Who said buying a home has to be stressful? Buying a home is one of the biggest milestones many Americans make in their lifetime so here at Lennar, we want you to truly enjoy your journey to homeownership. We also understand first-time homebuyers might have a lot of questions about entering the housing market, so we’ve put together a simple, 8-step guide to ease your worries and get you into that new home you’ve been dreaming about. From how to get started all the way to closing day, we’re here for you every step of the way.
First things first: how much can you really afford. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a home only to later realize you can’t afford it. Before meeting with your lender, review your personal budget and track your income and expenses via spreadsheets or utilize a program or software. Lennar also offers a valuable resource: Home Affordability Calculator. Simply enter details about your income, monthly debt and down payment and it’ll estimate a mortgage amount that works with your budget.
Next step is to get pre-approved. The mortgage process might seem intimidating, but with Lennar’s dedicated team of professionals at Eagle Home Mortgage, you’ll be feeling confident in no time. Your Eagle Home Mortgage Loan Officer will help you complete an application and assist you in determining which mortgage program is the best for your needs, as well as let you know an estimate of the funds you will need for closing along with all Federal and State required disclosures. Once completed, an underwriter will review your loan application and will make the final decision on your loan approval.
Why is this the second step? Getting pre-approved means you’re ready to start your new home search and can put an offer as soon as you find one you love. This is especially important in today’s competitive market where a home can go quickly, so get pre-approved so you don’t miss out on your dream home.
Now the fun part – finding your dream home. Make a list of everything you want in your dream home and factor in your lifestyle. How many rooms do you need? Do you need flexible space for a home office, gym or learning area? Are you looking to expand your family? The answers will all impact the type of home and floorplan you will want to consider. Luckily, Lennar builds beautiful new homes across the Portland Metro and SW Washington Area for families of every type, so your ideal home is definitely out there and our New Home Consultants can help you narrow your search. CLICK HERE to view our new homes.
Why buy new? With new home construction, you can look at a new community, choose a plan you like and find a location within a community that will be constructed and ready when you are ready to move.
You’ve found your dream home and now it’s time to sign the purchase agreement. The Purchase Agreement is a legally-binding contract to purchase a home and covers a wide variety of components, including description of the property, purchase price and payments, buyer information, financing, broker information (if applicable), final walkthrough, closing, limited warranty and various amendments and addenda that address other topics. Be sure to review all materials before signing the Purchase Agreement.
Homeowner’s insurance protects your home, other structures (such as your garage, garden, deck, etc.) and personal belongings (such as furniture, electronics and clothing) in the event of a disaster, like a fire or if a tree falls on your home. Homeowner’s insurance can help you repair, rebuild or replace anything that is damaged. Most lenders will require you to purchase home insurance before closing, so keep that in mind. Additionally, Lennar Insurance Agency (LIA) has streamlined the process to seamlessly and effortlessly get you the insurance coverage you need at a competitive price. Simply enter some information online, a few clicks here and there and you’ll receive a policy that is tailored for your Lennar home.
You’re almost there – you just have to go through one final inspection and quality check to ensure the home meets local building codes and quality standard. But before the final walkthrough, you’ll go through a New Home Orientation where a New Home Consultant or Construction Manager will walk you through the features and functionality of your new home, teach you how to use several components like appliances or smart home devices and teach you about the home’s maintenance. It’s also an opportunity for you to assess your home and create a list of any concerns you want to have addressed before the final walkthrough. Now during your final walkthrough, you’ll review the changes, ask questions and at the end you will sign off on the list indicating that your new home is complete and ready.
Prior to closing, your Home Loan Advisor will contact you to lock in your interest rate on your mortgage and by then you will need to obtain homeowner’s insurance and be able to provide a copy of your policy or your agent’s contact information. On closing day, you’ll review and sign all the required documents with the closing agent and after everything is recorded, you will officially become a homeowner! Just don’t forget to bring the certified funds needed to close the loan (your closing agent will provide you with the final amount) and ID – then those keys are yours!
8. It’s moving time
You did it! Time to unpack those boxes, decorate your space and start enjoying life in a fresh and never before lived in home you can call your own.