Home Buying in 94134>Question Details

Shelbysnake, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

I am interested in buying a home in 6 months. Where do I start? How long is the provess? I like some @ 400K. My rent is 2200 now.

Asked by Shelbysnake, San Francisco, CA Thu Sep 16, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


Great question.
Lisa has some great clear cut questions that should help you start the process. I would recommend speaking with a loan officer or shopping around for loans then finding a Realtor to start with.
The length of time is really going to depend on things like, how long will it take to save up a down payment? Have you found the right house for you and run the comps. ? Depending on what condition the home is in and what sort of loan you are looking at it can take typically 45 days to a few months to complete the process once an offer is accepted. Your real estate agent can help you navigate from start to finish.
Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 4, 2010
Dear Shelby,
You can start by talking to your bank about a home loan, so that you will have an idea of what you will be qualified to buy. I would then begin speaking with Realtors who work in the neighborhood you want to purchase in. Realtors can be very helpful to you and will also direct you to areas you can afford.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 4, 2010

I am a mortgage lender here in the Bay Area and would be happy to assist if you'd like to look at a loan pre-approval. My contact information follows.

Thank you,

Rob Spinosa
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010

Talking with a lender will be the most important first step. By going through the pre-approval process first you will determine:

1. Is there anything wierd on your credit report that needs to be addressed?
2. What is the loan amount a lender is willing to lend on?
3. What monthly payments are you really comforable with?
4. Do you qualify at a first time home buyer?
5. How much money do you need for a down payment and for closing costs?

There is a lot to the financial picture before you even begin the search for a home. Having a clear picture of the financials is really crucial in my opinion. Once you have talked with a lender and have been pre-approved you know what your budget is . Knowing your budget will help you keep your home search on track so you are looking at homes that are in your price range where you are comfortable.

Once you have determined your price range you will want to research neighborhoods and areas that meet the price range requirements. Keep in mind you may find a home in an area that you did not even know about before. Working with a realtor can help you with this process. Talking to friends, co-workers and family is also a good way to learn about different areas that might work for you.

I hope that helps!

Lisa Cartolao
Alain Pinel Realtors

I hope that helps!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
Determine how much you can afford.
Decide how much you want to spend.
Write down all the things you must have in the home you buy.
Make a list of the areas you want to live in.
Interview several Realtors in those areas.
Work with the Realtor you feel will help you most.
Start looking.
Web Reference: http://www.golftobeach.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
Congrats on deciding to purchase a home. As the others have said, get pre-approved for a loan and find a knowledgeable agent who knows the area where you are looking.

If you don't know where to find either, Trulia is a good way to start. Or, you might ask a trusted friend, relative or co-worker. If you need a referral to both, feel free to ask.

Good luck,

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010

If you are planning to buy in 6 months you should start looking now. First two steps which you can do simultaneously:

* Speak with a lender to know how much you can qualify for - in many cases buyers overestimate what they can afford so it's an important piece of information to have starting out, and:
* Find a reputable, experienced Real Estate Broker to sit down with you and help you frame your search based upon your ultimate goals in buying.

It's important to get started now because you need time to look at enough places to get a feel for the market and help you hone in on what you do/don't like.

Call/email me for info on getting started and quality lender referrals.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
Please have a look at this page on my website:
Rr simply contact me directly. I'm here to help!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 23, 2012
If you would like to hear how I got my buyer the lowest price 3 bedroom in pacific heights that has sold in the last two year, I invite you to come to my first time homebuyers seminar. I am co-hosting with a lender and here are the details:

Jamie Comer Realtor, McGuire Real Estate
Justin Owens Loan Officer, Chase Bank

555 Mission Street San Francisco, CA

February 16th, 2012 @ 6:30pm

Topics include:

Examining Renting vs. Owning
Overview of current market conditions
Review of the home buying process
Strategies for shopping and uncovering the best deal
Preparing for home ownership
Affordable mortgage programs
Questions and answers with mortgage specialists
Seating is limited, so be sure to reserve your space now.
Call to Jamie to RSVP at 415.420.2510 by February 15th, 2012
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 13, 2012
I am hosting a free seminar for first-time home buyers in San Francisco on February 16th at 6:30pm. Bring your questions and I'll have answers! Details: http://ow.ly/90jZe

Topics include:
● Preparing for homeownership
● Strategies for shopping and uncovering the best deal
● Overview of current market conditions
● Affordable mortgage programs
● Review of contracts / the home buying process
● Questions and answers with mortgage specialists


0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
Hello: you should start now to search for a home because you want to shop for a home that you like, that's convenient for your lifestyle & schedule and that is affordable. You want to get a chance to see the houses within your price range and see how you feel before you buy.

