The Ole South Blog

Blog Category - Interest Rates and Financial Information

11 Ideas To Save For A Down Payment On Your New Home

Categories: Helpful Hints, Interest Rates and Financial Information | Posted: October 1, 2015

Government Money for your new home downpaymentWhen it comes to saving up for a down payment on a new house, it can seem quite daunting. At times, it can even seem impossible – especially if you already have other debts you’re paying off (i.e. student loans, credit cards, car payments, etc.). However, have no fear! We have listed some great tips to help you start saving for that lovely bungalow for two and our list goes to eleven!

  1. Decide On How Much You Can Afford For A House

This should be your first step. Figuring out your price range for buying a house will help you decide how much you’ll need for a down payment and will also help you factor in your monthly mortgage payments. This will help you see how long it will take you to save up based off of how much you want to put down. Once you figure out how much you can save monthly, you’ll be able to determine when you’ll haveyour full amount ready.

  1. Reduce Major Monthly Expenses

Do check-ups on car insurance rates, renter’s insurance, health insurance, cable, internet, phone plans, etc. to see if there are better deals out there. Checking on these every 6 months or so can help make sure you are getting the best deal for your money, also many companies will want to compete to get you a lower rate from what you currently have. Cutting your plans / deals even by $10 can add up over time and add up if you are cutting $10 from each of these categories! You could end up saving hundreds and in some cases even thousand of dollars!

  1. Negotiate Your Rent Or Consider Moving

This isn’t always applicable to everyone’s situation, but if you are able to cut your rent cost, you can save a significant amount of money each month. If you have a good tenant history, try talking with your landlord about lowering your rent or perhaps taking off any additional fees. If that isn’t a possibility, then consider downsizing to either a smaller, cheaper apartment or move to a lower-cost neighborhood. With the money you save from the cost of your old rent verses the cost of your new rent, it can go straight into savings!

  1. Have A Garage Sale

Now this may sound a bit odd, but you’d be surprised how much money you can make off of a garage sale! You may not make enough to fund your whole down payment, but whatever sales you make can help add to it (and every little bit counts!). Also, if you have big-ticket items consider posting them on eBay, Craigslist, and Etsy!

  1. Monitor Your Spending

Do you often wonder where all your money has gone at the end of each month? If so, then you may want to consider tracking what you spend your money on. There are multiple ways you can go about this, one of the easiest ways is to go onto,, or where they have systems set up to help keep your finances tracked and organized by category. Sometimes, your bank may even have this feature on your online profile. Once you can visually see where all your spending is going, you can start figuring out what you don’t really need to be purchasing every month (like that once a week Starbucks run). Those lattes get expensive!

  1. Get A Part-Time Job

Getting a part-time job or some side work is a great way to put extra money in your pocket! Since this isn’t a job where you need to use the income for living, you can literally put all of the earnings into your savings for a down payment. Consider doing freelance work or even working at an establishment a few nights a week. You’d be surprised how much you can actually make by having a side-job. You can also look into extra work needing to be done at your day-job. You never know!

  1. Check Out State And Local Home-Buying Programs

Look to see if your state, county, or local government operates any programs for first-time home buyers. Some are known to offer housing discounts and even provide down paymentloans or grants. Also, you can check in with your bank to see if they have any programs available to their members for home buying.

  1. IRA

If you have been saving in an IRA, you may want to check your balance and consider cashing out part of your savings to put toward a down payment. First-time home buyers can cash-out up to $10,000 from an IRA without having to pay the standard 10 percent early withdrawal fee. Maybe don’t use all o
f this for the down payment, but if you’re close to your goal and need the extra last bit, this could be a good option for you.

  1. Refinance Debts

Pretty much any type of debt you have can be refinanced. You can look into consolidating your loans to bring down you monthly payment, transfer credit card debt by using balance transfers, even car loans by taking out a lower interest auto loan through a new lender. There are lots of ways you can help bring your debt payments down so you can save more for your down payment.

  1. Automatic Savings Withdrawal

If you know you are the type of person to not actively take the money out of your spending account and into your savings account, you may want to consider having your payroll department or bank automatically deducted a fixed amount out of your paycheck and have it deposited into your savings account. Sometimes when you don’t actually have to do it, you’re not thinking of even having that extra money to begin with. Then the next time you check on your savings account balance you’ll be surprised how quickly everything can add up!

