Profile picture for akopitzke

How soon should we start looking for a house?

My fiance and I are getting married the end of May and want to buy a home. We don't plan to move in together until we're married but he would be able to move in beforehand. I have a lease and roommates so I'm stuck until after the wedding. He's really nervous about getting everything figured out as quickly as possible but I'm worried he'll get stuck on a house that won't end up being available when we actually go to buy one. Neither of us have owned a home before so the entire process is new to us and we both are pretty uncertain of what our next steps should be!
  • October 29 2013 - Des Moines
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Answers (13)

Profile picture for dsm_unrealtor
A lot of good informational already here.  Just to add... In the Des Moines market, generally it will take 45 - 60 days from when you get agreement on a contract to when you are able to close and move-in.  So allow at least a 2 month lead time for the transaction to occur before you're able to take possession of the house.  You could probably find a house in a week or two, so I would get serious and start looking 2 1/2 months before you'd like to move it.  Let me know if I can help.
  • October 29 2013
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Buying a home can be a big deal that requires a lot of work financially. It doesn't hurt to start planning it out now. There are a lot of things that a lender like myself can help you out with, even though it is early in your home buying process. I recommend that you speak with a lender and tell them about your situation. Then we would gladly guide you on what to do for the upcoming months and how to be prepared once the time comes. 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!
  • October 29 2013
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
Please don't call anyone who can't even follow the simple rules of the Forum they post in...
"Spam, advertising, or self-promotional content is not allowed in Zillow Advice. This includes, but is not limited to, any contact information such as phone numbers, email addresses, or website URLs"
Good Neighbor Policy.

What else will they overlook, decide isn't important or do to get that business? Lots of good agents available and only so many sales/clients.
Competition for your business/any business is fierce so Shop Smart
  • October 29 2013
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[self promotional content removed by Zillow Moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy]
  • October 29 2013
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I answered your questions on Trulia. [self promotional content removed by Zillow Moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy]
  • October 29 2013
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Profile picture for akopitzke
I really appreciate everyone's comments and information. My fiance and I have actually been discussing this in detail for awhile so it is not a gut decision based on perceptions of what we think or feel we need to be doing but what is actually the best option for us. 
  • October 29 2013
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
In my opinion what you should figure out as quickly as possible is that this is a HUGE commitment and Financial obligation and you do not move forward or jump until you are ready...

Don't sound like you are ready imo sounds like you're moving to quickly because for whatever reason you/your fiance think/feel you need to own right away.
But I know nothing about your situation, level of preparation, ability to buy, why you want to buy, your market.
I just know Think/feel does not necessarily or always equate to Need to..
So we discuss and hopefully you have some things to consider, check out and you''ll move forward to live happily ever after ;)

My opinion
Become as informed as possible about your options and your market would be my suggestion.
Lots of available info directly from the source so check it out if you haven't and do some thinkin thinkin thinkin before doing any commitin commitin commitin

In case you're interested here are some excellent resources, places of info imo...lots and lots of info available, Forums to cruise to see who says what..make use of them

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

Provided by the Federal Gov..Info on their Loans/Programs
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.org

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


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Well worth a look imo

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/Info on programs
HUD Homes...Fannie Mae
You can find the links to the Gov sites here...Link

Best of Luck



  • October 29 2013
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I agree with most of the other agents recommending getting in touch with a lender but to address your concerns about your fiancee falling in love with a home before you're able to buy, it's a legitimate concern. 

Whenever I meet with first time home buyers that aren't quite ready to pull the trigger, I always suggest that they get set up on my MLS Property finder which will send them daily emails of new properties that fit their criteria, which either hit the market or reduce their price.  In addition, I can send them sold listings so they can start to see what they can get for their money and what properties are actually selling for. 

I would suggest holding off on actually getting out and seeing property until you're actually ready to buy, otherwise you may run into the issue of falling in love with something you can't purchase.

Good luck with you search and the wedding!!
  • October 29 2013
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I would be happy to help and can assist you in your search in the Des Moines market. See contact info on my profile page.
  • October 29 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Have you considered starting your married lives by renting?   There are so many major changes in your lives in the next year, why burden yourselves with another stressful one?

Here's a link to Zillow's buyer's roadmap. 
  • October 29 2013
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Speak with a lender!  It doesn't cost you a dime to do so. Actually, I'd interview with several lenders because they all are competing for your business and are happy to serve you.  They'll help you figure out how much home you can afford.  After you are pre-qualified, the next step is to search for a good realtor who is patient with first time home buyers. Congrats on your upcoming wedding! - Edie Butler/ The Edie Butler Team at Keller Williams SouthPark
  • October 29 2013
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Hi,

I would recommend starting by sitting down with a local lender and discussing your plans in detail.  He or she can help you plan out a road map for your home buying process and make sure that you are fully prepared when the time comes.  You'll also be able to address any issues with credit, or debts to pay down, or deficiencies in down payment savings that you can take care of over the next several months.

In the meantime, good luck with your wedding plans!
  • October 29 2013
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Your first step is to talk with a couple lenders to see what you can afford to borrow. This is a pre-qualification step and it's free and takes minutes to complete. Ask questions, don't sign anything and don't pay anything. You are going in to speak with loan officers or mortgage brokers to get information about what type of loans are available to you and how much they think you can borrow. That will give you an idea where to go next and what price range to be looking at in a home.

Then you will want to find a Realtor to work with to show you homes available. You can take your time at this point to meet what works for you time wise. Good luck.


tim
  • October 29 2013
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