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6 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers


Are you planning to purchase your first home? As you already know, it can be an equally exciting and challenging experience. (But it will feel good once you’ve moved your family into a place you can finally call your own!) In our home buyer guide below, check out these tips for finding the right home for you, your family, and your budget.

1. Define your price range.

Before you search, determine how much you can—and want—to spend on your new home. Mortgage calculators like the one on can help you figure out how much you’ll spend every month based on your down payment, payoff date, and other options. Visit Mortgage News Daily to get current interest rates for a more accurate number. Check out Bank Rate to compare mortgage loan rates from many financial lenders.   

2. Meet with banks and lenders.

To fully understand your financing options (and how to meet the requirements), make appointments with loan specialists. These first meetings should be free of charge! When you decide to begin the loan application process, the lender will specify how much they can loan you in addition to interest rates—so you can compare lenders. They can also tell you about current incentives and first-time buyer offers!

For more tips on saving for and obtaining a mortgage, check out this first-time home buyer guide from Nerdwallet.

3. Identify your family’s needs vs. wants.

Is it important to be near some of California’s best schools? (Mountain House has a variety of onsite schools!) Do you want parks and trails that are a short walk from home? Deciding what is a “must have” and what is an “extra” will help you find your family’s perfect home and the best community. Write a list with your new home “must haves,” “nice to haves,” and “don’t needs”; continue to add on this list as you look at different options.

4. Learn more about available home builders.

Read up about the history and specialties of builders who work in your desired area. Search for reviews online, both good and bad, to learn about the experiences of other home buyers. Ask others who already live in the neighborhood. To meet our builders, visit our Home Builders page.  

5. Decide which neighborhood is right for your family.

Are you looking to live a few blocks from school or a park? Close to serene walking paths or near young energetic families? Mountain House has over 20 different model homes to explore in a variety of neighborhood locations. Our Homefinder makes it easy for you to view neighborhoods, floor plans, and more.


6. Come visit our model homes.

To truly experience a potential new home and community, it’s important for your family to see them in person. Walk through the model homes to see how all of you might live there. Wander the trails and locate the nearest park. Attend a community event to get to know who lives here. If you’d like to see how we live here in Mountain House, get directions or call or text us at (209) 221-6319. The Welcome Center is open from Monday to Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM.