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How do i start the home buying process?

  • December 28 2012 - Dodge Center
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Answers (12)

There are some excellent responses here, dont rush into it. Do your research and make sure you work with people who you will trust and will look out for your best. There are a lot of steps in the process but you should take it one step at a time. Speak with some Realtors and some loan officers.
  • December 29 2012
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Profile picture for Dunes ..

The First thing you do IS NOT run out and just use/hire any ol Agent/Lender....

Why? Because this is a very Large Business Transaction and the Selection of an Agent is an Important one for a lot of different reasons..
Select wisely and take the time to be sure you find the Best Agent for you...Become informed..be smart with your money...if there is a good Deal be able to recognize it, if there is a Bad Deal be able to recognize it

Here are some good places to start imo..

I would suggest you give this Fed. Gov. Site a look, it has all the Current Fed Housing Loans (FHA/Vet/USDA ect.) and you search for specific information, compare options, or take a short questionnaire to determine your eligibility for each program.....Fed Loans..Housing

I would suggest you read the 9 Steps to Homebuying on the Hud site as they are an excellent guide & Resource plus links to your Local Homebuyer Programs....(Step 3 is interview lenders..Step 5 is interview RE Agents)..Buying a Home

Check out all this information from the Dept. of Justice Web Site...
Competing Models of Real Estate Brokerage

Competition and Real Estate... Real Estate Laws in Your State


You could also make use of the Fed Gov and Banks Sites they have created to allow the Public to view their Properties for Sale/Foreclosure/REO..Get a feel for Prices and different Options

Sites like...HUD Homes...Fannie Mae
You can find the links to all the Gov sites here...Link

Bank sites like....Bank of America...Wells Fargo
You can find links to Bank sites here...Link

For finding Public Records, Property Records, Tax Sales posted ect. you may find this Public Records Search Engine helpful...Check it out
Free Public Records Search Directory

You have options/info available .. become familiar with them..
Protect yourself

Agents/Lenders are selling Services not doing you a favor
Shop Smart & Good Luck
  • December 29 2012
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Take a stiff shot of whisky.
  • December 29 2012
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Questions you have to ask when shopping for a mortgage loan

 What is the loan's interest rate? Make sure that you are comparing the interest rates on the same day. Rates change daily, if not a couple of times a day.

 Points are charged, or paid, to lower or increase the rate on the loan. 

Therefore, when comparing rates of different lenders, make sure you compare also the associated points.

What are the closing costs and all other fees?

What is the annual percentage rate, or APR – the rate you'll pay per year for all the costs associated with the loan?

Is there a pre-payment penalty?

What is the loan amortization?

Local or not, how accessible is your Lender?

Find out the answers to these questions no matter what type of loan you're considering. Each can affect the overall cost of your loan. 

  • December 29 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Before meeting with an agent or a lender, spend some time educating yourself on the process.  This is the biggest or one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, so the more you know before jumping in the better the probability of being happy both financially and emotionally with your choice.

Here's a link to the Zillow Buyer's roadmap.
  • December 29 2012
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I agree with everyone below. First step is always talking to a loan officer to decide what loan products work best for you.

In many ways speaking with a local realtor in Dodge FIRST may be beneficial to you in this respect. Brokers, correspondent lenders, and banks were french to me when I first started real estate. I thought all lenders were the same haha!

Now after working with probably over 20 loan officers in my short profession I tend to stick with correspondent lenders as my favorite people to work with. 

The point is that a good buyer's agent should be a master networking machine for your local neighborhood. The realtor should know the best loan officers, title companies, inspectors, school districts, and pretty much anything else you need. THAT is part of our job; not just the fun part of looking at homes. We help every step of the home buying process.

Zillow has a directory with agents who have "reviews" from previous clients as a reccomendation. They also have a complete profile, so that is a good place to start and then research/interview a couple of them. I have other internet profiles (and a lot more reviews on Trulia) so googling the realtor as well will give you a more complete picture.

I agree with a couple other responses that you should be weary for those who rush you into a buyer contract right away. What I do at the VERY BEGINNING is simply get the buyer started on the financing end, and then slowly start working on property searches and refining goals for home ownership. I don't ever mention contracts until we actually start looking at homes. Technically a buyer's agent in Minnesota can't even schedule a showing unless they have a rep agreement (even though realtors abuse this all the time). 

Whether it is just a couple months or 6 months I give the buyer an opportunity to see how I work and if we are a good match. If it works out then we enter a contract when the showings begin, and I have found this system to be very effective in my business. 

As always we get paid by the seller for our services, so you have nothing to lose by trying out a realtor and seeing if it will be a good fit.

Good luck and happy house hunting!

~Chris 
  • December 29 2012
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Hello,

Great question!  You sure do not want to waist time in this process.  First, pre qualify to know your budget.  Then, know what are you looking for: home, condo, townhouse, etc.  Next, know if you want new construction, existing conditions or a "fixer upper".

Good Luck!
  • December 29 2012
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You can do both of these at the same time...

Contact a Lender to get pre-approved - here are a couple of names

Mark Hesser
[contact information deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good NEighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
Liz Peter
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Meet a Realtor to learn about the home buying process. This will also allow you to decide if you want to work with that agent. It's a Q & A Session
  • December 29 2012
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Before start looking for your dream home it is essential for you to start research for a mortgage broker that can explore all your financing option, mortgage broker have access to many different banks, private lenders and different programs.
Best of Luck,
Maria Cipollone
Cenruey 21 Tenace
  • December 28 2012
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Profile picture for Joe Houghton
Without a doubt you'll want to start chatting with Realtors and educating yourself about the process......You've definately started off on the right foot by getting different opinions.....I always tell people that if you ask 100 Realtors the same question you'll get 100 answers.  One thing I would definately be leary of is agents that are in a rush to have you sign an exclusive agency contract.  I would also highly recommend doing a thorough google or bing search by typing in different Realtors names that you are considering working with..... The last thing I'll add is to find out how accessible the agent is that you are leaning towards working with and make sure it's actually that Realtor that will be working with you, not one of the "buyers agents" on their team.
  • December 28 2012
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You will need to be pre -approved for a loan, and have your earnest money (deposit) and down payment monies ready and verified, you may also be asked to provide your FICO scores(credit report) .  As you start this process, a word of advice...don't buy anything new. Keep a low profile till the loan is funded!
  • December 28 2012
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Profile picture for annekewilkey
Find a good local Realtor.  He/She will be able to guide you step by step what to do.   The very first thing that they will probably ask you is if you are pre-approved for a loan.  If you have not talked to a lender already than that is were you probably need to start.  A lender will be able to tell you what amount you are pre-approved for.  Then your Realtor will be able to narrow down the search for homes. 
  • December 28 2012
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