Profile picture for ms hudson

Buying sooner than later and I have no idea what I'm doing!

My boyfriend and I were considering buying a house next summer but we have found a house that has peaked out interest now. There was a paper posted in the window saying something about it being a HUD home. Now I know that means its a foreclosure, but it's not listed on the HUD website. Not sure what that's about. We want to look at the property closer but arent sure if we should call the listing agent since this is the only property we're looking at right now, or go ahead and call a buyers agent. Because the property is a foreclosure and needs some work, I know we need to be sure to have it all thoroughly inspected to be sure we know what we're buying. Also, we havent even looked into getting preapproved for financing. So: 1) call a buyers agent to get a look at the house or call the listing agent?  and 2) should we look into financing before we look at the house or should we look at the house and see if it's worth looking into the financing now? and 3) if we look into financing now and end up not wanting or getting this house will we have to try for financing again in the summer or will what we have still be good? and if we have to look for financing twice how will that effect our credit? 
  • November 15 2013 - San Marcos
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Answers (17)

Answer to Question 1: No. You can't add or subtract people to mortgages.
Answer to Question 2: Yes. You can shop to your heart's content. I strongly urge you to shop locally, and to consider that as a walk-in, you are an important and valued customer; if your agent refers you to their regular lender, you are a VIP.

As for the whole "buying a house together without being married" issue, it's not about your personal relationship, it's about the reality of people buying real property as partners. Please, do not skip over this - especially if you have a co-signer involved!
  • November 20 2013
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Thanks, 2260413 I often wonder if the questioner's ever see the answers.

If you belong to a Credit Union, that is a great place to start the pre-approval process. They are extremely unlikely to take advantage of you, since you kind of own the place. They are usually reasonably competitive. They are often not as knowledgeable as say a Mortgage Broker, or Mortgage Banker, and they may offer fewer loan products. You can always come back to Zillow for second, third, and fourth opinions on what they tell you.

  • November 20 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
I still think you need a legal agreement, even if the  mortgage and the deed are in his name only.   Are you putting down any down payment?   Are you responsible for any monthly payments either towards the mortgage, utilties?  Are you responsible for any maintenance?  OR Do you get a free ride?   If so, you need a legal agreement.

1) If the house is purchased in his name and he has a family member cosign (may or may not be necessary bc, either way its his decision) could the loan later be changed to have my name replace the cosigners name?  
If your income, credit score and debt load allow you to qualify then you could refinance to remove the co-signer and add your name. 

2: When we are looking to get preapproved for financing, do we just go to the bank, credit union or a mortgage company and check it out, or wait and see who the buyers agent recommends? Is this something you can shop around for and look at different entities and their quotes or offers?    Talk to lenders before you start shopping for a home.   Many sellers will not allow you to view their homes until you've been pre-approved for an amount sufficient to cover the asking price.  
  • November 20 2013
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Profile picture for ms hudson
Thank you all for your feedback. As for the whole "buying a house together without being married" issue, I should have clarified. While we are going through the process together, finding something we both like, both looking at who it would be better to put on the mortgage, etc, both names are not going to be on the mortgage until we are married. That has already been discussed and agreed upon. However, once we are married both names will be put on it. QUESTION 1: If the house is purchased in his name and he has a family member cosign (may or may not be necessary bc, either way its his decision) could the loan later be changed to have my name replace the cosigners name? QUESTION 2: When we are looking to get preapproved for financing, do we just go to the bank, credit union or a mortgage company and check it out, or wait and see who the buyers agent recommends? Is this something you can shop around for and look at different entities and their quotes or offers? 

PS: Hamp: As the OP, I'll tell you, I've only checked back like 3 times in the last week  :)  
  • November 20 2013
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Profile picture for howardft
To make this short, you should contact an experienced buyer's agent to get an idea for home values in your particular area. As for buying right now, you need to ask yourself, "How long do you plan to be in the area?" If you live in your area for let's say 3+ years, you'll have paid out a substantial amount of money. Buying a home can have many advantages. Even though prices have gone up, interest rates are still very low...Talk to an agent. 
  • November 18 2013
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Profile picture for sunnyview
You should not buy any house with your boyfriend. Buying a house is business and doing so without the benefit of a legal agreement can wreck your relationship and your credit at the same time. It is not smart. Consider what might happen to your credit and the house if there is a time when you are no longer together.

Life can change, but mortgage companies won't care what that means to you down the road. Buy on your own, get married before you buy or don't buy at all.
  • November 18 2013
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It sure would be nice to know if any of the 178 views, for this thread, were by the OP.

I would guess at least 10 were mine.
 


  • November 18 2013
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Yes, financing is always an important step to take in the beginning of any buying process. When you apply for a loan, lenders like myself will need to look at several different things if you are trying to prequalify for a loan.

1) Proof of income for each person that will be on the mortgage which can be demonstrated through: one month of pay stubs, previous year's W-2 forms and tax returns, official documentation to demonstrate other forms of income (alimony, child support, etc.), and two year's tax returns if self-employed (all schedules, all pages)

2) Credit Report which they will pull

3) Employment History or Business Tax Returns if you're Self Employed

4) Personal assets such as: Recent balances and statements for bank accounts, most recent account statement demonstrating market value of any investments (stocks, bonds or certificates of deposit), documentation showing interest in retirement funds, face amount and cash value of life insurance policies, value of significant pieces of personal property, debt information, the balances and account numbers of your current loans and debts, including car loans, credit card balances and any other loans you may have.