  1. Track Your Progress

Keeping an eye on your progress with saving for a down payment is a very important part in actually saving for your down payment. By posting a savings graph on your fridge or even having a chart showing your savings monthly, weekly, daily, etc. will help you see how effective or ineffective your efforts are. It’s also a great way to stay motivated by having the results right in front of you on a daily basis and to help you keep chugging along to save extra money!

For more information about beginning your house search, please contact Ole South Homes at 615-219-5644 or shoot us an email at We look forward to hearing from you!

Home Purchasing Power Hangs in the Balance

Categories: Interest Rates and Financial Information, New Homes for the First-Time Buyer, Time to Buy | Posted: September 3, 2013

HomeMoneyThe past year has brought incredible opportunities to those wishing to purchase a new home! And those that did purchase are happy that average US Home Prices have increased over 12.1% – from June 2012 to June 2013.

Middle Tennessee is no exception to rising home values.  But those that have not purchased a new home do not need to feel like the train has left the station!

Miss The Train

NOW is still a great time to purchase a new home in Middle Tennessee, but continuing to wait is certain to cost you a bit more.  Let’s do the math!


Let’s say that you have determined a $1,400 monthly home payment meets your needs.  This figure includes principal, interest, property taxes, insurance, and mortgage insurance premium.

At current interest rates on a FHA Loan, that $1,400 monthly payment will allow you to purchase a $200,000 home in Middle Tennessee.  (If you use the THDA Great Start Program for first time buyers, the State of Tennessee will even pay your required 3.5% down payment!)

This would be the payment scenario of you purchase today.  But, things change.  Costs can increase.  Interest Rates can go up.


Let’s assume interest rates go up 1% over the next year.  You still cannot go over $1,400 for a monthly payment.  You are now looking at $185,000 homes instead of $200,000.

Now, let’s assume that home prices continue to rise at the same rate as the past year, 12.1%.  The $200,000 home you can buy now would be approximately $224,000 by waiting, over $160 per month more if interest rates stay the same!

Let’s go one step further and assume both happen – prices rise 12.1% AND interest rates rise by 1%.  The monthly payment on the $200,000 home that meets your needs TODAY could be $1,700 per month if you continue to wait.



There is never a bad time to purchase a new home that you can afford.  However, certain times are better than others.  NOW is one of those times!


You will find new Ole South homes all over Middle Tennessee in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Spring Hill, Gallatin, and Clarksville.  Visit to learn more!




New Homes for the New Year!

Categories: Interest Rates and Financial Information, Nashville New Homes, New Homes For Growing Families, New Homes for the First-Time Buyer, New Homes for those downsizing, New Homes For Veterans, Ole South Neighborhoods, Time to Buy | Posted: January 2, 2013

Thanks to many savvy Tennessee homebuyers, Ole South showed a 22.34% increase in 2012 closed sales over 2011! That means 356 new homebuyers joined the growing list of satisfied Ole South home owners all over Middle Tennessee!


We start off 2013 with over 150 available inventory homes under construction.


And we have brand new homes for most very need:

New Homes for the First-Time Buyer – You’ll find brand new homes all over middle Tennessee built just for you. Why pay rent any longer with today’s interest rates and programs for first-time buyers?

New homes for Growing Families – you will find Ole South neighborhoods in many desirable locations throughout middle Tennessee, and there is certain to be a floor plan to meet the needs of your growing family.

New Homes for those Downsizing – you don’t have to compromise when you downsize! Our award winning floor plans can maximize your space, while offering you a simpler life style.

New Homes for Veterans – you can have it all, and more in your brand new Ole South home. Our preferred lenders offer zero-down financing, and other attractive programs for Veterans.

WE HAVE A BRAND NEW HOME JUST FOR YOU! Call our Online Sales Specialist at 615.219.5644 for information anytime, or visit our website

new home for you<

The Ole South Blog: Even More Great News for First Time Buyers!

Categories: Interest Rates and Financial Information, Nashville New Homes, New Homes for the First-Time Buyer, New Homes For Veterans, Time to Buy | Posted: July 17, 2012

If you are still renting, the great folks at THDA just made owning a new home even more affordable.   A quick refresher:  If you have not owned a principal residence in the past three years, you can be considered a “first-time buyer.”  The State of Tennessee loves “first time buyers’ so much that they will grant the necessary FHA required downpayment to you under THDA’s Great Start downpayment program.

