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Where to start?

My husband and I recently got married over the summer and now want to start looking at houses. Where do we start?

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November 14 2013 - US
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Here is a program that is about results located in Long Beach, California that you and your husband should look into.  It is a Grant Foundation that is helping new homebuyers purchase their first home. you are equipped with local cities down payment assistance, silent 2nds and you will learn how to create extra income if you need to lower your debt ratio. here is the website: [link removed by moderator]
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November 14 2013
Hire a Realtor and then get pre-approved.  
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November 14 2013
Profile picture for rtlvr
This is from the perspective of a house buyer. Besides all of the financial advice and realtor advice I would like to add the following: Go to open houses in the area you are interested in. Bring a tape measure. Decide what are the minimum sizes in rooms you could tolerate. Start to understand how much square feet you will be able to afford (based on being preapproved). Be realistic in your expectations. First time buyers want it all, but might not have the budget to support it. Check out different neighborhoods as well, and make a list of priorities about location, size, style etc. Then you will come to your realtor with some information that will help them help you.
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November 14 2013
CONGRATS,,,you are experiencing two of life's great events...The advice the other posters have given you is right on. Knowing what you can afford is a great first step. I would add, if possible consider getting pre-approved on one salary in case Life throws some unexpected curveball to you. You will be comfortable in your expenses. It also is a plus to a seller when you find your home to know you are serious and have done a major part of your responsibilities of financing. Then choose your Realtor. Make sure you understand your options of how you will work with your Realtor. Again ask ?s. ... Experience is nice to have but do not exclude that new agent. He or she might be very motivated to help you in this experience. Knowing the market areas you want to consider is very IMPORTANT. Buyers have access to a lot of information about homes/areas before they actually *see* the home so take advantage of all the tech, tools you can find . Ask a lot of questions and enjoy the process. Good luck. CJ 
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November 14 2013
The best thing for you to do now is to speak with a lender directly to qualify for a loan. 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 pull

3) Employment History or Business Tax Returns if you're Self Employed

4) 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. 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!
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November 14 2013

Congratulations on your marriage, and on your decision to buy a home!



The first place to start is by finding a reputable mortgage broker or bank. Banks can be good allies if you have a relationship with them, but can't always offer as many options as a broker. Mortgage brokers can "shop" the loan and find the best programs available for you. As a general rule, they will review your credit, two years of tax returns, and your assets in order to make a determination of how much house you can afford.



Your next step will be to find a real estate agent. Look for an agent that is familiar with your area, has a verifiable track record and that you feel comfortable with. If they are recommended by a friend or family member even better. Once you have found the one you wish to work with, he or she will go over your budget, preferences and timeframe and will then provide you with some options. Feedback on the listings you receive by email, or that you actually go to see is very important. Remember, the more information you provide to your agent, the better she (or he) will be able to determine what you are looking for- and find it for you!

Good luck and Happy house hunting!

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November 14 2013
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Here are a couple of links that will keep you busy for hours:

Zillow's home buyer's roadmap.

Hud.gov  buying a home.

You are wise to study up before getting involved with professionals.  There is no hurry, you'll be happier if you do it right the first time.

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November 14 2013
This is a very common question.  I work with many first time buyers, most who are recently married.  The first step is to find out how much you can be approved for.  NOT PRE-QUALIFIED, there is a difference.

Pre-Approval is a more involved process, where is pre-aqulified is a very basic process.

Get with a lender, preferably one that works with the real estate agent you are planning on working with for better communication and a smoother process.

After you know what you can be approved for, get with the real estate agent you want to work with and develop a game plan on looking at homes.  Be sure you are ready to move as soon as you find that home.

This can be a very stressful and complicated process, the right agent will be able to mitigate most of that and can make the process smooth and fun.

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November 14 2013
First step would be to determine what price range you're looking at. Keep in mind, your payment will include principal and interest, homeowner's insurance, property taxes, and mortgage insurance (if putting less than 20% down and not paying homeowner's and taxes separately). I would tell you to get pre-approved at a well reviewed lender or bank. Talking to a Loan Officer will allow you to figure out a rough idea of what your monthly payment will be for different priced homes. Good luck!
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November 14 2013
 
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