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I am 23 years old and ready to buy a house. What steps should i take?

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February 03 - South Cleveland
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Answers (11)

To anyone getting ready to buy a home, the first thing is to find out what you can afford!  There is nothing worse than looking at $200K homes and finding you only qualify for $150K!

Shop around for lenders... Local Lenders are the best, as they know the area and usually got to church or buy groceries where you do.  They know they might run into you at the store and don't want to be called out as a bad lender. :)

Get Prequalified and have that letter with you when you pick your REALTOR.  Having that in the file, and ready to go when you find that wonderful home, will go a long way towards your offer being considered.  Sellers these days, with the shortage of homes on the market, are not going to want to wait for you to see if you can qualify for a loan.  They want a qualified buyer up front!!

Good luck in your adventure!
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February 07
The first step is to find a good lender and see what price range you should be looking in. Once this is completed you can find a good Realtor in your area by asking family and friends who they have used in the past. It is always a good idea to use someone who has been used by family and friends since you trust their opinion.
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February 06
Travis,

Begin by understanding your finances – you will need to know what you can afford to pay monthly as well as determining how much money you will need for a down payment.  Prepare a monthly budget to put everything into perspective.  This budget should include EVERY expense each month.

Choose your Realtor – you want to choose a Realtor you trust.  The cost to a buyer for their service is "FREE" and they will represent you and your best interest throughout the transaction.  In many cases, your Realtor can refer you to a mortgage banker as well as other vendors throughout the entire transaction, this becomes your "Team of Professionals" that will help you along the way to successfully purchase a home you feel comfortable with.  The Realtor acts as the "conductor" of the entire process from beginning to end just like in an orchestra.

Get Pre-approved before you start looking for a home – understanding what you can afford before you step into a property will make the process more smooth and straightforward.
Look for a home – after meeting with your Realtor, you now should have determined what your want, how much your willing to spend and where you want to look. Start house hunting!

Make an offer – working closely with your Realtor, they will help you understand what the best strategy is to offer on the property based the most recent sales in the area.

Under Contract – this is the most exciting moment for the buyer! Your Realtor will guide you through the all the time frames that are important within your contract.
Inspection of home – by now, you are anxiously wondering what condition the home you are about to purchase is REALLY in.  Your Realtor should be able to have a preferred vendor list ranging from home inspectors to air/water testing and everything in between when it comes time to inspect the home.

Obtain Homeowners Insurance – it is best to get a few quotes from various companies to get the most affordable and best coverage for your new home. Your Realtor should have referrals for you.

Pack and Move – If you plan to use a moving company, secure this early on in the process so you know how much you are going to pack and how much the company will pack and set the date.  The rates vary depending on how much you pack yourself.

Final Walk Through – either 24 hours or an hour before the day of closing, walk through the home to make sure it is in the same condition it was when you last viewed it and all the repairs have been completed to your satisfaction, if applicable.

Closing – Once the title company receives your loan documents, you will receive a HUD statement which reviews in detail your fees and then amount of money needed for closing.  In most cases the money need to close  must be in the form of a cashiers check, so make sure you allow time to go to the bank prior to going to the closing.  Your Realtor will arrange with the title company the day and time of closing where you will sign the loan documents.

Congratulations, you are now a home owner – After signing the documents, you get your keys and move in!  If there are any changes you want to make to the home, its best to do it prior to moving in if possible.

ENJOY!
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February 06
If you are ready to buy a home, one of the first steps would be to speak with a lender that best fits your situation. Then when you do apply for a loan, lenders like myself will need to look at several different things if you are trying to prequalify for a loan. We will need to analyze your assets, credit, expenses, income, debt, employment, down payment, etc. So the best thing for you to do is to speak with a lender such as myself to see if you can get started on financing a new home. If you have any further questions or if you would like a loan, feel free to contact me.

Good Luck!
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February 06

Hello Travis. The first step would be to know your budget. I would suggest that you first meet with a lender to assess your current finances and get you prequalified. Also, I recommend you find a realtor that can help you look for properties, prepare and process the required documents, and finally, buy the right house. Personally interview them so that you'll know which one that you feel the most comfortable with. Your agent should help you in everything, from start to closing. Make sure he or she will always keep you in the loop in everything. [contact info deleted by Zillow  moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]

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February 04
Call me.  There is so much advice to give.  Could not put it in one email.
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February 04
Interview lenders. Talk to 3-4 and let them know you're looking to buy a home and would like to know the steps and how it all works. You will get a variety of responses. The ones that will spend an hour on the phone with you explaining things without getting frustrated are the ones you'll want to put on your short list. When you're done with your interviews, you should have plenty of knowledge on what to do next. 
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February 04
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You should make sure your credit is as good as possible. A site like MyFICO has lots of great information. Also, start saving for a down payment and an emergency fund. For an FHA loan you will need 3.5% down plus some reserves for closing costs. Learn about your market and what you can afford before you lock in with an agent. The more you know the better house you can choose.
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February 04

Hi Travis,

First of all, congratulations on deciding to become first time homebuyer!  Like I tell my clients, becoming a homeowner requires you to not just be financially ready, but emotionally ready as well. Learning as much as you can about the home buying process as well as where you want to live will help you feel confident that you can do this and will be holding the keys to your first home one day.

The homebuying process can be overwhelming at times, after all it's probably the biggest investment you'll ever make. As for myself, I would have never made it through the process without my own realtor guiding me through every step of the way...Now that I am a realtor as well, I break it down for my clients into steps:

1.) Find a realtor you trust and communicate to them what you need/want in a home
2.) Get a pre-qualified with a lender you (and your realtor trust) so you know how much home you afford
3.) Gather and bring in your documents (taxes, pay stubs, bank statements, etc.) to the lender
4.) Start seeing homes with your realtor
5.) Your realtor will take it from there in terms of writing offers and escrow. 

Good luck!
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February 03
Congratulations on your journey to home ownership.  First step is to get yourself qualified with a reputable lender who communicates well with you. There are steps involved and finding a loan officer who is readily available to you is important. At this point its best to find a licensed Realtor. It's also a good idea to research the other professionals involved in the home buying and selling process and research what their job entails. Those professionals may include Title/settlement companies, home inspectors, home warranty providers, etc... Keep in mind that these professionals may have a varying degree of charges. So shop around, it may save you money. Now the fun part, searching for homes. Once you find your new home your Realtor will start the process to solidify a contract and walk you through any and all contingencies that may need to be met. All that is left is to settle and take possession of your new home.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
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February 03
Hi Travis,

First of all I would contact a reputable lender. This can be a mortgage company, your banking establishment and so on. They will ask you for certain things like your past tax returns, bank statements, w-2's and paystubs. They should be able to tell you what price range you can afford. Then I would start the search for your home either using a buyers agent or yourself. I would also ask the lender about first time homebuyer programs. These programs can help with downpayments and so forth.

Hope this was helpful and happy hunting!
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February 03
 
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