Nashville New Homes: Fall is going to be fun!

Fall in Middle Tennessee is already off to a great start!

Leaves are beginning to turn, the Tennessee Titans first season under Head Coach Mike Munchak is underway, the Nashville Predators host their first home game of the season tonight, and Ole South rolls out its very first “Facebook Friends Friday” tomorrow.

You can find out more about Facebook Friends Friday on “The Ole South Blog,” where you will also learn just how easy and fun buying a new home can be!

Another reason Fall is off to a great start is the Real Estate market in Middle Tennessee.  Interest Rates are “stupid-low.”  Incentives are terrific, and there are still a lot of new homes to select from.   With the US Economy in the doldrums, and our local economy growing again, don’t miss exploring this great opportunity to purchase a new Ole South home!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Whether you choose your new Ole South home in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Spring Hill, or Clarksville, you can be assured you are receiving the very best new home value…period.  Visit our website OleSouth.com for the location nearest you.  Find out first hand why thousands of Middle Tennesseans 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: The “Short Sale” can of worms.

I was showing one of our brand new Ole South homes this week to a first-time home buyer.  They loved the home and all of its many features, especially the fact that everything was NEW and under warranty too.

They had learned through others that new homes offered the best value for the money, and that in most cases, a new home could be purchased for the same price, or even less, than an older resale home comparable in size and features.  They had looked at other resales, and told me everything that was important to them, even the price range.  Well guess what?  We have the perfect home nearing completion!

This particular home was $169,990, complete with all appliances and closing costs paid.  Using THDA’s Great Start program for first-time homebuyers, their monthly payment, yes PITI, would be approximately $1153 with zero cash out of pocket at closing.  If they chose to place their own down-payment of approximately $5950, their monthly payment would drop to approximately $1076. 

They really liked the -0- down option, but developed a perplexing look on their faces.  They really wanted a NEW home, but there was another home, similar in size, just 2 miles away they had seen online.  It was listed for $84,900.  It was a “short sale.”

They asked, “Just what does that mean?”   I explained the basic process where the bank would hopefully agree to allow the current owner to sell the home for less than the bank was owed on the property.  “You mean to say the bank is going to let them sell that home for 84,900?”  No, not necessarily.  “Then why is it listed for that price?”

Great question.  And we Realtors know the answer.  It is just like fishing.  We know the list price is just to attract a prospect, who will then be encouraged to make an offer, which the bank, at some unknown point in time, will accept or counter.  We all know that in most cases, the bank will not approve a listing price on a pre-foreclosure home until an offer of some kind is on the table.  The general public does NOT know that.

So, in the meantime, those shopping for homes receive a unrealistic picture of home values.  Neighborhoods suffer.  Those trying to sell their homes without financial difficulty suffer.  Zillow’s “z-estimates” seem to pick up on the suffering too, lowering those home values that are automatically calculated.  People believe those values because they saw it on “the internet.”

Okay, let’s go ahead and open the can of worms.

 The “short sale” can be a great alternative to foreclosure and I know many Realtors that are very successful negotiating the sale of homes in this situation.  It can be a win-win situation for all involved, but only if extraordinary levels of patience can be applied.

Let’s be serious.  Wouldn’t our whole real estate economy be better off if a property could not be listed at an arbitrary price that is basically pulled out of the sky?  

Many will disagree, but ANY home listed for sale on our MLS should be able to be purchased at the price listed.  Period. 

Why can’t our MLS require all short sales to be classified a separate way without a list price, followed by the instructions?   Or, if a price has to be present, enter $1.00.  At least that way, the playing field is more level.  I know there are data fields already for short sale notations, but that still leaves the “pie-in-the-sky” listing price.  Simply put, it is “bait and switch.”  

Again, there are many great Realtors that specialize in “short sales.”  If you would like a recommendation, please feel free to contact me anytime.

Bad things happen to good people all the time.  If you know anyone that has suffered a 30% drop in income or more, that may need assistance in avoiding a foreclosure or short sale, don’t forget about THDA’s newest program, www.keepmytnhome.org.

And always remember, better times are ahead.

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: Even lower mortgage interest rates? Coming soon.

That’s right.  Even lower interest rates are on the horizon for first-time home buyers, thanks to the folks at Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA).  Visit their website, www.THDA.org for more information.

