How to Buy Your First Home: A First Time Home Buyer’s Guide

Doing Your Homework

For first time home buyers, the mountain of prep work that comes with purchasing a house can be overwhelming. The importance of doing your research before you commit to any contractor or construction company can’t be overstated. Before you ever begin your search:

  • Determine your budget. Most major finance and lending companies have some sort of home affordability calculator that can give you a better idea of what you can comfortably spend on a house. The one we linked above is a straightforward and easy-to-use tool, but make sure you play around with other cost estimators for a more complete look at what you can afford.
  • Check, and look for ways to improve, your credit scores. Once you know your credit score, you can get a better idea of how likely it is you’ll be approved for a housing loan and what your monthly payment and interest rates will look like. Improving your credit score can be a lengthy process, but the simplest ways to do so are to pay your bills on time and pay down any credit card debt you have. If you suffer from poor credit, employing the help of a credit counselor can always be extremely beneficial.
  • Get pre-qualified/pre-approved for a housing loan or mortgage. This usually comes in the form of a recommendation letter from a reputable financial institution like a bank or a credit union. Having this document ready shows homebuilders that you are serious about purchasing a house and can handle the financial commitment. Getting pre-qualified means that a bank will provide you with an estimate of how much money they’re willing to let you mortgage and at what interest rate. Getting pre-approved means that a lender looks at your credit history and actually makes a written offer to you for a loan at a particular rate of interest.
  • Explore first-time home buyer loans and grants. There are lots of government-sponsored programs that are designed to help people like yourself who are looking to buy their first house. FHA, USDA, and VA loans are all great options, but be sure to explore other first-time home buying programs to see where you can save the most money.


Picking Your Location

A big part of the cost of owning your first home is the price of the land you’re building on. Several factors come into play here, but one of the most important things to consider is how the neighborhood and local area will impact your family and property. If you have kids or are planning to have kids in the future, then be sure and check out nearby schools. Look up local reports on crime and safety in the area. See how far away from grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies, and other essential consumer goods and services would be from you. Tour the neighborhood at different times throughout different days of the week to get an idea of the noise and activity levels, as well as the traffic in your area. Time how long it would take you to commute to/from work from a specific neighborhood. All of these are good things to keep in mind when choosing your first home’s location.

Choosing Your Floor Plan

Once you know where you’d like to build your new house, it’s time to get a solid idea of what you want that house to look like. When you visit our model center, we’ll guide you through a tour of our model home while making sure to give you details on additional layouts, features, and upgrades that you may be interested in. Our design consultants will listen to your feedback and go over customization options with you while discussing and presenting possibilities from our idea books and magazines. No matter what your family’s needs and preferences are, we’ll work with you to customize a floor plan that meets all your requirements and expectations.

When thinking about your new home’s floor plan, don’t get caught up just on square footage alone. Some important questions to take into consideration when choosing your floor plan are:

  • How many people will be living in your home at move-in? How many people will be living in your home in the years to come? Do you currently have or plan to have children? If so, how many? Do guests visit you enough to warrant the use of a guest suite? These are just the basics, but knowing the answers to these questions helps you determine simple things like how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need.
  • Do you prefer a more open floor plan or one that sections off different portions of your house? How many floors do you want your home to have? How do you spend the majority of your time when you’re at home? In which rooms do your family members spend most of their time? Take all these factors into consideration when it comes to narrowing down your choices of floorplans.

Building Your Home

Unlike traditional stick-built houses, all of our modular homes are built in a professional climate-controlled environment at our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. Every single one of our homes is Energy Star Certified and comes with a nearly endless amount of customization options.

The Yates Home-Buying Process

During the 30 years that we’ve been in business, we’ve worked to develop and fine-tune our design and construction process so that it’s as stress-free and easy on first-time home buyers as we can possibly make it.

Our 6-step process is simple and straightforward. To learn more about the Yates design and construction process, head over to the “About” section of this site. There you’ll find more information about our homebuilding process, as well as other important info about our company.

If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’ll be glad to talk with you about your various options and help walk you through your first home-buying adventure!

What People Are Saying About Their Experience with Yates Homes

Testimonial Image from: Tom & Jo Amato

Five Star rating across the board!

We have had a wonderful experience (start to finish) with everyone at Yates. I sent an e-mail earlier in the week letting all know how much we really appreciated everyone. I think we met or spoke with most of you staff and everyone was more than helpful with any questions we had.