By the way, It's a good idea to keep your house and live in it for two years because you will then qualify for a tax exemption of profit if the house went up in value in the future - $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for a married couple.

The other answers are correct - get pre-qualified for a loan so you know what you can afford comfortably - principal, interest, tax, insurance. Then you will be prepared to make an offer once
you find the home you like when it comes into the market.

My company have our own loan specialist that can sit now with you and help you pre-qualify for a loan. Give me a call for an appointment. San Francisco is my home town and 94134 is my neighborhood. My team at Land & Property can help you through each step of the home buying process. Call or e-mail me if you have a question.

Helen Yuen, Realtor Associate, Land & Property Investments, Inc (415) 469-0577 Sunset District Office with free parking
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012

Getting pre-approved is essential as good properties at good prices are moving quickly; some with multiple offers. It's essential that you have your "ducks in a row" before you begin searching. A good real estate agent should have the lender resources to get you pre-approved - in addition to sitting down with you and discussing what it is your looking for and whether or not it matches your wants/needs.

Feel free to contact me to discuss further.



Toby Jackson
Better Homes & Gardens/Mason-McDuffie Real Estate
2200 Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
Mobile: 415-627-8200
Office: 415-921-0113
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012
Hello Shelby,

I suggest you start shopping for a loan soon as possible. Once you have the loan approval, any of us Realtors can assist you in finding a home. If you like, I can send you a list of homes available in your area at your price range right now so you'll be prepared when you loan is approved.

Kamal Randhawa
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 19, 2010
What is it about starting in six months is important to you?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
You ought to consider doing a little fact finding now because if you're serious about buying, many properties on the market now are either short sales (oxymoron) which could take as long as six months to close escrow! What should you prepare? Well, for starters, if you have not met with a lender or mortgage broker, you ought to do that. If you do not know of one, then you ought to talk with an experienced Realtor who has a resource of lenders who they've worked with and who can do the job. Initially this is for fact finding, so you're not obligated to continue with the process if it doesn't feel right or suit you. But, keep in mind that lenders all use similar if not the same guidelines, so one's version of your qualification will be pretty much the same with the other. After establishing what you're eligible for, you'll need to have a ready resource such as http://www.trulia.com for finding and looking at the houses in the price range you've determined you qualify for. You may then want to do some driving of the areas you've pinpointed to determine if that suits your needs, and then, you may want to commit to an agent who can get you into the house and help you buy within your means. Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
Interesting handle!

All you need do now is build your team. You will need a Realtor and a lender. Work on an understanding of the market with your Realtor looking at properties and track how they sell. Start to become familiar with the documents you will use to but your home. Prior review of the documents like the offer contract and typical disclosures will allow you to read the ones concerning your purchase with an eduacted eye and will really make the process smoother.

The process will take as long as it takes you to decide on a home you want that you can get a lender to lend to you on. Some people that can take years, others it's right away. Once you decide you want a house that you can afford it takes a few hours to prepare the initial offer, a few days to get all the terms and conditions of the offer accepted by both parties, then it takes 30 to 45 days to go through the escrow process. During escrwo you do your due diligence to make sure the property is what you think it is and the money and title are swapped.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
Jed Lane, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
You should first speak with a mortgage broker, a direct lender, or even your own bank. You need to determine how much of a loan you can afford with what amount of down payment. If you are looking at condos or town homes, you may have to put more than 20% down. You may be able to do FHA financing which is only 3.5% down, but there are certain issues with that type of financing. These are just a couple of things to go over regarding financing. Hook up with someone who will guide you through this part, talk to friends or interview some brokers.

You also should retain a Realtor to assist with your search. There are many reasons, far too many to go in to at this time. Ask friends if they have a good referral for you. You can interview a few agents to see who matches best with you, there are many good agents who respond on this site. I would be happy to speak with you as well, just let me know. Good luck with your journey to home ownership!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
Your best route is to meet with a real estate agent to discuss what you want and where you want it. The real estate agent will help you with a referral to a mortgage broker. Your agent is your advocate throughout the process and will help you prioritize and get you the best home that you can afford.

If you like, I would be happy to meet with you when you are ready.

Best Regards

Eric Castongia
Zephyr Real Estate
DRE NO. 01188380
Web Reference: http://www.sfhotbuy.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
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