Buying your first home is exciting, but it’s completely understandable if you experience some apprehension. When you’ve never been through the home-buying process, you’re not sure what to expect. That’s why we’re here.


We realize the loan process is something a majority of people only experience once or twice in a lifetime. Our loan professionals are ready to answer any questions you may have and take all the guesswork out of the process, leaving you feeling sure you have the best loan option for your particular situation. There are a lot of moving parts to getting home financing, but we’re here to guide you through the process from start to close.


Below we’ll share some tips for first-time home buyers, answer frequently asked questions, and let you know what to expect from the home loan process.

Top Tips for First-Time Homebuyers


Know what you need.


Preparing for your dream home takes more than just a Pinterest board. Consider your current needs and future needs. Is your family growing? Do your pets need a yard? Do you want a roomy work-from-home office or a multi-car garage? Think about things like how much space you will need, who the home needs to accommodate, what school zone it’s in, and what locations are nearby.


Build your credit.


A good credit score is important when buying a home, especially for first-time buyers. It can also impact your interest rate and loan terms. Request a free copy of your credit report and make sure your credit is in good standing before proceeding, and do not open any new accounts when trying to buy a home. For example, if you were to purchase a vehicle, adding an auto loan can dramatically reduce your credit score for several months.


Get pre-qualified for a home loan.


Getting pre-qualified for a home loan helps you narrow down your options and see how much you can truly afford. Plus, including a pre-qualification letter with your offer shows you’re a serious buyer. Accurate Mortgage Group offers specialty loan programs for military veterans, EMS/medical workers, law enforcement, firefighters, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, and educators. Programs like these have helped us stand out among mortgage lenders in Nashville and beyond. More importantly, we’ve helped thousands of people just like you become homeowners!


Know the REAL cost of your new home. 


The real price of your new house is more than just your mortgage payment. There’s also:


  • Earnest Money Deposits
  • Home inspections
  • Home appraisals
  • Down payment
  • Closing costs and other fees
  • Moving expenses


You’ll also need to consider recurring expenses such as:


  • Property tax
  • HOA fees
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance
  • Lawn care


Don’t let these considerations scare you off. Some first-time home buyers assume they need 10% to 20% for a down payment, but many people can qualify for a mortgage loan with as little as 3% down! Check out our mortgage calculators for help.


It’s never too early to start saving. 


Don’t wait until a beautiful home in an ideal area catches your eye. Start saving up for your first home ASAP and carefully plan your monthly budget while still adding to your emergency fund savings account. Remember you’ll need to pay for deposits, inspections, appraisals, down payments, closing costs, and other fees we mentioned above. Once you move in, you’ll also want to have money saved up to decorate your new space and address any repairs or DIY projects.


Explore unique perks for first-time home buyers.


First-time homebuyers are often eligible for state or federal assistance programs and tax breaks. Your options may vary depending on your location and/or income. Get in touch with agencies in the area you wish to purchase your home to help determine eligibility.


For all these reasons and more, first-time homebuyers in Nashville choose Accurate Mortgage. Reach out now to begin your journey to homeownership.

How the Home Loan Process Works


Navigating the home loan process can be daunting, especially for first-time home buyers. Buying a home is a big step in your life, but you don’t have to do it alone! Trust Accurate Mortgage Group to set you up for success. 


To help you prepare, here’s a quick summary of the loan process:


  • Get pre-approved for a home loan so you know what you can afford. Including a pre-qualification letter in your offer shows you’re serious about buying a house and can help you win the bidding war. To begin, meet with an Accurate Mortgage Loan Advisor and get prequalified. From there, we help you determine the best loan options for your situation. How long does it take to get qualified for a home loan? It typically only takes a few hours to confirm the buyer’s mortgage qualification amount and establish your “buying power,” or how much cash we can back your offer with. Answer our prequalification questionnaire to get started now.


  • Start house hunting. When you find a house you love, let us know as soon as possible so our team can value the property. You can partner with a real estate agent (recommended for first-time buyers), drive around the neighborhoods you’re considering, view listings online, or all of the above. If you don’t already have a qualified real estate agent, we’re happy to provide you with recommendations.


  • Secure financing. Explore different types of home loans like fixed-rate mortgage loans, government loans like FHA, USDA, or VA loans, and other specialty loans from Accurate Mortgage Group. Meet with one of the mortgage lending experts at Accurate Mortgage Group to discover what works for you and your family.


  • Make an offer on a house. Your agent presents your offer to the seller’s agent. The seller will either accept the offer or issue a counteroffer. Remember, you can always negotiate. The price you see listed online isn’t always set in stone, therefore you and/or your real estate agent can negotiate with the seller. Time for paperwork! Your lender will discuss locking your rate, and we’ll send the Initial Disclosures for you to e-sign. Once signed, then the loan process officially starts and the home appraisal is ordered. 


  • Review your budget. You already know to start saving early. Now that you have a specific property in mind, factor in its closing costs, repairs, and more into your budget. If you reach an agreement, you’ll make a deposit and the seller will take the house off the market and wait for you to inspect it and finalize the sale.During this review period, your income, employment, and other information you’ve submitted will be verified. Any inspections and appraisals that were ordered will also be conducted.


