Home Buying in Frederick>Question Details

Thadiola, Home Buyer in Honolulu, HI

Buying a home in 6 months, what should I be doing right now?

Asked by Thadiola, Honolulu, HI Mon Jun 21, 2010

My wife and I are relocating from Hawaii and looking to buy a home in the Frederick, MD area in January. We have $35,000 saved up. I am active duty military. We have our first child on the way. There is a lot going on right now and I am really trying as hard as I can to make everything as smooth as possible.

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Brent Mendelson’s answer
The loan officer from First home is correct. This grant does run out of money every year. It starts in April and runs until the money is gone. Right now in good shape but by the fall it should be gone. Back April 2011
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
It's true that the Frederick county grants are gone for now. There is another grant that was just mentioned and is still available for the first time home buyer. $7,500 is available with a few restrictions. Income is one of them. Not many lenders have this program around here. I had one today that closed a few hours ago, it was a great deal for them. I see you have 35k for a downpayment and that is great. You are allowed to go to 100% financing with VA, it doesn't mean you should. Some things to consider, how long will you stay in the area, do you want to convert the home to a rental property etc. My advice is to follow the advice of most of the people on here. Talk to 2-3 lenders andee 2-3 realtors and see who you like and who seems to have the knowledge you need. Oh and I can make a realtor referral for you also. I know some great ones in the Frederick area and I am sure they could help you out. Talk to the lenders, then go to the realtor phase also would be my advice. Let us know how we can help. Thanks,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
That is the FHLB grant. It is through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. It is not specific to Frederick County though, I was pointing out that all the Frederick funds are dry for now, Not all lenders can offer the FHLB grant, the lenders that can offer it are listed on the FHLB website. I saw a loan officer from Monarch Mortgage comment earlier, I know they are a participating lender. As with all grants, they are subject to available funds, so I would not count on them when you are in the early stages of prequalification. We have seen most grant money run out already this year.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
Actually, my lender at Presidential Home Mortgage just sent me information on a $7500 grant for first time buyers. The grant is linked to income levels, and is still currently available. Perhaps not all banks have this money? I am not totally familiar with the details as of yet.
Maureen D'Aiutolo
Key Realty Group LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
Currently there is no grant money available specific to Frederick City or Frederick County. All of those funds were exhausted earlier this year. It is likely that some additional money will be released through "Sold on Frederick" on July 1st, but that money is probably already spoken for (They will release about 5 grants and they go quick). I do expect a large amount of grant money to be released through a program called NSP2, but those funds will only be available for foreclosed homes, not short sales or traditional resales. If you are going to use a VA loan, you will already have 100% financing and you can request that the seller pay a portion or all of your closing costs. So, grant money is probably not something that you need to concern yourself with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
Hello Thadiola and Family
Welcome to Maryland and welcome to Frederick.
To answer your question, the first step is to speak with a lender. With the lender's help, you will determine your buying power, your credit rating and may find that you qualify for grant money that is available through Frederick City and County.
Then, once you have your wallet, you can start looking in your price range and preferred location. An agent familiar with Frederick will be invaluable to you in your search. Many of us have websites that put you directly into the MLS so you see real-time, active listings. Your agent of choice can also help you find school information, demographics, crime stats and just about anything you would want to know about the area.
You may already have this link, but if not, here is a link to tell you more about the area.
http://www.fredericktourism.org. If you are looking for a Frederick agent, it would be my pleasure to help you find a place to call home. http://www.keyrealtyfinehomes.com. Safe travels, Maureen D'Aiutolo, Broker maureen@keyrealtyfinehomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 22, 2010
Dear Thadiola,

Let me be the 1st to welcome you to Frederick, your next duty station! Congratulations on the impending birth. What an exciting time! While not Hawaii, Frederick has much to offer. You will enjoy your time here.

I am both a Navy brat and former active duty US Army. I well know what military moves are like. Smooth is what we aim for and what we can provide for you. My wife and I work as a real estate team.

We helped a Navy family relocate from Camp Pendleton to Frederick in December/January. I would be happy to send you the letter of reference this family wrote about our work with them. With their permission, I can also put you in touch with them for email or calls. I know the military helps with relocation, but there is no substitute for talking with someone who has just done what you are getting ready to do.

For now, concentrate on two things: getting qualified for a loan and learning the Frederick market.

Navy Federal Credit Union is an excellent local resource for military. If you like, I can give you a contact there. Navy serves all branches of the military. I also know several local loan officers who work with national and local banks. Let me know your preferences and if you would like me to send you names, numbers and emails.

USAA, if you are a member, is also an excellent lender.

The other step is to learn the area market. If you have an idea of what type house you seek, I can forward to you on a daily basis current listings that meet your criteria. Once you know what you qualify for in a loan and what you want to spend, we can better focus on meeting your criteria within your desired price range. Once you or your wife is in the area or when both of you are here, we can focus on seeing houses that you like and can afford, so that you can make the right buying decision for you and your family.

You are wise to get started now. Having $35,000 should be helpful to you to have to apply, all or in part, to a home purchase and a loan satisfactory to you and your wife.

Feel free to contact me by phone, 301.748.7120, or email, petert@machomes.com, if I can be of further assistance. I look forward to working with you and your family.

