The Ole South Blog

Let’s Talk About Your Credit Score

Categories: Helpful Hints | Posted: October 8, 2019

 

If you’re planning on buying a house anytime soon, you’ve probably started paying a lot of attention to your credit score; this mysterious three-digit number can oftentimes make or break your loan application. When making a purchase as long and lengthy as a home, your bank needs to know that you’re trustworthy and that their investment in you will be returned in full. Let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at what can often be a cloudy process.

 

How exactly is your credit score calculated? The three main credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, don’t explicitly state the key factors used in determining a credit score, and scores between the three bureaus can vary widely. ‘

 

Generally, lenders or creditors will look at your past payment history (student loans, auto loans, or credit cards), the length of your credit history, and the number of accounts you have. “Hard inquiries,” which occur when potential lenders check your credit history in response to a credit application, can impact your score as well. Judgements, evictions, tax liens, and bankruptcy are considered to be greatly damaging to your credit score.

 

Though the actual numbers used in credit scores vary between the bureaus, a score below 620 is considered to be poor. If your credit score isn’t where you’d like it to be, fret not—there are multiple things you can do to improve your standing. You can request one free credit report per year from each of the three main bureaus. Review all of the information on your report for accuracy, but keep in mind successfully disputing this information will be a long and frustrating process.

 

In the long term, you can improve your credit score by paying off any existing debts, sticking to a budget, opening up new credit cards, or refinancing. In addition, your employer or credit union might offer free or low-cost credit counseling services to get you back on track.

 

If you are ready to start the home buying process, talk to your lender today to get pre-qualified! When you are approved and ready to go, schedule your visit to one of our model homes to learn more about what we have to offer.

New meaning to “End of Summer Sale”

Categories: Helpful Hints | Posted: September 12, 2019

It’s the end of summer sale! No, not the one you typically see at department stores. This one is in reference to getting your house ready for the impending placement on the market. While prepping a home for sale has a daunting reputation, it doesn’t have to be that hard with our suggestions!

What’s their first impression?

Consider what is the first impression a buyer will have when they pull up to your address? The outside of your home and yard of course! It’s the first thing people will see when considering your home for their future. Make certain the lawn is well kept, bushes are at bay, and flowers are nicely planted but not overwhelming. In an effort to not break the bank with painting jobs, consider giving the front door a fresh coat (rather than the whole house). Power wash the siding of the house, the driveway, and any sidewalks and paths. Consider changing the porch lights and even buying a new mailbox to spruce it up.

The three D’s: Declutter, Depersonalize, Delight

“Staging” often has a negative connotation – and also can come with a big price tag. But there are a few things you can do on a budget that will immediately enhance the space. Start with Declutter: clean off all counters (kitchen and bathrooms) and tables, only leaving the essentials. Next, tackle closets, cabinets, and drawers. Make it into a fun purging activity for the whole family!  Consider removing or storing some of your excess furniture and large belongings to open the space a bit as well.  

Then Depersonalize: remove most of the personal knick knacks and family photos. While it may feel strange to you, it will actually be helpful to the buyers to see the home as a bare canvas with their own personal items.

Then Delight: add flowers, plants, or fresh fruit on the table to brighten up the spaces. Make the buyers feel cozy and welcome. Why not even bake some fresh cookies right before they arrive! (who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked cookies?)

Whistle while you work 

 

Some people hate it; others love it. What is it? Cleaning! Whether you do it yourself or hire someone, it’s time for a thorough deep clean of the entire house. Think of a few of the senses in this process:  sight, smell, and touch. Remove all the dust in sight! That includes door frames, fans, baseboards and all the pesky crevices. Focus on the smell of the home with some non-offensive smelling candles or air freshener plug ins. Be wary or pet or food smells that have clung to the walls and carpets over time. 

Pro tip: If you’re living in the home while it’s on the market, cut yourself some slack. It’s not going to stay 100% clean all the time. Just do your best and put as many of our tips into practice as you can.

