For most of us, buying a new home will be the biggest purchase we ever make, so it’s completely natural to feel daunted by the process, especially if it’s your first time! The good news is, our team at Shea Homes and Shea Mortgage will help you navigate every step of the way.
To help get you started on your home buying journey, we’ve collected a few tips and strategies that will get you off on the right foot. Once you have a grasp of the basics, take a tour of your favorite Shea communities, where we will be available to answer any of your questions and guide you through your options for purchasing your first new home!
One thing to note for some first-time buyers: if you can’t fully afford the usual 20% down payment, don’t worry! There are still plenty of avenues to homeownership that Shea Mortgage can help you navigate. In some cases, as little as 3% down will be enough to qualify you for a loan. And if you’re a resident of Maricopa County, one of Arizona’s down payment assistance programs may help you offset the cost of your down payment. Don’t ever think that homeownership is only possible if your bank account is bursting!
Get a Head Start
Once you decide to turn your dreams of owning a home into a reality, it’s best to get a head start on your finances before even beginning the process of selecting your home. Complete an easy pre-qualification. Did you know you can do this without even having a home in mind? By sitting down with one of our Shea Mortgage loan officers, they’ll be able to pull your credit score and build a budget to asses exactly where you stand. From there, you’ll get advice on how to lay out a game plan that will get you the home you want on a budget you’re comfortable with.
From deciding on a down payment amount to ironing out hiccups in your credit, getting this process done early will give you ample time to plan a sound financial strategy, which can ultimately lead to better interest rates and more money saved. Even getting pre-qualified as far as a year in advance will allow you to save more money while working towards a financial position that will make for a smoother, simpler buying process that will leave both you and your wallet happier for it.
Be Aware of Your Options
Our loan officers are here to help you take advantage of everything you possibly can to help in buying a home. From comparing the different types of loans available to choosing the right circumstances for mortgage insurance, you’ll be able to find the best avenue for your situation. And with just a few questions, your loan officer may be able to find benefits you didn’t even know you had – we’ve met far too many veterans who didn’t even think to use their VA benefits!
Let’s say you did your pre-qualification plenty early and find that your credit score is not exactly where you’d like it. No worries! That’s the benefit of a good head start, and there are plenty of legitimate paths you may choose to get yourself back on track. Our team can coach you on the best ways to build your credit, especially if – as many people do – you’ve been paying for everything in cash. From refinancing joint accounts to taking out low-interest car loans, there are many ways you build the credit you need for an attractive loan. But beware of agencies that offer to fix your credit for a fee; these typically involve poor practices like disputing charges that will only make getting your mortgage harder.
The home-buying process can seem complex; the more you understand about it, the better equipped you’ll be to make the decisions that are right for you, and to feel confident about them! It’s likely that if you are putting down anything less than 20%, you may be required to get mortgage insurance. This is a great opportunity because many lenders will offer educational courses for first-time homebuyers. Take advantage of them, and you’ll finish the course with a deeper understanding of the details of the home buying process, from the different types of loans to building a budget for buying your home. Knowledge is power, so get all that you can!
So, don’t delay buying that first home – you may be closer to ownership than you think. Do your research, examine your options, and come speak with one of our loan officers. You’ll be living the Shea difference in no time!
Be sure to check out the Shea Mortgage FAQ page, and plug your numbers into the calculators to start getting a sense of where you’re at!
To find your dream home, visit sheahomes.com.