT that still work will be the ones that turn this economy around, and help put those unfortunate ones back to work.  If we truly want that to happen, we’ve got to communicate positive news whenever possible.

    Let’s take a look at the good news that is now circulating…..

    http://www.inman.com/news/2011/01/27/real-estate-sales-rebound-in-2011-prices-nearly-flat

    We all know that the price of things are a simple result of “supply and demand.”  We all know that there is a finite supply of land… there’s just not any more of it being made.  Here’s another opinion of why now is the time to buy:

    http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=23505825

    I can tell you that our sales have picked up dramatically and our inventory of completed homes is being snatched up quickly in many areas.  WE ARE BUILDING MORE!  Please visit www.OleSouth.com for information on all of our new home neighborhoods in Middle Tennessee.

    No two pieces of property are the same, and no two areas are alike.   You have got to weigh the “risk vs. reward” and at the same time keep in mind that you are buying a home first, and investment second.  And the most important part…. you will one day own it, something you cannot say for your apartment. 

    Things are looking better for the housing industry, but at the same time we also have to be realistic, as you can read here:

      http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/01/new-home-sales-increase-in-december.html

    From a person that specializes in selling new homes, there is a good chance you will always hear … “now is the time to buy.”   We are not trying to be intentionally misleading.  In most cases, compared to renting, “anytime is a good time to buy, but some times are better than others.”  Feel free to quote me on that!

    How things are really does depend how you choose to look at things.  I prefer optimism over pessimism anyday.

    One thing I can say factually, there is a small village in southern Honduras, near Choluteca, that will soon be looking at their homes in a totally different light….actual light…. at night!  They will also have access to filtered drinking water for their homes, and a more healthy cooking stoves thanks to District 6760 of Rotary International.

    Read more about our upcoming trip here:

    https://nashvillehomesblog.com/2011/01/19/nashville-new-homes-assafartay-is-going-to-honduras/

    There will more than likely not be any blog posts until I return, but you can count on quite a few recaps then!  Many people warn about posting travel information online, and for very valid reasons.  I have a few valid reasons not to worry about that:  A great home security system, a wife that is proficient with guns, and good insurance.  Bring it on!

    Happy Buying & Selling in 2011.  It really can be the “Year of the New Home.”  YOURS!

    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 home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee