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Blog Category - Buying a New Home

Where to Start Your New Home Buying Search

Categories: Buying a New Home | Posted: September 5, 2017

Searching Homes Online

Buying a new home can be daunting, especially if it’s your first one! That’s why we’ve put together a list of home buying tips to help guide you through the home buying process.

Here, we’ve covered everything from financing to how to search for the best builder for you. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to dive right into the buying process.

Step One: Decide What You Can Spend

At this point, you should ideally have some cash saved up for a home down payment. Typically, you’ll want to make sure you have twenty percent saved up of what the total home cost will be. So, if your home budget is $220,000, you’d want to have $44,000 saved up to put down for a new home. This would set you up with a mortgage of $176,000.

That’s a sizable chunk of change, but thankfully there are several programs out there that can help with down payments, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. A homeownership program would be your best bet. These can include loans, grants, and even tax credits geared towards first-time home buyers.

Many builders will often work with a preferred lender, which gets you access to even more deals! Typically, the preferred lender will be able to find the best deals for you or may even have special deals just for a specific builder.

You’ll want to get Pre-Approved or Prequalified, especially before you talk to a builder. This will help reveal what kind of a mortgage you can obtain. Pre-Approval happens when a credit check is run and, combined with the current down payment amount available, an estimated amount is given to the buyer.

Prequalification, on the other hand, happens after a mortgage company interviews a buyer and, based on that interview, provides an estimate. Usually, the Pre-Approval route has more weight.

Step Two: Pick Your Location

Before you can effectively search for builders, you need to decide the general area you want to live. Now, this doesn’t have to get incredibly specific quite yet – you can finalize it once you’ve zeroed in on a builder and learn what areas they serve. Many builders will also build on your lot, but often within a selected metro area or zip code.

However, before you get to that point you’ll want to narrow down what you’re wanting out of your location. Is walkability incredibly important to you, or are you fine with driving? Do you want a short commute to the city, or are you looking for a more rural area? The answers to these questions will help you narrow down the general metro area or even specific town you might want to live in.

And if you’re already satisfied with your current location and are just looking for a new home, perfect! You’ve successfully completed the second step in the process with minimal effort.

Step Three: Pick Your Home Type

You’ve got your budget and your location – now’s the time to decide what kind of house you’re looking for! That way, you’ll be able to weed out any builders who don’t fit the style or type that you’re desiring.

Are you wanting a ranch home, or do you need a home with two stories? How many garages do you need? Is not having a large yard or patio a dealbreaker? You’ll want to make sure you at least have a general idea before you leap onto the Internet.

Step Four: Begin Researching Builders

Now that you have a general idea of your home type, how much you can spend, and where you want to live, you can start creating your list of potential builders.

There are several ways you can conduct this search: you can type things like “Lexington builders” into Google, browse Zillow or Trulia, or you can even drive around and scope out neighborhoods in your area.

Once you’ve zeroed in on a builder, take the time to do your research. Explore their website and look for the following:

  • Do they cover financing options, or do they provide you a resource to someone who can help you with financing?
  • Are they upfront about their prices and general building schedules?
  • Do they give a face to the name and let you know who you’ll be talking to?
  • Check their social media: are they on top of responding to customers, and does it seem like buyers are generally happy with the quality of their work?
  • What does their warranty program look like?

Step Five: Visit Houses

You’re almost there! Now’s the time to set up appointments to visit communities and model homes with the builder who’s passed your test. At this point, you’ll begin talking with the sales representative for the builder (or builders, if you’re looking at multiple).

Now is the time ask any lingering questions that weren’t answered by the website, and the representative typically has questions for you as well as they work to find the home for you.

If possible, try to see examples of homes that both have been staged (with furniture set up) as well as those that are still empty. That way, you can have an idea as to what kind of furniture will fit in your new home but you’ll also be able to gain a good idea as to the space you’ll be dealing with once the home is complete.

Here are some suggested questions for your sales rep:

  • How will the financing process work? Do you have an estimated cost for XYZ home?
  • What are the personalization options I will have?
  • Will I have a contact throughout the building process?
  • What separates you from the competition?
  • Can I bring my own lot, or do I need to choose one of yours?
  • If I need to choose one of your lots, is the price included in the cost of the plan?

Step Six: Secure Financing & Sign the Contract

Ready to commit? You’ve reached the final step in the home research process! This is where you seal the deal on your new home and sign the contract with your chosen builder. Congratulations! You just learned how to buy a house.

From here, you’ll either work with the builder’s preferred lender to secure financing for your new home. Since you’re already pre-approved or pre-qualified, this should be a snap. Happy home building!

With all the Growth comes New Homes & Great New Dining Options in Lexington!

