THE NO-FEAR HOME BUYER’S GUIDE TO NASHVILLE
Nashville is booming… are you buying?
Last year, 38,594 residential properties sold in Nashville, with a median price of $266,408 for a single-family home. We’re pretty sure that meets anybody’s definition of an aggressive seller’s market—so if you’re moving to Nashville, we couldn’t blame you for looking forward to the home-buying process like a dog looks forward to vacuum cleaners.
If so, this is where your pulse rate goes down. Despite what you may have heard, you can buy a Nashville home and stay chill.
Get to Know the Neighborhoods
Nashville isn’t a city in the usual sense of the word… more like a lot of little communities that bumped into each other (that’s why so many of our street names abruptly change from one neighborhood to the next). Each one has a unique personality, so take time to find one that matches your own. If you love historic homes and restaurants you can walk to, check out Inglewood, Germantown, and Lockeland Springs. If you’re looking to dive straight into quirky bohemian paradise—close to the music and Nissan Stadium—East Nashville’s for you.
Buy or Rent?
If you’ve been hearing about amped-up competition for Nashville homes, you may be tempted to rent for a year and see how the market goes. However, right now it’s actually cheaper to buy than rent (this video tells you why). Make sure you check out the HOA dues and property taxes. Depending on where you’re planning to live, buying could save you a lot.
The Competition is Real
Inventory is low and prices are rising, particularly as you start to look eastward. Some of it’s about the buzz, a lot more is about getting your kids into the best school districts. If you see a home you love, expect it to get multiple bids. Talk to your realtor beforehand so you know what your best offer will be, and be prepared to make an offer on the spot. If the game gets too rich for your blood, the worst that can happen is you walk away and keep looking.
Nashville’s Old-School Social
You can often avoid a bidding war by keeping your ear close to the ground and learning about homes before the word gets out. Get to know people who’ve lived here a long time—we’re a pretty friendly bunch. Make sure your realtor really knows the neighborhoods. They’ll hear about great listings a long time before they show up on the Web.
Not to be confused with pre-qualified, which is only the first step of a much longer process. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage means you walk into the negotiation with a letter that shows a bank is ready to lend you money. This will give you a huge advantage over anyone who has to scramble for a down payment. Pre-approval takes time, but it means you can bid with confidence, and you’ll be in a better position to offer a short and simple escrow (which is as good as cash to many sellers).
Let the Seller See You as a Person
It’s about more than money: selling a home is often an emotional decision. If you love the home, chances are they did, too. Now’s the time to show them how much. Write a long letter, telling them who you are and what it would mean to own this wonderful home. Include photographs. All other factors being equal, the seller’s more likely to lean your way if they see their home will be safe in your hands.
Closing’s a Little Different Here
Ask your realtor to walk you through the closing process before you start looking, so you know what to expect. Tennessee laws are different than many states. For example, around here the seller is under no obligation to grant an extension on the closing. If you miss the closing date, you’re in breach of contract. Yet another reason to get pre-approved and avoid possible delays.
Relax… You’re In Nashville
You won’t hear a lot of stories about people “settling” for Nashville. The neighborhoods are walkable, the bars and restaurants are great, and there’s trees everywhere. If you’ve got an opportunity to move here, you’ve already achieved something amazing. The rest is just finding the right home to complete your Nashville dream. We can think of a lot of great homes you’ll want to see: no fear of that.