If you are looking to purchase in Maury County, the first time buyer requirement is waived!  We’ve got great neighborhoods there to choose from in Spring Hill….Meadowbrook, Cobblestone, and coming soon Royalton Woods.

That’s right…. THDA will give you 4% to use toward your downpayment or closing cost.  This FHA loan has a fixed interest rate of 4.2% for 30-years.  (Don’t forget, Ole South will pay your closing costs when using First Community Mortgage for your financing needs.)

If you don’t need 4%, but could use some extra help with your downpayment, consider THDA’s Great Advantage Program, where you will receive a grant of 2% of the sales price to use for down-payment or closing costs.

And if you have already saved enough for your 3.5% FHA downpayment, but have other issues relating to debt ratio, consider the THDA Great Rate Program, currently at 3.6% fixed interest rate.

And it gets even better if you are a veteran, or active duty military!  Take any of the above programs and deduct 1/2% from the published rate!  That program is called “Homeownership for the Brave.”

For more information on these, and other great loan programs, please contact Chris Meagher ( or David Prince at First Community Mortgage.   You can call Chris direct at 615.504.5976 or David at 615.351.7908.

New home inventory in Middle Tennessee is declining rapidly, but we at Ole South continue to build more…and we’ve probably got a new home that will meet your every need somewhere in Middle Tennessee.  Visit our website,, for the location nearest you!

See, you still can buy a new home with little to no cash out of pocket.  Instead of buying a home for your landlord, buy one for yourself instead!



The Ole South Blog: Home Buying Made Simple.

Categories: Happy Homebuyer Testimonials, Interest Rates and Financial Information, Time to Buy | Posted: May 8, 2012

The hammers are swinging!  We’re proud that many of those swinging hammers are building new Ole South homes all over Middle Tennessee.

It takes a lot more than hammers to build the best new home values around.  It takes a lot of dedicated and knowledgeable people.  Our office staff, production staff, and sales staff share one common goal… to make you happy in your new Ole South home.

Whether your new home is in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Spring Hill, Gallatin, or Clarksville, you can be assured that your new home is the best value around.

And if you used First Community Mortgage for your new home financing needs, you can be assured you received an even better value!  Chris Meagher (615.504.5976) and David Prince (615.351.7908) work seamlessly with our staff to make certain the mortgage process is smooth and simple too.

First Community Mortgage is the preferred lender for all Ole South neighborhoods.  Use them and Ole South will pay ALL of your closing costs on FHA and VA loans, and 3% on conventional loans.  We’ll even pay the title insurance policy should you close with Tri Star Title and Escrow.

 WHY?  Because we like everything to go smoothly.  It is worth the extra cost to us (and certainly worth the savings to you) to have a timely closing without surprises.  When First Community approves a loan, it closes…and it closes on time!

WHY NOT?  Give Chris or David a call and find out just how affordable owning a new Ole South home can be.   Whether you need “Zero-Down” financing, or prefer conventional without monthly mortgage insurance premiums, First Community offers a loan that is right for you.

Tamatha called Chris and is now living in a new Ole South home.  Everyone’s happy…except her former landlord!


Visit us today and discover why thousands of Tennesseans are proud to say:

The Ole South Blog: A great time to get off of the fence!

Categories: Interest Rates and Financial Information, Time to Buy | Posted: March 7, 2012

Everyone has been saying it will happen.  And it is true. 

The cost of owning a home will one day go up.  For now, that day is April 9, 2012, when Federal Mortgage Insurance Premiums will increase on all FHA loans.

Mortgage Insurance Premiums on FHA Loans will increase on all loan files submitted on or after April 9, 2012.

This does not signify the end of the world.  But is does present an opportunity to save money on a monthly mortgage payment.  To take advantage of the savings, you need to act quickly.  You need to get off of the fence!


After April 9, 2012, those still sitting on the fence will pay more each month when they do decidee to purchase a home.


Just how much an increase are we talking about?

Without reciting all of the formulas compliled by the folks with beards, it all boils down to an approximate increase of 27 cents per thousand dollars in purchase price on an FHA loan.  In other words, a mortgage payment on a $150,000 home will increase approximately $40 per month.

