Profile picture for ambertatgenhorst

first time trying to buy a home

need good information on buying a home, mortgage, and the buying process, everything because i am new to this
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January 12 2012 - Royston
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Zillow has zillions of guides on the subjects.   If you wish to find them, click on the section of interest then chose "guides first" from the drop down menu above the message list.



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January 12 2012
Dawgs is correct giving you the guideance, I would reinforce one critical and first move - find a qualified and experienced agent to work with. This isn't a blatent "pick me", this is me (and many other veteran agents) saying don't be one of those first time buyers that hits the rocks because they don't understand the process.

I posted what's become a very popular and oft referenced post [hotlink removed by Zillow moderator] I'd suggest having a look. That will keep things simple and avoid the nonsense agents are so skilled at pushing in front of potential clients.
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January 13 2012
Find a good, full-time Realtor in your area who specializes in first time buyers in your area.  The biggest difficulty we see among all buyers, but especially first time buyers, is that they are often not given all the education they need by their agent.  This leads to surprises for the buyer and sometimes leads to emotional decisions that are later regretted.  A skilled Realtor will guide you through the process, telling you what to expect throughout the transaction and help keep you calm.  One of the biggest mistakes a buyer can make is working with several agents at once.  A good Realtor will be a member of the MLS, and as such, can show you any listed property so there is no need to call multiple agents.
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January 13 2012
Profile picture for sunnyview
Zillow has some guides here to get you started. About homebuying here also has come good information specifically for first time buyers.

Before you contact an agent, I would see what you can afford. A lender or calculator can give you an idea about what you qualify for in a mortgage, but only you know your budget and you have to decide how much you comfortably have to spend every month. Iwould start witht eh smount that you are paying in rent and see how much house that will buy in your market.

Decide what neighborhoods that you want to focus on. Agents are not allowed to steer you so you need to know where you want to live and what neighborhoods interest you. Then you can interview 4-5 agents to find one that can help you start to look.
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January 13 2012
I wrote a book on the buying process so go download it here [hotlink and removed by Zillow moderator] and it should outline everything you need to know.

Contact me below with any other quesitons

Justin Herring
Southeast Mortgage
[hotlink and contact information removed by Zillow moderator]
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January 13 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
I'd like to strongly emphasize that studying up is the first thing to do.  Many agents will suggest talking to an agent first, but remember that they are sales people whose living depends on selling you a house. 

The steps I'd recommend:
1.  Educate yourself.  Read, talk with friends, family, neighbors etc (don't ask the question "should I buy?" but more about the process.

2.  Figure out how much you can afford and your financial situation (including make sure you have a good down payment, closing costs and repair fund saved up).   Many people leap into looking at houses, fall in love with a house, and then discover that their credit scores are too low or they were looking at houses way above what they can afford.   Therefore, talk with lenders.

3.  Then, and only then, talk to agents.  Interview the agents rigorously.   Consider the one you chose your employee, so spend time planning on a good discussion with all candidates.   (We spend at least an hour on the phone with each potential buying agent in the interview process, and talk with 3 to 10 before making a selection).    A good agent can be extremely helpful continuing the education you started.  A poor or average agent can be a painful experience. 
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January 13 2012
Profile picture for Dunes ..
Please do not forget to ask/inform yourself about some things like..

How are the Schools doing? Budget Outlook/Enrollment up/down? Shortfalls, cutting back?..
How about the City Budget Outlook/Services to Roads ect..
How's the County Budget outlook?
Jobs?
Foreclosure Outlook/Impact?

These kinds of things always can impact Property value in a Community in the Best of Times and even more so in this Market/Economy
If it's gone/going/headed in the Direction of Bad to Worse then in 5-7years it may not have recovered or returned to where it is now...