  • Have the home inspected. Don’t get stuck paying for unexpected repairs! Although it’s not required, we highly recommend that you have a trained professional perform your home inspection. If the inspection uncovers serious problems, you can withdraw your offer and get your deposit back, negotiate for a lower price, or ask the seller to make the repairs before closing. Depending on the results, you can create a “punch list,” which is a list of issues that need to be fixed before the move-in date. There are also different types of inspections that can be completed: general home inspection, termite inspection, radon inspection, and septic, well, and pool inspections where applicable. It’s important to note that while home inspections are not something a lender requires, it is recommended. Another thing to keep in mind is that depending on the type of loan you’re applying for, this can impact which, if any, inspections may need to be done.


  • Get homeowners insurance. All lenders require homeowners insurance before closing the deal. Home insurance covers the repair or replacement of your home or your belongings in case they’re damaged by events covered by the insurance policy. Further, you’ll have liability insurance in case you are found responsible for an accident or injury on the property.


  • It’s closing day! Once everything we’ve listed above is done, you’re ready to close. This involves a lot of paperwork to complete the transfer of your funding to the seller and of the home’s title to you, as well as a title search to make sure no one else is trying to claim the property. Prepare to pay 2% to 6% of the home’s purchase price in closing costs, unless you or your agent negotiated for the seller to cover all or some of these costs. Your lender will provide you with a breakdown of all costs prior to closing. Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, it’s time to call the movers and enjoy your new space! 


Still need help navigating the home loan process? We’re always here for you! Call or text (615) 709-5654 to explore your options with Accurate Mortgage Group.

First-Time Homebuyer FAQ


Where Does Accurate Mortgage Help With Home Purchases?


Currently, Accurate Mortgage Group can help you buy a home in Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, or Georgia. To get started, contact us online or by phone at (615) 709-5654. We can’t wait to put you in your dream home!


Do I Need A Real Estate Agent? How Much Does A Realtor Cost?


Yes, we recommend first-time homebuyers use a real estate agent for best results. In addition to helping you hunt for the perfect house, they can handle the mountains of paperwork and negotiations that you may find overwhelming on your own. You will get the best deal if your realtor understands the market and can value the property accurately. Standard commission for real estate transactions is about 6% of the home’s price. The commission is usually split between the seller’s agent and buyer’s agent, so both agents receive a 3% cut of the sale price. The good news? Sellers cover the commission for both agents, so buyers have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by having an expert on their side.


How Long Does It Take to Buy A House?


Saving to buy a home can take time, but once you start making offers, how long does it take to close on a house? According to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors, most house hunters searched for 8 weeks and viewed an average of nine homes before making a decision. 


The preapproval process can take several days. The time it takes to make an offer and negotiate varies. Most home purchase loans close in 21-30 days, and the entire process from contract signing to closing, is typically 30 days, depending on what is negotiated with the seller.  With your homeowner’s insurance policy in place and closing is complete, you’ll get the keys to your new home!


What Is Underwriting?


Your mortgage lender acts as your guarantor, accepting liability and guaranteeing payment to whoever sold you a home. Underwriting is the process of signing and accepting liability for you. During the underwriting phase of buying a home, your mortgage lender confirms your eligibility for a loan by reviewing proof of your income, bank statements, employment history, credit report, and other verifications. During the entire period from contract to close, you must avoid opening any new credit, any new credit inquiries, or being late on any payments, lest you risk your mortgage application. 

Questions Checklist for First-Time Homebuyers


There’s a lot to consider when buying your first home. Below are some questions to ask yourself as you plan for this major milestone.


  • How long do you plan on being in the home? If it’s for three to five years, find out if there are any planned projects (by the city or others) in the area that could positively or negatively affect the value of the property by the time you plan to sell.


  • Will the house need major repairs that you should plan for in the next couple of years (a new roof, HVAC unit, etc.)? Who will I contact to conduct a professional home inspection when the time comes to mitigate these risks?


  • How close will you be to schools, shopping, and activities that you do often? Unless you desire a lot of privacy, you may want to live within easy access to the grocery store, your child’s school, and other services.


  • How is the traffic flow into and out of the neighborhood? You may not want to live on a street that has a lot of traffic on a daily basis.


  • What are the annual property taxes? Should you include those in your escrow account or pay them directly each year? Does the type of loan I have require that insurance and taxes are in escrow?


  • What are expected utility costs? You’ll want to take those into consideration for your monthly outgoing payments.


  • How long have the current owners been in the home? Why are they selling? If an inspection was done when they moved in, ask to see a list of repairs that had to be completed.


  • What are the sold prices for comparable homes in the area? This will give you an idea of what a reasonable price will be for the home you’re considering buying. Partnering with an expert real estate agent that represents your interests is incredibly valuable.


Accurate Mortgage Group: Home purchase made simple.

All loans begin with the prequalification process, so what are you waiting for? 

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