How to Buy a House in Tennessee in 8 Steps

Ready to buy a home in Tennessee, but not sure where to start? This simple guide will help you get started on your next chapter.

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How to Buy a House in Tennessee in 8 Steps

Posted by Gary Ashton on Wednesday, June 5th, 2024 at 8:21am.

How to Buy a Home in Tennessee

If you live in Tennessee, buying your first home can be easy when you follow the right guide. From financial readiness to exploring loan options and selecting the ideal city, the journey to homeownership in the Volunteer State may be more attainable than you think. As you embark on this significant endeavor, understanding the nuances of inspections, appraisals, and the closing process will be pivotal in securing your dream home. Stay tuned to uncover the essential insights that will seamlessly guide you to your Tennessee dream home.

5 Quick Tips for Buying a Home in TN

  • Save for a down payment to reduce monthly mortgage costs.
  • Consider loan assistance programs like Great Choice Plus in Tennessee.
  • Obtain pre-approval for a mortgage to strengthen offers.
  • Choose the right Tennessee city based on budget and lifestyle.
  • Prioritize home inspection and appraisal for property evaluation.

Save For a Down Payment

Start by saving for a down payment to secure a traditional home loan or consider lower down payment options like FHA loans.

Traditional home loans typically require a 20% down payment of the purchase price, while FHA loans offer a lower down payment option, usually around 3.5% of the home price. You can reduce your monthly mortgage payments by saving up for a down payment upfront.

You should also start budgeting for closing costs, which scale depending on the closing price of the home. Closing costs in Tennessee are cheaper on average than in states like Texas or California, thanks to the lower housing prices. These costs can sometimes be financed into the mortgage to ease the burden of upfront expenses.

When planning to buy a house in Tennessee, understanding the importance of saving for a down payment and exploring various financing options can lead to lower monthly payments and a smoother homebuying process.

Research Down Payment Assistance for THDA Great Choice Home Loans

How Much is a Down Payment in Tennessee?

When considering the Great Choice Plus Home Loan Assistance program, you have two main options:

  • The Deferred Option, which allows you to delay payments until you sell, refinance, or pay off your home
  • The Amortizing Option, where you make regular monthly payments.

These choices provide flexibility and support for first-time homebuyers making a down payment.

Deferred Option

By utilizing this deferred down payment option, buyers can ease the initial financial strain associated with homeownership and focus on settling into their new home without the immediate burden of regular mortgage payments. The program provides homebuyers a no-interest loan of $6,000. The amount will then be paid in full when the house is sold or refinanced.

Amortizing Option

The amortizing option available through the Great Choice Plus Home Loan Assistance program bundles 6% of the price you pay for the home into a second mortgage that has a 30-year term. You'll make payments on these down payment funds over the course of both loans.

Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage

To ensure a smooth homebuying process in Tennessee, start by getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Mortgage pre-approval is crucial as it assesses your financial situation and creditworthiness, helping you understand how much you can afford. This shows sellers that you're a serious buyer and strengthens your offer, especially in a competitive housing market.

During pre-approval, a lender reviews your financial information to provide a pre-approval letter. Having this letter in hand before starting your home search can give you an advantage and help you set a realistic budget. By getting pre-approved, you streamline the buying process and demonstrate to sellers and real estate agents that you're ready to move.

Choose the Right Tennessee City

When choosing the right Tennessee city, consider popular options like Nashville, Franklin, and Clarksville. Take the time to explore these cities to find the one that best fits your lifestyle and preferences.


Nashville is a Great Place to Buy a Home in Tennessee

Consider moving to Nashville, a vibrant Tennessee city renowned for its lively music scene. Nashville's real estate market is competitive, but the city offers a plethora of neighborhoods at varying price points, from the artistic community of East Nashville to the historic streets of Germantown.

When choosing a neighborhood in Nashville, take into account factors like job opportunities, schools, amenities, and commute times.

East Nashville boasts a bohemian atmosphere, with trendy shops and restaurants, while Germantown exudes historic charm with its renovated warehouses and upscale dining options. The city provides various job opportunities, especially in the healthcare, music, and tourism industries. Schools in Nashville offer diverse educational programs, and the city is rich in amenities like parks, museums, and entertainment venues.

