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I want to buy my first home next year but DO NOT know where to start

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October 04 2012 - Laveen
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Answers (10)

Good for you to start working on this in advance and to endeavor to be a homeowner!  DO start by contacting a reputable and expereinced agent and loan Broker that have your best interest at heart and who are not in a hurry or too busy to give you the time and education necessary for your needs. It takes a long time and many transactions in this industry to be well versed and it is best for you to not cram an education in by yourself or have trial and error experience.

A loan Broker is necessary right away in order to determine your qualifications, capability, timing and your target price range.
Interviews are great, and referrals from good sources are excellent too.  A good agent will have experience, elaborate knowledge of negotiations and contracts, local market awareness, persistence, and willingness to guide you along the way.  I have a proven secret that always provides my friends, family & clients the best referral agent for them nationwide.  Here is a link to questions you can ask agents in an interview:
http://www.austinrealtyteam.com/Blog/Buyer-Agent-Interview-Questions

I would add:

How will you "go to bat" for me in negotiations or a multiple offer situation?
Do you have a good relationship with other agents in your area?
Do you use a mortgage broker with strong statistics in closing loans?
How many Buyers/Sellers at a time do you work with?
Do you have a team or will I be able to contact you directly when I have questions?
How do you respond to challenges or problems that may arise?

Happy House Haunting......(I mean hunting)!

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October 31 2012
First go and find a mortgage professional and get pre-approved up to a certain amount.  This will really help in the event that right off the bat you find the property that you really want, it will show a seller that you are a serious buyer.  Secondly do your own due diligence, find out as much as you can about the house and the seller.  For instance, why are they selling, how did they price the house, when did they buy the house, what were interest rates when they purchased.  The more information you have the better, so that by the time you get to where you will make an offer, it will be clear, concise and you will have an objective reasoning for offering what you do.  Thanks and best of luck to you in your search. 
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October 31 2012
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October 31 2012
Profile picture for Dunes ..
My Opinion
Inform yourself..do some basic research
This is a HUGE Financial Decision and choosing a Legit Competent Lender or RE Agent is important/critical....so do not be Lazy or foolish or uninformed

Do not just run out to seek advice from any ol Lender or RE Agent
Learn enough first to help sort the Smoke Blowers from the ones who may be able to help/assist you...
You're interviewing/hiring for important positions in a huge financial transaction that impacts YOU, treat it that way

Worthwhile info to check out as a start to becoming more informed imo

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

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

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, loan programs ect..
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
HUD Homes...Fannie Mae
You can find the links to all the Gov sites here...Link

Everyone 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


Public Records..Including Foreclosure/Tax Lien/Tax Sale Info
All Free & all the Info direct from your State/County/local gov.
Public Records Directory

Be Smart Shop Smart & Good Luck
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October 05 2012
It's always best to start at the beginning - and all you do is follow the Yellow Brick Road.
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October 05 2012
Start here.. great place. 
Find a few agents that work the area you would like to purchase and give one a call or email. 
best of luck. 
Brad
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October 05 2012
Another good idea is to look at your credit rating and savings before you go see a lender. You will need 3.5% down for an FHA loan, more for a conventional loan. Also you need money for closing costs which can be 3% of the purchase price or more. Many sellers today offer closing cost assistance but some do not. Best of luck to you with your first home purchase!
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October 04 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Don't start with a lender or an agent, but start with some self education.

Here is a useful link to a number of Zillow guides on the process.

When you are ready to reach out to a lender and/or agent, interview them before making a decision.   As with all professions, there are some great ones out there and there are a lot of average and below average ones.   It is up to you to find the best for you!


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October 04 2012
Hi!
Congratulations on taking the first step! Asking questions.
The next step is finding a lender to see how much you qualify for. Then find a realtor in your area and make a wish list(what you would like in a home as well as a neighborhood. The realtor will do a search within your guidelines. Then start looking at houses to make your home.
If your don't know of a lender as your local realtor and they can suggest someone that they have worked with.
Good Luck!
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October 04 2012
start with a lender and get preapproved.  If you want to get qualified I can help.  [deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines] Jodi Showman Citywide Home Loans
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October 04 2012
 
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