First time home buyers are an important group of customers at Maronda Homes. Being a company that provides more value than other builders we tend to appeal to the first time buyer. Many people who are interested in purchasing a home but haven’t done it before really don’t want to look inexperienced or naive. So I thought it might be helpful to spell out our process step by step.
Step 1) Figure out how much you want to spend. You know what you spend in rent now. Could you afford a monthly payment the same, a little higher, a lot higher than you spend now? Unless you are a great saver and have a very large down payment the maximum you can borrow is typically somewhere between two and a half to three times your family income for the year. Understand with a home you will get a tax break as you can deduct your interest and taxes each year from you income making your second, third, fourth year easier and easier to meet the payment. This is especially true of young couples that can reasonably expect to have salary increases and job promotions in their future. As long as you finance with a fixed mortgage your monthly payment says pretty stable as only the taxes and insurance portion of the payment change with inflation. Home ownership is a great hedge against inflation.
Step 2) Decide your priorities. Which is most important. Having a yard for the kids to play in or being located in a specific location, School System, etc.? Having a larger home or having a shorter commute?
Step 3) Get familiar with the market. Go on the property appraisers website and look up what homes in the area have SOLD for. I know it’s easier to go on the web and see what homes are listed for but that doesn’t tell you the accurate story. You may be seeing short sale listings designed to attract people in the market like you, that don’t have a prayer of approval by the lender or owner.
Step 4) Decide if you want to buy new or used. You may find that the used market has homes selling for a little less than buying a new home. Take a careful look at the monthly payment for the existing home and add the anticipated monthly maintenance for home repair you will need to add to the payment. All homes have some maintenance expense. The lawn maintenance is needed on both a new and used home. On an existing home you want to budget for Roof Replacement, Hot Water Heater replacement, Heat Pump Replacement etc. depending on the age of the units for the home you are considering.
Step 5) If you decided to buy new, start with the website. You can look at different locations and see what the starting prices are for each different model home. If you have questions you can either click on the Contact Us button or click on the Chat feature. When you have found a community or several communities that interest you, you can either stop buy the nearest model home in your area of interest or you can arrange a meeting with the local Sales Rep by either working through the Internet Concierge or calling the sales office directly.
Step 6) Once you determine the community and model home you would like, we arrange a meeting with our a loan officer. This can be a simple phone meeting but the purpose is to discover what financing package is best suited for you and if you qualify for a mortgage that will cover the home you want. When you meet with the loan officer, you will learn what your monthly payment on the new home including an estimate of taxes and homeowners insurance, plus how much cash you would need at closing. Once the “Pre-Qual” as it is typically called is passed, you would meet with our sales representative, pick which options you want included in your home, sign a sales agreement and select what colors you want to have in your new home. At this time you would typically give a $2,500 hand money deposit.
Step 7 ) Formally apply for a Mortgage. Once the sales agreement is signed by an officer of Maronda Homes, you would fill out your Loan Application with the lender and provide all the documentation needed to acquire a “full documentation loan” That will include bank deposit information, pay stubs, credit card information, assets and employment information etc. Meanwhile Maronda Homes, as the builder will order the survey, the Sealed Drawings and apply for the building permit on your home. This process typically takes from four to six weeks.
Step 8 Start Construction and Closing. Once construction begins the home will be built according to your selections. When the home is complete you will have a walk through with the Superintendent that built your home. This first walk will be an orientation to teach you how to maintain the home and do things like shut off the water and locate the sewer clean-outs. You will also develop a punch list of any cosmetic repairs that need attention. One week later you will have your second walk through where you will walk through the home and verify everything on the punch list is complete. From there you go to the closing, sign and initial about a hundred papers, pay any needed down payment or closing costs and get the keys. At this point you are a new homeowner. Congratulations and enjoy moving into your brand new home!