Profile picture for kehao

First time home buyer trying to find help and information

I am going to be a college grad this semester with income of about 40,000 annually. I am trying to purchase a house in florida in the following location, winter park, florida 32792, 32789 edgewater , 32132,32141 or maitland. Since I will be a first time home buyer what type of help are out there for me? also will i be able to secure a mortgage for about 130-145,000 with a downpayment of about 15,000. I am trying to  see if there are any grants or help i can get. thanks in advance for you help
  • April 01 2009 - Winter Park
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Answers (7)

Kehao,

    First find an agent to work with and work with that agent under a buyers broker agreement, That way they represent you and all information that they receive from you is confidential. I would then find a good mortage lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage. They will let you know how much home you qualify for, and roughly what your payments will be.  As far as, is it a good time to buy, that depends where you are buying. But one thing to look for are the vacant homes being bought up. You will see a bidding war on the really good deals. Your agent should be able to guide you. Work with them closley, and beware of people giving you advice who are not working in the RE field everyday. It is hard to tell when the bottom will be, but here in South Florida we are seeing inventory come down which is a good sign. Always do your own due diligence.
  • April 07 2009
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  • TCMW
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You wont be able to close until after you get your first paycheck by the way, unless you get a co-signer.  I don't think anyone mentioned that.   Otherwise, some good advice here so far.
  • April 06 2009
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Profile picture for Mr Caveat
1) try not to use your MAX, if you are qualified for 130k, you should be looking at the 90-110 range(dont turn your nose up at less), it will make saving for the unexpected a little easier and paying down principal doable...

2) do not try to buy now because of realtor/nar hype, interest rates and prices that have fallen short term are both trends that will continue for months if not years...there will continue to be strong downward pressure in most of florida, az, ca, nv and others... this does not mean you should wait, it means you should be VERY careful, demand the moon, look for the deals... you have the time to get it right, whatever your agent thinks... its not your agents money, is it?

3) before you even think of looking, think about what you need. make a list... how many br do you NEED, do you plan on starting a family? do you need a spare room for an at home office? make a very very specific, prioritized list. compare that with what houses go for in the area. also compare what it would cost you to rent the same exact house and pocket the difference every month.

4) i cannot stress this enough, do not look to agents to tell you about the future of the area, this may sound counter-intuitive because who can you ask right? but you cannot trust their biases, they are literally paid to convince you to buy sooner rather than later. agents are trained to focus on positive data, they ignore negative data. let them help you to buy, but remember for every one piece of good news they use to suggest the bottom is here, there are 3 more against it. you have plenty of time

5) good luck!
  • April 06 2009
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I am sure you already know about the first time buyers credit. If not, here are the details from the IRS on the program. You want to make sure that you get a house that you can easily afford. The calculators here on Zillow will help you get an idea of  what you can expect to qualify and for closing costs. It is great that you saved for a down payment, not you just have to do some research and get to know the areas where you are looking to buy as well as possible. Zillow is a great place to start doing that and a great place to ask questions as they come up for in the the process of looking for a house or buying.
  • April 06 2009
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It is great that you are buying and have saved up for your down payment! If this is your first home and will be your primary residence, you should qualify for the first-time home buyer tax credit Lorraine described below.

Another option, even though you have saved for your down payment, is down payment assistance. Depending on which city/county you decide to live in, as well as the price of the home you are interested in, you can qualify for up to $35,000 in down payment assistance. The assistance is in the form of a "soft mortgage" which acts like an add-on to your actual mortgage. There is no interest, but you do usually have to take a class before you can qualify. The classes are actually really informative and is a great resource for a first-time home buyer even if you don't need the assistance money. If that is something you're interested in, let me know and I'll send you links to information for the cities and county you seem to be most interested in buying.

Best of luck! -- Ryan Dodds
http://www.thedoddsgroup.com
  • April 06 2009
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  I am so happy to hear from someone who has saved up for a downpayment. This is what we will be seeing more of in the future. I hope that many of your friends are following your lead.
 As far as advice, I suggest that you start with finding a good lender. The lender should be able to tell you about various lending programs including FHA. You will need to be preapproved before you can do very much with a REALTOR.
  As a first time homebuyer you may be eligible for $8,000 tax credit from IRS. If you stay in the home for at least 3 years the tax credit does not have to be repaid. This is like free money.
 There are stipulations in order to qualify. The home must be purchased, that means closed, between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009 . Note that is not the end of the year. A normal purchase or a purchase of a bank owned home will take around a month to close. Short sales can take 3 months just to hear a response on your first offer. So I recommend you find a good REALTOR and get to work. 
  The actual tax credit is 10% of the purchase price up to $8,000. If you have any questions about the tax credit talk to a tax professional. A good resource for more information is provided by the National Association of Home Builders www federal housing tax credit com
  I hope this is helpful. Of course, if you would like more help from me personally, please look up my website and phone number. I am in the Central Florida area. I am pleased that you will be purchasing your first home, go ahead and get busy.

  • April 01 2009
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Congratulations!  Your first step would be to ask people you know who they have used as a Realtor and if they liked that person. If that isn't an option, call a broker who has a presence in the area(s) you are most interested in and ask for a recommendation from the broker.  Get yourself pre-approved with a reputable lender in your area, they can also tel you what grants (if any) you are eligible for). Don't be afraid to go to some Open Houses and talk to Realtors there.  You may find your representative at an Open House.  Look for someone who knows the area and can tell you what is available.  It is scary, but definitely NOT rocket science.  Make sure you and your Realtor are on the same page and don't be afraid to ask questions or even interview Realtors before deciding on one you want to work with.
  • April 01 2009
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