Categories: Buying a New Home, Columbia, Coming Soon Community, Energy Efficient, Home Buying, Hybrid Home, SC, Smart Home, Uncategorized | Posted: January 11, 2017

Clean Eatz of Columbia

Lexington is definitely growing and new business are coming to town. Just down the street from McGuinn Hybrid Homes corporate office we are seeing tremendous growth in the area. We just built several of our Calhoun plan for one of our investor partners in Wellmore just off 378. Lexington is ever growing and the population needs housing, so McGuinn Hybrid Homes is on the move to make sure that we have the most affordable value based homes in the market. With this growth restaurants and retail stores are moving in. Have you checked out one of the newest places, Clean Eats.

The mission of Clean Eatz is to provide people with fresh, affordable, healthy food and to “change the world one meal at a time.” Everything on their menu is under 500 calories and 10 grams of fat, and contains no grease, sodium or processed foods. Clean eating is not a diet – it is a lifestyle approach to eating food in its most natural state. Clean Eatz gives you the tools needed by preparing properly portioned meals with a balance of protein, carbs, and fats, and even cater to special diet needs. Visit the Cafe, try one of Clean Eatz’ Meal Plans, or stop in for a grab n’ go meal. Their food deliciously eliminates the guessing, temptation, and lack of preparation that come with busy lifestyles!

With everything we have going on in a day it is important to take care of our bodies. Wade McGuinn, CEO of McGuinn Hybrid Homes, is in the gym every morning at 5:30 am. “I don’t always want to get up and go, but I am way lighter and healthier. My goal is to be very active in the life of both my children and grandchildren!” Clean Eatz is definitely a hit with those who are on a path to healthy living.


Clean Eatz is located 5225 Sunset Blvd, Suite D Lexington, SC 29072. For more information, visit the business website at The business is also on Facebook. You can contact the restaurant by phone at 803-490-2657 or by email at

McGuinn Hybrid Homes has something for everyone.  Build a Hybrid Homes in our 11 Communities throughout the Midlands, on Your Lot in Columbia or Charlotte, and we also would like the opportunity to take on any investor projects that you may have!
Call us at 803.917.5583

2016 is Almost Over, Have you Contracted Your New Home Yet?

Categories: Buying a New Home, Coming Soon Community, Energy Efficient, Final Opportunity Communities, Harbison Blvd, Home Buying, Hybrid Home, Lake Murray, Lexington Medical Center, New Homes in West Columbia, Saluda Shoals Park, SC, Smart Home, University of SC, University of South Carolina, USC | Posted: August 22, 2016

Days Left in 2016We have 29 homes that are move in ready! Call one of our Community Sales Managers today for a tour at 803-917-5583. Garden Brooke only has 2 homes left, Harvest Glen and Glen Eagle have a new phase that is not open, Bonhomme Green/ Woods is on Closeout, and Pleasant Springs has 6 move in ready homes. You can view plans for Bickley Estates, Burnside Farms, and St. Andrews Reserves by asking one of our Community Sales Managers. We want to see you and your family in a new McGuinn Hybrid Home.

Visit: for more details on the community of your choice.

McGuinn Hybrid Homes part of West Columbia growth – West Metro News

Categories: Buying a New Home, Downtown Columbia, Energy Efficient, Home Buying, Hybrid Home, Lexington Medical Center, SC, Smart Home, Uncategorized, University of SC, University of South Carolina, USC | Posted: July 7, 2016

Want to live in a new, hybrid home? Wade McGuinn has a neighborhood with new homes, and you don’t even have to leave West Columbia to live in one. Harvest Glen includes 54 houses. It is off of Leaphart Road. It’s a community near everything, from I-26 and Lexington Medical Center to I-20 and downtown Columbia. Wade is a Brookland-Cayce […]

Source: McGuinn Hybrid Homes part of West Columbia growth – West Metro News

Step 1 in the Credit Repair Process

Categories: Buying a New Home, Home Buying, Homeowner tips | Posted: May 18, 2016

 Credit RepairThe Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) entitles you to one free credit report each year from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion and you can get this through or by calling 1-877-322-8228. Please obtain a copy of your report and come see us at our Homebuyer 101 Seminar May 25, 2016 @ 6pm 3300 Sunset Blvd West Columbia, SC 29169.

We have Ameris Bank on site to help you evaluate your report and show you what the bank in looking for in financing you for a mortgage. We have had people move through the process in less than 30 days. Everyone has a unique situations and you will not know what you need to do until you come out to one of our seminars and let Ameris along with the McGuinn Hybrid Home family give you the tools to achieve the American Dream of home-ownership!

Visit our website @ today and register! We will serve light refreshments for our guest, so come on over right after work!

We Want to Help You,

Wade McGuinn, CEO


Zack Schwartz has joined the McGuinn Homes Family!

Categories: Buying a New Home, Home Buying | Posted: May 16, 2016

Hello, my name is Zachary Schwartz, but most people call me Zach. I was born in Goshen, IN and lived up there till the age 11 where my family moved down to South Carolina. I have three younger sisters and one older brother. Growing up was always eventful having such a big family. We definitely had to learn how to share and to get along. It taught me a lot of valuable lessons now that I’m in my adult life. With that said though being so close in age, we were able to experience a lot of things at the same time, which help create so many great memories and good times.

