Frequently Asked Questions

Finding a mortgage is one of the first steps involved in buying a home. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the nation's housing agency. They have a helpful list of 9 steps to buying a home, which includes figuring out how much you can afford, knowing your rights, shopping for a loan, making an offer, getting a home inspection, and much more.

How do I know if I'm ready to buy a new 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 home 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 an 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:

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 new home 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, San Antonio, or Phoenix 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.