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First time home buyer what are the first steps we need to take in order to get our first house?

We have never owned a house before and we want to get our own house, but we dont know what we are suppose to be doing, can someone help?

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October 16 2012 - Arlington Heights
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Answers (18)

I would have to agree with the advice that "Captain Seth" provided. Just be aware that making a home purchase, whether it is your first home or your 5th, that it is important to have a good team behind you, both on the real estate side and the lending side.  a good agent will help you find a home that is right for you and a good lender will guide you and do what they can to make the home buying process smoother.  As Captain Seth indicated, you will need a pre-approval letter.  to obtain a pre-approval you will want to locate a responsible and knowledgeable lender. Make application and have your credit report reviewed.  together with your lender you will determine the type of financing you qualify for, how much you will put down etc.  The lender will collect your credit information as well as a two year history of your employment (or school), bank statements and investments if any.  the more thorough your lender is the smoother the home purchase process will be.  --Jan
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January 27
Hi there.  I'd love to help you with your first steps in becoming a home owner.  If you want to give me a call, I can let you know where to begin.  



[contact information deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]



Thanks.



Mark
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January 27
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Last spring, my girlfriends and I went on the most relaxing vacation in the Florida Keys.  We found an incredible rental in the awesome Ocean Reef Community in Key Largo.   [promotion deleted by Zillow  moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
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January 27
Congratulations! We recommend you contact a reputable buyer agent as well as your bank, if you are looking to finance. Mortgage rates remain low and there are still tax breaks for first time home owners. Figure out the amount of money you are willing to spend and find an agent who specializes in homes in that range.
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November 08 2012
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A couple of months ago I retired and was looking for a new home in warm, sunny Florida.  I wasn't sure where to start, then a friend suggested I look at the Ocean Reef Club, he had worked in the past with Bob at Swenson. [Promotion and phone deleted by Zillow  moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
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November 08 2012
Are you surprised that on a site full of realtor that you are encouraged to seek out a realtor?

There is no doubt, a good buyer's agent will save your butt, really. Unless you know the exact property you want and have experience negotiating and dealing with building issues, it's not worth it.

However, before you even try to find a buyer's agent you can relate to you'll want to do your own research.

Primarily:

1. Start checking out neighborhoods, towns, areas that you, or you and your partner, are interested in. Talk about the pros and cons of each area, and which parts you might want to focus on.

2. Visit some open houses. If you're lucky, you'll get some free cookies and a really poorly designed business card. And you and your partner can start a discussion about 'things' you need to have in your house and what you can live without. Like a heart shaped tub. Or a hot water spigot over the stove.

3. Figure out how much you are comfortable spending a month on housing, which would include money you put toward taxes and insurance, and utilities. Use an online mortgage calculator, in reverse, to see how much your monthly allowance will afford you. Do NOT buy a house more than that number (taxes will change the price, however). That doesn't mean that should be your upper limit of searching, but don't pay more than that number.

4. Find a mortgage broker or bank and see how much you qualify for, if you do. It doesn't matter who you get the pre-approval from, initially, as you just want to make sure you qualify.

5. Now, you can contact a realtor. Talk to a few. See which one relates to you personally, and seems to know the areas and property types you like (a person who buys a lot of condos won't necessarily be the best person to buy a vintage single family home or a multi-family). An agent that is more a buyer's agent than a listing agent is preferable.

6. Your buyer's agent should direct you through the rest of the process, including recommendations on reputable lenders among other necessities, not to mention your own personal shopper.
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October 17 2012

I agree with Paige, a "GOOD AGENT" does what is best for her client because she knows the reward is not only the sale and referrals afterward, but the good feeling of knowing she help someone fulfill their dreams.  All parts of the Real estate industry have the "good ones" and the "not so good ones" including my area, Home Inspectors.  I have notice the Realtor's®  I work with repeatedly are not looking for the quick and easy sale, but a beneficial sale, the one that builds a good reputation while building their income. That does not mean quick and easy doesn't make money, they do and some them lots of money. But I rather lay my head on the pillow at night knowing I did the most through and honest job that I could. So start out by finding a Realtor® you can trust and not by how well they advertise but how they perform. The best way to start is to interview your friends and family about their experiences with Realtors®.  With that list, interview the ones that performed well. Choose the one who can advise you through it all and that you feel comfortable being around.  The home buying process may be a long process so feeling comfortable with your agent is important because you may spend a lot of time together.

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October 17 2012
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"A good agent won't be in it to sell you something."    puzzling concept, as an agent doesn't earn anything unless they sell. 
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October 17 2012
I can respect Dune's opinion below. I also agree with a lot of it. As a Realtor, I work with a lot of other phenomenal Realtors. Occasionally, I also see some who aren't as adept as others. 

