Get Ready With Clayton’s Home Buyer Checklist

Young woman with a bun and yellow sweater sits on a couch with a window, curtains, door and pillows behind her and smiles while she looks at information on a laptop.

Getting ready to buy a new home but don’t know where to start? The Clayton team has created this helpful checklist with the information you need to know about each step of the process.

Becoming a homeowner is an exciting milestone, whether you’ve purchased a home before or this is your first time. But we know that excitement can also come with a lot of questions when it comes to finding the right home, financing and what happens leading up to move-in day.

At Clayton, we want to help you understand the home buying process so you’ll feel confident about your purchase and know what to expect along the way. And while we know that no two experiences will be exactly the same, you can think of this as a general guide to all of the key parts of your journey. So, let’s get started and take a look at what you should know about the different steps!

1. Finding Your Home

We have many ways you can explore Clayton’s manufactured and modular home models that are designed to fit both your budget and your style. First, check out floor plans that are available in your area to get an idea of which homes and features you’re most interested in. You can use filters for the price range, size, number of bedrooms or options like kitchen islands, office spaces and bathtubs. You can also check out our Studio blog to see some of our most popular models, and save your favorite homes to your Clayton MyHome account.

At this point in your journey, we recommend that you start thinking about how much money you’ll be spending on your new home. You’ll also want to think about whether you’ll be placing your home on land you already own, land you will purchase or a lot in a community. You don’t have to have all of these details finalized yet, but a general idea can help you get a good feel for your overall budget as you prepare for any other home buying costs like closing costs, home insurance or moving expenses.

When you’re ready to tour home models and decide which one is right for you, you can contact us to schedule a visit at your local home center. There, you’ll meet with a home consultant, who will be your go-to guide for questions you may have while you’re buying your home. When you’re visiting, your consultant will get to know information like your budget, style preferences and any customization or upgrade options you may be looking for.

Home consultant shakes hands with a couple outside of a manufactured home

2. Choosing a Lender and Finalizing Your Home Purchase

The exact order of these next steps can vary based on your individual experience and needs, but once you’ve decided on a home model and are ready to purchase it, here is typically what happens.

You will choose your final floor plan, including selecting any available options like the paint, carpet and exterior siding colors. The home center will then send this information to the Clayton building facility that will be constructing your home so they can create what’s called a build quote for the home’s price.

At this time, you will also select a lender and complete the loan application process. We recommend taking your time to research different lenders and the loan options or programs they offer, so you can find one that’s the best fit for your specific financial situation. You will then need to submit a loan application to the lenders of your choice as well as any financial information or documents the lender may require. The lender you select will then work on underwriting the loan you have applied for.

You’ll also finalize your home’s location. If you’ve purchased or already own land, you’ll need to get a property assessment and see if the land needs any site prep or land improvement options. This may include grading or clearing parts of the land so it’s ready for the home, along with steps like building a driveway and making sure the home can be connected to utilities. We know this is often a stressful part of the process because there are many details and costs to consider, but your experienced home center consultant can help make sure you know everything that needs to be taken care of.

If you are renting a lot of land in a community, you’ll also be working with the community manager or owner on the details of delivering the home there and connecting your utilities.

Once you receive the build quote from the home building facility and loan approval from the lender you have selected, your home consultant will discuss the home’s final purchase price with you. Then you will sign your purchase and sales agreement. At this time, a deposit on your new home purchase is typically required.

Finally, if all conditions are satisfied and your lender provides the final loan approval to proceed to closing, the lender will arrange to complete the closing, and your home financing process will be complete.

Three men in gray T-shirts and white hard hats, two of them with their backs to the camera, work with drills on a manufactured home inside of a home building facility.

3. Building the Home and Preparing Your Land

Your home consultant will now submit your order to the facility that will be building your home. While your home is being built, you will want to make sure your land will be ready for it to be delivered. As we listed above, this can include steps like ensuring the land is level and will drain properly, along with installing a septic system or well.

This is also when the foundation for your home will be laid so it can then be properly anchored down once it’s delivered. Your home center can help you make sure you understand everything that needs to be done at this part of the process, including providing you with a list of local contractors that are familiar with our homes and helping you apply for any permits you may need.

This is also when the excitement about moving day really starts to build! You can look at decor and organization ideas for your new space or think about landscaping or gardening plans for after your home is set up. You’ll also want to review your home warranty with your home consultant to make sure you understand what’s typically covered.

Blue manufactured home with gray roof and white trim being delivered to a home site with a crane in the background and a man in a hard hat in the front.

4. Home Delivery and Move-in Day

Once your home is built and the land is ready, the home will then be transported to the home site and installation construction crews will complete the on-site installation process. This includes completing any necessary interior touch-ups and connecting and testing utilities, along with finishing up installing the exterior siding and skirting, if needed.

Once that’s all taken set, you will complete the final walkthrough of your home with someone from your home center. At this time, your project manager will also complete the home setup inspection form, which is a checklist of what will be inspected by you and the project manager before you move in. You will then receive your home buyer’s packet and appliance information, which contains helpful information about your home.

Finally comes the moment you’ve been waiting for throughout this journey, the moment you receive the keys to your new Clayton home! It’s now time to move in, get settled into your new space and begin making a lifetime of memories with your loved ones. We’re so happy to welcome you to the Clayton family!

We hope this post has been a helpful overview of what to expect during the manufactured and modular home buying process. And if you’re ready to take that next step toward homeownership, you can contact a home center near you for more information and start browsing home models on our website today.

Meet with a local home consultant and tour available models.

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