Profile picture for user832590

First time home buyer need advice on how to get started.

We are a family of two husband and wife with steady jobs. We are now planning to buy a house because the rental market has just exploded. Like to get advice on whom should we get in touch with.
Also we make together around 170K+ but the problem is wife's credit score is bad should we wait for her credit score to improve and then try to buy a house.
Please advise
  • July 28 2012 - Santa Clara
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Answers (11)

I would first talk to a lender to determine how much you can afford to spend, whether your wifes credit score would make it either difficult or expensive to get a loan and (if so) whether you could swing the loan just using your credit / income.

If you already have a real estate agent, they can refer you to a lender. Otherwise you can contact a lender through Zillow or talk to a representative of the bank where you currently do business.
  • July 28 2012
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The best place to start is with a Mortgage Broker or Loan officer. They will discuss your goals (and your wife's credit score) and help you determine the best loan program for your needs, whether or not to include your wife on the loan, and what price range you should focus on. 
The next step is to get in touch with a local REALTOR. In Florida we have agents that specialize in working with First Time Home Buyers and if they have them in your area that would be your best bet. Those agents will have information about first time home buyer programs, etc. They can help you find the right home and get you to the closing table. 
  • July 28 2012
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Your absolute first step is contact a mortgage banker and getting pre-approved. Through the pre-approval process you will learn everything you need to know about buying a home. If the mortgage banker is not knowledgeable about purchase loans move on and find one that is.

You first question should be, what percentage of your business is purchase. For instance 70% of my business is Purchase loans meaning, I understand them. I would say that most people whom only do a few purchases a year are going to run into complications with your financing no matter how recommended or nice they are.

Feel free to contact me, and I wil get you a referral.
  • July 28 2012
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It is imperative that you choose a lender that is knowledgeable.  If necessary, the lender should also be able to refer your wife to someone who can help with credit repair.  It is possible that you could qualify for the mortgage on your own; or perhaps with a co-signer.

You are wise to consider a purchase at this time.  In many cases, you can purchase a home with a mortgage payment less than what it would cost to rent.

I wish you the best of luck in your home search.
  • July 28 2012
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
Why don't you have a word with a buyer agent who can refer you to at least two mortgage brokers and you can discuss your situation with them.  The best of luck! 
  • July 28 2012
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Profile picture for hpvanc
Work on improving your wife's credit score.  While you are doing that you will also have time to educate yourself on the process and study the current market.  With this education you will be better able to select a lender and real estate agent, and better able to tell when they are wrong or dishonest with you.  Not educating yourself 1st and running out and getting a "buyers" agent to help you through your education is at your own peril.

Start at the library, once you have a good grasp of the fundamentals you can begin researching on the internet and attending a few open houses.  After you have a good grasp of the market and process, contact a lender and get your pre-approval, then as the last part of the process start interviewing "buyers" agents.
  • July 28 2012
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
Please do not forget to ask/inform yourself about things like..

How are the Schools doing? Budget Outlook/Enrollment up/down? Shortfalls, cutting back?..
How about the City Budget Outlook/Services to Roads ect..
How's the County Budget outlook?
Jobs?
Foreclosure Outlook/Impact?

These kinds of things always can impact Property Value in a Community in the Best of Times and even more so in this Market/Economy

Know your Market does not mean know what the RE Agent said or what sold for what right now or in the past...It means YOU KNOW your Market, know as much as you can about everything in your Market
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I would also suggest giving these resources a good look

First Time Home Buyer Info about the Process & Excellent Info/Resources for any Buyer..Buying a Home

Provided by the Federal Gov..Find the Right Loan, you can search for specific information, compare options, or take a short questionnaire to determine your eligibility for each program. GovLoan.com

The Information on the Department Of Justice
Anti-Trust Division Web Site about all the options Consumers actually have
New business models are emerging that allow consumers to save thousands of dollars when they buy or sell a home

REO-Bank Owned Properties
Many Banks have created Sites for the Public to use (For Free) to view and find Information about the Properties they have Listed for Sale
Sites Like..Bank of America...Wells Fargo

You can find links to Bank sites here...Link

The Fed Gov has Sites for its Properties for sale
HUD Homes...Fannie Mae
You can find the links to all the Gov sites here...Link

Good Luck
  • July 28 2012
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Profile picture for Sharon Lewis
Ofe's advice is the perfect way to go, sit down with a Realtor who works with a lot of buyers, they will recommend several lenders that their buyers have worked with. It does not take a long time to find out how much you are qualified to purchase...by the way, you also need to do a budget to see how much you can afford to spend...just because the lender says you are qualified to spend 'x' amount of money, does not necessarily mean you 'should' spend that amount. Do a budget in advance, put aside money for household 'emergencies' Find a great Realtor, anyone of us can refer you to someone. And that Realtor will hold your hand throughout the rest of the process.
Regarding your wife's credit score, hopefully she is in the process of getting that fixed, in the meantime they can probably use your credit score.....you are right, the rental market is 'insane' and interest rates are amazing. I had a buyer this week who got a 15 year rate at 2.5!
Best of luck to you all on this great new adventure, you are going to LOVE owning your own home.
  • July 29 2012
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
Buying is a Huge Financial Transaction/Obligation..YOUR Financial obligation, so selecting an RE Agent or Lender to work with is a very very important decision

The suggestion/claim you can just use any Realtor, trust any Realtor or all Realtors are good RE Agents is Fantasy and BS. Your selection of an RE Agent & Lender/Mortgage Broker are important decisions..

And Agents referring you to another Agent isn't done out of the kindness of their hearts & in most cases is Financially motivated..many don't know a thing about the Agent they refer you to beyond they will pay them for the referral..

"Referrals come "off the top" before commission is split. The referral is a negotiated percentage paid to another company for sending a client, either as a seller or a buyer. Here's an example of a typical buyer referral:

1. Brokerage A has a client selling their home and leaving the area. They refer the buyer client to Brokerage B in another state with a written referral agreement at a certain percentage of the final commission earned by Brokerage B.

2. Using the $12,000 gross commission from above, and an agreed referral fee of 25% would give Brokerage A $3000 for the referral, and Brokerage B's agent and broker would split the remaining $9000.

3. Using the 50/50 split from the first example would yield $4500 for the agent in Brokerage B."
Referral Fees from One Brokerage to Another and Agent Split

So I say again...It's your money and future so become as informed as possible so you can increase your ability to separate the Wheat from the Chaff in your selection of an Agent and/or Lender/Mortgage Broker

AGENTS/Mortgage Brokers are SELLING Services so Shop Smart
  • July 29 2012
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Dear User,
If you have any friends who have used a good Realtor, that would be the first place to ask.If not, you can call Realtors who are active in your area and begin to interview them. I have a blog on good questions to ask at a Realtor interview for first time buyers http://www.trulia.com/blog/dorene_slaivtz/

  • July 29 2012
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Profile picture for howardft
If you talk to a local lender he or she will be able to advise you on your options.
  • July 30 2012
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