Looking to buy in Nashville, on a pretty tight budget...(150k) My fiance and I

Asked by Katie, 37212 Thu Jan 22, 2009

Hi all and thanks in advance!

My fiance and I are moving to Nashville during the summer and are trying to decide if we should should buy our first place or continue to rent. With our monthly income and savings, I estimate that, should we buy, we will be able to spend up to $150,000. Any suggestions on neighborhoods where we could make the most of our money? Preferably somewhere safe, and ideally someplace up-and-coming. Also, nothing too far (within maybe 10 miles) from downtown.

We're open to condos but would really, really love a house. We're both willing to put sweat into a place, but probably nothing too major.

Thanks again!

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Voices Member, , Benton County, OR
Thu Jan 22, 2009
Katie, I would use this site to get a general idea of neighborhoods, crime statistis, school, housing trends. ect..
http://www.bhgrealestate.com/Views/Look/Default.aspx It just a start for comparision to other info..

I'd use this interactive trulia map for getting more info on the market area....http://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Tennessee/Nashville-heat_map/

Then I'd look around at different hud and bank homes available...https://www.bidselect.com/Home?p_build_page=Home&p_proce…


I'd check to see if I might be qualified for a gov program....http://www.govloans.gov/govloans_en.portal?_nfpb=true&_p…

You've got the time, do your reseach, become informed and make wise decisions in choosing those working on your behalf.

Good hinting, Dunes
4 votes
Steve Condur…, Agent, Nashville, TN
Thu Jan 22, 2009
Yea Katie!!
Ya'll are going to love living here. I assume this will be your first home...and if that's true consider the following:
1. Are either of you good with your hands? Are you handy? Will you have the time to love and fix up a home?
2. As newlyweds how will you like to spend your first year? Hanging wallpaper, or spending your weekends traveling?
With those questions in mind I offer the following advice, buy a home in a newly constructed community that is three years old..or newer. These homes are built according to the latest codes and for the most part, going to have newer heat and air systems, roofs, etc that arent't going to break down for 10-15 years.....
Remember that this is going to be your first home...not your forever home......
Now, if you love to rehab, paint, tear apart and put back together...then another set of opportunities exist. Older homes offer character, charm, mature landscaping, and a stronger sense of community. The trees may overhang the street, and neighborhood may just be fabulous! Be ready to possibly repair of replace expensive parts of an older home, (roof, heat and air, hot water heater, dish washer). Also be ready to live with antiquated floor plans, closets that are insanely small, and leaky basements. Older homes were built for the codes that existed at the time the home was built. Don't expect to have systems that can handle today's demands....case in point....electricity that goes dim during excessive use, or slow running plumbing, or cold spots in certain spots due to poorly placed heat ducts. You get the message.
There are no simple answers. No home, regardless of the amount of money you spend, will provide 100% of your families needs. Something will always be missing. Rejoice! Those items will give you great upcoming goals or projects to plan for and look forward to.
You and your new hubby need to decide how you want to spend your first 3-5 years together (expect to stay there that long to gain equity and not lose money on an early sale).
Neighborhoods abound in the price range you are asking about....Lease somewhere for the first 6 months to a year. Thereafter, go on a month to month lease...even if it costs you more. During that time you will meet lots of new friends that can tip you off to cool neighborhoods and provide their opinions. Drive those neighborhoods during all times of the day to get a feel for them. Go in lots of open houses. Interview several agents (that have been referred to you by your new friends). See which one appears to have the time and inclination to serve you the best. Take your time. Have fun. Its a wonderful window of opportunity for each of you!
Steve Condurelis
Broker, co-owner,
Keller Williams Realty
3 votes
Kevin Pellat…, Agent, Franklin, TN
Thu Jan 22, 2009
Katie, congratulations on the upcoming move, your marriage, and thank you for the chance to help out with your search. Sounds like a great time for you guys. Renting is never a bad idea to consider as it allows you to see what you like and where you really live/work/play. The fun part of buying initially when you arrive is that you get to set down roots, establish those friendships, and really make Nashville your home.

