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

by Shea Homes Arizona on November 13, 2015

Buying a New Home
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 your new home.

Shea Homes has a history of caring about our customers, which begins with simplifying the home buying process, including the mortgage. It’s not uncommon to have more questions than answers, that’s why we created the Home Buying Guide  for some great, interactive tips to clarify the journey of buying a new home.  Understanding the “inside baseball” terms, the various steps in home buying, and what to expect at each one goes a long way in making the new-home buying experience a great one. Here’s what one Shea Homeowner has to say about the process:

“This was our first time building a brand new home. We have owned several homes prior so knew exactly what we wanted and decided to have Shea build our “dream”. Rather than telling us what we couldn’t have they did all they could to give us what we wanted! The staff, from the very first person we met at the model to the last person we did the final walk through with, became family and treated us with so much respect. They answered any question and fixed any problem “the right way” no matter the cost to them or the difficulty. I was always asked if there was anything else I needed or wanted. If ever I have to move out of my perfect home I will only buy with Shea Homes!”

Plan Ahead…

If you aren’t sure if home ownership is right for you now, but purchasing a home is in your future there are a few of things to consider. First, is your credit score. When it comes to buying a house, your credit score is important. Missing or late payments on rent, a mortgage, credit cards, automobile payments, or just about anything can influence your credit score. The best practice is to pay on time, every time.

Second, is paying off debt. Lenders look at your income and the total of all your debts, this is called your “debt-to-income ratio” and will determine how much home you will qualify to purchase. Finally, save a little something.  Having the necessary funds for a down payment is important in qualifying for a loan to purchase your new home.

Interest rates are at historic lows, making this a great time to buy a home. If “rent vs. own” is where you are, try this for some answers. If you have more questions, the Home Mortgage Guide can help. 

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Shea Mortgage can help you pre-qualify for a new home!

by Shea Homes Arizona on March 7, 2014

Finding out if you qualify for a mortgage is the deciding factor of your future to settle down in a beautiful home, but with Shea Mortgage, we make it as effortless as possible. In this blog, we will give you a recap of our YouTube video, taking you through the quick and easy steps to fill out your mortgage pre-qualification form. The best part, it’s all online and you don’t need to gather any additional documents just yet! Simply begin by going to You can also find Shea Mortgage through and scrolling down to the very bottom of the page, where Shea Mortgage is listed under Shea Companies.

On the left sidebar of the website, there are six buttons to page links that are listed 1) Mortgage Center 2) Apply Now 3) Resources 4) FAQs 5) Calculators, and 6) Loan Originators. You will start your pre-qualification process by clicking on the Loan Originators button so that your application gets to the right loan officer.


Next, you will scroll through the Loan Originators page and choose the loan officer that represents the communities you are interested in. You will know which loan officer to choose after you have visited a Shea Homes community where the sales representative has advised you the correct loan officer for that community.

You will be brought to your loan officer’s page, where their contact information is listed along with an “Apply Now” link. Click this link to get started filling out your pre-qualification form for Shea Mortgage.1.2

You will be brought to a page that gives you two options: 1) Start a new application or 2) Finish and existing application. Choose option one, and then go through the steps to create your login username and password.

The next tab, titled “Start App”, takes you through the Federal Law Requirements, Browser Specifications and important disclosure information. Take a minute to read this through, and click “Next”. The following page hosts the most important question, “What can Shea Mortgage do for you?” Four options are listed. Since this tutorial is for pre-qualification, we will go ahead and click that, which means you are shopping for homes and do not have an accepted contract with Shea Homes just yet. A few more questions follow about who is applying, how the home will be used, request for your email address, and how you heard about Shea Mortgage.1.6

Click “Next” and begin entering your estimated property details as accurately as possible. For the “Purchase Price” box on this page, be sure to list a price that would include the base price of the home, plus any potential upgrades you may choose.

The next few pages require personal information, such as your social security number, date of birth, current address, employment information, etc. There is a box you must check stating that Shea Mortgage may obtain your credit report. If you have already had your credit report pulled at a Shea Homes community with a community representative, your loan officer will obtain your report from that community rep.1.3

After entering your personal information, you will land on the “Asset Info” tab where you will specify the types of assets you’ll be using for the cash required to close.

1.4Click “Next” and you will fill out simple questions about your personal history and background. At the bottom of this page, you will be asked if you would like to review all your application information before submitting to your loan officer. Click yes, and you will be brought to a screen that collectively shows all the information you just filled out on one page. In the top right corner, you can print this information by clicking the printer icon.

Click “Next” and you will see a box asking if you would like to add any extra information. This is a good opportunity to list the communities you are interested in.1.5

Hit “Submit Application” and you will be contacted by your loan officer shortly!

To watch our informational videos, please visit our YouTube channel.  For more information on Shea Homes and what we’re up to in Arizona, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and find some inspiration on Pinterest!