Here are the new program rates that go into effect September 1, 2011 for all files submitted ON OR AFTER that date:

Great Rate – 3.95%       For the first-time buyer that has their own down-payment funds and closing costs, if not paid by a seller.  Perfect for those with front and/or back ratios below 45%.  

Great Advantage – 4.25%     Buyer receives a 2% grant that may be used toward down-payment, or closing costs if not being paid by seller    

Great Start – 4.55%     Buyer receives a 4% grant that may be used toward downpayment, admin fees, and closing costs if not paid by seller.

Remember!  When you purchase a new home from Ole South in Nashville, Smyrna, Murfreesboro, or Spring Hill, and use Ole South Financial (our SunTrustMortgage Joint Venture), ALL CLOSING COSTS are paid!  (note:  certain conventional loans limit seller contributions to 3%)

YES!       A first time buyer can purchase a brand new Ole South home with ZERO CASH DOWN AT CLOSING and receive a 4.55% fixed interest rate 30-year FHA loan.   Find yours at www.OleSouth.com

NOW – an unprecedented time to take advantage of unprecedented opportunities.

 

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: Need more reasons to buy now? You’ve got em!

If you’ve been waiting for the planets to become perfectly lined up before buying your first home, wait no longer!

Buying your first home is a big decision, and if you haven’t thought much about it, you need to start now.  According to HUD, home prices have stabilized and will start rising.

Read more…..

http://www.housingzone.com/housingzone/sales/hud-secretary-home-prices-set-rise

If you have a stable job, and plan on staying in the Nashville area, what are you waiting for?  The rent to go up?

No agency is better developing programs for first-time buyers than the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, THDA, who announced today a further drop in their program rates effective Monday, July 18th.  Check this out:  (shown are current rates, edited January 2012)

THDA Great Rate – 3.95%     This loan is perfect for a first-time buyer that already has their 3.5% downpayment funds secured, but has high “front-end” ratios.  With this loan, the house-payment can actually be as high as 44.99% of gross income, as long as no other installment debt is present.

THDA Great Advantage – 4.25%   This plan is great for those that may be just a little short on cash.  With this plan, the buyer receives a 2% grant, which can be used toward the required downpayment, or closing costs.

THDA Great Start – 4.55%   This plan is terrific for those wishing to save their cash for other plans.  The buyer receives a 4% grant, which can be used toward the required downpayment, administrative, and closing costs.  With a seller paying all closing costs (which Ole South does), this is truly a “ZERO CASH REQUIRED” loan.

Homeownership for the Brave – Veterans and active duty military ned to explore this great program.  Pick any plan listed above and subtract 1/2% from the fixed interest rate.  No first time buyer requirement, and if you have another home financed through VA, you can still use this program and not sell that other home…as long as the new home will be your principal residence.

Targeted Counties – The first-time buyer requirement is waived in designated “targeted counties.”  Maury County is one such area and you will want to explore to great selection of new homes in Ole South’s Meadowbrook and Cobblestone neighborhoods of Spring Hill.

Detailed information is available at THDA’s website, www.THDA.org.

 

Want to learn more?   Whether you are exploring purchasing your first home, looking to move-up or downsize, or would simply like to know more about all home financing issues and programs, drop by Bridgestone Arena this Sunday, July 17th from 1:00 to 5:00 pm for the 2011 Mayor’s Homeownership Fair.   THDA will be there.  And so will Ole South!

For more information, visit the website  http://www.nashville.gov/housingfair/

Come on down and learn more about why NOW is the time to purchase a new home!

And you are always invited to drop by any of our Middle Tennessee model homes.  We’ll be excited to explore your options with you!

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: It all starts with affordable housing.

It came as no surprise to anyone familiar with Fourth of July celebrations in Nashville for 2011’s “Let Freedom Sing” to be ranked in the top fifteen national celebrations.  From aol.com: http://news.travel.aol.com/2011/06/28/july-4th-fireworks-15-of-the-biggest-shows-in-america-ranked-p/

And while the fireworks went BOOM, Forbes was busy compiling its list of 2011 Boom Towns!  And Nashville is #3 on the list:

http://blogs.forbes.com/joelkotkin/2011/07/06/the-next-big-boom-towns-in-the-u-s/

Nashville is on a roll with Forbes, ranking #6 in the country for business and careers  http://www.forbes.com/2011/06/27/best-places-11-top-50_slide_7.html and #4 on the list of best places to retire: http://www.forbes.com/2011/03/23/best-retirement-places-cities-living-costs-doctors-crime_slide_11.html

And late last year, Nashville was ranked as the 4th best college town in America!     http://www.insidevandy.com/drupal/node/14645

All of these rankings are a benefit of affordable housing.   Plain and simple.

