​If you’re considering buying your first home, you may have questions about how to qualify and what happens next. And if you’re dreaming of building a new home but have no idea where to begin, you’re not alone! It’s an exciting process that requires some thought and planning, but it doesn’t have to be scary.

​We’re here to help break down the buying and building process and get you one step closer to your dream of a brand new home. Follow these steps in our first-time home building guide!

Common Misconceptions of First-Time Home Buyers

I can't afford to purchase a new home

It’s tough to understand your buying power when you haven’t been through the process before, but you can often afford more than you think. As a first step, start by using a Home Affordability Calculator to get a ballpark number. Next, contact a lender so they can evaluate your unique situation and provide an estimate of what you can afford. This is known as pre-qualification.

I don’t have enough money for a down payment

You may have heard that you need a 20% down payment to purchase, which can seem daunting when purchasing your first home. Good news – there are many mortgages types available, including low down-payment options for those that qualify.

I need perfect credit, or I think my credit score is too low

Perfect credit may be a goal but it’s rarely a reality, especially when buying your first home. And just like down payments, different mortgage types have different credit score requirements. Your lender can explain the options available and give suggestions for boosting your credit score, if needed.

I need to pay the mortgage for a new home while it’s being built

If the idea of paying your current rent plus the mortgage for a home under construction stops you in your tracks, you’re not alone. Fortunately, that’s not the case with M/I Homes! To put it simply, M/I pays for the home while it’s being built, then you begin mortgage payments once the home is complete and you close on the home (the official purchase).

I need a real estate agent

No agent? No problem! Each M/I community has an experienced New Home Consultant onsite that is a licensed realtor and new-construction expert. They will assist you from start-to-finish during the buying and building process.

I can’t use a real estate agent when purchasing a new construction home

If you are already working with an agent, that’s okay! M/I Homes welcomes real estate agents. The New Home Consultants have experience working with buyers and their agents alike and will ensure a smooth and collaborative process.

How to Buy a New M/I Home

  1. Check out locations of new construction homes on the M/I Homes website. With several locations to choose from throughout the Twin Cities, it’s easy to find a community you’ll fall in love with, and you can adjust your search to see different price points and home styles.
  2. Reach out and ask questions! As Internet Sales Managers, Allison and I are eager to help! You can submit your questions online or give us a call to talk one-on-one. We’ll answer your questions about building and provide information about each community to help you find one that may be a good fit.
  3. Head to the community for a tour. After you pick a community, it’s time stop by and meet with the New Home Consultant. Your New Home Consultant will provide a tour of the model home and community, discuss the floorplans, explain the options available, and ask questions about what’s important to you in a home. They’re dedicated to understanding your needs and will make suggestions to match your lifestyle.
  4. Get a proposal to build your new home. Once you pick a floorplan you will select a homesite, then your New Home Consultant will create a detailed proposal with the anticipated cost of your home. From there you can continue to add or remove options to personalize your home within your desired budget.
  5. Make it official with a purchase agreement. When you’re comfortable with the proposal and ready to move forward, your New Home Consultant will create a purchase agreement, which is the contract for your new home.
  6. Get financing pre-approval. Once the purchase agreement is finalized it’s time for loan pre-approval. You may be pre-qualified to purchase with one lender, but it’s a good idea to check with others to compare rates and fees. Also, new construction financing is different than resale and not all lenders are familiar with the nuances. But M/I Financial is – that’s all they do! Plus, they offer competitive rates and a one-stop home buying experience.
  7. Design your new home. This is where the fun really begins! You will go to the Design Center and meet one-on-one with your Selection Coordinator. They will get to know your style and desired outcome, then help you pick the colors and finishes for your home. Looking for inspiration? Visit model homes for ideas, browse our inspiration gallery, or read about some of our favorite design trends.
  8. Let the building begin! It’s time to sit back, relax, and let the M/I team get started on your home. You’ll get to visit the construction site to see your home being built, and you’ll receive updates along the way to keep you informed of the progress. All you must do is get ready to move into your brand new home!

Your first home purchase is an exhilarating time, and there’s no better feeling than making your new home dream a reality with a home designed just for you. We’re here to help when you’re ready!



Author

Jenny Koterba
Jenny Koterba

Author

Jenny has always had a passion for new home construction and the building process, finally deciding to make a career of it in 2014. Her prior experiences in the industry have provided her with a great deal of knowledge that she’s picked up along the way. As the Internet Sales Manager for the Minneapolis Division of M/I Homes, she is here to help answer any questions that you may have. Jenny resides in the Twin Cities area with her husband, two children, and two dogs. She enjoys quality time with family and friends, running, and traveling.