First-Time Home-Buyers Series: Before the Search Begins...

People have been buying homes for a long time. It's not rocket science, but there is a timeline of things that need to happen to go from "Okay, let's start searching for our first home," to "Wow, we just Closed on our first home!" As such, you don't need a scientist-Realtor, you need a teacher-Realtor to guide you through HOW to buy a home--with confidence. There is nothing worse than hearing that first-time home-buyers had a bad experience because they "just didn't know what was happening next." So, let's start talking about what happens next...

Assume we have met, agreed that we're going to work together, buckled our seat-belts and launched....what happens next? 

1. Location, Need-To-Haves, Nice-To-Haves:

This is where I get the whole picture of what you are looking for in a home. We'll talk about a lot of different things like, "Where do you guys spend the bulk of your time? Kitchen, Den, Bedroom, etc...how do you feel about a Subdivision vs. a private lot? Do you need a big yard for your kids, dogs, church-league volleyball practice, etc? Front porch? Basement? UPGRADED KITCHEN?Do you like to be able to walk to coffee shops, parks, restaurants?" You get the idea. The main thing I'm looking for here is LOCATION. Remember: A great house in an awful location is 9-Times-Out-Of -10 times an unhappy home-owner. The value of a specific location is decided upon by you. A location that one buyer would hate, may actually be just right for you--and vice versa. These probing questions before our home search really helps hammer out what the best location is for you...and is what helps me as I'm pulling up properties for you. 

Also, it helps us set expectations. If you tell me you would like 4 bedrooms in Franklin,  fairly new construction, and close to the Historic district, that is turn-key-ready....under $200,000....I'll have to share some bad news with you. It doesn't exist. We either need to change our location, or keep the location but expect some major compromises. We don't want to waste our time trying to chase down a property that doesn't exist. Instead, this helps us drill down into what is most important in a home that is within the bounds of your budget. Speaking of budgets....

2. Let's Talk Money:

Now that I'll be starting to send you potential properties for us to see, it is really important before we start scheduling showings that you've started the mortgage pre-approval process. In Nashville, right now, if your finances are not in order when we find your dream-home we will miss out on it because another Buyer who had their pre-approval already in place had a faster, stronger offer. If I'm truly in the business of helping you find the best property, this should be a really, really important factor. I have a small group of Loan Officers I refer my clients to, or perhaps you have one already, to help knock this out so we know, for sure, what price-range of homes we should be looking at. Offers that are coupled with proof of financial readiness are stronger than offers without.