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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!