Home Finance

What to Expect When Buying a House for the First Time

by Shea Homes on January 18, 2018

What to Expect When Buying Your First Home

You have taken the leap and decided that becoming a homeowner is right for you. It’s a big time in your life and you will have a lot to do over the next few months as you search for your perfect dream house. You know that putting in the effort will be worth it in the end, but do you still find yourself asking where to start? Do mortgages, closing costs, and debt to income ratios still have you feeling a little overwhelmed? We’re here to walk you through what you can likely expect when looking to purchase a home and offer up some advice to (hopefully) smooth out the process when it starts to feel a little rough.

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Homebuilder Mortgage Loans

You’re shopping around on the new home market, but did you know the loan process can vary between a new construction and a resale? To help you understand the key differences, Senior VP of Shea Mortgage, Scott Pocock (NMLS #262159), shares answers to the top six questions about new home mortgages and financing through a homebuilder.

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A Quick Guide for Mortgage Pre-Qualification

by Shea Homes on October 10, 2016

Mortgage 101 for Pre-qualification

When you’re researching home financing options, it’s easy to get a lot of the terminology mixed up. From understanding the different types of loans to remembering the difference between a mortgage pre-qualification and a mortgage loan approval, there’s a lot of new vocabulary to understand. We get it. Buying a home can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. To help you start off on the right foot, we’ve created a handy checklist for the start of your journey — the pre-qualification process!
But first, let’s review what a mortgage pre-qualification is, and what it isn’t.

Pre-Qualification vs. Loan Approval

A pre-qualification is an estimated maximum loan amount from a lender. It is determined based upon your debt to income ratio, meaning how much money your household makes in a month and how much debt your household carries per month.

A pre-qualification is not a guaranteed loan amount. You are not committed to do business with the lender providing the pre-qualification and the lender is not obligated to provide a loan of any amount.

Benefits of Pre-Qualifying for a Home Loan

Once you receive a pre-qualified loan amount from your lender, you’ll have the peace of mind that you can move forward with the home-buying process. You’ll also be able to start thinking more realistically about the amount you can afford for a new home. When your lender sends your pre-qualifying loan amount to you, the information should include an estimated loan amount for your max budget, plus your estimated monthly house payment. But keep in mind, the estimated monthly house payment may change once you move into the loan approval stage — depending on the amount of taxes, interest, fees and insurance you’ll need to pay on your loan. You’ll know what your final monthly house payment is once you’ve finalized your home selection and have provided your down payment amount and your credit information.

Tips for Mortgage Pre-Qualification Prep

You should have all of your finances organized and ready to go when the time comes to provide a lender with your information. Set yourself up for success by sorting through your statements now, so it’s less stress when you’re getting it all together.

Debt to Income Ratio Infographic

Pre-Qualification Checklist

Receiving a pre-qualifying home loan estimate is easy and fast. Download and print or pin our checklist below to

be ready for your first meeting with a mortgage lender.

For more information on what you’ll need to be approved for a home loan, check out the Shea Home Buying Guide.


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Home Pricing Announced for Sage in Livermore!

by Shea Homes Northern California on January 21, 2016


Located in the Livermore Valley, the new Sage community will feature a variety of new homes and much, much more. Recreation options abound at Sage. From the public multi-use  trail system, to the private clubhouse and rec center, residents  will never be short on activities and peaceful open spaces. Your first opportunity to purchase a new home at Sage will be Saturday, January 30th. Model homes are expected to open late spring 2016.

Three new communities by Shea Homes at Sage are well on their way, and Balance, Synergy and Tranquility home base pricing by plan is now available! Base pricing does not include lot premiums, elevation premiums or optional home upgrades. SAGE BASE PRICING (PDF)

First Homes to be Released for Sale: Saturday, January 30th
Pre-qualification Deadline: Wednesday, January 27th, 5PM
*Pre-qualification with Shea Mortgage is required to be eligible to participate in upcoming sales releases. Parties interested in participating in the first sales release on Saturday, January 30th are highly-encouraged to pre-qualify early. Read more about the Shea Mortgage Pre-qualification Process.

Not sure which community you are most interested in? Check out this quick breakdown of the three communities currently under construction at Sage:

Synergy homes will be 3-story attached homes with a rear court for garages. The 6 varying floor plans will range in size from 1,254 to 1,789 square feet, 2 to 3 bedrooms, 2 to 3.5 baths, and 1 to 2 car garages.​
Currently Starting from the Low $500,000’s

Balance home plans range in size from 1,398 to 1,667 square feet, and feature 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and 2 car garages. These 3-story attached homes will have a rear court for garages.
Currently Starting from the High $500,000’s

Tranquility model homes will be the first to be built and these 2-story townhomes will feature 3 bedrooms, 2.5 to 3 baths, and 2 car garages, and will consist of 1,646 to 2,006 square feet of livable space.
Currently Starting from the Mid $600,000’s

Be sure to register for updates and LIKE us on Facebook to stay in-the-know about the latest happenings at Sage in Livermore.

To learn more about the relaxing lifestyle at Sage, visit SageLivermore.com or call (866) 696-7432.


Thinking of buying a new home? You’ll want to read this first!

November 13, 2015

A home purchase is often the largest, single financial investment people make in their lifetime. Buying a home, the place you live, raise a family, entertain your friends and make memories should be exciting. There shouldn’t be any mysteries or unexpected surprises in the home buying or mortgage process to cloud the bright future in […]

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9 Tax Write-Offs You May be Missing in Your Home [Part 2]

March 23, 2015

Whether you own your own home, or are considering purchasing one in the future, knowing what kind of tax breaks home ownership allows for is key when filing your taxes. In a previous blog post, we explored some common tax write-offs to help you uncover deduction opportunities. This post will add to that list by […]

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Grand Opening at The Dunes on Monterey Bay!

March 5, 2015

Join us on Saturday, March 28th from 10am to 2pm at the Grand Opening Celebration of two new Shea communities at The Dunes on Monterey Bay! Be among the first to experience six new Sea House and Surf House model homes, professionally designed to fit the modern lifestyle of recreation, comfort and convenience in Marina. Three Sea House […]

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Is Buyer Interest on the Rise?

March 18, 2014

  Newlyweds Nick and Teresa Hopper just bought their first home. The couple got married last August and decided against having a big wedding in favor of making a larger down payment on a home. And although small weddings may not be the norm, we are definitely seeing more and more interest and excitement from […]

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New Year, New Home?

January 6, 2014

  If your 2014 resolution is to invest in your future, a new home may be the way to go. Whether you are looking for more space for your family or you are ready to downsize, purchasing this year could make the most sense. Evaluate your situation Decide if looking for a new home is […]

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How Will Rising Interest Rates Impact Homebuyers?

July 16, 2013

  Mortgage interest rates are on the rise. We keep hearing this news but without having any real numbers, it can be difficult to determine what a rise in mortgage interest rates really means to you. A recent article by Wayne Faulkner on Star News Online, gives some details on the impact increasing mortgage rates […]

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