Of course, if you’re in the process of selling, that means you’re also in the process of buying. Ready to find your new dream home? Call us at 615-219-5644 to start the conversation!

Why Rent? Build with Ole South Today!

Categories: Time to Buy | Posted: January 2, 2019

Ole South is Tennessee’s favorite home builder for many reasons. For us, it’s about quality and community. We want to build your dream home in the perfect community for you at an affordable price.

You might have thought there’s no way you can invest in building a new home right now. Well, we’re here to make it easier for you. We have an amazing offer for you through Feb. 28, 2019:

  • $99 deposits
  • $99 closing costs on inventory homes using our preferred lender.
  • No down payment using THDA Great Choice Loan Program through our preferred lender. Eligible for first-time buyers or anyone that has not owned a home in the previous three years. Please be aware that certain restrictions apply.

What do we offer?

Homes priced from the 160s to the 400s available in over 20 Middle Tennessee communities in Davidson County, Rutherford County, Sumner County, and Williamson County. Our homes all have a complete Whirlpool kitchen appliance package,  refrigerator with ice maker, electric range, built in microwave, dishwasher, and a garbage disposal.

It’s finally time to stop renting and start building!

Click here to get started or call us at 615-219-5644 or 615-896-0019 to learn more!

Community spotlight: Mankin Pointe

Categories: Ole South Neighborhoods | Posted: December 17, 2018

Ready to settle down into a house with Ole South and make it your own home? We’ve got the neighborhood for you! Less than a ten minute drive from Murfreesboro, you will find the peaceful and secluded neighborhood of Mankin Pointe. Near interstate 24 and close to the neighborhood schools, this community will seamlessly fit all your needs.

So what are the homes like?

At Mankin Pointe, you have the option to choose from three, four and five bedroom plans styled in the Craftsman tradition with use of stone accented exteriors with Hardie-Plank siding from James Hardie. Homes are priced in the $260s and range from 2,073 – 2,618 square feet.

On the exterior of the homes, you will find brick or stone in coordinating color scheme, brushed nickel door hardware, a concrete driveway and sidewalk, concrete patio, sodded front yard, a landscape package, and a raised panel steel garage door with glass.

The interior includes engineered flooring in foyer, kitchen, breakfast area, and dining room/study, no-wax vinyl flooring, and stain resistant carpeting. You will see gorgeous smooth finish ceilings throughout the home and vaulted or tray ceilings in owner suite. Other features in the homes are a wood spindled staircase, brushed nickel lighting package and hardware, a utility room with washer and dryer connections, and an attic with pull-down stairs.

Bathrooms have birch cabinetry and chrome fixtures. The owner suite also includes a glamour bath, consisting of a separate shower with door, soaking tub, and raised vanity. The updated kitchen includes staggered height birch cabinetry with crown accents, granite countertops, and an appliance package includes smooth surface electric range, side-by-side refrigerator with icemaker, dishwasher, and built-in microwave.

Are you excited about Mankin Pointe? Visit http://www.olesouth.com/mankin-pointe or call our sales team at 615-219-5644

 

to set up an appointment to see your potential new home!

5 Easy Ways to Organize Your Kitchen

Categories: Helpful Hints | Posted: June 26, 2018

Maybe you missed the spring cleaning boat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start re-organizing your home now. One place in the home that we probably use the most is the kitchen, which should be as efficient and organized as possible for the amount of time spent in it throughout the day. Here are a few easy and low-cost tips to help you organize and love your kitchen space without breaking the bank…

Clean cabinets

Whether your cabinet count is limited or you just want to use the tall cabinet space more efficiently, an idea to consider is purchasing low cost shelves. You can stack plates and bowls without having to constantly move them to reach other ones when you need them.

Dressed up drawers

Most people have a silverware divider either built into their drawers or they purchase one. But other drawers never seem to be held to that standard of organization. No more! You can find custom dividers like this that you can fit to your exact needs. All your drawers, no matter if it’s large cooking utensils or the junk drawer, can have some kind of organization.

