My husband and I are wanting to purchase a new home (to be built) in a USDA eligible area/neighborhood. What is the first step that we should take?

Asked by Brenna, Simpsonville, SC Mon Dec 3, 2012

I have read to start by finding a USDA direct lender then working with a buyer's agent of our choice instead of working with the builder's lender/agents. Also, if we have not yet chosen a specific plan for a home, how should we go about getting pre-approved for a certain amount before meeting with the builder?

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Mona Lisa Ha…, Agent, Greenville, SC
Fri Feb 1, 2013
Lisa Harrison, Agent, Greenville, SC
You can check into South Carolina State Housing Authority.
They have first time home buyer programs that provide $6000 in down payment assistance for new construction. You also have to meet other guidelines. This may allow you to look in non USDA areas.
Good Luck. And may I recommend you work with a savvy buyer's agent like Jacqui Mims.

M. Lisa Harrison
DHP Real Estate
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Ron Jensrud, Agent, Fridley, MN
Tue Dec 4, 2012
Did you know most states have 2 types of Buyer Agents?

1) Exclusive Buyer Agent ONLY work with Buyers and NEVER represent sellers.
2) Non-exclusive Buyer Agent work in a brokerage that also lists homes for sale. So sometimes they may be your buyers agent and sometimes they might be a Dual Agent.

If you need help in finding an Exclusive Buyers Agent in your area let me know. I also have a lender that can do the USDA loan. They have done several for my clients this year.

Ron Jensrud
100% for Home Buyers - 100% of the Time!
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Anna Ryan, Agent, Greenville, SC
Mon Dec 3, 2012
Have you decided on your builder? Often they will have a preferred lender who is very knowledgeable about the process and often will give you incentives to use them. If find my new construction clients often do go with that lender because of the specials they offer.

I usually like my new construction clients to speak to a loan officer I know and trust to find out what they can qualify for and then have me go to the builder with them. After that you can hear the incentives and compare notes.

I'm sure you know the Builder pays the Realtor dues so the only thing to keep in mind there is that
whether it is your loan officer or your Realtor they are by far not all created equally. Find one who is knowledgeable about new construction. In Simpsonville I only know of a handful.

For loan officers find one through the Realtor, not vice-versa.
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Dana Mathewes, Agent, Greenville, SC
Mon Dec 3, 2012
Brenna, the first step is to get that pre-approval. That will put you in the drivers seat. Then you can confidently decide what price range you can afford. The lender will ask you questions about your income, your credit and debt. The lender will then tell you the amount you can afford, If you need some referals for some good USDA lender I will be happy to help. USDA loans do have an income limit for eligibility. I will be glad to help you navigate thru this process give me a call 864-270-4722
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Johnny Lee, Agent, Greenville, SC
Mon Dec 3, 2012

You will need to first get pre-approved prior to meeting with a builder of choice. One local company that can be recommended is Valerie, Owner with Upstate Mortgage (864-232-3830) http://( She has worked with other local buyer(s) and has been very helpful to a couple of my clients in dealing with the builder, loan process, and timely scheduling. She will also be able to assist in finding properties/subdivisions that are within the USDA classification or you may contact your Realtor of choice.

Valerie/Upstate Mortgage will not charge any upfront fees to get pre-approval.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have or if you need a Realtor to work in the best interest of you and your family. I am currently working with a home buyer in the building process and this process can become stressful at times. Your agent will or should be able to make the process more enjoyable with the correct knowledge in building a new home (negotiating with builder and terms, upgrades, deadlines, etc.)

Kind Regards,
Johnny Lee, Broker/Owner
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Beth Wietrz…, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Mon Dec 3, 2012
The mortgage broker you choose will be able to get you a USDA loan. After talking with a mortgage broker, you can start looking at homes that qualify for USDA-something else your mortgage broker will know. You will likely get better rates through an independent mortgage broker vs the builder's lender.

Feel free to call me at 864-884-6018 and I can help you with both a mortgage broker and finding a home.
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John Renfrow, Agent, VENICE, FL
Mon Dec 3, 2012
Hi Brenna, The first step is to contact the mortgage officer either by phone or in person. After obtaining the necessary information from you and looking at your credit, your mortgage lender will do a pre-qualification letter for you and let you know the price range you should shop in before you start looking at neighborhoods and models. Once you and your agent meet with the builder or builder's representative, the lender can prepare a price specific letter to accompany your offer.
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