I work with a ton of first-time homebuyers. Many of them spent time interviewing agents as a first step. Your agent is there to guide you through the process. You need to relate to that person and also feel that you can trust them. Feel empowered to take your time speaking to a few agents...whether referrals from friends, respected agents in the community, someone you met AND LIKED at an open house, etc... There are a lot of fantastic agents out there. Not everyone will be right for you.

A last thought...A good agent won't be in it to sell you something. A good agent will be in it to do what is right for you. Ultimately, this will make you happy and want to spread the word. Repeat business and referrals come from happy, well serviced clients.

Enjoy the process!!
Paige
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October 17 2012
Profile picture for Dunes ..
I beg to differ with the suggestion the first thing to do is establish a relationship with a Real Estate Agent......

A Real Estate Agent is selling Services..Services a consumer is HIRING  and the selection of an Agent (if one decides to use one) is an extremely important one. It's a selection that if made hastily or uninformed can have  a huge negative impact financially and/or to the process of Buying/Selling..

To be blunt..While there are many excellent Realtor/RE Agents there are also lot of Realtors/RE Agents out there that ain't worth spit and taking the risk of "establishing" a relationship with some smooth-talking salesperson for this type of Large financial transaction is just pure stupidity imo....
Pure Stupidity for any Consumer

Agents/Agencies are SELLING Services not doing people a favor so Shop Smart..Shop Right...
Please become informed a bit...arm yourself with some knowledge to help you make an extremely important decision..Selecting an Agent
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October 17 2012
In my opinion the first step to finding a home is establishing a relationship with a real estate expert in the area.

Real estate professionals are familiar with the local mortgage lenders.  Selecting a mortgage company or bank which is notoriously difficult to work with, or does not get loans closed, can certainly railroad your dreams of home ownership.

Realtors have experience dealing with a variety of mortgage sources.  Allow your agent to give you several choices and speak to them all regarding loan products and rates.
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October 17 2012
Negotiating with the seller is a process you will go through when purchasing your home.Here are some guidelines on how to go about it:
[Agent website removed. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy.]
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October 17 2012
Profile picture for hpvanc
Spend some time at the library researching the process before you get too deep into the online resources and long before you contact either a lender or an agent.
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October 16 2012
Profile picture for Dunes ..
Huge Move..Huge Financial Obligation...Huge Decisions
Become informed and then become more informed..

Browse here...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

Hud Site..Read this info and read it again, check out the Links/Resources...First Time Home Buyer Info about the Process & Excellent Info/Resources for any Buyer..Buying a Home

Browse..get some idea of what's out there..programs
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, the programs they offer
HUD Homes...Fannie Mae
You can find the links to all the Gov sites here...Link


Everyone imo should read 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

Life changing time...Step up to the Plate..Protect yourself

Good Luck
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October 16 2012
Congratulations on this exciting life event!

There are so many variables you should be considering when buying a home.  Aside from where to live you have to determine how much you should be spending, whether you are retiring in this home or building and saving toward retirement, etc.., etc..

Visit [deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines] to read a few tips and get a step by step start!

Good luck in your new endeavor! 
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October 16 2012
1st: Get Pre-approved. If you can't get preapproved, at least the lender can tell you what steps you need to take to obtain an approval letter.

1a: If you can't get pre-approved, it's because of A)Bankruptcy/Foreclosure/Short Sale B) Not Enough Credit Lines C) Debt to Income Ratio is too High. Correct the issues & re-apply.

2nd: Make a Needs vs. Wants list. Things you NEED in your next home and things you WANT in your next home.

3rd: Prepare a Financial Budget for yourself. This will help you, as well as your lender, stay focused on your budget as well as make sure your ideal home fits within your finances.

4th: Find a Broker/Realtor. We Should be able to help you put together a team to make your home buying experience a smooth transition.

5th: Find a lender. You have a pre-approval, but that doesn't mean you have to stay with that lender. If you feel the lender isn't a good fit for you, find one that works with you & your goals.

6th: Go House Hunting! This is the fun part! Use your list & your financial budget to help find the home for you.

There are a few more steps after this, but this should be enough to help you get started. :)
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October 16 2012

The first step to purchasing a home should be seeking out a mortgage professional so they can do a pre qualification.  A pre qualification will consist of having your credit reviewed to determine your credit standing.  Also, your income will be reviewed to determine how much of a mortgage payment you can qualify for and afford.  This will also let you know what price range you can purchase, what type of mortgage you qualify for, downpayment and closing cost requirements.

 I recommend you do a prequalification at least 1 year to 6 months prior to when you actually want to purchase. This will give you time to save money, make any necessary corrections to credit if needed, and determine which neighborhood you would like to purchase in.  After your prequalification, you can search out a Realtor to assist you with the home search.

Good Luck!

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October 16 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Here are some guides from Zillow, worth reading before contacting professionals.

Home buying step by step

Home buying one step at a time

First time home buyer words of wisdom

You can find these and many more by clicking on the right category in the Advice headings on the left then chosing "guides" only and refresh results.






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October 16 2012
 
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