Home Buying in 04103>Question Details

Achomie, Home Buyer in 04103

Is it time for me to buy a house?

Asked by Achomie, 04103 Mon Apr 11, 2011

Im a 27 yo professional and i have reached the time in my life where I feel I might be ready to buy a home. Im a little gun shy and Im not sure if i would even qualify.....here are some stats:
I have been at my job for a little over five years
I make $49000/yr
Last 4 years of rent is perfect
Credit scores are in the low 600s (630) with some minor collections that I will be paying off tomorrow.....
All my credit card and loan payments (car and student loans) are on time...

I would like to purchase a house for 100,000 or less.
and would have $7000 to put down....

I really feel that I am ready to own a home and financially stable...but not sure if my credit will allow it...

Help the community by answering this question:


Achomie -
Congratulations on living within your means and having the forethought to save for your future.
I see that you have gotten quite a bit of advice already . . . most of it is good: contacting a lender with access to first-time home buyer products is key: Maine State Housing (MSHA) and Rural Development (RD) loans may work for you. RD has geographic limitations. FHA is another good option.
Something I don't see previously mentioned is that these loan products require the home that you finance to be in relatively good condition (major systems must be sound, no cracking/peeling paint, roof OK, etc.). Much of what you find in the $100,000 and below range may not meet these condition requirements. Be sure to talk to your lender about what kind of properties may qualify for which loan products.
PS: Your REALTOR should know this stuff, too - - no point in looking at houses that you can't finance!
You sound ready, and it doesn't just happen overnight - - get with the lender, then start looking at houses - - you will ease right into home ownership and a good REALTOR, keeping you informed, will help you feel confident in your journey.

Please do not try to take photos at open houses.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
I would recommend that you first speak with a lender. They can tell you if your credit score will get you a rate that you are comfortable with. They can also suggest things for you to do to help improve your credit. Good luck with your house shopping!
Web Reference: http://jenniferratcliff.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
The best 3 hours you will ever spend in your real estate life is going to Sunday open houses in the area of town you want to live in. Bring a note book and a camera, ask lots of questions, take lots of pictures, and try to find an agent who sounds like they will work with your" first time buyer situatio".
I do not give away any credit info to anybody until I find the agent who will then recommend the lender they have had experience with.

David Cooper. Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned Houses with huge Cash Flow. Call for FReee
list. +1-7024997037 not a real estate agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
Yes it's time to make the next step. Did you find a house you like?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 21, 2011
You need to do a little homework before you sit down with any lender. Besides Sunday open houses which you can do on your own, After 35 years doing real estate, I start my research on the internet, drive the areas that might interest me, and then get a real estate agent involved.
I would get a few books on real estate and see what the professionals investors do in finding "good deals" I

David Cooper. Las vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned REOs with Cash Flow. FReee List +1-7024997037. not a real estate agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hi Achomie,

You certainly sound like you are prepared for your first home purchase. I couldn't agree more with my colleagues; you definitely need to sit down with an accredited lender and determine where to go from here. Getting pre-approved converts you into a 'cash' buyer, strengthening both your leverage and confidence upon purchasing. And, sellers are more receptive to negotiating with a pre-approved buyer. I'd stick with local banks and lenders. Contact me if you'd like a referral or if you need some help. Good luck!

-Dina Skrabalak
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
The best thing to do for now is to consult a lender who is an expert of course in this field and obtain an advice regarding your credit score.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hi Achomie! I would recommend before paying off the collection accounts contact a lender to review your credit situation. Paying off collections can actually have a negative effect on credit scores. Feel free to contact me with any questions!