Without affordable housing, all of these encouraging rankings would disappear quicker than France surrendered to Germany in 1940!

The Nashville area is committed to providing affordable housing, and there is no better place to learn more than this Sunday at the 4th annual Mayor’s Homeownership Fair at Bridgestone Arena.  Here is the schedule for the day’s activities:   http://www.nashville.gov/housingfair/schedule.asp

No home builder is more committed to providing affordable brand new homes in the Greater Nashville area than Ole South, and we’ll be at the Mayor’s Homeownership Fair also!

In our 26th year, we remain committed to providing the very best new home values in every one of our neighborhoods.  Find our more at the 2011 Mayor’s Homeownership Fair, or by visiting our website, 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

Nashville New Homes: Bad economic news?….Another great opportunity for Tennessee!

Every time you turn on the national news, or read a national headline, there is negative news about the economy, specifically the housing market.   Many prospective buyers hear this news loud and clear, and sustain their “wait it out” philosophy.  Why?

Because no one else is talking!   I saw a great facebook post this week of a quote by Anthony J. D’Angelo, “If you have time to whine and complain about something, then you have time to do something about it.”

Yes we do!   It is our responsibility as Realtors to communicate the positive to everyone, not just those already searching for a new home, but those that should be.  Let’s start now:

Right now, low interest rates are resulting from a lackluster national economy.  Every day the overall economic news leans toward “bad” is one more day that a home buyer can take advantage of unfathomable interest rates.

From the Wall Street Journal….”Based on incomes, this is as affordable as it gets,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “If you can get a loan, these are pretty good times to buy.”

It truly is a great time to buy.  Not just because of low interest rates, but because of the programs that are available.  In this world, especially in this Congress, loan procedures are always subject to change.  Here is one potential change looming on the horizon that we have the opportunity to do something about:

https://realtorparty.realtoractioncenter.com/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1653

There are areas of the country that are suffering in this economy.  But others are striving, and those areas are attracting jobs and economic activity much like a magnet.  We are blessed that  Tennessee is one of these areas!

http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2011/06/13/tennessee-no-6-for-2010-economic-growth.html

The Clarksville/Ft.Campbell area is a magnet all by itself, bringing industry that is thinking outside the box in attracting workers.  Check out a unique approach from Hemlock Semiconductor:

Click here to learn more about Hemlock’s opportunities:  http://www.clarksvillenow.com/pages/10125186.php?

And less than 50 miles away, Nashville just keeps on retaining and creating job opportunities, as reported in the Nashville Business Journal:

http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2011/06/14/employment-outlook-in-nashville-among.html

And there is even more encouragement for young adults to begin their careers in Nashville, creating many potential “first-time buyers.” 

http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2011/06/20/nashville-a-top-city-for-young-adults.html

Education in Middle Tennessee is also in the national spotlight!  Four Middle Tennessee High Schools are ranked among the top 500 in the nation.  Below are the Tennessee schools on the list and their nationwide ranking:

          Hume-Fogg Academic High School of Nashville, #33

          Brentwood High School, #100

          Ravenwood High School of Frranklin, #284

          Page High School of Franklin, #494

The above facts are just a few examples of evidence that “Tennessee is happening”   and attracting more attention and activity, just like that magnet!   When you plan an evening on the town, you more than likely select a place that you have heard great things about, right?   Businesses and relocating families are the same way.

Tennesseans, let’s join forces and get the word out on the economy in our great state!

When you are searching for a new home, you will hopefully consider one home builder that has been providing the area’s best new home values for over 25 years:

http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/feature/ResBuilders-061711-1.html

We at Ole South appreciate everyone’s support and continue to be optimistic about life in the Great State of Tennessee.  We invite everyone to visit our model homes and neighborhoods, as well as our website, www.OleSouth.com, to discover why thousands of homeowners 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: 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