Commute times can vary depending on the neighborhood, so it's essential to consider this when selecting the right area for your new home in Nashville.


Franklin, a popular city in Williamson County, is known for its historic charm and vibrant community. If you're considering buying a home in Tennessee, Franklin is an excellent choice with its schools, upscale amenities, and strong community spirit.

Franklin is widely regarded as one of the most expensive places to live in Tennessee. When navigating the housing market in Franklin, it's advisable to work with experienced real estate agents who understand the competitive nature of the area. Factors such as property tax rates and home appraisals should also be considered when planning for home ownership in Franklin.

To offset the higher home prices, Franklin residents enjoy a high quality of life. They blend modern conveniences with a touch of Southern hospitality in a location that offers both urban proximity and suburban tranquility near Nashville.


Moving to Clarksville is a top choice for its blend of urban amenities and outdoor recreation opportunities. As one of the most affordable cities in TN, Clarksville offers cheaper housing options for those looking to buy a home in Tennessee. The city's lower cost of living, vibrant job market, and proximity to Fort Campbell make it an attractive location for potential homeowners.

Get an Inspection & an Appraisal

Always Get a Home Inspection Before Buying a House

To protect your investment, ensure you get both an inspection and an appraisal before finalizing your purchase of a house in Tennessee.

A home inspection is vital to uncover hidden issues and assess the property's condition, including its structural integrity. This inspection report will detail any necessary repairs that may affect the property's value. Meanwhile, an appraisal determines the home's fair market value. Lenders require an appraisal to ensure the property's value aligns with the loan amount.

Including inspection and appraisal contingencies in your purchase agreement allows you to negotiate repairs or potentially back out of the deal if significant issues are discovered.

Close & Move Into Your New Home

To officially close the sale on your new home in Tennessee, you must complete the necessary paperwork, pay closing costs, and sign the final documents.

Make sure you have your funds ready for the closing costs, which typically range from 2-5% of the total purchase price. Once everything is finalized, receive the keys to your new home, marking the moment you become a homeowner in Tennessee. 

After that, it's time to plan to move and settle into your new property!

To enjoy a stress-free move, consider hiring a moving company, packing efficiently, and scheduling a housewarming party to celebrate this exciting milestone of homeownership. Remember to do a final walk-through of the property to ensure everything is in order before you start unpacking. Embrace this new chapter in your life, enjoy owning your own home, and make the most of this special moment as you create lasting memories in your new Tennessee residence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Requirements to Buy a Home in TN?

One of the most important requirements for buying a house in Tennessee is a credit score of at least 640. Your credit score makes homebuying easy by qualifying you for down payment assistance programs and increase your ability to get pre-approved for a loan.

Is Tennessee a Good State to Buy a House?

Tennessee is a great state to buy a house! With its reasonable cost of living, stable home prices, strong job market, and appealing living environment, you'll find excellent opportunities to settle down and invest in real estate.

What Are Typical Closing Costs for a Buyer in Tennessee?

Typical closing costs for a buyer in Tennessee range from 2% to 5% of the total purchase price. For a $190,000 home, expect to pay $3,800 to $9,500. It includes fees for appraisal, inspection, title search, attorney, and recording.

Are Home Warranties Required in Tennessee

A home warranty isn't required in Tennessee. However, home warranties can be worth it if you're buying a home with older appliances and systems.

Buy Your First Home in Tennessee

Now that you've saved for a down payment, secured a mortgage, chosen the perfect Tennessee city, and completed inspections and appraisals, it's time to close and move into your new home. Congratulations on taking the necessary steps to make your dream of homeownership a reality in Tennessee! Stick to these easy first-time homebuying tips and enjoy creating lasting memories in your abode.

Ready to move to the great state of Tennessee? Call The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage with Nashville's MLS at (615) 603-3602 to talk with a real estate agent who can help you find your dream Tennessee home.


Gary Ashton

The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage

The #1 RE/MAX team in the World!

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