Decoding Homebuying Language as First-Time Buyers

Interested in buying a home? There’s so much information out there and sometimes it can feel like it’s written in another language. We’ve helped over 50,000 homebuyers reach their goal of home ownership and made a cheat sheet so you can better understand the lingo.


A general estimate about how much money a lender will give you to buy a home. While some companies require this, you do not need to be pre-qualified to talk to our team about buying a Starlight home.


A more specific estimate about how much money a lender will give you to buy a home. This involves more documents, like recent pay stubs and W2s. You do not need to be pre-approved to talk to our team about buying a Starlight home.


A lender is the bank or financial institution that provides home loans. They will lend you the money you need to buy a home.


This is what the home loan is called. You, as a homebuyer, make an arrangement with a lender, for the full amount of the home minus the down payment. They will collect a monthly payment until you either pay off the mortgage (home loan) in full or sell the home.

Mortgage Payment

The mortgage payment is the monthly payment you will make to live in your home. It’s like making a monthly rent payment, except all of these payments go toward your mortgage. And instead of paying your landlord, you pay your lender.

Down Payment

This is the money you put toward the total cost of your home at the time you buy it. Down payments typically range from 3% - 20% of the total cost of the home, or even $0 down* for some buyers who qualify.


Your lender will choose an expert to determine the value of your home so that they can lend you the correct amount of money for the home loan. This also gives you peace of mind knowing that you’re not paying more than what the home is worth.

Home Inspection

You order an expert to check out the home to make sure everything looks good and there’s nothing wrong with it. When you buy a new construction home, like all Starlight homes, your new home should pass the inspection with flying colors.


On closing day, you get the keys to your new home! This is the day you’ll sign all the final paperwork, officially making you a homeowner.

If you have any other questions, our Home Guides would be happy to help you understand the homebuying process better and walk you through it every step of the way. Schedule an appointment to meet with us in person — you can even tour a home the same day.

*Income, geographic, and/or other restrictions may apply to $0 down financing. See terms and conditions for complete information. For informational purposes only, not to be construed as quote or offer of credit. Starlight Homes is not a lender or mortgage broker. Programs, prices, rates, terms and conditions subject to change without notice. Actual rates may vary. Supply of homes and homesites at these prices are limited and subject to availability. All loans subject to credit approval. Other restrictions may apply.

The Telescope

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