Give me a call and I would be happy to help you. I work with lots of first time home buyers and am in Bucks County Pa. I'd be happy to explain the process to you.
Before you go dealing with so called experts from all over the country, do a little research and you will find that there are plenty of qualified individuals in your own back yard.
Cornerstone Lending Inc
Southampton Pa 18966
215 953 0800
cell 267 992 7276
VOTED BEST IN BUCKS 2010 & 2012
NMLS ID 143960
My name is Carmelle and I'm an ageny with Century 21 Absolute Realty. That is awesome that you have been working hard on rebuilding your credit and saving on top of that! Now I would like you to give me a call so that I can put you in touch with our in house mortgage broker who is fantastic and can look to see exactly where you stand and determine if you will be pre-approved for a mortgage. If you are approved, we can start house shopping (woohoo). If for some reason you are not approved, don't beat yourself up. We will be able to make a specific and detailed plan for you so that you may rebuild your credit and give you so e sort of timeline as to when you can expect to be approved if you follow the plan. Call me at 215-900-6656 so we can immediately get you started on your path to homeownership.
Century 21 Absolute Realty
512 Baltimore Pike
Springfield, PA 19064
You said you have your scores, but didn't say what your scores are, so it's a bit hard to say "yes, you can get a mortgage now" or not without the relevant information.
That said, here's what I can say.
1. Your score is one piece of the puzzle - albeit, a very important piece. If your score is below 600, chances are that you will find it harder to get a mortgage. There may be a FEW direct-lenders who may be willing to work with you, especially since you have funds for a downpayment.
2. You mention you have $35k - $40k for a downpayment. Depending on the purchase price of the houses you are planning to look at and then eventually plan to buy, that might be a hefty downpayment or a drop in the bucket. So it would be helpful to know what you are targeting for a housing price range. Generally, you are better off if you are able to have 20% of the purchase price as the downpayment, because then you don't get stuck paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). So if you are targeting houses in the $125k to $150k range, you've got a nice downpayment. However, there aren't a lot of homes available in that price range in the Haverford township school district - there are some - all condos, townhouses/rows and a couple of twins. I did see ONE single house offered $154,999 - which I would expect that if you like that one, you could negotiate that to under the $150k range. Otherwise, you'll need to be willing to accept PMI as part of your monthly housing cost.
3. Don't think that all of the money you've saved will be used for the downpayment - there are fees and costs involved besides the downpayment that you have to have funds for. Home inspection - figure between $500 to $700 for that. Appraisal fee (often in the $300 range). Title insurance, which depends on the price of the house, so I'm not able to estimate that. Mortgage application fee, various fees associated with mortgages, mortgage points (many buyers pay 3 points to get the lowest rate possible; each point is equal to 1% of the mortgage amount); transfer tax (typically 1% each for the buyer and the seller) - so you'd be wise to figure that whatever house you are looking at, set aside 6% of the house's price for a variety of fees. If you don't have a truck or friends with a truck and will need to hire someone to move you, then consider bumping that percentage up to 8% or even 10%. So if you are looking at a house of $150k, figure that at least 6% of your funds will be used for costs other than the downpaymetnt - that's $9k, gone. So if you have $40k set aside in total, figure you have $31k for a downpayment. 20% of a $150k house is $30k - that's just enough to avoid PMI. You can look at more expensive homes, if you are willing to be paying PMI.
4. Income is another (obvious) factor. Lenders use income & debt guidelines to determine if you are a good risk. Some lenders will let you allocate around 33% of your income towards housing expenses - if you don't have other debts or monthly obligations. Just depends.
If you feel your score, income, debts and employment is stable, talk to your current bank, also check out a couple of credit unions. Don't look just at the actual rate offered; look at fees too. It does you no good if someone offers you a 1/4 percent rate better but wants a 10k fee for it.
Keller Williams Real Estate