Guide to financing your new home.

Just the facts:
Set a realistic budget.

Get familiar with your finances to understand what you can comfortably afford for a down payment and monthly payments.

Keep paperwork in one place.

Financing a new home build requires you to keep track of a lot of paperwork. Make sure to keep it all in one place that’s easy to access.

Prepare to get personal.

The loan process requires a lot of digging into your personal finances, income and employment history. Be prepared to share to get the ideal loan for you.

Guide to financing your new home

  • Our team is dedicated to making your dream of homeownership a reality that you can afford. From prequalification to closing, use these typical steps as your guide, and feel prepared and confident at every step of the home financing process.

1. Set a budget that makes sense.

The first step in buying a home: Determine your budget. Use our finance calculators to familiarize yourself with your finances, get acquainted with home financing terminology and begin exploring your purchasing power.

  • Fixed Rate Mortgage Calculator – Get an idea of what your monthly mortgage payment would be based on the loan amount, loan term, interest rate and other factors.

  • Affordability Calculator– Find out how much you may be able to borrow based on a variety of factors, from the purchase price to property tax to Principal Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

  • Rent vs. Own Calculator - Use our sliding scale to help determine whether renting or buying is more advantageous for you based on your current financial situation.

Pro Tip: The more detailed you can be with the information you provide on these calculators, the more useful your results will be.

2. Make your budget official with pre-approval.

Pre-approval is also a great way to determine just how much you can comfortably afford. You may opt to secure your own lender, or work with MTH Mortgage-the preferred Meritage Homes lender- who can help you with pre-approval.

If you work with MTH Mortgage, they’ll assist you from this point until the day you close. The same should be the case for your lender if you opt to work with a partner of your choosing.

You can get a head start on pre-qualification by filling out the pre-approval form* online. It will ask you some basic questions about your current housing situation and finances.

At this point, your lender will follow up with a complete credit history and profile, which will enable you to review and select the best loan option for you. If you opt to work with MTH, they’ll be in touch within 24 hours to help you determine your next steps.

3. Apply for the loan that works for you.

Once you are pre-approved and find your ideal Meritage Home, the loan application process begins. After filling out the full application form for your loan, you’ll be asked to share a significant amount of personal and financial information. The more comprehensive and prepared you can be, the quicker the process will move, getting you one step closer to homeownership.

Applying for a loan with a co-borrower? Keep in mind that they’ll typically have to share the same breadth and depth of personal and financial information as you. Don’t worry- if your loan officer is a pro, he or she will keep you informed and supported throughout the process.

Here’s a sample of the information you’ll likely want to have handy during the application process (see the full list here):

  • Residence history: Include your previous addresses for the last two years and, if you’re renting, your current landlord’s name, address and phone number.

  • Employment history: Include the names and addresses of all your employers for the last two years, dates of employment, pay stubs for the last 30 days, plus two years of W2s and 1040s.

  • Bank accounts: Include the last two months of statements from your savings and checking accounts, plus recent statements from any stocks, mutual funds, 401K and retirement accounts.

Pro Tip: The more prepared and complete you can be with this information, the fewer follow-up questions will be required. That equates to a faster-moving loan and a quicker path to ownership. Try not to lose sight of the exciting part of the process-your brand new home.

4. Work with your loan processor.

After you apply, your loan will be assigned to a loan processor. Their job is to work with you to build a file with all the documents you’ll need to meet the requirements for approval and closing.

Some of these documents typically include:

  • Your credit report: your lender will obtain a credit report for you and any co-borrower. This report shows a history of your financial transactions, including credit limits, monthly payments and current balances.

  • Verification: all information about your income, assets and liabilities included in the initial loan application will be verified by verbal and/or written verifications.

  • Appraisal: your mortgage company will arrange for a licensed Real Estate Appraiser to substantiate the value of your property.

5. Follow up with the underwriter.

Once the processor assembles your file, it’s returned to the underwriter. They’ll review everything you’ve submitted, follow up on any documents they still need and make a final decision on loan approval.

The decision is typically based on five factors:

1. Income
2. Assets
3. Financial obligations
4. Credit report
5. Property value

6. Lock in an interest rate.

Before you close, you’ll have the opportunity to lock in an interest rate. This will keep your interest rate from increasing over the course of your mortgage payment term.

Pro Tip: Keep in mind, interest rates are subject to change daily, so the rate you see today might be different than the rate you lock in closer to closing day.

7. Sign the final documents, close like a pro and get your keys.

Hope you’ve been practicing your signature because you’re about to put your penmanship to work. Your loan documents should be ready for you to sign at this point. They’ll include the note, deed of trust or mortgage, and supporting disclosures.

Closing is the final step in this process. At this point, all the documents that make your homeownership official are signed and processed, along with your paid closing funds.

To help your closing go as smoothly as possible, check these off your list:

  • Get homeowner’s insurance: 30 days before your closing date, choose an insurance carrier. At least 10 days before closing, you’ll be asked to provide evidence of your home insurance-this must occur by closing.

  • Provide the right documentation: make sure to keep your tax returns and financial records accessible during your move. Because loans are subject to multiple reviews and final conditions can be added at any time, you could be required to produce additional information or documentation.

  • Invite every borrower to the closing: each person listed as a borrower or co-borrower needs to sign the closing documents. If a signer can’t make it to the closing appointment, whether virtual or in-person, make arrangements beforehand with your mortgage company and the escrow company.

  • Have your photo ID handy: you’ll need one of the following on closing day-a U.S. government photo ID, a driver’s license, or a current passport.

  • Set up a transfer of funds: your escrow or settlement agent will give you the dollar amount necessary for closing and tell you who the payee should be. Most escrow companies only accept wire transfers. Make sure to verify with your escrow company to prepare the closing funds.

Once the final documents are executed and recorded and we receive the closing funds, you’ll be the official, proud owner of your new home and will be given your keys. Arrange with your Community Sales Associate to receive them after your transaction has closed and your loan has been funded. 

The foregoing information is provided solely for general information purposes and is not intended in any way as financial, securities, insurance, tax, or legal advice or services. Each potential homebuyer may have unique financial and other considerations that may be important to any home buying, financing or related decision. Accordingly, Meritage does not assume any duty or liability in providing the foregoing information and expressly disclaims all representations and warranties of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to such information. Potential homebuyers that desire additional information or guidance tailored to their specific situation should contact a relevant professional.