Vertical organizers

Stacking pots, pans, and cutting boards in a haphazard mess in cabinets can be terribly annoying. You’re constantly moving them to reach others at the bottom and they never seem to just fit. Think vertical! Consider using a vertical stacking rack (or file organizer you might have laying around) so you can easily grab the handle of the pan you want to use without having to move a bunch of other ones out of the way. Another option is to hang pots and pans on the wall above the stove for an easy to reach solution.

Spiffy spices

Those pesky spices!! Organizing spices in a useful manner can definitely be the bane of your existence. Consider spice tiered stairs to help you see the labels more easily. These drawers may also be helpful a great space saver for your spices.

Pantry

Pantries can easily turn to disaster over time. They become a place of haphazard cleaning products, snacks, etc. Try hanging a clear, over-the-door organizer (or even a shoe organizer!) to help you easily find items like tin foil, plastic wrap, zip lock bags, or even snacks.

We hope that these ideas get your kitchen in tip-top shape for summer!

Benefits of Buying New

Categories: TN New Homes | Posted: May 24, 2018

It’s time to buy a new home! Whether you’re a first time home buyer or you’ve gone through the process before, there are a lot of decisions to make. Location, budget, size, and so many more questions have to be answered. As more homes and communities are being developed, one question to consider is whether you’d like to live in a new and freshly built home or an older home. There are many features that new homes offer that put older ones at a disadvantage. Here’s a few things to consider when at this step in the home buying process.

  • It’s never been lived in before! That feeling of having a clean slate in a home is very appealing. You, as the new homeowner, get to make all of the first memories in a fresh home.
  • A new home offers the opportunity to be part of the of a new community. There are new friends and neighbors who are excited about the area and are looking to bond over your shared experience. Newer developments also offer more amenities that can improve upon the community environment even more, such as community pools, playgrounds, and other shared spaces.
  • Modern and freshly built homes have updated floor plans. This means your new home will have more open spaces, which have become more common in home design. More open space offers more opportunities to entertain guests and really make it feel like home.
  • A new home is exactly what you’re looking for if you helped design it, or at least close to it. There’s far less time and money put into refurbishing and replacing outdated decor. There will also be less maintenance because everything is shiny and new. A new home gets rid of a lot of the headaches an older home can cause.
  • Here’s a small but important feature when you take into account how we live today. Outlets! Old homes weren’t built with the idea that we’d have technology everywhere, and we would need to charge so many devices. New homes take into account the modern technological world we live in and are designed with outlets all over the place.

 

This isn’t to say that new homes don’t have any negatives. Newer homes are often more expensive than older homes. Also, you’re going to have a hard time finding a lot of new and inexpensive property in heavily populated areas. Most new developments happen further out from cities where land is far cheaper. This causes some inconvenience with increased commuting. However, with all things considered, buying a home new and fresh is a great option. New homes offer a clean slate, young and thriving communities, and all the modern comforts we seek.

If you are ready to invest in a new home, give our sales team a call at 615-219-5644 or stop by one of our model homes to learn more.

Master Bedroom Must-Haves

Categories: Helpful Hints | Posted: April 26, 2018

You finally got the master bedroom of your dreams. It’s going to be your oasis. Now what do you do with it? Here are some must-have ideas for your master bedroom space.

Invest in comfort

If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to invest in a high quality mattress and linens. Whether you spring for that king-size (or even California king!) or stick with a queen size mattress, this is the time to finally splurge a little for the extra comfort. There is nothing better than new linens, too! Your body will thank you for it later!

Outlets

This might be silly, but don’t forget to arrange your master bedroom strategically around the outlets. You hate to purchase furniture and have everything set up perfectly only to realize the only outlets for your lamps or cell phones are in an inconvenient location. Take a moment to plan for this.

Neutrality

The experts recommend more neutral colors and decor for the bedroom to incite relaxation and encourage the best possible sleep. Plus, if it’s a huge space, it’s easier to decorate when you have a simple color scheme.

