Lumber tariffs, higher interest rates cause Nashville home prices to rise

Trying to find a home in Nashville is only getting tougher and more expensive. (WSMV)

Trying to find a home in Nashville is only getting tougher and more expensive.

Home prices are rising, putting pressure on first-time home buyers. Home builders said Nashville is the perfect storm for right now for what's driving up the cost, including higher interest rates.

"We have rising lumber prices and material prices because of the tariffs and everything that is going on," said David McGowan, the president of Regent Homes.

And builders are under a crunch to keep up.

"We find it takes longer to get a subdivision approved now than it did in the past, probably double the amount of time," said McGowan.

Inventory is tight for first-time home buyers who are looking for places under $300,000. Some builders are now constructing neighborhoods targeting millennials.

"There's more competition and they're going to have to be more creative and more resourceful about where they are willing to live," said realtor Sher Powers, president of the Greater Nashville Realtors Association.

That includes older houses in different neighborhoods in Nashville. Homeowner Jeremy Joseph needed to buy another home, so he moved out of his East Nashville house and let a professional staging company come in.

"I rented a POD and put most of my furniture in there, and I'm staying with a friend," said Joseph.

It sold in one day, putting him in a better spot to buy.

"This house gave me more confidence because I had this under contract, so I knew that my funding was in place," said Joseph.

While supply is low for now, homebuyers can get a leg up by having a well-connected realtor.

"They're going to know about a property coming on the market says before the general public does," said Powers.

Other tips to help homebuyers include taking a home as-is, knowing the amount you're pre-qualified for, and adjusting your list to include other neighborhoods.

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