Know your Market does not just mean know what sold for what right now or in the past...It means KNOW your Market, know as much as you can about everything in your Market

I would suggest you give this Fed. Gov. Site a look, it has all the Current Fed Housing Loans (FHA/Vet/USDA ect.) and you search for specific information, compare options, or take a short questionnaire to determine your eligibility for each program.....Fed Loans..Housing

I would suggest you read the 9 Steps to Homebuying on the Hud site as they are an excellent guide & Resource plus links to your Local Homebuyer Programs....
(Step 3 is interview lenders..Step 5 is interview RE Agents)..
Buying a Home

Check out all this information from the Dept. of Justice Web Site...
Competing Models of Real Estate Brokerage

Consumers Can Save Thousands of Dollars in Commissions

Competition and Real Estate... Real Estate Laws in Your State


You could also make use of the Fed Gov and Banks Sites they have created to allow the Public to view their Properties for Sale/Foreclosure/REO..Get a feel for Prices and different Options

Sites like...HUD Homes...Fannie Mae
You can find the links to all the Gov sites here...Link

Bank sites like....Bank of America...Wells Fargo
You can find links to Bank sites here...Link

For finding Public Records, Property Records, Tax Sales posted ect. you may find this Public Records Search Engine helpful...Check it out
Free Public Records Search Directory

You have options .. become familiar with them..Protect yourself
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January 13 2012
Please feel free to call us today.  We specialize in working with first time home buyers.  It definitely is a "hand-holding" process throughout the entire transaction that we are happy to do it!  especially in today's real estate market with the vast array of transactions including: shortsales, REO's, probate and bankruptcy sales.  We have a cumulitive experience of 20 years and we have successfully negotiated and closed over 65 Short Sale transactions!  This year will be the year of the short sale....over 60% of the market are distressed properties.....[contact information removed by Zillow moderator]. Best Regards, Liz Bates 
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January 13 2012
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January 13 2012
There are some great ideas offered by some other agents here. You might also look into finding a Seminar for First Time Home Buyers. I suggest you Google it and see if something is available in your area. You may simultaneously find an agent who truly specializes in helping first timers, and who is willing to take the time to educate you and help clarify your needs, help you get pre-approved, explain the process of buying in your area, the benefits and parameters of Buyer Agency, and who can represent YOUR needs throughout the process. Finding someone with  designations like ABR, CBR, Realtor (Accredited Buyer Representative  Certified Buyer Representative, Realtor) would be a good idea as well.
Best of luck!
Bija
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January 13 2012
What you want to do is contact and interview a few different agents. You need to ask them a lot of questions pertaining to experience and specialties. Remember that the market is flooded with foreclosures and short sales. So you want someone who specialize in these areas just in case the property you you want is one of these. After careful selection of an agent, he/she will guide you through the process. 
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January 13 2012
Profile picture for hpvanc
You can take the time to educate yourself, and I recommend starting at the library as well as online, or you can turn over all of your responsibility as a consumer to a buyers agent that very likely sold those very same homes that are now short sales and foreclosures to buyers that trusted them as a professional buyers representative.

It is not that you can't or shouldn't use an agent as a source for information, but if you have not done your homework, you won't be able to tell when you are being lied to out right, let alone when the agent is being influenced by the natural biases and freedom from truthful rationalization that seem to be present in the vast majority of people willing to work in commissioned sales, and only painting the most optimistic scenario. 

If you don't educate yourself before talking to agents and lenders and are unwilling to directly question the information they are giving you after you have selected them to work with, odds are you are going to get screwed and may be unlucky enough to be one of the short sale and foreclosure statistics in a few short years.

Get informed, challenge lenders and agents and do what is right for you.  Do not abrogate your civic responsibilities and turn your decision and financial future over to commissioned sales people.
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January 13 2012
Profile picture for Dunes ..
I think most people know they can contact an Agent or a Lender


I also think if you live on this planet then you should be aware that events over the last few years have made many people more seriously consider their option of becoming informed BEFORE talking with people selling Services..

I think..
Go straight to a Agent/Lender advice is just Spiting in the Wind when someone is asking for information..viewed by them more as an Advertisement/Form of Self-Promotion than a Response

That may not matter in the get leads, get contacts marketing approach popular or in style this week but I think it matters if one is concerned about Credibility or the Perception of Agents/Lenders by those they hope to Sell Services to..
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January 13 2012
Profile picture for the_country_hick
When I was first looking to buy a house I looked for a mortgage lender. I saw no reason to contact a real estate agent before I knew what I could get for a loan. Why go to step #2 instead of the logical first step #1 of seeing what can be afforded and borrowed from a lender first?
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January 13 2012
 
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