It's never been easier to build - and finance - your dream home than with Gehan Homes. Working with select preferred providers, we are excited to offer mortgage options that make your dream of home ownership a reality.
Select the city where your new Gehan home is to be built and get connected with a preferred mortgage provider in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I'm ready to buy a home?
Buying a home can be an intimidating process. To find out if you are ready to buy a home, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do I have a steady source of dependable income? Have I been employed on a regular basis for the last several years?
2. Do I have a good record of paying my bills?
3. Am I carrying very little debt, like car payments or installment loans?
4. Do I have money saved for a down payment?
5. Do I have the ability to pay a mortgage every month, plus additional costs?
If you can answer "yes" to these questions, you are probably ready to buy your own home.
How do I know if I can get a loan?
Using a simple mortgage calculator to see how much mortgage you can afford is a good start. The best way to know if you can get a loan, however, is to obtain a pre-approval from a lender. Note that there is usually a loan application fee involved, but once you are pre-approved, you can begin your new home search with peace of mind.
What loan term should I choose?
If you can afford higher payments, a shorter loan term (10-15 years) will build equity more quickly and may be the right choice for you. If you wish to qualify for a larger loan, it may be better to choose a longer term (20-30 years). Longer- term loans are a good choice if you don't plan on moving for a long period of time and the interest rates are good when you sign your loan. Long-term loans are also easier to qualify for. You can always add additional principal to your monthly mortgage payments to build equity faster. Your broker or lender will work with you to find the appropriate loan type for your needs.
In addition to the mortgage payment, what other costs do I need to consider?
This is a great question. Too many times, new homeowners run into problems because of lack of foresight. To be a responsible homeowner, you will also need to consider:
- Monthly utilities
- Homeowner association fees
- Property taxes
- Maintenance costs
- General living expenses
A great rule of thumb is that your monthly mortgage expense should not be more than 35% of your gross household income.
Why should I buy instead of rent?
Simply put, buying a home builds wealth. When you purchase a home, at the end of the mortgage you are going to own that home and property. When you rent, you are only creating wealth for the landlord.
What should I look for when deciding on a community?
More than anything else, you want a neighborhood where you feel comfortable. Select a community that will allow you to best live your daily life. Many people choose communities based on schools, but you will also need to think about access to shopping, cultural districts, medical facilities and places of worship. If public transportation is important, that can be another factor. When you find a place you like, talk to people who live there. They know the most about the area and will be your future neighbors.
Gehan Homes communities were designed with you and your family in mind. Each community features exclusive amenities and access to great schools, employment centers, entertainment venues and more. We encourage you to visit any of our communities in the Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston or San Antonio areas to find your new home.
Do I need a real estate agent to purchase a new Gehan Home?
No, you do not need a real estate agent to purchase a new Gehan Home. Our New Home Consultants are here to assist you before, during and after your new home purchase. The choice to use a Realtor is personal and solely yours to make, but please know that your New Home Consultant will be available to answer any questions you have during your entire home buying experience.
If I have a real estate agent, does he/she need to visit the Community with me?
Yes, if you choose to use a real estate agent, your agent is required to accompany and register you during your first visit to the model home center.
How do I determine the taxes for a new home?
Tax rates are based on a per $100 valuation of a home. Your New Home Consultant will have information for you regarding the estimated taxes that will be assessed on your new home. Contact a New Home Consultant in your Community of interest.
How is the value of a home calculated?
A home's value is based on several things, including the size, square-footage, construction quality, certain amenities and location. Also taken into consideration are relevant historical facts about the property and the prices of recently sold comparable properties in and around the area.
Five Steps To Getting A Mortgage
1. Know Your Finances
The amount of home you can afford depends on many factors including your debt, income and credit score as well as the cash that you have available for down payment, closing costs and reserves. Figure out how much you can comfortably afford to spend each month on a mortgage payment. Don't forget to factor in the additional costs of taxes, insurance and HOA fees.
2. Get Organized
You will be required to provide documentation to your lender, so start collecting these items early. Commonly requested documents are: paystubs, bank statements, tax returns, investment statements (401(k), IRA, stocks), rental statements and divorce decrees.
3. Shop for a Lender
Once you have a clear idea of your financial picture, you can begin shopping for a loan. For tips and advice on how to select the best lender and loan for you, see our "Ask Your Lender" tab.
4. Get Pre-Approved for a Loan
Now that you have selected a qualified mortgage lender and have provided them with your financial information, they can pre-approve you for a mortgage loan and provide you with a Good Faith Estimate. This estimate will give you a clear idea as to the costs associated with your home purchase, including your required down payment, closing costs and monthly payment.
