Home Buying in 30009>Question Details

Renae Whitely, Renter in Atlanta, GA

I want to purchase a home in the next 6-9 months. I have the income, but outside of that I just have no clue where to begin the process. Any ideas?

Asked by Renae Whitely, Atlanta, GA Mon Mar 24, 2014

Is there an average credit score I should shoot for?
Are there certain groups that work better with first time home buyers?

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You could either start with a lender or start with a real estate agent. If you start with a real estate agent they should be able to explain the whole home buying process to you and also help you find a lender.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 24, 2014
Hi Renae,

My response is a bit late, but I too wanted to answer some of the questions from your inquiry.

Opinions vary with regard to the starting point. Lenders often suggest that the first step in the process is having them pull your credit. Mine (a real estate agent - surprise, surprise) is that the first stop should be with a local real estate agent who will listen to you, understand your wants and needs and then provide a list of the right lenders, inspectors, and other resources with whom they've worked who help you manage uncertainty, manage expectations and get you safely to the closing table.

Need a potentially forgivable loan (interest and monthly payment-free, of course) for the down payment and closing costs? We know who participates in the right down payment assistance programs (http://www.AtlantaDownpaymentAssistance.com) and how those programs work.

Another good starting point would be a review of your credit report. Pull your own reports from the big three bureaus so that you can avoid the hard inquiry caused by a lender pull and ensure that everything is being reported accurately. You'll want to make the best presentation to the lender and six-to-nine months is plenty of time to confirm accuracy or make any needed adjustments.

Yet another good starting point would be a local home buying class. There are several HUD-certified home buying classes in the area, but you'll need to know the ones that are recognized by the home buying programs who offer those down payment assistance options. Again, that is where a good agent can be of assistance.

There's an infographic at the link below that provides a pathway to home ownership.

I'd welcome the opportunity to speak with you. When time permits, will you please call me at (678) 775-2677? You can also like Metro Atlanta Down Payment Assistance on Facebook to keep up with the frequent changes in local home buying programs and search for homes listed in the two MLS systems at http://www.TheAtlantaHomePages.com.

Either way, all my best for a successful home search.

Regards
Solomon Greene
Georgia Real Estate Brokers Associate
REALTORĀ®, Certified Affordable Housing Counselor
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
(678) 775-2677
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
Thank you everyone for your answers. This has been extremely helpful.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 26, 2014
Hi Renae,

There are some programs available in the Atlanta area. The FHLB grant gives $5000 to put with your $1000 for a down payment. There are others that offer grant funds to teachers/police officers/firemen.

I have worked with many first time home buyers in the Atlanta area. I strive to educate buyers and empower them to make necessary decisions along the way.

If I can help with getting started, please let me know.

Kirsten Wellborn
Garrett Realty
404-867-5662
kirstenwellborn@yahoo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 24, 2014
Start with finding yourself a real estate agent to guide you through the entire home buying process. Most agents will tell you that the first and most important step would be to get prequalified with a mortgage lender. The prequalification process should answer your question regarding the credit score as they will check your credit to prequalify you. Best of luck!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 24, 2014
Renae - Various lenders will have minimum credit score requirements and will be able to run your credit report for you. I would suggest speaking with a few different lenders - all of which will look at your income, credit, ability to repay the loan, assets, current rental history, and other various factors that will help determine what you would be able to qualify for. Keep in mind that what the numbers say and what you're comfortable paying can sometimes be two separate things! Stay true to what you're comfortable with and work with someone who you feel you can truly trust. Feel free to talk to a few different loan officers/lenders. It is very typical for buyers to "shop" lenders for rate and for that "comfort" level that will be vital to your approval process.
Good luck and happy house hunting! It's an exciting process!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 24, 2014
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