Nyssa Cox, Home Buyer in Pottstown, PA

First time home buyer, where do I start?

Asked by Nyssa Cox, Pottstown, PA Sat Feb 4, 2012

My husband and I are currently renting and our lease will be up in October. We want to start our quest for buying our first home. We lost our nest egg due to an emergency and will only have money that we can save between now and then including our tax return. All 3 of my credit scores are in the 550-600 range, and I am not sure what my husband is but it is no higher then mine, if not less. We have no idea where to start, who to meet with or what to do. We have looked into the USDA home loan and the FHA loan as we currently have no money for a down payment, but know that we will have some in the months leading up to our lease ending. So my question is where do we start? Do we go to a bank first? A mortgage company? A real estate agent? Is this even possible? I am looking for a little guidance, and hopefully someone who is kind and considerate and willing to help two late 20 somethings reach their dream of home ownership. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.

Help the community by answering this question:


Home Buyer Checklist

• Get a copy of your credit report and correct any errors
• Reduce your consumer debt - pay down credit card balances.
o Pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first.
• Determine how much you can afford to pay for a home. Decide how much you are willing to spend for a home.
• Can you afford the down payment (FHA 3.5%, conventional 5-20%)? Don’t forget closing costs, moving costs, and having a small cash reserve for emergencies.
• Get familiar with basic mortgage terms
• Shop around local and national banks for best rates and programs.
• Get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan
• Research neighborhoods that you want to a house (drive & online)
o Location, schools, crime, etc.
• Interview real estate agents who specialize in the neighborhoods where you want to buy a house
• Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan
• Visit homes and make notes/pictures
• Once you find a house you like, have your real estate agent determine the price you should offer. Look at comparable houses the sold in the last 6 months.
o Compare square footage, lot size, bedrooms, baths, garage, basement, condition of the home, etc.
o If your house is dated you should offer less than a newer renovated home.
• Have real estate agent write the offer
• Complete all mortgage loan application requirements
• Hire a home inspector to examine the house & be there for the inspection. You will learn a lot about the house.
• Get agreement on repairs to be made by the Seller
• Inspect repairs and handle other details prior to closing day (settlement).
• Hand over a certified check for the down payment and pick up the deed for your home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 7, 2012
Hi, Nyssa,

There are options for you, especially since you have 6 months. Keep working on the credit score - the closer to 640, the better. Don't start any new consumer debt and keep paying down anything that you have that is existing. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency gives mortgages and is not credit driven. Everything is on a case, by case basis. You can also apply for a $4000 second mortgage to help with down payment and closing costs.

I have worked for years with first time buyers, and would be glad to help you if you like. Many of my clients thought they would never own a home, but I helped them make it happen. I understand the financing options and work with lenders who can do the State money, FHA, and much more. I am also knowledgeable about the county programs but they are based on income and assets. Why not go to http://www.yourtopagent.info/163360/mega/1st-time-buyer/ and you will get plenty of other free information.

Let me now if I can help you - I am up for the challenge! Good Luck.

Carol Cei
ReMax Platinum Club
Five Star Professional
ReMax Action Realty
Web Reference: http://www.carolcei.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 4, 2012
I have worked with many first time homebuyers and, to be honest, I consider that to be a special market. Your first step would be to choose a realtor who will take the time to sit down and spend time answering your questions. I personally, like to provide my FTHB' with as much information as possible so that their first home purchase goes smoothly from start to finish. I will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. The best part is, we can have fun while fulfilling your dream. I look forward to your call or email if you would be interested in working with me.

Linda Neiman
Keller Willams Realty Grop
cell: 610-310-5904
email: lneiman@kw.com
website: buywithlinda.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 4, 2012
What an exciting time you have ahead of you. I work with a lot of first time homebuyers, and I love the excitement they display when they start the journey of home ownership. The very first thing you need to do is get in touch with a good lender who has been in the business for at least a few years. That is invaluable. There are some great programs out there for you guys, and a good lender and a good realtor will be able to guide you through the process and let you know what is out there to help you get into your first home. Interview a few to make sure you find a realtor that is compatable to you and your needs as buyers.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 6, 2012
Hello Nyssa,

You have a couple of problems that need to be resolved between then and now.
Firstky your credit score is sufficient to buy a home, but not sufficient to buy a home with no money down. There are three zero down programs for you. USDA, PHFA and conventional or FHA with first time home duyer assistance from Montgomery County. Alll of these have certain downsides to them which I can explain later. The problem is that your credit score is below where it needs to be. First you need to get that fixed. I have people that I work with buit often I can make some recommendations. Give me a call and I'll see if I can get you on the right track.

Alan Openshaw
Cornerstone Lending Inc
Southampton Pa 18966
215 953 0800
cell 267 992 7276
NMLS ID 143960
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 5, 2012
Congrats on deciding to become a home owner! There is no greater pleasure than owning your own home. The best advice I can give you is find a GREAT agent to team up with. If you need a good recommendation- let me know! They will then give you suggestions on lenders in your area and start the preapproval process so you know what you qualify for. Best wishes on your new home!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 4, 2012
Good Evening Nyssa,

Congratulations on starting the process of home ownership! I know you will have lots of questions. Therefore I would tell you to first align yourself with a buyer's agent. This agent should be patient in answering your questions and guide you through the process.

USDA is a great opportunity as it requires no money down and you can receive up to a 6% Seller's Assist which would cover most of your closing costs. You could have very little investment into the property. USDA also requires no PMI which lowers your monthly payment.

Start by making a list. What type of home are you interested in purchasing? A single home, twin, townhome? How many bedrooms and bathrooms would you like? Which areas are you interested in moving to? You can then provide this list to the Buyer's Agent you choose and they can assist you in narrowing down properties that fit your description.

The buyer's agent can also guide you to a few lenders who can help you with financing. This will be a good step for you as you will be able to establish how much of a mortgage you qualify for. Rates are very low right now and the home prices are stable.

Since the least does not end until October you could choose an August Settlement on your property which in turn would make your first mortgage payment due on October 1st. This is something to keep in mind.

If you know what you would like your monthly payment to be then a Realtor can certainly find homes that will help you achieve that goal. If you find from the mortgage lender that your credit scores are not high enough you have plenty of time to follow their advice and raise that score before you lease is over.

I'm sure you have many questions regarding purchasing your first home! Please feel free to ask any of them and I will be happy to assist you. I am reachable through the information in my profile.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 4, 2012
I have to tell you that I am surprised you haven't gotten a response yet. I would love to discuss this with you over the phone. The first hung we need to work on is boosting your credit scores. USDA 100% loans are available but only in certain areas. Send me an email to leestiber@kw.com and together we can come up with a gameplan to get you on the right path
Web Reference: http://Www.leestiber.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 4, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer