At Clayton, we’re committed to helping you find the affordable, stylish, quality-built home of your dreams. That means we’re also here to help you throughout the entire home buying process, from looking at home models to providing you with tips on routine home maintenance after you move in. Buying a home is a big investment in your future, and the great news is that your local home center is the perfect place to help you get started.
Buying a Clayton Built® Home
Of course, we know there is no one-size-fits-all approach to buying a home. Each home buyer has a unique set of circumstances, from the city they’ll be living in and their financing, to the number of bedrooms they need or style of kitchen they prefer. The process of purchasing a new Clayton Built® home can also depend on the home center and the building facility constructing your new home.
For example, a question our home center consultants often get asked is “How long does it take to build a manufactured home?” Well, while it may take the building facility only a few days to actually build your home, because of our efficient building processes, the facility may have received other home orders ahead of yours and be in the process of completing those orders before they are able to build your home. The amount of home orders can also vary based on factors like where the building facility is located or the time of year.
Your local home center can help answer your specific questions on how long the process may take. And now that we’ve talked a little bit about the overall process, let’s take a look at these 7 tips on ways to get into your home faster.
1. Budgeting for Your New Home
Establish a firm and realistic budget before you start seriously looking at homes. You can establish what you can reasonably afford by taking the time to create a list of your current monthly expenses using our handy budget sheet.
These monthly expenses can range from utilities to food, travel, school loans, entertainment, medical expenses and charitable donations. Comparing your monthly expenses to your monthly income can help you estimate the income you have available for housing and a price range for your new home.
2. Get Preapproved, Not Just Prequalified
Many lenders may be able to help you get prequalified for a mortgage even before you visit your local home center. A prequalification typically requires a short conversation with your chosen lender and maybe a look at your credit score. If you are able to get prequalified, then you may also want to look into obtaining a preapproval from a lender of your choice, which can help you close more quickly on a home. A preapproval from the lender provides that lender’s estimate of what loan amount you are approved for, although it does not necessarily eliminate all loan underwriting concerns that will still need to be addressed before you are fully approved.
3. Communicate with Your Lender
The lender you select to finance your home purchase is in control of and responsible for the processing of your home loan application, not the home center. Make sure you communicate clearly and openly with your lender so they get everything they need, such as documentation.
Your home center representatives are not involved in the processing of a loan application you have submitted to a lender, so clearly understanding the details of your home loan and relationship to your lender is essential.
4. Consider Buying with Cash
Saving up for a larger down payment, which reduces the loan amount you will need, may help you secure financing and then get you into your new home more quickly. If you are financially able to, consider paying for your home in cash, which will help you avoid the entire lending process and save you time.
5. Have Documents Ready to Go
Ask your chosen lender for a list of items, such as financial documents and records, that you may need to provide to them and gather those items. This may include things like your W-2 forms from the most recent year and prior years, proof of employment and your bank statements.
6. Do Your Research
While you’re thinking about which Clayton Built® home models you are interested in, make sure you understand all your financing options before you continue your home buying journey. You can talk to friends and relatives about options they have chosen and do research to find lenders who can provide you with quality financing at competitive rates. Then, choose and talk to a few lenders who can clearly explain all the different kinds of home loan options available to you.
7. Ask Tons of Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. At our home centers, home consultants are ready to help you and your family find the home of your dreams! If you’re interested in customization options or upgrades like a fireplace or freestanding tub, that’s something you can talk to your home consultant about. A home consultant can also help you understand what land improvement options or site preparation tasks you may need to consider for the land your home will be placed on.
Following these tips can help make your home buying process go smoothly, and for even more helpful insights, check out our Clayton Studio blog for info on everything from budget tips to details on what comes standard in every new Clayton Built® manufactured or modular home.