If you are okay with a little work - what I like to call light lifting, grin - you may want to see what your options are in south Nashville too. Not far from some local favorite neighborhoods - Crieve Hall and Brentwood - you can find some cool spots that offer less expensive but charming homes in need of a little updating. Some are heavy lifting, some are light, and both are in desirable school districts; an attribute that seems to protect your home investment a TON.

Below are seven homes that might be worth your while to look through online. Also - check out Dunes’ post below. He is an excellent resource from outside of the real estate business.

If I can help you in any way, please feel free to e-mail me directly (click pic for contact info) with questions or call. Enjoy the whole process!
1 vote
David Chambe…, , Saint Petersburg, FL
Thu Jan 22, 2009
Katie, You can't buy a home based on what you think you can afford, you need to talk to a mortgage broker: http://www.floridadreamloans.com/AreYouPre-Approved That way you know what you are approved for. What if you find a home you love and find out you can't get a loan for it.

I didn't sort through Dunes links today but they are always usefull please take the time to look through them.

You will also need a good real estate agent, on Trulia you can sort through agents answers and blogs to get a feel for them. It is a good place to start.
1 vote
Cynthia Thom…, Agent,
Mon Feb 3, 2014
Now is the best time to buy! I am a Realtor in the Tricities, TN area, but I would be more than happy to find you the best Realtor in the Nashville area! The Realtor I could set you up with would be able to pull up all active listings in your price range and could give you suggestions on which locations would best suit you and your family. If you are interested in this please feel free to give me a call at (423) 383-4473.
I hope this was helpful! If you have any other questions I would love to help!
Cyndi Thomas
0 votes
Don Martin, Agent, Brentwood, TN
Sun Jan 26, 2014

Your decision at this point will be another important commitment for you, so I advise you do three things first. One, come to Nashville as mush as you can and do some driving around to "feel" the areas. Two, talk to a lender and be sure what price range you need to have instead of making an estimate. And three, talk to a handful of agents to find one who is knowledgeable of the area and with whom you feel comfortable working.

Then spend some quality time looking at Nashville. Buying is always good, but after you do the first three suggestions, you may decide to rent for a year or two, after all. The time you spend now can save you disappointment later! We've been doing this for people for thirty years, if there's anything else we can do for you.

Don Martin, Martin Properties (615) 973-8970
0 votes
Patricia Rom…, Agent, Nashville, TN
Fri Jan 10, 2014
Welcome to Nashville !, As a Nashville Native I have lived in almost every area and as a Realtor sold homes in all areas. I have moved many families into the Nashville area and the place to start is with your lifestyle. What do you like to do for Fun ? Parks - biking ? Are you a city , neighborhood or a large lot and Land family ? Nashville is fortunate that we have it all within just a few miles travel. Of course work and commute time is important but you want to talk about what you enjoy away from work and the realtor you choose and they should have a blue print of the areas that fit your needs. Check out http://www.nashville.gov
Direct 615 604 7572
0 votes
Prentiss Holt, , Nashville, TN
Sun Jul 28, 2013
Thank you for pointing that out!
0 votes
Curly Sue, , Texas
Wed Apr 17, 2013
Prentiss - did you notice that Katie asked this question in 2009?
0 votes
Nope! :) But thank you for pointing that out!
Flag Sun Jul 28, 2013
Prentiss Holt, , Nashville, TN
Wed Apr 17, 2013
It looks like you may have already answered your own question by now, but there are several options open to you!

150k can get you a fairly nice bungalow-style home in Nashville's Sylvan Park neighborhood, which is only about 5 miles from downtown and VERY up-and-coming.

If you want to be even closer, or in a more established neighborhood, I would strongly consider buying a condo or townhome in either Hillsboro Village, Belmont, or Midtown. These areas are only about 2 miles from downtown, all established neighborhoods. Whatever you put into a townhome or condo in these areas would be easy to recoup when or if you decide to sell, and these neighborhoods are relatively wonderful and walkable communities with great shops, local grocery stores, and tons of restaurants, cafes, and parks.


