As with everything else, when buying a new home, knowledge is power. The more knowledge you have, the easier the process of buying a new home will be. So get over your fears and start to understand this process. Here we’re going to help you understand your credit score and how to increase it.

Credit Bureaus

These are the companies that can make or break your chances of getting a mortgage, because lenders look to them to determine your credit worthiness. The major credit bureaus are Experian, Transunion, and Equifax, and the information they provide to lenders makes up your FICO score. Not all lenders pull information from the same credit bureaus, so it’s best to know what your credit score is from each of them.

Credit Scores

What does a credit score mean? It’s a number between 300 and 850 that is based on your credit history. And when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage, your credit score means everything. Not only will it determine if you will get a loan, but will also play a role in what kind of interest rate you will be paying. It’s easy to find out your credit score. Lots of banks offer this service to their customers free of charge. There are also many sites on the internet that will provide you your credit score for free.

What can affect your credit?

There are many factors that can positively or negatively impact your credit, such as debt-to-income ratio, payment history, how long you’ve had credit, the types of credit you have, your credit limits and how much of those limits you’re using, and hard inquiries on your credit report. Sound like a lot to learn about? Don’t worry, we’re going to break them down for you here.

Debt-to-income ratio and credit limits

Your debt-to-income ratio is determined by how much of your monthly income goes to paying debts. Lenders will worry if they think you are over-extending yourself. So they look at this ratio closely, especially because your mortgage payment should be no more than 20-25% of your income. Same goes for your credit limits. Lenders will look at how much of your credit limits you are using, as this can also be an indicator that you may be over-extending yourself.

Payment history and how long you’ve had credit

Your payment history is the single most important factor that determines your credit score. It is essential to pay your bills on time. Even one payment that is overdue by 31 days can lower your score by over 100 points. The longer you’ve had credit, the easier it is for lenders to determine if you pay your bills on time.

Types of credit you have

Lenders look at what types of credit you have, whether it’s credit cards, auto loans, student loans, or mortgages, and how faithfully you pay these debts. So you’ve been late a time or two in paying your credit card bill or student loan? Probably not too big of a deal. But if you’ve been late paying your car note or mortgage payment, even once, that’s a whole different story.

Hard inquiries on your credit report

Every time a creditor looks at your credit score to determine if they want to extend credit to you, it’s considered a hard inquiry and will lower your score by a few points. Soft inquiries, on the other hand, do not affect your credit score. Examples of soft inquiries are those made by charge card lenders (such as your Target card), or when you check your own credit.

The good news: you can increase your credit score  

If all this talk about credit has your mind reeling, don’t worry. It’s not all doom and gloom, though it may feel that way. You do have control over your credit score. Obtain your FICO score and look for incorrect items, then file an appeal with the credit bureau that has the incorrect information, and have it removed. What is the single best way to improve your credit? Get yourself a Visa or Mastercard and pay the balance in full every month.

Back to the basics: knowledge is power

The more you know about your credit, the better your chances of obtaining a mortgage for that dream home you’ve wanted for so long. So arm yourself with everything we’ve taught you here, and go out and buy yourself a new home!


More people than ever are now running their own business or telecommuting. The floorplans at Spring Mountain Ranch are designed with flexible space to accommodate this new trend. Working from home has a lot of awesome perks: no sitting in traffic, making your own schedule, working in sweats (this one is our favorite!), and creating an office where you will love to work. The first three perks are effortless, and with the following tips, the last one can be too.

Be kind to your body with correct ergonomics

 It may be tempting to work on the couch, but your body will thank you for it if you don’t. Purchase a quality adjustable chair and a desk that is the perfect height so you don’t have too reach up or down to work. Use keyboard and mouse supports to take pressure off your wrists and hands. If there’s room in your budget, invest in an adjustable computer station that will allow you to stand up while you work.

Equip your office with everything you need to work efficiently

Having the right equipment will improve your work flow. You’ll need a quality printer with a scanner, file drawers to keep you organized, and plenty of storage space to prevent clutter. Place a few comfy chairs or even a small couch in your office to accommodate guests or for those times you need a cushy place to do some brainstorming.