How do I prepare for my home buying process?

by Shea Homes Arizona on June 21, 2013

Preparation is key to anything, whether it’s a work meeting, an interview or your child’s first day of school; it always easier to see 1the big picture when everything is laid out in front of you. We encourage the same preparation when you begin your home buying process. It will also impress your mortgage consultant! Below, we answer your frequently asked questions regarding paperwork you may need to gather when getting approved for a loan:

Q: How do you decide what you need from me to process my loan?

A: The information you provide in the application on the Shea Mortgage website is verified on the automated underwriting system that we use. This system compares your financial situation with statistical data from millions of other homeowners to see where you fit in the spectrum.  Depending on this comparison, the level of verification 2and paperwork needed is determined. In the Homebuyer Seminar: Getting Started Buying a Home video, our mortgage experts explains that many cases simply require a W-2, a pay stub and a bank statement to verify your assets and income.

Q: I am selling my current home to purchase this home. What type of documentation will be required?

A: A copy of the settlement or closing statement from your current home is required to verify that your current home mortgage has been paid in full and that you will have sufficient funds for the closing of your new home. Typically, the closings of both your current home and new home are scheduled on the same day, so bring the current home paperwork to your new mortgage closing.

Q: I have income from dividends and/or interest. What documents will I need to provide?

A: To verify the amount of your dividend and/or interest income, we require two years of personal tax returns so that an average of the amounts you receive can be calculated. Copies of statements from your financial institution, brokerage statements, stock certificates or Promissory Notes are also required to verify your ownership of the assets that generate the income. Documentation from the dividends and/or interest for at least three years is considered for repayment.

Q: Do I have to provide information about my child support, alimony or separate maintenance income?

A: No documentation is required pertaining to child support, alimony or separate maintenance income.

For more information on our communities and mortgage team, please visit the Shea Homes website. For instant updates, facts, photos and videos, “Like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest!


Don’t Fear the 401(k) Loan…

by Shea Homes Arizona on May 16, 2013

untitledHaving trouble scrounging up money for the down payment on your new home, but you don’t want to build up interest on a bank loan? A frequently asked question that our Shea Mortgage team gets is, “Can I pull money from my 401(k) plan? And is there a penalty?” Fear not! The best option for you, if you are truly in a financial bind, is most likely a loan from your 401(k) plan.

These loans are best for a short-term need that you can payback within 1-5 years. They are also a good option because of their convenience, low cost and little to no effect on your credit. But if you don’t pay back this money within the short-term period, you will find that this loan is more expensive than you thought.

How do these loans work? Essentially, 401(k) loans are not true loans, because no lenders or credit checks are involved. You are borrowing money against yourself, which you will pay back to yourself so that this fund is restored to its original state. Also, interest is charged over the course of your payback period, but you pay the interest into your 401(k). The interest rate for a 401(k) plan loan is not as high as a bank loan would incur. Thus, pulling money out of your retirement fund can even have a positive impact.

You are only allowed to borrow up to 50%, or a maximum of $50,000 (whichever is less), of your own 401(k) money on a tax-free basis. If married, spousal consent may be required to take the loan.

The top reasons for pulling money out of your retirement plan are (1) for your kid’s college tuition, (2) to pay medical bills you were not reimbursed for, and (3) for a down payment on a home. A 52-inch flat screen TV? Probably not. Also, if you use the loan specifically for a home purchase, it is possible that your payback period can be extended past the maximum of 5 years.

Another thing to keep in mind about 401(k) loans… You must repay your loan in full before you change employers, quit working or you’re terminated. You will typically be given 60-90 days to do this. If you cannot repay the loan, you will be taxed on the unpaid balance. And if you took this loan out before you reached the age of 59 ½ years old, you could face a 10% federal tax on the unpaid balance. Here is where that hole in your pocket starts to develop if you do not restore your 401(k). Several fees can also occur.

To learn more about taking a loan from your 401(k) plan, watch our Homebuyer Seminar videos on YouTube, check out our Facebook page for updates, or look on our Twitter feed for facts! If you’re simply looking for fun home ideas, our Pinterest page offers several different boards for your creativity to prosper!


Quick Tips on Loans and Refinancing in 2013’s Housing Market

April 19, 2013

The housing market has gone through several ups and downs the past five years, and right now, we are happy it is on the upside. So whether you’re looking for a new home to buy or you already own one, what is the next step for you in terms of loans and financing for the […]

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Homebuyer Seminar #3: Building Wealth through Home Equity

April 5, 2013

Taking a quick step back to last week’s video and talk about building wealth! This is just another aspect of why buying a home is better than renting one.  Here are a few quick quotes from the video: “Average homeowners’ net worth is 31 times that of a renter.” –National Association of Realtors “Home equity […]

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Home Buying Workshop Recap

September 18, 2012

Perhaps you didn’t get a chance to visit us at Montage in Livermore for our Home Buying Workshop last Saturday, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to the valuable knowledge. We understand that buying a new home is daunting and, at times, intimidating. We are attempting to unravel some of the mysteries of […]

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