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Want to buy a condo in the inland empire (California)?

I want to purchase a condo/townhouse in the 140,000 to 250,000 range, 2 bed, 1 bath. Right now I have 3,000 in bank. Credit score 650. Should I wait until I have at least 5,000, before I start looking? Also, will 4 months be sufficient for the buying process? I'm a new, new buyer, I'm not sure where to start, I heard to start with an agent first.

Thanks, hope I don't see too confusing.
  • October 28 2013 - Corona Hills
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Answers (5)

If you haven't been pre-approved yet I recommend this be the next thing you do. Pre-approvals are important because they give you an idea of how much you can afford. Also, offers from buyers with pre-approvals are taken much more seriously than offers without pre-approvals. So speak with a lender to apply for a loan and prequalify so you can get started on your home buying process. Lenders like myself will look at different parts of your finances. This includes your income, credit score, expenses, debt, assets, liabilities, down payment, employment, etc. Off of this information we will then decide if you qualify and how much for. So like I said earlier, I recommend that you speak with a lender. Us lenders would be glad to speak with you to help you get the loan that best fits you. 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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Hi,

Typically a Realtor would prefer that you get pre-approved first.  While there are down payment assistance programs available, that would allow for as little as 0.5% down, it would be more in your favor to have a larger down payment.  It might also benefit you to have a lender review your credit, to see if there are any areas of opportunity to improve your scores while you're searching for a home.  The Inland Empire is a very competitive market, so it will be worth your time to be as prepared as possible.

If you have any family member who may be willing to contribute, gift funds are a great way to help with the down payment. 

Contact me if you'd like more info, or to get preapproved.  Good luck!
  • October 28 2013
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Hi,

Buying a home can be a confusing process so I understand where you're coming from. I love Corona, and Corona Hills (92879) is one of my favorite areas in the city. 

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 that 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 and submitting offers, getting an offer accepted and the escrow process. 

Although I am located in the Long Beach area, I'd be happy to help you as much as I can with buying your condo in the IE, so feel free to contact me. Good luck and I hope you become a homeowner in 2014!
  • October 28 2013
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Actually you should start with a lender first. You need to determine which loan program you're going to use to purchase the property. You also need to discuss with him down payment and closing cost. If you only have $3000 that is not enough. You may qualify for a down payment assistance program, but you need to speak with a lender of your choice. I'm here if you need me.

  • October 28 2013
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I would start with a local agent who can help you with two things initially:  1) They can help you get comfortable with the current market and what is available in your price range (... so, yes, you might as well start looking right now such that when you do find the perfect property, you already know and understand the market...), and 2) They can help you understand the lending market in your local area... and perhaps even recommend to you a few lenders to whom you can speak relative to qualification (and pre-qualification... which will help when you go to submit offers.

Good luck with your home search!
  • October 28 2013
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