Web Reference: http://www.2hdb.com/petert
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
The first thing to do is contact a lender in the local area. USAA of course does a great job for active and former military. Once you have determined your buying power then start looking on the internet for properties. Part of the process in determining your buying power is also speaking with a local REALTOR. Location inside the city limits (you have city taxes) can increase your payment by $220-$300 a month depending on the price of the home.
I worked with a military family who moved here from California and met with the wife when she came out about 4 months before the actual buying period. We took a couple half days and looked all around the area to see what neighborhoods she liked. Also where the local church was for their denomination. After that they knew which areas to key in on when looking on the internet. I also supplied them with websites where once they identified an area as one that they liked they could check the crime statistics and sex offender registry. this ruled out some areas right off the bat.
Once the military member was on TDY here we spent 2 days looking at the houses they had identified as ones they were really interested in. We wrote an offer on one, it was accepted, and he settled on it 30 days later.
One thing that they did was looking online for homes. they used my website http://www.servinggreaterfrederickcounty.com and got email alerts daily when new properties came on the market that met their criteria. it is a free service and you can also search for homes on the site.
When looking for properties online if you see one that interests you, make sure that you talk to a local REALTOR who can explain the differences between a short sale , foreclosure and a straight sale. It can make all the difference in the world.
feel free to contact me either by email or phone at peggymagnanelli@mris.com or 240-674-8585.
I would be honored to help a member of our armed forces to PCS out here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010

I recently had the pleasure of assisting an armed services family relocate form Hawaii to Frederick Maryland. As is often the case in the military, one spouse comes before the other to "scout" the area. If you have already established a relationship with a reputable Maryland local lender, it would be helpful for you to start to plan the agenda for that first trip. While you will find a lot of information available on the internet, an experienced local agent can narrow down the search time for you. By carefully listening to your needs, wants, and interests, someone who knows the local neighborhoods can provide you with the info you need to make your best decision.

Different price ranges require different strategies as well. A skilled negotiator with a thorough knowlede of how to best approach sellers in various price ranges can assure you that the terms and price are a good value to you. With approximately 1/3 of the home owners in the Frederick market in some sort of distress, an agent that is effective in working with forclosures and short sales is also a must to provide a smooth relocation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
Hello Thadiola:

First of all congratulations on all of the happenings in your life. Sounds like you are a very busy person.

Here is my suggestions, first you should get pre-qualified from a local lender and talk to them about what payment you are comfortable with. I am a local real estate agent and have a tool that will allow you and your wife search for homes that are connected directly to our MLS system. I have been selling real estate in this area for over 11 year and am very familiar with the process. I work with a team of agents and each one of us has our own speciality. Please feel free to e-mail me at pattys@longandfoster.com or call my cell phone at (240) 876-3424. I would be very happy to assist you in your home search. By the way, our team wears Red on Fridays to support the military.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
Well congratulations on the move and first child. It certainly is a busy time. Most of the answers are dead on accurate. Talk to a loan officer as soon as you have a few minutes. The most important thing could be seeing and understanding your credit report. If you start now you have time to fix any problems there could be. VA loans are a little different also and I recommend retaining a loan officer that specializes in VA loans and also one that is local. I happen to be both. There is more to be approved for a VA loan that just your credit, income and assets. It depends on which home you select as well. If you have a few minutes take a look at my website, read my testimonials and ask me any questions you have. The link is http://www.monarchmtg.com/bmendelson/
I also may have a first time home buyer grant available for you that can give you $7,500 in closing cost and or downpayment help as well. Give me a call or an email when you have a minute.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
Aloha Thadiola, Contact a good, reputable mortgage lender who is LOCAL to the area where you want to purchase. You Realtor can advise you on some of the best. With a good lender/Realtor combination, the home buying process should be relatively stress free and FUN! And you can start your search from afar with the help of the Internet. We specialize in military relocations in the Fort Meade real estate market. If you would like a referral to a similar team in the Frederick area just visit us on-line and we'll be happy to hook you up with the best!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
You need to speak with a loan officer directly, they will answer all of these questions for you. Ideally, you will work with a loan officer that knows the Frederick area, as they will be able to offer some "local knowledge". I'm assuming that you will be working out of Ft. Detrick, which is a very nice area. (Not quite Hawaii, but nice in it's own right). If you are going to be utilizing your VA benefits, you will need your certificate of eligibility handy. You will also need to gather your 2 most recent paystubs, W-2's and asset statements. Your loan officer can get your pre-approved and help you determine how much you want to pay for a home to fit your budget. Once you have done that, you would want to start interviewing realtors to figure out who you feel comfortable working with. Simply put, get all your financials in order, contact a loan officer, get pre-approved and then start shopping. I hope this helps!
Web Reference: http://www.joshburley.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
Great advice Kirk - you should have a high quality mortgage professional review your credit for any inaccuracies and discuss what you can afford for a new monthly payment. Not what you qualify, but what you can comfortably afford... If you need help with a VA loan many of the people who will answer your blog could help... including myself. Find a lender you are comfortable with and start the process early. best of luck to you...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
You should really talk to a mortgage professional. They will be able to help you determine what you can afford. Plus if there are any outstanding items you need to clear up during the 6 months this would be the time to find out.

Kirk Craig

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 21, 2010
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