Best of luck!!
0 votes
Ginger Garla…, , Franklin, TN
Thu Jan 22, 2009
Hi Katie,

Wow, this is going to be an amazing year for you and your fiance!! How exciting!! It looks like you have a already gotten some great responses! I too like the flavor of East Nashville, there are really some nice up and coming areas in that part of town. I have also seen some really nice condos downtown lately that are priced really well. So you definitely have options and the time explore.

I specialize in working with first time home buyers and was born and raised right here in the Nashville area. If I can answer any questions you have about areas, developments, etc..., please don't hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to assist you with the buying process one step at a time!! If you get some time, please check out my website: discovernashvillehomes.com.

Best of luck to you guys!!!

GInger Garland
Crye-Leike, Realtors
0 votes
Hana, , Nashville, TN
Thu Jan 22, 2009
Katie- I LOVE the flavor and value of the homes in the East Nashville area! You can expect to put-in some work, but the sense of community here is wonderful and could get a great return on your investment! This is truly an up-and-coming area that has not "peaked" yet. Plus, you can walk to everything! Have you heard of Shelby Heights? Another area I would recommend is the Bellevue/West Nashville area. There are many established, older neigborhoods here that are affordably priced!

If you're willing to look at condos near downtown, I think one of the best values for space and money is The Spence Enclave...literally 6 minutes from downtown and brand new! You get a spacious master and bath as well as a garage!

I would be happy to send you some homes to look at on-line. Just shoot me an email and I'll give you an idea of the kind of homes I think you might like.

I agree with the other realtors here...call a lender. We all have names and numbers for people we trust and can be referred by past clients. Ask them about first time buyer loans...THDA, Great Advantage etc...as a first time buyer, you can get great rates and help with down payment assistance!
0 votes
Lori Rossi, Agent, Warwick, RI
Thu Jan 22, 2009
Katie, I noticed you said that you are "estimating" that you can spend up to $150k. You should speak with a lender first, to see where you stand. You may be better off than you think. Either way, it is where you should start, they can help determine what an affordable payment will be including mortgage, taxes and insurance. You should also work with a buyer agent, they can help refer local lenders also if you are interested. There is no obligation to buy if you decide to rent, but I feel it helps to know the true facts, before making this important decision. Good luck in your search! If you would like me to refer a local agent in Nashville, I'll be happy to help.

Lori Rossi
0 votes
James & Step…, Agent, NASHVILLE, TN
Thu Jan 22, 2009
I agree absolutely with Emily's recommendations. You might also consider the Donelson area (37214). It's a well-established neighborhood, but not as trendy - you'll ba able to stretch your dollar further.
Also, keep an eye out for deals in Charlotte Park (37209).

Check out the Neighborhoods page on my site, it might be helpful!
0 votes
Emily Lowe, Agent, Nashville, TN
Thu Jan 22, 2009
Hi Katie- Thanks for your question! And congratulations on both your upcoming wedding and your move to Nashville!

To answer your question, there are a few places that pop in my mind right away. East Nashville is the first one (37206,37216). Also, look around in the 37209 zip code - there is an area over there called Sylvan Heights and also an area called "the Nations". They would both have options for you. Woodbine and Glenrose also come to mind (37211) near the Intersection of Nolensville Road and Thompson Lane.

Your dollar will go further in a condo, but if you are really wanting a house, then it is definitely a possibility in Nashville!

Be careful when selecting. With this troubled market, you really need to have your real estate agent (or you if you won't be using one) do a lot of research on each neighborhood you are considering - go back over the past ten years of sales and make certain that the neighborhood has been increasing in value over the years.

Remember also a couple of "golden rules" of real estate.
1. Location, location, location AND
2. Buy the worst house on the best street you can afford.

Follow these guidelines and you should do great!

Please let me know if I can help you further.

Have a great day!

0 votes
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