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The First-Time Homebuyers Guide to Success


Purchasing a new home can be exciting and overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time.  Our agents at Armstrong Real Estate have helped countless individuals and families transition into their dream homes and they’ve all had one thing in common: preparation!  Here are a few tips on how you can prepare yourself for making this experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

1. Check Your Credit
Your credit score is an extremely important factor when it comes to qualifying for loans.  Ideally, this process should start 5-6 months out of applying for a loan.  Make sure you are free and clear of any unpaid accounts, and that your credit limit/credit utilization ratio is not putting your credit score at risk.  The lower the utilization rate, the higher your score will be.
2. Get Organized
Be sure to have your documents in place prior to meeting with a lender. Necessary documents typically include the last 2 years of W-2’s and tax returns, as well as the past 2 months of bank statements. Be prepared to show those along with 2 months of recent pay stubs.
3. Secure Your Down Payment
After checking your credit and a general rundown of your financial history, your lender will notify you of the your budget. Once you know what you can afford, the next step is ensuring your down payment is secured.  There are some programs available to assist buyers with qualifying incomes and situations, so be sure to speak with your lender regarding your options.  Generally you will want to multiply the purchase price of the house by 5% (.05). You can contact our preferred lender, Pete Zaft at Mortgage Investors Group at for more info.
4. Shopping For a Home
This is the fun part! You probably already have your Pinterest boards in place, ready to guide your vision for your future home.  Make a wish list for your home based on your needs and wishes.  We recommend that you have a list of 3-6 requirements to help narrow down options within your budget.  And as any HGTV aficionado knows, no house is going to be perfect. So be prepared to make concessions and always remember – paint colors and flooring are easy fixes!
5. Make an Offer
Your realtor will guide you in this process, but keeping in mind comps of what other homes in the area have sold for, how long ago the home was on the market and what amenities/finishes the home offers will guide your offer. Be sure to have a home inspector walk through your potential home (Armstrong Real Estate always assists you with this), as you never know what they’re going to discover.  You and your realtor will make an educated offer based on the following factors:
        1. How long the property has sat on the market
        2. What condition the home is in
        3. The neighborhood comps
        4. What the home inspection reveals
While this process can seem daunting, just think of how great you’ll feel after your new home is filled with your belongings and you add your personal touch! With that goal in mind of move in day, allow your realtor to guide you along the process!  A great area to consider for your first time purchase is West Nashville. We are seeing this area have tremendous growth, making it a great investment. You’ll be sure to love the new dining, shopping & attractions sprouting up in this area. Check out West Nashville’s available properties here.

Call our team of Nashville Real Estate experts today to help you kick off your buying process at 615.807.0579. ex

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