Create space that feels good

Goodbye drab cuticles, hello inspiring work space! Choose your office décor with as much thought as you chose your home décor, and you will look forward to going to work every morning. Plants are a great place to start because they will soften the look of your office. Paint the walls with colors that energize you, like yellow or bright white. Adorn your walls with art. Position your desk in a way that allows natural light to flood your work space, and lets you enjoy the mountain views that surround Spring Mountain Ranch.

Let your personality shine

You’ll be spending a lot of time in your home office, so design it to reflect your unique personality. Check out websites like Pinterest and Houzz for inspiration, or just let your creativity guide you. This is your space, so make it all about you.

Dream home, dream home office

You have your dream home and your dream job, now it’s time to create your dream home office. Use our tips to help you make yet one more dream come true!


With a few simple touches you can turn your new house at Spring Mountain Ranch in Riverside into a home

Buying a new house is a big deal. Turning it into a home is just as big of a deal, because home is your oasis, the place where you are most comfortable. So it should be a place where you love to live your life and where you are happiest. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time, because creating a home simply means filling it with the things, and people, that you love. We want to share with you a few ideas on how to make the process fun and affordable.

Adorn your home with art

This may sound like an expensive undertaking, but it’s really not. Art is not about the price tag, it’s about how you feel when you look at it. So go to a local gallery or a street fair and just look around until you see something that touches your soul. You’ll know right away when you’ve found something that moves you. And remember, art is not just about paintings. It can be a vase, a family heirloom, really anything that expresses who you are.

Create a centerpiece

Here’s where you get to splurge. Treat yourself to one piece of furniture that you love. Then make it a centerpiece for your home. It could be a sofa that defines your great room, shelves that line an entire wall where you can display your favorite books, or a hutch with a glass door where you can show off the China that Grandma gave you or the crystal you received as a wedding gift.

stereo system on cabinet

Adopt a pet

Animals animate any space they occupy, so consider adopting one. If you have kids, your pets will become their best friends. Even if you don’t have kids, you’ll never regret having a pet. They will be your most loyal friend, your little cuddle bug, and a constant source of joy. And if you adopt a rescue animal, you’ll get the reward of knowing you gave an animal in need it’s forever home. So check out an adoption website and browse through the pictures until one little guy captures your attention. We like Adopt-a-Pet, because it links you to shelters in your area. It’s here:

dining room

Home is all about people

Once you’ve decorated your home into a place you enjoy being, the only thing left to do is fill it with great people. Use any and every excuse you can think of to invite your favorite people over. Family gatherings, birthday parties for friends, or just, “Hey everyone, let’s hang out at my house this weekend!” Fill your house with good friends, have good times, and create good vibes. You will have created a place where the best of life happens.

dog laying on carpet

Luckily, buying your first home and getting a mortgage doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. You can make the process a lot easier by doing some ground work. Preparing is half the battle, and we’ll show you how to do just that. The joy of owning a new home at Spring Mountain Ranch in Riverside can be yours sooner than you think.

Pay your bills on time

One of the first things lenders look at when deciding if they will approve you for a home loan is your payment history. Did you know that even one payment over 30 days late can lower your credit score by over 100 points? So designing your budget to ensure you pay your bills on time for two years straight can go far towards raising your credit score.

Check your credit report

You need to be informed before talking to a lender, and checking your credit report is the way to do that. Take a close look at your report and make sure nothing is on there that shouldn’t be. If there is, file disputes to get those items removed. You’re entitled to one free credit report per year by going to this website: This report won’t give you your credit score, so use one of the many free services out there, such as Credit Karma, to find out your numbers.

Save, save, save

You’ll need money for a down payment and closing costs, and the more you put down the lower your monthly payment will be. Got great credit? You might only need 3%. Not-so-great credit? Count on saving at least 20% for a down payment. Your lender can help you determine how much you’ll need to put down. Don’t forget there’s help out there if you’re struggling with this. Consider an FHA loan, or if you’ve served our country in the Armed Forces, a Veterans Affairs Loans might be available to you. Check out FHA loans here: or Veterans Affairs loans here:

Get pre-approved

Before you start shopping for a new home, know what you can afford. Then see your lender about getting pre-approved for a loan. That way, when you find your dream home nothing will be holding you back from bidding on it.