Dual Space

Though you want to be careful not to clutter your bedroom too much, it’s worth considering transforming your master bedroom into a dual space. You could add a small loveseat or comfy chair to a corner to create a mini sitting area: perfect for reading or relaxing. Some people may be interested in creating a small workspace or desk within the bedroom. That might not be ideal for everyone, but it instills the same idea of using the master bedroom as a dual space. An upholstered bench on the end of the bed is also something we love!

Shelving and Storage

Whether you purchase a piece of stand alone furniture or it’s affixed to the wall, shelving is a must-have in your master bedroom. Line the shelves with books or if you have an e-reader preference, fill the shelves with photographs, candles, and other small items will give your space a personalized touch. If you don’t have a big closet for storage, consider multi-functional pieces of furniture, like storage built into the bed frame or hollowed ottomans.

Natural Light

Wake up with the sun in your new master bedroom. Great windows and lighting are a must-have for your space. Natural light is great for your health and helps establish an easy morning routine. Look for master bedrooms that have well-placed windows, and a great view is a plus.

 

These are just a few must-haves for your new master bedroom. The space should reflect your own style and bring you maximum joy and relaxation.

New Year, New Home!

Categories: Ole South Neighborhoods, TN New Homes | Posted: January 5, 2018

Happy New Year! We’re all familiar with lifestyle resolutions people make when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st.  What’s your biggest goal? Are you setting one to buy a new home in 2018? It’s a daunting task, but we’ve been in the business for decades. We want to help you find your dream home in one of our communities!

 

Who are we?

We are Tennessee’s largest homebuilder, serving the convenient Tennessee locations of Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Fairview, and Spring Hill, close to major highways, neighborhood schools, recreation areas, and shopping. Since our founding in 1986, we have been helping families big and small find the homes that fit them best. Whether that’s a low-maintenance townhome or traditional 3, 4, or 5 bedroom home, we make it happen with beautiful, high quality, energy efficient homes. We are proud to be in the top 100 homebuilders in the nation by Builder Magazine.

 

Why should you partner with us?

Because we care! You’ve heard every good salesperson say it, but did they really mean it? Not only will we help you land the quality home of your dreams, Ole South also truly cares about the middle Tennessee community where we build. With the creation of the John Floyd Charitable Foundation, more than $1 million in financial, material and labor support has been given to various organizations throughout Middle Tennessee. We are engaged in the local community and help build interest and resources for building vocational programs. We #GiveWithOleSouth all year round through volunteering and food drives. We’re here to better the whole community.  

 

In the spotlight: Ole South South Haven Community

Just an idea to get you started (and excited!).  Our South Haven Community is located along State Route 840, perfect for commuters, in the highly acclaimed Stewarts Creek school district. Tucked away in a perfectly secluded setting just minutes from everything that Franklin, Murfreesboro, and Smyrna has to offer, these 3, 4, and 5 bedroom homes are high quality with unmatched features.

 

On the exterior, you will find brick or stone per plan, concrete patio, driveway, and sidewalk, landscape package, raised panel steel garage doors with glass, and more. The inside boasts engineered flooring in foyer, kitchen, breakfast area, and dining room/study per plan, stain resistant carpeting, crown molding (1-pc) in three rooms, wood spindled stair rails and overlook railings, brushed nickel hardware, utility room with washer and dryer connections (per plan), pull-down attic stairs, kitchen appliance package (smooth-surface electric range, side-by-side refrigerator with icemaker, dishwasher, built in microwave), and more.

 

Still not sure where to start? Give us a call today at 615-219-5644. You can also check out our blog for a checklist for new homebuyers and our quick and easy home buying process.

 

We look forward to partnering with you in 2018!

Celebrate + Give Back

Categories: Holidays | Posted: November 22, 2017

The smell of spices wafts through the air, silverware and glasses clang enthusiastically, voices chatter, faces smile and stomach no longer growl. Thanksgiving is here! How will you celebrate the holiday this year?