You can avoid the increase if you act quickly!

Simply get off the fence and find the new home that meets your needs!  Get under contract and have your loan submitted before the April 9th deadline.  Once FHA assigns your loan a “case number” or file number, you will be charged the current insurance premium amounts.  You DO NOT have to close the transaction before the April deadline!

But I haven’t saved up enough for a down-payment yet…..

FHA loans do require a 3.5% down payment AT CLOSING, but there are programs that will pay your downpayment up to $11,000 on a $275,000 home!   A minimal deposit will secure your new home with Ole South, and we have new homes all over Middle Tennessee to choose from.

Why not start with a visit to our website,  See first hand why thousands of Tennesseans are proud to say:

The Ole South Blog: Are you still renting?

Categories: Interest Rates and Financial Information, New Homes for the First-Time Buyer, Renting vs Buying, Time to Buy | Posted: February 16, 2012

Have you ever thought of your home as a piggy bank?

If you are renting, the piggy bank belongs to your landlord.  And unlike owning a new home, the landlord can scream for more every year!

Rental rates are already on the rise in the Greater Nashville area, and the choices are getting fewer.  Read more:


Home mortgage interest rates are lower than they have ever been, even lower than one year ago!  Read more about that too:

So again, WHY are you STILL RENTING?

We hear it all the time…. “I am going to rent until I can save enough money for a down payment on a home.”  That is a very good plan…. IF you are actually doing that.  The good folks at Tennessee Housing Development Agency have another plan you may wish to consider….

Let THEM pay your downpayment for you! 

So many people have not a clue as to how the THDA Great Start program works.   Check into it. 

In most areas of Middle Tennessee, you could purchase a new home up to $275,000!  (Ole South offers a great selection of all brick homes below this price too…even in Williamson County!)

There are income limits for eligibility, but they are higher than you might think.  A 1-2 person household can make up to $79,440.  Three or more person households can make up to $92,680 and still be eligible.  Click here to determine the limits for your county.

So, WHY are you STILL RENTING?  Visit Ole South TODAY!

From the 80’s to the 300’s, you’ll find a brand new home to meet your every need!


The Ole South Blog: Only Three Chances!

Categories: Interest Rates and Financial Information, New Homes for the First-Time Buyer | Posted: January 24, 2012

Have you ever dreamed of owning a brand new home just minutes from Brentwood, but the numbers just wouldn’t work?  Sure you have… go ahead and admit it!

Well, there are just THREE CHANCES REMAINING to live in the most popular and affordable new home neighborhood in Southern Davidson County, Barnes Crossing.

3 chances left to live in a new home in Nashville's Barnes Crossing!

That’s right.  Only three new homes remain to be sold and this 278-home neighborhood will officially be completed!  Since we started building in Barnes Crossing until now, the median sale price was $133,265, with homes averaging just 40 days on the market! 
Of the three remaining homes, two of them feature 1309 square feet living areas with all appliances, upgraded floorcoverings, cascading cabinetry, and more!   Dual Master Bedroom suites are on the upper floor with the main level including a gourmet kitchen, seperate formal dining room (or study) and spacious living room.  Each home is also includes a structured wiring package to accomodate the latest in home automation!
The other available home was used as our Model Home.  This home features many upgrades, including whole-house audio.  This popular floor plan features dual master suites upstairs and a spacious kitchen/dining area opening into the living area.
And the best part……. EACH OF THESE HOMES ARE PRICED AT $119,990!
If you are a first-time buyer, you could move in with *zero-cash-out-of-pocket with a monthly payment of approximately $915, including all insurances, taxes, and HOA fees!  If you’re not a first-timer, put down 3.5% for a monthly payment of approximately $860!   *Use First Community Mortgage for your financing needs and Ole South pays ALL of your closing costs! 
For more information on the last three chances to live in Barnes Crossing, contact John Donlon at 615.299.6711 or Trey Lewis at 615.593.6340.
Don’t forget that Ole South has numerous new home communities to choose from all over Middle Tennessee.  Visit our website for more information.  Better yet, drop by one of our Model Homes in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Spring Hill, Smyrna, Gallatin, or Clarksville and see for yourself why thousands of Tennesseans are proud to say, “Ole South Built It!