Your folks definitely make this painless (for us anyways) as possible and we are truly grateful.

Five star rating across the board!

Tom & Jo Amato North Carolina

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Testimonial Image from: Gloria Gibson

"I love my new home!"

I love my new home! I have received so many compliments. One couple in particular wanted to come by and see how we customized the outside. They also wanted a 2 story house and couldn’t visualize how it would look. They asked us about our experience with the home process. This couple is now purchasing a new home from Yates!

My home is “comfortable” and I got the kitchen I was dreaming of! Thank all of you at Yates Home Sales!

Gloria Gibson

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Testimonial Image from: Jason and Keturah Yancey

"...expertise and professionalism..."

We would like to thank Yates Home Sales for their expertise and professionalism with our new home. Our sales representative was very knowledgeable of her job and she knew what we wanted for our first home. We had toured many modular dealers but, my heart kept leading me back to Yates. The staff that built our home and the workers that put it together was on point with everything. We were never left with unanswered questions. Their tour homes is well kept and beautifully decorated inside so you as a customer can actually see yourself living in one of the modulars. That’s when my husband and I decided that Yates Homes was the place to go to have our home built.

So thanks to the staff at Yates for a job well done and a special thanks to our sales representative Lydia Gibson.

Jason and Keturah Yancey

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Testimonial Image from: Tim and Renee Hearp

"We are very pleased..."

We are very pleased with our beautiful Yates home. The staff was very helpful and patient as we planned our custom built modular home. Since we had recently lost our first home to a fire we needed to move quickly to rebuild and move back on our land. Yates worked very hard to have our family in our new home as quickly as possible.

Tim and Renee Hearp

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Testimonial Image from: Burt and Andra-Scearce

"I proudly tell them Yates..."

I wanted to take this opportunity to write a thank you letter. My family really enjoys our beautiful home. I want to especially thank CR Yates for working with us to resolve any issues or concerns. When someone ask who built my home, I proudly tell them Yates Home Sales. If I build another house in the future, Yates Home Sales will be my first Choice.

Burt and Andra-Scearce

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Testimonial Image from: Tim and Teresa-Boelte

"...we highly recommend them..."

My wife is a nurse and I handle warranty claims for one of the largest companies in Southside Virginia. We both work in fields where we know how important customer service is and should be. We don’t mind one bit telling anyone about our experience with Yates Home Sales. In fact, we highly recommend them to anyone that asks about our home. If you are in the market for a new home, go by and meet Lydia, Scott, C.R. and everyone else at Yates Home Sales. Then go look around at other places. If a top notch home, honesty and customer service are what you are looking for, I’m willing to bet that you end up right back where you started.

Tim and Teresa-Boelte Virginia

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Testimonial Image from: Mike and Janet Wanless

"...professional and efficient..."

We enjoyed working with the friendly sales staff at Yates Home Sales during our home purchase. They listened to our questions and helped us choose a home that fits our lifestyle. The Yates employees were professional and efficient, and maintained a low-key sales approach. At no time were we pressured or rushed to make decisions about our new home. Thanks to Yates Home Sales, we are living in our dream home.

Mike and Janet Wanless

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Testimonial Image from: Jonathan Manley

"My family and I are so pleased..."

My family and I are so pleased with our new home from Yates, I cannot say enough about the quick and courteous service we have received! The entire process of buying our home was made easy by the excellent staff at Yates and the service after the purchase has been great! We had one small problem with our plumbing after we moved in and the service staff from Yates was on it and had it repaired very quickly with absolutely NO FUSS. In times when good products and service seem to be getting hard to find, Yates Homes stands out as a great local company! I would recommend Yates Homes to anyone who is in the market for a well-built modular home – sold by people who care about the customers they serve!

Jonathan Manley

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North Carolina

  • 3901 Durham Road
  • Roxboro, NC  27574
  • Phone: (336) 597-4663
  • Fax: 336-597-4669


  • 5940 U.S. 29 Business
  • Blairs, VA  24527
  • Phone: (434) 836-4215
  • Fax: 434-836-8116

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Yates Homes is one of the leading builders of premium modular homes in North Carolina and Virginia, offering top-quality modular home building services with a special emphasis on providing personal customer service and unmatched satisfaction.