Be prepared. Decorate your home and set the tables ahead of time. Prepare as much of the food the day before as you can to help alleviate some of the stress. It’s supposed to be a joyful day!

The recipes. Whether you’re working from a list of passed down family recipes, your latest favorite cookbook or even some new Pinterest ideas, everyone knows the food makes the day. Mix it up with healthy options and guilty pleasures to keep everyone happy.

Activities. Bring out the games and/or crafts to entertain the kids (and adults!). After exhausting the table conversation, break out one of the latest group games to stir up the laughs and a little competition.

Many people want to give back while they’re celebrating giving thanks. Think about the gifts you take advantage of everyday: how can you share that gratitude? Some activities are great for kids and adults alike. Need a few ideas to get started?

  • The ever popular – volunteering at a kitchen to pass out food and warmth to those who need it most (check out the Hands On Nashville calendar, the Nashville Food Project, or other local organizations to see how you and your family can get involved). Oftentimes the organizations get overloaded with volunteers on Thanksgiving (not a bad problem to have!), so you may want to consider picking the day before or after.
  • Host a food drive for perishable items or a clothing/coat drive and drop it off at a local shelter or church
  • Create care packages for homeless families or adults in need. Consider filling bags with basic toiletries, warm socks, snacks, etc.
  • Sign up with Meals on Wheels to deliver prepared meals to elderly adults who cannot prepare food due to health or physical limitations.
  • Make care packages to send to the troops, who may not have a chance to be home with their families for the holidays. (hint: great opportunity for the kids to write some nice letters to go with the packages!)

If you don’t have time this holiday season to volunteer, host a food drive, or build your own care packages, you can always #GiveWithOleSouth. The next time you are at the grocery store pick up a couple of extra canned food items or you can even write a check to Second Harvest and drop them off at one of our model homes listed below.

  •  South Haven – Murfreesboro
  • Evergreen Farms – Murfreesboro
  • Puckett Station – Murfreesboro
  • Old Hickory Commons – Nashville
  • Vista at Whites Creek – Nashville
  • Western Woods – Fairview
  • Meadowbrook – Spring Hill

However you celebrate, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Checklist for First-Time Homebuyers

Categories: First Time Home Buying | Posted: October 23, 2017

Purchasing your first home is a big deal. Knowing all the right steps doesn’t have to be! Today we are helping you navigate the home buying experience by offering a checklist for first-time homeowners.

  1. Know Your Limit
    After calculating your debt to income ratio, utilize an affordability calculator and check your credit score. These numbers will help you accurately decide on an appropriate down payment, and budget. According to Fannie May, it is recommended to spend no more than 28% of income on housing.
  2. Get Pre-Approved
    When shopping for your first home, get pre-approved for a mortgage. A pre-approval will review your assets and debt, income, and credit score and offer an estimate on how much you can be approved for. Pre-approvals expire after 90 days, so be sure to plan your timeline accordingly.
  3. Create a Wish List
    Creating your home wish list will help you begin to narrow down the seemingly endless list of options available. Choose your location, home type (townhome or single family home), size, price range, and list of must-haves. Your wish list will help you choose the best home as a first-time homebuyer.
  4. Find the Best Partner
    Partnering with a trusted real estate agent and a quality builder ensures your homebuying process will be smooth from start to finish. Seek out referrals, and choose a builder backed by integrity. As Tennessee’s #1 builder, we pride ourselves in offering a wide selection of quality move-in ready homes across Middle Tennessee. All Ole South homes are designed to be energy efficient in voluntary compliance with TVA’s Energy Right® program guidelines, which provides a taste of our enduring commitment to quality.
  5. Make an Offer
    After determining the purchase price of your ideal home, list out all of your special requests to the seller along with any contingencies you may have. Define your move in date, and have the agreement drawn up. Sign your Purchase and Sale Agreement, and prepare to move into your first home.

Whether you are moving into your first townhome or traditional home, you are taking an exciting step. We hope you allow Ole South homes to be the first to congratulate on these next steps, and wish you luck in the first-time home buying journey!