John Rose
Loan Officer/Partner
Acadia Lending Group
190 Riverside Street Unit 4B
Portland, ME 04103
Mobile: 207-232-7800
Ph: 207-899-4500 x10
NMLS 370636
Web Reference: http://acadialending.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hi! Yes now is a great time to be buying-- but before you do anything ( especially pay off your collections). DO NOTHING UNTIL YOU'VE SPOKEN TO A LENDER!! in some cases paying on an old collections can actually hurt your credit score-- any reputable lender in Portland will go over your credit score in detail-
In Maine make sure you have an exclusive buyers agent working for you-- I own my own agency (Maine Realty) located in Portland and focus mainly on helping first time buyers-- YOU CAN ACTUALLY GET PAID UP TO $10,000 to purchase a property in Maine-- see my site for more in
http://www.sellwithpaul.com. 207-671-6604 let's grab a coffee one day this week and discuss---
Paul Diou
Broker & Owner
Maine Realty
Portland Maine 04101
Web Reference: http://www.sellwithpaul.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
I think the biggest question you have is can i buy a house? I think the first thing you should do is start lining up people who are willing to talk to you with out pressure. This process can be stressful at times and lining up a team of professionals from lenders to realtors should be your first step. There are many programs out there that you should be able to qualify for and then see what you can afford.
Once that is done I would look for a realtor and lender team that you like, ask some questions and see who responds to you. Are they plesant or does it sound like you are bothering them. You are in a sense going to be interviewing a realtor, find out how many bueyrs they have closed deals for. You want a combination of someone you can trust with someone who can get the job done. Make sure they work in the area you want to live in often and then set up a meeting with them.
Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
Hi Achomie. If your credit score is 630 or so, most likely you will qualify for some kind of loan - but you need to go to a lender to know for sure. As Dan said below, don't pay off your old collections before you speak to a loan officer, because it can impact your score. You are at the threshold right now so you don't want to do something that will cause your score to drop.

Prequalifying for a mortgage is quick and easy and no cost. I have a lender who will give you an approval over the phone. that being said, you need to be honest because the truth will come out when you actually go to get the loan for the property you find!

The other thing to consider is whether or not you really want to take on the job of home ownership. You probably are qualified to buy, but whether or not it is the time for you to buy depends on more than your credit score. Home ownership is work. You will be responsible for fixing the leaky faucet, or repairing the roof or cleaning the gutters. How do you feel about that? And in terms of the price, you may not find much that you like under 100,000. A lot of homes in that price point need work. How do you feel about doing work on a home? Are you handy? or would you need to hire someone. A good agent can walk you through some of these choices.

I would recommend checking out Maine State Housing's program for first time home buyers. They have classes and also offer help with closing costs if you qualify. I am not sure where you are looking to buy, but if I can be of assistance, please let me know.
good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
Now is a great time to buy! The inventory is great which means you will have plenty of selection and can likely find your perfect home. Prices are down and mortgage rates are very low making housing very affordable. As far as credit goes, there are ways to optimize your score and programs available for lower credit scores. Fell free to visit http://www.daledoughty.com to try some of my free mortgage calculators and other tools. Good Luck!!
Web Reference: http://www.DaleDoughty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
Hi Achomie,

I would be delighted to sit down with you and help you figure this out. I am an Accredited Buyer Representative and work with many first-time homebuyers. I will walk you through the process one step at a time. I am very good at educating my clients on the process and what to expect.

Let me know when you are available to get together. You can reach me at: CJ Dubois-Cote, Prudential Prime Properties, 207-615-1663 or cindy@prubay.com. I work in York and Cumberland Counties.

There has never been a better time to buy a home. Inventory is plentiful, rates are low and prices have come down considerably in the past few years. We may never see this again in our lifetime!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
Yes, you are in a position to purchase and should decide where you want to live. If you choose Portland, Maine or anywhere within 50 miles of Portland you should give us a call. 207 712 4796 or visit our website to get to know us a little better http://www.MEhomes.com
Web Reference: http://www.MEhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
There is a whole lot to that question and I would be happy to recommend you to a lender who could look over all you have here and ask any other questions to truly determine if NOW is the time for you. It is a great time to buy right now as the balance between lower interest rates and low home prices has never been better. Contact me and I can send you the name of someone who would be happy to sit with you with no obligations.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
Achomie: Speak to a lender and make sure you are comfortable with your loan payment will be based on what you are qualified for and what prices are for homes in your area.

The payment includes principal, interest, property taxes, home owners Insurance, HOA fees, if applicable. Knowing all of these terms and what they mean and feeling with the entire cost of your payment is a basic but necessary step. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
You sound ready; based on your last line, "I really feel that I am ready..." and you know yourself better than I do, so I'll assume you're ready.
As for qualifying, you are very close if not there already. Before you pay off the collections, wait! Believe it or not, paying off old collections can lower your score and reduce your odds of getting approved and for a good rate.
I you were in my market we'd start by looking at your credit report and seeing if we could improve your scores by paying down some of your debt. You'll need 3.5% down for an FHA loan. If your purchase price is $100k or less, than you'll have some money for debt reduction and or reserves (savings after your down payment).
Start by meeting with a local lender. Ask if they do any credit repair and then see if you can get preapproved.
Good luck in your home shopping.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
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