first time homebuyer

Top 4 Most Overlooked Things When Buying a Home

Buying a home is the largest investment most people will ever make, and so it stands to reason that most home buyers focus primarily on the purchase price. They also like to imagine how their furnishings will fit into the home and how the house suits their current lifestyle. These are all huge considerations, but they are by no means the only issues you should think about when you’re looking for your dream house. Here are some top things to keep in mind:

The cost of repairs

Many first-time homebuyers underestimate the amount of money it takes to maintain a home. Older houses, in particular, are prone to needing frequent repairs. Whether it’s an old, damaged roof, a malfunctioning furnace, or a warped and weathered deck, the repairs needed to keep an older house in good condition can easily throw your budget off track.

If you’re buying an older home, be sure to set aside plenty of liquid funds to take care of emergency repairs.

Another option is to purchase a new, move-in ready home instead. If you purchase a new home, your roof won’t need replacing for at least a few decades, and all of the major appliances (along with everything else) will be new. The prospect of saving a lot of money on repairs is just one reason why many homebuyers prefer to purchase new construction houses.

The distance to transportation hubs

Location is crucial when buying a new home. In particular, consider whether the new home is close to major transportation hubs, such as interstates and airports. You’ll be glad later on when you find yourself running late and having to hurry to the airport to catch a flight.

The convenient proximity to major transportation hubs is one reason why many homebuyers choose to live in Wilmington, Delaware. For instance, Wilmington is only a half-hour away from Philadelphia! It’s a centrally located community that is close to train stations, Philadelphia Airport, and major interstates.

The walkability of the neighborhood

A walkable neighborhood is more important than you might think, and unfortunately, it’s something that many homebuyers don’t consider until after they’ve made their purchase. A home on a spacious lot in a walkable neighborhood will give you both privacy and recreational opportunities. Some essential features of a walkable neighborhood include wide open, green spaces, tree-lined streets, and amenities just a short walk away.

A growing family

Before making a purchase offer, consider your current living situation and how it might change over the course of the next decade or so. If you’d like to stay in the home for a while, consider whether you might want to grow your family down the road. It may be worth it to buy a bigger house than you think you need right now so that you won’t have to move again later.

Tour move-in ready homes in Delaware

If you’re looking for a beautiful, spacious home in a walkable neighborhood that is close to major transportation hubs, the homes for sale in Darley Green are a must-see! Montchanin Builders specializes in building neighborhoods with an old-fashioned neighborhood feel, with plenty of wide-open spaces and tree-lined streets. Call today to schedule a tour of our new homes in northern Delaware. Make sure to ask about our special financing offers!

Additional resources for home buyers:

Home Buying Checklist for First-Time Buyers

For first-time home buyers, the process can seem a little overwhelming. That’s why we’ve developed a comprehensive checklist to guide you every step of the way.

Assess your finances

Buying a home is likely the most expensive purchase you will ever make. It makes sense that a thorough assessment of your finances is a logical place to begin. One of the first things to consider is how much you have saved up for a down payment. The traditional rule of thumb is to put down 20% of the home’s value. However, this usually isn’t necessary. You’ll find that many lenders are willing to work with home buyers with a much lower down payment. Montchanin Builders, for example, partners with Cardinal Financial, which offers custom financing with flexible down payment options.

In addition to considering your savings, you’ll want to evaluate your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. For the purpose of determining your credit score, your DTI is exactly what it sounds like: the sum total of your debts (loans, credit cards, etc.) compared to your income. However, when buying a home, you’ll want to include all recurring bills in the “debts” category. Add up all of your monthly expenses and divide that figure by your monthly income to figure out your DTI. Ideally, your DTI shouldn’t be higher than 43%. The lower it is, the better.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage

Once you have a clearer picture of your finances, you’ll want to obtain pre-approval for a mortgage from a lender. It’s often recommended that home buyers obtain pre-approval before checking out the homes on the market. This enables you to more easily identify the available homes that you can afford.

Meet with a real estate agent

After securing pre-approval from a mortgage lender, it’s time to meet with a real estate agent. Of course, you can scout listings on your own, but it’s still helpful to have a realtor. These professionals are highly experienced with property evaluations and can help you consider the various pros and cons of each home and neighborhood you check out.

Start your home search

These days, the initial home viewing is usually done digitally. You can take virtual tours of available homes to narrow down your list. Then, visit open houses or schedule viewings. You may want to clear your phone’s gallery, as you’ll want to take plenty of pictures of the properties you view. You’ll also want to bring along a notebook and jot down notes about your likes and dislikes regarding each property.

Purchase your new home

Once you’ve finally chosen the home and neighborhood of your dreams, it’s time to make it yours! Talk to your realtor about the next steps in securing your home such as making an offer, including a deposit and more. At Montchanin Builders, our dedicated sales team will help you in determining the best floorplan, features and homesites available – walking you through every step of the process!

View new homes in northern Delaware from Montchanin Builders

Montchanin Builders strives to make the home selection and buying process as easy and hassle-free as possible. Visit our Sales Center and Model Home in our master-planned community of Darley Green—a beautiful, tree-lined neighborhood near the heart of Wilmington, Delaware. With so many wide-open spaces, you’ll have trouble believing that you’re just a short stroll away from incredible community amenities, including shops, restaurants, and transportation. Call today to schedule a tour of our move-in ready homes and inquire about our special financing offers.

