Homebuying 101: Steps to Buying a New Home

Buying your first home is one of life’s major milestones. You’ve thought about your lifestyle, considered your future plans, crunched the numbers, and decided it’s time to buy a home. Buying a new home can be overwhelming, even for seasoned home buyers! If this is your first time buying, we’re here to help. Here’s an easy guide that demystifies the homebuying process.

Step 1: Start researching

Take a moment to brainstorm what you want in your new home (need ideas? Start with what you wish you had in your current home). Make a list of must-have features and nice-to-have features and understand what you’re willing to compromise on. You may not be able to find a home that ticks off every desire but you can find one that fulfills most of them! Be sure to consider neighborhood amenities or features you’d like: easy commute to/from work, close to good schools, community activities, parks, etc.

Step 2: Figure out what you can afford

It’s essential to take an honest look at your finances to determine how much you can really afford. A good rule of thumb is to keep your total housing payment (this includes your mortgage, taxes, and insurance) between 25% and 30% of your income.

Step 3: Check your credit

Before reaching out to lenders, be sure to review your credit report and score. Lenders use the information in your credit report and score to decide whether or not they’ll approve you for a mortgage so make sure everything in your report is accurate! Higher credit scores result in more favorable interest rates, which will save you money over the course of your mortgage. If your credit score is less than ideal, take the time to fix any issues and pay off additional debts to improve your score.

Step 4: Shop for lenders and get preapproved

A benefit of getting your financing in line before you begin shopping for homes is being able to put an offer on a home when you find one you like. There’s nothing worse than losing out on a home because you weren’t prepared.

Find licensed lenders in your area and get pre-approved. The lenders will pull your credit information (see step three) to determine your creditworthiness and provide the amount they’re willing to lend you. Remember: you may be approved for more than you’re willing to spend. Stick with the amount you identified in step two; you don’t have to borrow the full amount!

If you’re working with a new home builder, check to see if they have preferred lenders they already work with. You’ll want to secure a loan through them.

Step 5: Find your new home with SummerHill Homes

Now that you’re ready to find a home! We build a variety of communities throughout the Bay Area. We recommend visiting our website to learn more about our available communities and learn about our upcoming communities. Spend time viewing our available floorplans; we have photo galleries, video and virtual tours that you can view from the comfort of your home. When you’re ready, you can request a personal tour with one of our sales associates.

Step 6: Customize your home

Once you close on your home, the next exciting step happens: it’s your time to make your house a home at our Design Gallery! Our Design Gallery showcases a range of the latest materials and finishes for your new home. We will assist you in creating a home that expresses your personal taste. Depending on the stage of your new home’s construction at the time of purchase, you will attend one to two Design Gallery appointments.

Step 7: Move in and celebrate

Congratulations! You’ve purchased a new home! Now it’s time to plan your move and get ready to enjoy your new home with friends and family.

While this isn’t an exhaustive guide, it will help you confidently navigate the path to home ownership. When you’re ready to start looking at homes, we invite you to visit us online at SummerHillHomes.com to learn about our new home communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Let us be the first to say congratulations on starting your journey to your new home!

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