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.
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.
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.
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!
Alain Pinel Realtors
I hope that helps!
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.
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.
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.
Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
Jamie Comer Realtor, McGuire Real Estate
Justin Owens Loan Officer, Chase Bank
555 Mission Street San Francisco, CA
February 16th, 2012 @ 6:30pm
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
â— Preparing for homeownership
â— Strategies for shopping and uncovering the best deal
â— Overview of current market conditions
â— Affordable mortgage programs
â— Review of contracts / the home buying process
â— Questions and answers with mortgage specialists
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
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.
Better Homes & Gardens/Mason-McDuffie Real Estate
2200 Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
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.
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.
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!
If you like, I would be happy to meet with you when you are ready.
Zephyr Real Estate
DRE NO. 01188380