Additional resources for home buyers:

4 Things Homebuyers Should Look for in a Lender

When you’re in the market for a new home, much of your time is spent thinking about the ideal location, the square footage, or even your decorating options. Choosing the right home loan partner, however, is equally as important. That’s one reason why so many homebuyers in Delaware choose to work with Montchanin Builders—we’ve partnered with Cardinal Financial, one of the nation’s premier home lenders.

Cardinal Financial makes the pre-approval and home financing process quicker and easier than you’d think! Call us today to learn about attractive financing options for purchasing the gorgeous move-in ready townhomes and condos at the master-planned community of Darley Green.

Select a lender who walks you through the process.

If you’re a first-time home buyer, the closing process can be stressful! There is a lot of new terminology to digest, for example, and you might not know the difference between escrow and earnest money or between liquidity and equity. You need a loan officer who has plenty of experience working with first-time home buyers, and who will walk you through the process step by step.

At Montchanin Builders, our preferred loan officer, Katherine Dunckley, is dedicated to providing unsurpassed customer service. She specializes in working with first-time home buyers, and will gladly help you understand all aspects of the home lending process.

Choose a mortgage originator

Not all mortgage brokers are mortgage originators, which is another reason why home buyers prefer to work with Cardinal Financial. This company is a mortgage originator, which means they provide their own financing. Cardinal Financial can underwrite, close, and fund your entire home loan.

Look for a lender with an accessible digital platform

The process of applying for a mortgage can get complicated. It requires a great deal of documentation, and you’ll have some choices to make. It’s best to choose a lender that offers an easily accessible digital platform, like Cardinal Financial. With their online portal, homebuyers can upload the necessary documentation digitally—cutting down on trips to the office. They can also review their customized to-do list to ensure they stay on track with the process, and they can check on the loan status at a glance.

Select a lender with flexible home loan options

Flexibility is crucial when it comes to taking out a home loan, as different home buyers have different needs. The home loan option that works well for your new neighbor may not fit your needs. Another great aspect of working with Cardinal Financial is their wide range of flexible home loan options, so you can choose what best fits your finances and preferences.

Check out new homes in Northern Delaware

Are you looking for move-in ready homes in Delaware that offer proximity to major amenities and transportation hubs, yet are also surrounded by wide open, green spaces? Look no further than the walkable community of Darley Green by Montchanin Builders. In Wilmington, DE, Darley Green is known for its beautiful, modern townhomes and condos at affordable price points.

To learn more about moving into Darley Green, contact Montchanin Builders today to schedule a tour! We’re proud to partner with Katherine Dunckley of Cardinal Financial to make the home-buying process as easy as possible for our valued home buyers.

Additional resources for home buyers:

Where to Go for Advice When You’re Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home can be as nerve-wracking as it is exciting. With so many different options to sort through, making a decision can feel like an overwhelming task. Fortunately, there are many useful resources available to assist you. If you are a first-time home buyer in Wilmington, Delaware, then the team at Montchanin Builders will be happy to help you find your dream home at one of our stunning and affordable master-planned communities.

First-time homebuyers can also take advantage of a number of other sources to get the information and advice they need, including online listings, buyer’s agents, and mortgage brokers. Read below to learn more about these helpful resources.

Online Listings

It can be tempting to simply drive around the neighborhood that you are interested in and look for homes with “for sale” signs. However, this can be time-consuming, and it means that you run the risk of overlooking homes that you might be interested in. Online listing companies such as Zillow or Trulia offer detailed information about many homes that are currently on the market. However, keep in mind that not all homes for sale are listed on these sites. This is where having an agent can be so useful for first-time homebuyers.

A Buyer’s Agent

A buyer’s agent is a real estate agent who represents your interests during the buying process. Buyer’s agents can serve a number of roles. First and foremost, your agent will look for properties that fit your budget and your preferences, so that you can narrow down your choices. They can also negotiate with listing agents (who represent the seller during the buying process) on your behalf, and refer you to home inspectors and other professionals whom you may need to work with. Buyer’s agents tend to specialize in certain areas, so make sure that you find one who is familiar with the neighborhood that you want to live in.

A Mortgage Broker

If you are planning to purchase a home, then you will likely need a loan—which means that you will want to speak with a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker is essentially someone who can help you find a lender and a loan that are well-suited to your current needs as a home buyer. A broker can also guide you through the application process to help ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible. If you want to save time, then working with a mortgage broker can be an excellent idea. Our preferred lender, Katherine Dunckley with Cardinal Financial, will help walk you through the mortgage process and direct you to the best loan to fit your needs!

Looking to Buy Your First Home in Wilmington, DE?

If you’ve been searching for your dream home, you’ll never find a better spot than beautiful Wilmington, Delaware. Montchanin Builders is proud to offer a selection of gorgeous move-in ready homes for you to choose from.

Our townhomes and condos are conveniently located, competitively priced, and designed for optimal spaciousness and comfort. If you would like to discover our new homes in northern Delaware for yourself, then feel free to get in touch with us today. We will be happy to arrange a safe and socially-distanced home tour!