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Purchase a Home

Take a closer look at the homebuying journey

SAFE offers local lending for existing homes and newly built homes. On this page, we’ll walk you through the homebuying process and the benefits for each option, so you can decide which option is right for you. Whether you’re financing your first home or your next move, we take care of your needs to make sure you have the right financing to close on your perfect home.

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Roadmap for Purchasing a Home

We’ll be with you every step of the way to your new front door. Each step of the process for existing homes is outlined below. We’ll also call out the differences in the process for newly built homes within a home builder development.

Prequalification & Pre-approval

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Our initial meeting provides you with a prequalification evaluation, so you can get an estimate of what your current homebuying power is based on the financial information you provide your Home Loan Professional. You’ll also learn if there’s anything you can do to better position yourself, and what the best home loan options will be for your situation and priorities.

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Tip: To prepare for your initial meeting, bring your income and asset information with you. Bring items like paystubs, W-2s, bank statements, investment statements, and retirement statements, just to name a few.

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We’ll guide you to get ahead of your credit, debt, and savings, so that you’ll have a bigger homebuying budget when it comes time to officially get pre-approved, which happens once you are ready to put an offer on a home. A pre-approval is a more official step that requires the SAFE Mortgage Underwriting Team to verify your financial information and credit history.

Note: In some situations, prequalification is all that is required. In other instances, you will need to be pre-approved.

For a pre-approval, we take a few factors into consideration.


Credit Score

Your credit score determines eligibility for a mortgage and influences your mortgage rate. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. Check out these tips on how to improve on any of the 5 factors of credit that may be weighing your credit score down. Here are a couple of favorite apps that help you monitor and manage your credit score.
Dovly   Credit Karma

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) shows the percentage of your monthly gross income that goes toward debt repayment. This includes credit cards, auto loans, student loans, and other loans. You don’t have to be debt-free to purchase a home, but less debt can increase purchasing power.

Down Payment

Conventional loans require at least 3% to 5% down. You’re also responsible for closing costs. If you don’t have enough cash, some mortgage programs allow you to use other funds such as gift funds and investment accounts to cover all or a percentage of you mortgage-related expenses. If you need a little extra help with your out-of-pocket costs, ask your Home Loan Professional about your options.

Proof of Income

We want to make sure you’ll be able to afford your home, so it’s important to provide proof of income, whether you are self-employed, work for an employer, are retired, have a new job, or are in another unique situation. Ultimately, our underwriter is looking for consistency of income over time. SAFE has several programs that may support your situation.

What’s different for a newly built home?

When you work with a home builder, they need extra assurance that you can afford the home they are building specifically for you.

There are instances when you may need to be pre-approved twice. Once by the home builder’s internal lender, and once by SAFE, if you’d like us to be your local lender for your newly built home.

Most often, a home builder will have referred you to SAFE because we’ve established a trusted, preferred lending relationship with them. In this case, you’ll only need to be pre-approved by SAFE.

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Deeper Dive into Home Buying

Tips for Homebuying in California

California is a beautiful state with a diverse range of cities and neighborhoods, making it a popular choice for homebuyers. However, the state's competitive real estate market can make the homebuying process challenging. In this video, we will provide tips for homebuying in California to help you navigate the process and make an informed decision.

Step by Step Guide to Buying a Home

Purchasing a home can be an exciting and significant milestone in your life. However, it can also be a complicated and an overwhelming process, especially in California's competitive real estate market. To help you navigate the home buying process and obtain your dream home, here is a buyer's guide to purchasing your first home in California.

Pros and Cons of a New Home and an Existing Home

One of the most significant decisions you will make in your life is choosing between buying a new home construction or an existing home. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is crucial to weigh them carefully to make the best decision for your needs and preferences. In this video, we will compare and contrast the pros and cons of each option.


*Home buyers who utilize Newzip's agent matching service will receive HomeRewards in the form of credit at closing equal to 0.5% of the home sale price. Home sellers who utilize Newzip's agent matching service will save 1% in the form of a discounted agent listing fee.

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