Profile picture for amandab1117

Where do i start!?

I would like to buy a house within the next 3 to 6 months. Where do i start? Do i find a mortgage lender to get a pre approval? Do i find a real estate agent and being to look for house? How do i know how much house i can afford without a pre approval? I dont know if i should trust the calculators. 
  • October 25 2013 - Stratford
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Answers (11)

If you haven't been pre-approved yet I recommend this be the first thing you do. So speak with a lender to apply for a loan and prequalify. When you apply for a loan, lenders like myself will need to look at several different things if you are trying to prequalify for a loan.1) Proof of income for each person that will be on the mortgage which can be demonstrated through: one month of pay stubs, previous year's W-2 forms and tax returns, official documentation to demonstrate other forms of income (alimony, child support, etc.), and two year's tax returns if self-employed (all schedules, all pages)2) Credit Report which they will pull3) Employment History or Business Tax Returns if you're Self Employed4) Personal assets such as: Recent balances and statements for bank accounts, most recent account statement demonstrating market value of any investments (stocks, bonds or certificates of deposit), documentation showing interest in retirement funds, face amount and cash value of life insurance policies, value of significant pieces of personal property, debt information, the balances and account numbers of your current loans and debts, including car loans, credit card balances and any other loans you may have.These are just a few things you should have ready when you begin your buying process. There are also first-time buyer mortgages such as FHA that only require 3.5% down with competitive rates. 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 28 2013
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Profile picture for j3350489
Find a area you want to look in then find a agent (pro) for that area then ask them what banks the think are good .
  • October 26 2013
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Profile picture for JoshBarnettREIB
Find an agent first.  Choose the Zillow Pro team in your area.  Click on "Find a Pro" link above and interview some agents until you find one that works best for you. 
  • October 26 2013
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Profile picture for CallTheSisters
Find a buyers agent you feel comfortable with.  They should know their local market and be able to refer you to trusted lenders in the area.

Or you can contact a local mortgage broker or bank first.  Do not use internet pre-approvals as they are often wrong.  They also may run your credit numerous times as the shop the loan. 

I always stress finding an agent first because they are familiar with the local lenders know who does a good job for their clients.
  • October 26 2013
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Hi Amanda,

It can be a confusing and even scary process, after all it's probably the biggest investment you'll ever make. As for myself, I would have never made it through without my 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

Your realtor will take it from there in terms of writing offers and escrow. 
Good luck and I hope you become a homeowner in 2014!

  • October 25 2013
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One important piece is to get prequalified for a home mortgage loan based on your financial information.  You will get an idea on what amount of a mortgage you qualify for, your estimated mortgage payment, your down payment and overall closing settlement closing costs.  These items will educate you so that you can make an informed decision in the home buying process.  I am a CT based mortgage broker. Good luck! 
  • October 25 2013
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I would recommend getting pre approved first. That being said, if you are a first time home buyer, contact and agent that could refer you to a lender. The home buying process has enough up and downs, it always sad when clients fall in love with a home that they cannot afford to get into. On the flip its great when clients find out they can afford more home then they thought!  I wish you all the best in your home search!
  • October 25 2013
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Hi Amanda--I would definitely talk to a good mortgage person about what you can afford and your options. I have a few I can share with you--they are very good and will be honest with you. You should have a chat with a realtor about what you're looking for and where you want to be, etc. I would be happy to speak with you if you like. Feel free to contact me at your convenience. Regards, Mary Ann Laurita
  • October 25 2013
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
Become Informed..do some basic research

This is a HUGE Financial Decision/Commitment that can have serious negative results if done haphazardly and choosing a Legit Competent Lender or RE Agent is important/critical....
So imo do not be Lazy or foolish or uninformed

Hud Site..
Read this info and read it again, check out the Links/Resources...First Time Home Buyer Info about the Process & Excellent Info/Resources for any Buyer..Buying a Home
(According to them Choosing a Lender is Step 3 and choosing an RE Agent is Step 5)

Provided by the Federal Gov/Gov Web Site
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 (HomePath)
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

Ask questions here...Read past/Current Questions/Discussions

Lots and lots of info available so make use of it and protect yourself .
Put yourself in a better position to make wise decisions about Selecting a Lender, RE Agent, Services, costs, options for what may be the Largest Financial Obligation/Business Transaction of your life

Be Smart Shop Smart
Good Luck & Good Hunting
  • October 25 2013
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I suggest that you get a recommendation from a friend or family member for a realtor or a lender. If you don't know anyone who can make a suggestion, you can find a realtor one of a few ways: search online, go to open houses in the area you're looking in or call the listing agents of properties you might be interested in. Talk with the agents and find out which ones work with first time homebuyers and are able to explain the process. Keep in mind that not all agents can and do work with first time buyers. Any agent will want you to be pre-approved with a reputable lender, usually someone they know and trust. But for now, you can go to any lender and get a rough idea of what you can afford. You're not obligated to stick with them. Just get a ballpark figure so you can start looking. It can take 30-60 days to close on a property once you've found a house.
  • October 25 2013
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Yes, find a mortgage lender, preferably one that you meet with in person. Yes, interview some real estate agents until you find at least one that you are comfortable with. Don't worry about the last two questions!

All the best,
  • October 25 2013
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