Are you fed up with living in a rental home? Maybe it’s too small or cramped for your family’s needs, or maybe you’re tired of paying rent to a landlord who you feel doesn’t meet your needs. Perhaps you’ve simply decided it’s time to have a space that you can truly make your own and that can be a family homestead over the coming years and decades.

There are lots of reasons people decide to buy or build homes. Owning your home is a big step in your life, but we at Arthur Rutenberg Homes believe it is one of the best moves you will ever make. In our 30 years of building custom homes in Middle Tennessee, we have taken pride in helping families make the life-changing decision to move into their dream homes.

You can’t just rush into the home-buying process, though. If this is your first time considering a home purchase, consider some of these tips to make it a smooth process.

  • Figure out how much house you can afford: There are plenty of home buying calculators to try (check out three of them here)—but a basic rule of thumb is that you should be able to afford a house that costs three times as much as your income. Once you determine a price range, you can start looking at your building or buying options.
  • Figure out how much you’ll need up front: You’ll need three to 20 percent of the home price for your down payment, plus another one to eight percent for closing costs and a few hundred dollars for miscellaneous costs before you move into your home. You’ll probably be paying several thousand dollars, even tens of thousands, just to get the process under way, so be sure you’re prepared for that.
  • Secure a loan: Before you even start planning your custom home, you’ll need to get pre-approval for your home loan. For this, you’ll need to show that you have the money for the down payment, have a monthly income of two to three times higher than your monthly mortgage payment, have solid employment, and decent credit. The higher a down payment you can make, and the better your credit is, the lower interest rate you can get—that will make your monthly payments lower.
  • Design your home: Before you even begin designing your home, make a checklist of everything you want. Think about what you might want in the future too—space to expand, flex rooms, infrastructure for a pool—and what you definitely don’t want. If you know you want certain materials used in your home—flooring or countertops, for instance—go ahead and plan on those up front; you’ll save money in the long run by including them from the get go.

Once the building process is underway, it will still be a long process of making sure everything is up to code, having the home inspected, and closing on it before you can move in—but we promise you won’t regret moving into your beautiful new custom home! Let the experts at Arthur Rutenberg Homes walk you through the process—we’ll make it as smooth and simple as possible.