These are just a few things you should have ready when you begin your buying process. Well I hope this helps, if you have any other questions or need a loan please contact me through the information on my profile page. I hope this helps and good luck!
  • November 18 2013
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The suggestion below about the partnership agreement may be the best advice you can get your quest to buy a property.

A good buyer's agent is essential, and probably won't cost you anything, and getting pre-approved is the other pillar you need to take care of right away. Both of these seem to be on your radar. Take care of it.

But too many people assume their love is forever despite the cold loveless statistics stating the contrary. If an unmarried couple is unable to have a mature conversation about how the property will be owned and how it might be dealt with should the couple split up, then the couple is not ready for home ownership. Not to mention setting yourself up for massive headaches. This is not a scare story or worst case scenario. It happens more than most people realize.

Of course, I hope your relationship blossoms into a HUD success story and all of this partnership agreement talk was a way to stuff more paper into the vault.
  • November 18 2013
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Another thing to consider is that when you and your boyfriend buy a house, you're becoming business partners in real estate, and it would serve you both well to enlist an attorney to help you draft a partnership agreement that will protect each of you in case of bad things happening.

For example - let's say he gets whisked off into space one day. It is likely that his family members will become your partner in the property, for better or for worse. Is that what you would want to happen?

Or, let's say you both decide to sell the property. How would you divide the proceeds? If you're putting unequal amounts into the property, it may not be "fair" to split them 50/50. And what happens if you need to sell when you're under water? Who will write the check to make up the difference?

Finally, there are some tax strategies that can help you minimize exposure, so you will want to consult with a CPA, too.

All the best!
  • November 16 2013
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First of all, contact a buyer's agent. It normally is not in your best interest in letting the Listing agent also act as your agent. HUD homes are normally foreclosures, or short sales. They also will normally need a bit of work.

Buying now is a good idea! Rates are at 4.35-4.5 percent. If they went up to 6 percent in the year you could be looking at and extra 30,000-40,000 dollars interest paid over the 30 years. That's a lot of money.
 
When any mortgage lender or bank runs your credit for a pre-qual letter it doesn't have the same effect as a credit card application or car loan. It usually only moves minute numbers, less than 1 point in most cases. So don't worry about having to get pre-qualified now, and then later. If it would be more than a few months since they originally gave you a letter, they'll be rerunning the credit to see if you still qualify anyway. 

Good luck, with this very important decision. 
  • November 16 2013
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These are all great questions. And the answers are really a matter of opinion.
What I would do is call a buyer's agent. Regardless of this house or others. Find someone with whom you connect with and will help you sort out all your questions.
Talk to them about the banks in your area and get pre-qualified. that way you both know where you stand financially and can start looking at homes more seriously.
As for the HUD home- this means it's a government foreclosure and in order to put an offer you need to be associated with a real estate broker.

The best plan of action is to call an agent who will be representing YOUR interests and take it from there.
Best of luck to you!
  • November 16 2013
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I think that you shouldn't rush to buy a property just because it piques your interest. That would fall under the category of, "Impulse Buys."

Instead, I suggest that you systematically look to find a buyer's agent that will work with you to find a good property when you're really ready. The way I recommend is to ask everybody you know who has recently bought a house, and to visit open houses and talk to agents. To avoid getting stuck with the first agent that gloms on to you, make it a point to find three agents that you feel you can communicate well with - who hear you as well as your understanding them - then maybe find one more, and then sit down with each of them to see how you can work together.

The agent you select will have good relationships with good lenders, and you will be much more likely to be in good hands AND to select a good property if you go about things methodically, rather than on impulse.

All the best,
  • November 15 2013
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I'd get a buyers agent as they will only have your interest in mind. I would talk with a lender to see what you may qualify for, but not have them run your credit just yet. Then look at the house. Another thought, are you in a position with your current living situation that you could move in the next few months if your offer is accepted or are you in a lease?
  • November 15 2013
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Profile picture for Bkgdc
I disagree about getting financing first.  

Find a buyer's agent you like and trust and ask him or her for a lender recommendation.  I good place to find an agent is this Sunday at Open Houses.

You can also ask your friends if they have a REALTOR they would recommend.  

Good luck and have fun.
  • November 15 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Look at financing before you look at a house and before you talk with agents.

Here's a link to Zillow's buyers roadmap.

And the hud.gov buyer information.

If you buy with your boyfriend before your relationship is legalized, make sure you sit down with an attorney before you even make an offer to put together a legal agreement about roles and responsibilities.

It is very easy to go home shopping and get excited.   Step back and breathe deeply, learn about the process before leaping (to save yourself headaches in the future).
  • November 15 2013
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Profile picture for Rebecca Marvel
Get a buyers agent who can answer all of these questions for you.  HUD homes (at least in my area) are difficult to obtain as most people overbid (be careful of that as the appraisal has already been done so you'll have to come in with cash over the appraised value).
  • November 15 2013
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