Profile picture for tmwrisley

Where do we start, 1st timers, good job/rental history, credit so-so , little or no $ for down pmt

Our landlord is losing his primary residence and after 14 years, has informed us that we may have to move. We are a family of four and have not good/not bad credit and have not been saving for a down payment. Is now a good time to buy? The market is super low now so prices are great but I think maybe banks are probably feeling a bit stingy. Where do we start? A real estate agent? Our bank? A random mortgage person? Online (already tried Lending Tree, they said no)? Looking for ideas as to where first-time buyers can get help with this process.
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August 23 2010 - Bend
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Answers (12)

Profile picture for SoCal_Engr
Check out Dunes answer. The #1 place to start is do some of your own homework and get informed on the whole buying process. With a little research, you can understand the basics of qualifying for a mortgage and develop your own idea of what you may be approved for. This will also give you a chance to get familiar with the different mortgage products.

The biggest caution is..."Don't start your learning process by asking REAs and lenders." Get a basic understanding, know your general parameters, and then you're ready to talk to the pros.

The added plus is that this will also give you some time to put together a financial plan, and maybe save towards a down. From the other posts, it doesn't sound like waiting a bit is going to hurt you in your local market.
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August 24 2010
Profile picture for tmwrisley
I also thought that by the time we pay first/last+ deposit we may as well be making a down payment (we also don't have that to fall back on as we did not have to pay that in our present rental). We have been working on our credit for a few years and paid off our high interest accounts hoping that would help. I don't want to rush this as we plan on being at our next place a long time and are willing to wait for the market to improve before moving again. We want to be happy with what we can get or it's not worth getting at all. I don't want to "settle" just because we feel like we are in a pinch.
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August 24 2010
Profile picture for sunnyview
Rentals in Bend are a dime a dozen and prices are still falling. You need to take time to get ready to buy before you buy. Getting your credit in order, saving for a down and small emergency fund for repairs and taking time to choose the house that you really want is key before you buy. Trying to rush from a rental into a good match of a house rarely happens simply due to time constraints. When you are ready or need to move, the type of house you want may not be available.

Work on your credit first. Doing that is free. Get a copy of your credit report so you know what is on it and what your current score is. One credit report a year is free from the credit reporting agencies here, but you will have to pay a small amount for your actual credit score. Last time I looked it was about $14. You can get strategies to improve your score here and here. That myfico site also has a break down of what makes up your score and what you can do to improve it. You have time to buy while prices are dropping in Bend. Make the right decision, not the quick decision.
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August 24 2010
Profile picture for dacolan
Bend's median has lost double digit value annually for the past four years, including -18.9% y-o-y this past year alone. Bend's residential RE market appears to be in free fall at the moment. It would take one very high risk tolerance to buy a house in that market considering the state of the recent trends and overall economy in general.
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August 24 2010
There are a few financing options through FHA with 3.5% down, VA if you are a veteran or USDA if you are willing to scope out an eligible rural property, both of these loan programs are $0 down. You can start by talking to friends and family for a trusted referral to a mortgage professional. There are a few different types out there so knowing the difference will help you make a choice that fits you best. Lending Tree is only a website that collects the information you offer up when soliciting a loan and they in turn sell your info to lenders as a lead. The lender may be a bank, credit union, a broker or a correspondent such as myself that can lend through a warehouse line to a certain lender for certain products as well as broker your loan if needed. The loan structure can be catered to fit your needs whether you require less out of pocket and opt for a higher rate or a lower rate with point(s) or fee. The seller may also pay some of these fees for you.