I’ve lived and have grown up in the Columbia area since middle school. I went Dutch Fork Middle School, Dutch Fork High School, and Midlands Tech. Throughout high school and college I worked for a chain grocery store where I started out as a bagger and worked my way up to being a bookkeeper and finally a supervisor. From there I got a job with a local bank as a Bank Teller. After five and half years of working there, I got the opportunity to work at a national cable company. I started in Customer Service and worked my way to being a Sales Operations Coordinator. My interest peaked for Real Estate about 2 years ago and I haven’t looked back sense. I’ve always wanted to work for myself, so while working at the cable company, I did real estate part-time. I had a desire to do it full-time and was offered a unique opportunity with McGuinn! I see this as an amazing opportunity to really work to my potential. I’m a big people person so this is a really good fit for me.

I do have a lot of hobbies and interests. I would say my number one interest is music. I come from a musical family and background and it is still my heart’s desire to learn to play the guitar. I am also pretty big into fitness. I love to go to the gym and knock out a great work out and have that satisfied feeling of muscles twitching and just feeling that tiredness of doing something worthwhile towards being healthy.

There are so many great things that I would like so meeting new people comes with ease I have never met a stranger! I love hearing people’s life stories and what paths they are on or where they have been. It’s the small things in life that build my passions up. I have big dreams and big ambitions. I’m not afraid of work and I am willing of working hard and smart now, so that later down the road I won’t have to and I’ll be able to enjoy my life with my family and friends.

I’m so excited about the new opportunities in front of me and look forward to what happens next to continue on in the next chapter of my life.

Meet Our Administator Wanda Harrill at Your New Buyer’s Orientation!

Categories: Buying a New Home | Posted: May 2, 2016

McGuinn Homes has A New Homebuyer Orientation

“You’ve Bought a Home Now What?”

You’ve Bought a Home Now What new buyers orientation was introduced at late 2014 to enhance the buyer experience at McGuinn Homes. Within 2 weeks of writing a contract on your McGuinn Hybrid Home, whether a build job or purchase of an inventory home, the buyer is contacted by Wanda Harrill! Wanda will be the super hero who gets you from contract to CLOSING! This appointment will take 1 hour, but it will be the best one hour you could spend, because at McGuinn we believe that education about the home buying and building process is key to a successful relationship.

Buyers are presented with their McGuinn homeowner’s manual which explains every component in your new hybrid home in detail! We will discuss Lending processes and how time is of the essence to get you close ON TIME! We have HOA management companies for our McGuinn communities and we want you to understand who to contact when early on so all of your questions and concerns are answered.  We provide a sheet with all the utilities companies and service providers and tell you how to get the services transferred and when. Every McGuinn Hybrid home we build is treated for termites and that transferrable termite bonds is our gift to you at closing.

It is imperative that buyers understand McGuinn Homes construction timelines, WALKs, Closing process and the Customer Service/Warranty support they will receive after moving in their beautiful home.  Praises have come from McGuinn Homes buyers when they leave this meeting for they are filled with knowledge and have a sense of calm for what is expected of them and the experiences that are forthcoming.  The McGuinn team feels this is an hour well spent to improve our Hybrid Home buyer’s relationship.

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Does your Builder have a Super Woman Warranty Extraordinaire Like Kay Johnson?

Categories: Buying a New Home | Posted: April 25, 2016

Are you looking for State of the Art Customer Service? Well McGuinn Homes is your Builder and Kay Johnson is your in house point of contact. Kay has been with McGuinn Homes for over 2.5 years after working Sales and Marketing for another builder, Kay has set her heart on Making Sure The CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS HAPPY! Mrs. Kay loves working the customer side with building because it gives her a sense of completion to help others. “When your passion is fulfilled then it is no longer work”, Kay.

The home buying process is one that can be very scary for a buyer and having that warranty can leave them with the peace of mind of knowing that they can rest assure that someone is there to speak  with them on the other end of the phone! It can be frustrating for a new home owner when issues arise. McGuinn Homes always gives each buyer a one year warranty. The Mcguinn team will do a follow up and make repairs at 3 months and again at 11 months, now that’s quality service! We want you to be able to live in your new home and love it.

A new home must go through cycles of heating and cooling so as the seasons change this will allow for the house to settle. When buying your new McGuinn Hybrid Home you can be assured that we will always respond in a timely fashion (usually within 24 hours)! Your home is our business! We at McGuinn Homes believe in a prompt response time, because this gets your family back to enjoying your new Hybrid Home.

Mrs. Kay wants every homeowner to know that they are a priority to the McGuinn Homes Family! We do care about you and your new home. We want you to love living in your new home. We know that if you love it you will purchase again or refer us to your family and friends. Our company has survived over 30 years in the local market because we build every McGuinn Hybrid Home with a Goldseal Promise for Quality and Service.

Communication is KEY!


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