The final step in your loan process will be your closing. During this time, you will sign all of your mortgage paperwork as well as the documents that legally transfer the home to you.
Ten Questions to Ask Your Lender
1. What type of loan is best for me?
A wide variety of loan options are available to consumers that include fixed rate, adjustable rate, interest only and negative amortization loans. Your lender can customize a solution that works best for you. Factors such as how much you plan to use for a down payment, your credit score and how long you plan to stay in the home are just some of the many factors a qualified mortgage professional will use to determine the option that best suits you.
2. What is my interest rate and APR?
Interest rates change quickly and the interest rate you will receive is based on many factors, including credit, amount of down payment, your debt-to-income ratio and more.
The APR is a calculation that factors in your interest rate as all other fees and costs over the life of your loan. Comparing the APR of loans is the ideal method in determining which loan is the best deal. However, many mortgage lenders do not include all fees in determining their APR and if your mortgage rate is adjustable, there is no way to accurately calculate the APR. Therefore, the most practical way to compare quotes is to request an itemized breakdown of your rate, discount and origination points and fees.
3. What are the discount and origination points?
Discount Points: One point is equal to 1% of your loan amount. Discount points represent additional money charged by the lender to lower or "buy down" your interest rate. The more points you pay up front, the lower your rate. Usually for each point you pay on a 30-year fixed loan, your interest rate will be lowered by .125%.
Loan Origination Points: Lenders frequently charge a loan origination fee for evaluating, preparing and submitting your loan. The charge is usually calculated in points, with one point equal to one percent of the loan amount. For example, if your loan amount is $150,000.00, one point would equal $1,500.00.
4. What are the additional closing costs?
In addition to the fees charged by your lender, you will be responsible for additional fees paid to third parties as well as prepaid costs.
Third party fees may include: Appraisal and inspection fees, fees charged by the title company (may include closing fees, title exam, search or commitment, document preparation and notary and attorney's fees), as well as government fees (transfer taxes, recording fees and document or transaction stamps).
Prepaid costs are monies paid in advance and may include: Real estate taxes, homeowner's insurance, prepaid loan interest and HOA fees. These charges are related directly to the home purchase and are paid regardless of whether you obtain a mortgage.
Knowing these costs as early as possible not only gives you the opportunity to compare services and their prices but also prepares you for how much money you will need to come up with at closing. Although lenders are required to provide a written Good Faith Estimate within three days of receiving your loan application, remember it is just an estimate and some fees will vary.
5. Can I lock in my interest rate?
Because of the fluid nature of interest rates, you may have the option to "lock-in" your rate. This may be a good option if you have reason to believe that rates are increasing. Be sure to ask what, if any, fees are associated with locking in your rate, the length of time the rate will be locked for and what rate will be charged if the lock-in expires before closing. Additionally, inquire as to if you will be offered a lower rate should rates fall subsequent to your lock-in date. Remember to request written confirmation of your rate lock.
6. What documents will I need to provide?
In order to process your loan, your lender will request documentation to substantiate the data supplied on your application. This documentation varies depending on your loan type and circumstances and may include copies of your sales contract, pay stubs and W-2's, investment and bank statements and tax returns.
7. Will I be penalized if I pay off my loan early?
If you pay of your loan early due to a refinance or move, you may be subject to a prepayment penalty. If there is a fee, find out how much and for how long the fee is in effect.
8. What escrow requirements do you have?
Your monthly mortgage payment consists of principal and interest and in many cases, escrowed amounts for your taxes and insurance. Some lenders require that money be put aside each month into escrow to cover your taxes and insurance. Approximately 1/12 of the annual required amount is added to your monthly mortgage payment and put aside in an escrow account. The lender pays your annual taxes and insurance when they are due out of this account. If your lender does not require an escrow account or you choose not to have these amounts escrowed, you will be responsible to pay your annual taxes and insurance premiums when they are due.
9. What time frames and deadlines do I need to be mindful of?
In processing your loan, time is of the essence. Delays in getting important documents and paperwork to your lender could delay your loan approval and/or closing. The average loan processing time takes between 30-60 days but varies greatly depending on the lender's workflow or backlog. Make sure to ask your lender how long their closing process will take. While your loan is in process, incurring additional debt, changes in job status and reductions in assets or salary can negatively impact your loan, so be mindful of your employment and financial status.
10. Do you have references?
Check the credentials and references of mortgage lenders and ask your lender to speak with clients in your area.