Attention First-Time Home Buyers: Get a Government Grant up to $11,000 to use for your downpayment & closing fees!

Categories: Interest Rates and Financial Information, New Homes for the First-Time Buyer, Time to Buy | Posted: January 11, 2012

“Downpayment Assistance” is still alive and well in Tennessee for today’s first time homebuyers!   Not everyone knows how the program works, but we at Ole South can show you how exactly to take advantage of it.

In October of 2008, Seller Funded Down-Payment Assistance Programs were outlawed.  Before, the seller of a home could simply give the buyer the downpayment funds that FHA required for the loan.  OK, not exactly that simple…the money had to be funneled through a non-profit organization, who in turn charged a minimal fee.

Fast forward to 2012.  FHA loans require a minimum down payment of 3.5% of the purchase price of the home, without exception.  A seller can no longer give the home buyer these funds, but the government can!

Yes, the State of Tennessee will grant (give) a first time buyer the necessary down payment for an FHA loan, plus a few extra bucks for other fees you may incur!  Using the THDA Great Start program, the home buyer receives a 4% grant.  That’s $11,000 for a $275,000 new home purchase!

In Middle Tennessee counties surrounding Nashville, the purchase price limit for this program is $275,000.  Households of 1-2 persons must have annual income not exceeding $79,440.  For households of 3 or more, annual household income cannot exceed $92,680.

Maury County is an exception with $70,320 and $82,040 respectively.  Maury County also has another exception – you do not have to be a first time home buyer to take advantage of the program!

Click Here for a list of income and purchase limitations for all Tennessee counties.

Until just recently, home ownership was out of reach for many.  Recent economic times have brought interest rates and home prices drastically lower, bringing home ownership within the reach of many more people.  Home affordability is at a peak.  Right now.

If you do not currently own a home, you need to ask yourself “why not?”  After all, when you rent, you really are paying for someone else’s property.  Why not explore paying for your own?

With the State of Tennessee paying your down payment, and Ole South paying your closing costs when you finance through First Community Mortgage, you really can move into a brand new Ole South home with no cash out of pocket at closing.

For more information, visit any Ole South model home, e-mail , or contact David Prince or Chris Meagher at First Community Mortgage, 615.896.1489.

The Ole South Blog: More great news for first time home buyers!

Categories: Interest Rates and Financial Information, New Homes for the First-Time Buyer, Time to Buy | Posted: December 3, 2011

A “First Time Buyer” can purchase a new Ole South home up to $275,000 without having a down payment!*

First, let’s define the term “first time buyer.”   Common sense says a first time buyer is someone that has not purchased a home before.  That is true, but you can still be a first time buyer even if you have owned a home before. 

In Tennessee, a “first time buyer” is one that has not owned a principal residence in the previous three years.   If you haven’t owned a home in the past three years, you can be classified as a first time buyer!  If you are purchasing in Maury County, the first time buyer requirement is waived altogether!

So, how can you buy a new Ole South home up to $275,000 without a down payment?

Very simple.  By using the THDA Great Start home buyer program, the State of Tennessee grants you the money for your FHA required down payment.  The current fixed interest rate for this program is 4.55%.

What’s the catch?  There is no catch.  But there are a few eligiblity requirements: 

Household Income Limit$79,440 for 1-2 person household,  3+ is $92,680  (for Davidson, Rutherford, Williamson, Maury Counties – Clarksville/Montgomery County limits are $64,200 & $74,900)

Purchase Price Limit – $275,000 (for Davidson, Rutherford, Williamson, Maury Counties – In Clarksville/Montgomery County, the Acquisition limit is $240,000.)

Click here for the Income and Acquisition limits for all Tennessee counties.

Debt RatioTotal payments on all debt, including new home payment, cannot exceed 45% of Gross Income.  Example:  If you make $25,000 per year, your total annual installment debt payments (car, credit card minimums, loans, and new home) cannot exceed $11,250 (45% of $25,000).  If the new home will be your only installment debt, you can qualify for a $937 monthly mortgage payment.   (Ole South also has new homes in this price range.)

THDA offers many great homeownership programs.  Please visit for more information.

To learn more about the perfect home mortgage for your needs, please contact Chris Meagher (615.504.5976) or David Prince (615.351.7908) our First Community Mortgage specialists.