HOME SWEET HOME: How to find your dream home before someone else does

HOME SWEET HOME: How to find your dream home before someone else does

Nashville is Zillow’s pick for hottest city to move to in 2017, and it is ranked one of the hottest single family housing markets in the nation right now.  It has consistently shown great growth in terms of economic prospects as both jobs and population are on the rise.  With all this activity, searching for a home in Nashville can be a daunting task.

One can spend endless hours looking online, going to open houses and showings, and driving around neighborhoods.  Then you find the perfect home and put your offer in, only to find that it is already under contract.  Falling in love with a home that is already sold, or spending hours looking at all the wrong homes can lead to fear and frustration.

So what do you do to navigate this booming market?

1.) First and foremost, you need to find a real estate professional you can not only trust, but most importantly, who listens.

2.) Know your buying power.  It is best to have consulted with a mortgage broker and have a pre-approval letter so when you find the perfect home you can move right away. Then do your own budget.  Just because you are pre-approved for a $450,000 house does not mean you can afford one.  List your monthly debts and subtract that from your income.  However, don’t just stop there.  Take into account closing costs, moving expenses, new furniture and even that special splurge you may want for your new home.

3.) Make a list of MUST haves and prioritize that list. This is important and where the budget comes in handy.  If the right neighborhood with the best schools is the number one priority, you might have to increase your commute time.  Then make a list of wants and prioritize this list as well. Again, you will have to make some tradeoffs, but the act of making these lists and seeking the level of importance of each want will only help to narrow your search.

4.) Present these lists to your realtor and have an honest discussion about them.  This is where the right realtor can make a real difference.  They know the local market, what neighborhoods you can afford to look in, and can give you an edge in jumping on a new listing that meets your priorities.   They know the new up and coming neighborhoods that perhaps you have overlooked or never considered.  They are up to date on school zoning and what new construction has in store for future areas. This knowledge can pay off with future property value, and help find or create your ideal home.

Great agents often see what you cannot.  You may love a home but not notice the shifting foundation, or know that the neighborhood has been losing value over the last 5 years.  They can also spot the diamond in the rough and be able to show you how to get your dream home out of what seems like a rundown, older home.  Picking out the desirable attributes and showing you home improvement options could give your dream home more character while also increasing resale value.

There is nothing more frustrating than spending days, weeks, or even months looking at homes that you would never buy.  Spending hours on your own online or out looking, only to run across a perfect house that your realtor never showed you can be heartbreaking.

5.) In a market such as Nashville’s, it is also important not to “time the market.”  Real estate is in constant flux and if you sit around trying to find the “perfect” time to buy, you may miss out.  The best time to buy is when you find the right home!

6.) The last piece of advice in a growing market is to make the right offer.  Again, a great agent is key here.  They know the market and should give you good advice on what a good offer is; one that is most likely to be accepted while keeping your budget a priority. Knowing the price per square foot of other homes in area, gauging how long the home has been on the market and how motivated the sellers are, all play a significant role in the bidding process.

It can take time to find your dream home especially in a booming market. However, by following some key steps and partnering with the right agent, your dreams can become reality and you can settle in your wonderful new home!

Chris Mannino is an esteemed real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty. He is committed to providing honest, courteous, and professional service. You’ll experience the difference of a full service, full time Realtor. Mannino’s motto is “24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” Real estate is a full time job and he never takes a day off. For more information, give him a call at (615) 299-7995 or visit his website.


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