Raise your credit score

This is easier than you think. Apply for a big installment loan, say for a car, and pay on time every month. Don’t need a new car? Just apply for a credit card and pay off the balance every month. This can go very far, very quickly, towards raising your credit score. In the meantime, don’t make any major financial changes like new jobs or big purchases, as this will make lenders nervous.

Don’t forget the furniture!

Once you buy your new home, you’re going to need extra money to furnish it, decorate it with artwork, landscape, and do all those pet projects you’ve wanted to do since you first starting thinking about becoming a homeowner.

Now that you’re ready to buy, find your dream home

You’ve done all the financial stuff, so on to the best part: finding your dream home. Start with the community. Are you looking for a family neighborhood, peace and quiet, beautiful surroundings, or all of the above? If you chose “all of the above” then you should check out Spring Mountain Ranch in Riverside. Your dream home, and your family’s dream home, awaits you here.

Capistrano residence 6 exterior

Capistrano at Spring Mountain, Riverside, CA 


Monterey residence 6 exterior

Monterey at Spring Mountain Ranch

 Buying a New Home Can be a Worry-Free Process if You Know What to Do

 Capistrano Residence 2 exterior Monterey residence 3 exterior

You’ve wanted to buy a new home for years, but the idea seems so daunting, so overwhelming, that you’ve denied yourself the pride and joy of home ownership. The key to making this process less stressful is to break it down into a few key steps and make it more manageable. So once you’ve decided to buy a new home in Riverside, CA, you can do so without growing even one new grey hair. Just follow the steps we’ve outlined below and you’ll realize that buying a new home is actually quite a rewarding experience. Let 2018 be the year that your dreams of owning a new home come true!

Planning is key 

You know that the key to making any process go smoothly is to have a game plan. Buying a home is no different. Make a checklist of the steps you need to complete to get you where you want to be. First, decide on what you want in a new home. What kind of floorplan/lot size will best meet your family’s needs? What’s your price range? You’ll also want to think about what kind of neighborhood your family will thrive in, the size of the home and the yard, and which amenities are important to you. Once you know what you want and need, you’re almost ready to start shopping.

Next step: financing

Financing is the most important part of the homebuying process, because without it your dream home is just that: a dream. First and foremost, you will need to know your credit score. Some banks offer their account holders free credit monitoring. If yours doesn’t, there are free credit monitoring services available. You will also need to take a close, realistic look at your budget so you know what you can afford. Finally, meet with a loan officer and get pre-approved for a mortgage. This way, once you find your dream home, there will be nothing stopping you from making it yours. Here’s a great article on new home financing:

KBHome is the builder of choice for new homes

Few home builders outshine KB Home. After all, they’ve been building new homes for nearly 60 years. KB Home takes a unique approach to creating neighborhoods. Before the first foundation is laid, they study the local community, even talking to nearby homeowners, in order to learn what is popular in the area in which they’re going to build. Why is this so important? Because you can be assured that if you buy a home in a community that KB Home has built, you know it’s in a neighborhood where you will be happy living for the rest of your life.

Create your dream home with KB Home’s Design Studio

A house is just a house unless it reflects who you are. That’s where KB Home’s Design Studio comes in. You will have your own Personal Design Consultant at your service at no charge. The consultant with get to know you and your home design needs, and take it from there. No worries, you’ll be an integral part of the process of customizing your new home. At the Design Studio, you will get to choose lighting, flooring, cabinets, and even faucets. If you already know what you like, bring samples with you to your design center appointment. This is definitely the best part of buying your new home! Get inspired by watching this video from KB Home:

Finally, it’s move in day 

Congratulations, you survived the home buying process (it was easier than you thought, wasn’t it?). Now all that’s left to do is hire the moving company, pick up the keys to your new home, and settle in. Then, sit back in your great room with a cool drink while the kids run around getting to know their new home and picking their bedrooms. You’ve done it, you’ve bought a new home in Riverside, CA. Nothing left to do now but create some memories and enjoy your new life!

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