By law the most you can pay for is the credit report only about $25 to start the process of getting pre-qualified for a mortgage that you can afford. If you think you might have a few credit issues make sure you find a professional that will "hold your hand" through the whole process. 
Timing will be a personal decision and should be based on your financial picture and your own convictions and not on those of others.
Dunes gave you some great links to seek info try also AllieMae.org

Best of luck!
Corri
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August 24 2010
Profile picture for doralgate
How about starting to save for a down payment as well as emergency funds beyond this for issues sure to arise with any home you will eventually purchase. Concurrently work hard on improving your credit scores to good to excellent status. This will save you tons of money in the long run. If you must, go talk to a mortgage provider or even just go to a website like bankrate and get a general idea of what you would be able to afford. Lastely go find a realtor and look at houses, but only after 1,2 and 3 are all working out in your favor.
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August 24 2010
1st. Go to the bank and see what you can get pre-approved for.

At the bank you are less likely to get charged unnecessary fees which happens more when going to an independent mortgage person


2nd. Then find real estate agent that will work for you and not be lazy!



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August 23 2010
Start with a bank and your accountant. You need to first understand what amount of loan you can currently get (bank) and whether you can realistically afford it long term (accountant).

Reduce that figure by 10-20%, do some research to see if it will buy you something you would like to live in for the next 10 years. If yes, then start learning more about home buying and agents.

I believe a good time to buy is when you need a house and have the financial backing to support it. It is a place to live and call home, not an investment. Don't buy a home just because price is low, interest is low. Buy a home because you want to own a home for the long term.

Good luck, think carefully and don't get rushed into buying a home.
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August 23 2010
Profile picture for Dunes....
tmwrisley

What you are considering is a Huge Financial Obligation..A Business Deal

IMHO what you need to consider is through out the Home buying Process you will be needing to make many Important decision which could impact you financially...YOU need to make these decision in order to protect yourself and your Business deal...Get Informed!!!!

The choice of who you use as a Lender and who you use as an Agent are 2 Extreamly Important Decisions and making them without being informed is my opinion very very foolish..Both Decisions can make or break your business deal...

I would suggest you look at the HUD Home Buyers Page which will explain Step by Step the Process of Home buying.. According to them Finding a Lender is Step 3 and finding a RE Agent is Step 5....

From the HUD Site..."Thinking about buying a home?  We have information that can help!  Got questions?  Talk to one of our housing councilors!" Give it a look..HUD Home Buying Info

You should also Browse the Gov sites Created to provide the Public with access to their Properties for Sale/Foreclosure, provide loan info and information about options..Sites like HUD Homes for Sale
Fannie Mae ...USDA ...Freddie Mac

The Links to all the Fed Gov sites are here...Link

You will want to give the Fed Gov site for all Current Fed Loan Programs a look also (FHA, USDA ect). You can get specific information, compare options, or take a short questionnaire to determine your eligibility for each program. Link

You should also Browse the Sites Created by the Banks to allow the Public to view their REO/Foreclosures and learn about the options they have, loan programs, the process they use...Sites like..Chase
Bank of America ...Wells Fargo

You can find the Links to the Banks here...Bank Links

Be Smart--Get Informed------Then make Decisions

Good Luck
Dunes


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August 23 2010
FHA is a good product for someone in your position - but there are several other programs also that may be helpful such as a Neighborhood Stabilization Program and so on.... FHA down payments are changing and becoming somewhat credit score driven... There is also if you are willing to be outside the city limits a USDA loan which can be 100% financing - The Central Oregon area has many programs that can help you.  I have put many first time home buyers into bank owned homes with as little as 1.7% down and an occasional 0% down - there will still be expenses - such as a home inspection, an appraisal and stuff like that.  Give me a call or drop me an email and I would be happy to give you the names and numbers of the lenders that have helped my  other buyers - and of course I would be happy to be your agent.
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August 23 2010
Go to a local Real Estate office and ask an experienced agent to work with you as your Buyer's agent.  They know the financing and where you can get a home for little or no money down using federal and state agency programs. The realtor is the place to begin.
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August 23 2010
You should first contact a reputable bank and see what you qualify for. Then a local realtor once you know what price range you can shop in. FHA loans only require 3% down payment. Also, most of these banks can put you in a  Credit Restoration program if you have the time to wait. Good luck.
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August 23 2010
 
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