Home Buying in 92028>Question Details

Angelsparaci, Renter in San Diego, CA

My husband and I are first time buyers, I have no clue as to we're to start to get the Process of purchasing a home started. What is the 1st step??

Asked by Angelsparaci, San Diego, CA Fri Aug 31, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


First off, congratulations on deciding to buy your first home in Fallbrook.
I've lived in Fallbrook many years and have worked for Remax in Fallbrook almost 13 years.
Feel free to email or call me to discuss your needs and I'll be happy to explain the buying process in detail. If you're needing to get a loan, I can give you the names and contact info for a very good lender who has helped many of my past and current customers. When we talk we can then set an appt to get together and go look at some homes. I look forward to speaking with you soon!
Brad Manning
Remax United-Fallbrook
(760) 419-1144
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012

Here's what I would suggest you do:

1) Find a Realtor® to work with to protect you interests. You can check to make sure an Agent is a Realtor® by going here: http://www.realtor.org/rofindrealtor.nsf/pages/FS_FREALTOR?O…
Your Realtor® will be able to answer initial key questions and guide you through the process.

2) Obtain a "True Pre-Approval" (your most important step in my opinion).
Note that you may need to improve your credit score, increase cash reserves, etc. before buying; however, at least you will have a roadmap to eventually purchasing if this is the case.

3) Make sure you have access to your local Realtor® MLS data via an automated search.
MLS Data Accuracy – Where to search if you’re “without Realtor®”

4) Avoid dual-agency!

Best Regards, -Steve
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
Hi Fred, thanks for your comment.
Flag Sat Sep 1, 2012
Very Professional answer as was the one you did on dual agency!
Flag Sat Sep 1, 2012
Realizing this is a dated post, there is a lot of great information in this thread. Particularly endorse the comments by Jerry Heard and Steve Ornellas.

As a HUD certified First Time Home Buyer, I have helped many, many borrowers realize their goal of homeownership. I strongly believe that knowledge is king and the more understanding you have of the process, guidelines and procedures the more smoothly the transaction will proceed.

As far as first steps, it is almost a "Chicken and Egg" answer. I strongly believe knowing exactly where you stand on credit and qualification is the most important first step. However, working with a fantastic agent is equally crucial. I work very closely with several agents and we refer back and forth on a continual basis. In other words, if you call me first I am likely to refer a agent I have the utmost respect for and, conversely, if you call one the agents I work with, it is very likely you will be given my contact information.

There are agents/mortgage professionals who strongly believe is the "three business card" rule to avoid any resemblance that they are trying to steer financing in one direction or another. I am far more likely to give a maximum of two referrals...and this is why: There are far different skills needed by a FTHB versus a investment buyer. I know some absolutely great agents who do not have the patience and knowledge of financing process to fully partner with lending for a FTHB.

I do not need an agent to know specific guidelines, etc. of financing; however, experience builds a working knowledge of the entire real estate and lending process and that experience helps FTHB understand the process from both a real estate and financing perspective. The real key is, as a FTHB, you need a TEAM working for your benefit, to help you accomplish your goals.

If you are a First Time Home Buyer who wants knowledge, expertise and commitment to YOUR goals, let me put you in touch with a real estate professional who has your best interests in primary focus. Conversely, if you are an agent looking for a TEAM approach with your lender referrals I would love to meet you!

All my best,

NMLS #279125
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 8, 2013

I would disregard #2 of Trevor's response below as in CA we very rarely use Attorneys for purchase representation/sales. Furthermore, in CA, sharing you have an attorney "waiting in the wings" may send the wrong message to the Seller.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
Good afternoon Angelsparaci,

Here's my "Primer" for First Time Buyers based on my 23 years experience as a mortgage professional.

First steps:

1. Meet with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for.

2. Get a referral to a good, local, real estate attorney. Call the attorney, retain the attorney so you have her information handy when you make an offer. Having that information at time of offer helps you demonstrate to the Seller how serious you are, and they will consider your offer with more interest.

3. Line up a Home Inspector. A good home inspector will scare the heck out of you: that's what you pay him for! But you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the property: roof free of leaks, plumbing, heating and electrical up to code and in good working order. Again, when you make an offer and you have your Home Inspector ready to go, your offer will be considered with much more interest by a Seller because you truly have your "ducks in a row" and your preparation demonstrates your serious attitude about conducting the purchase transaction in a timely manner.

4. Find an experienced Local Realtor who works in your desired shopping area. A serious pro Realtor will refuse to show you homes until you are Prequalified for mortgage financing. Don't take offense! That Realtor doesn't want you to be disappointed and wants you to have a smooth experience as you shop for your new home.

Put together your Team of real estate professionals and shop 'til you drop!

Good luck!
Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
Hi Angel,
Find a Realtor in your area from the Trulia site, get connected and they will help you with everything you need.
The first step after you find a Realtor is to get a lender, then submit you income information - usually 2 years tax records, 2 years, W2's, 2 months pay stubs, 2 months bank statements, asset information, drivers licenses and a credit report.
Pull you free credit report on line and review it for any errors and delinquencies. Work on getting that report corrected.
Once you get a pre-approval from a lender, you will know what you can afford, then contact your Realtor and she will set-up a search and be able to notify you with any properties that match your criteria and you will be able to preview the homes.
Good Luck
Janet McCarthy
Connect Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
Prequalification.. then find a good agent...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
Being pre qualifoed is a great first step. However, another important step is to tell me your story....Finding out what your family is like, the specific needs you have, goals and dreams are all helpful in locating the perfect home. I would love to help you in any way I can. Have a wonerful day!

Heidi Dickens
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 1, 2012
what a great question!!!...I wish all buyers were as smart as you...the very first thing you need to do is get pre approved for a mortgage...you need to find out how much home you can buy,what kinds of financing programs are available to you and how much money you will need...finding the right loan officer is probably the most important step you will take,besides having the best buyers agent to assist you in finding that perfect place...I can certainly refer you to several great loan oficers that have worked successfully with many of my buyers..being an educated buyer makes the process so much easier....

I have worked exclusively with buyers only for over 26 years and I am confident that together we will find you your first home...please contact me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss all your options...I look forward to hearing back from you soon....fondly,linda rose

linda rose
exit stepping stone realty
760 274 3714
DRE # 01250853
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
#1 first step speak to a good loan officer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
In one way or another, many of the answers below suggest that you work your numbers to determine what you can comfortably afford and educate yourself about the home-buying process. I totally agree. Asking questions here definitely helps as well as reading information at other websites and in print. But, one of the best ways to accomplish both goals is to start interviewing real estate agents and mortgage brokers. By asking lots of questions you will obtain an incredible amount of information and begin to figure out which professionals make the most sense for you.

Ron Rovtar
Boulder, CO
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
You've received many responses below. Let me toss my hat into the ring. I specialize in working with first time home buyers. Guidance and education is a strong part of what I offer. Give me a call if you would like some customized assistance.

The very first step is to speak with a reputable lender - I can offer some good names - if you like. It makes little sense to go out home shopping without knowing 1) if you can get a mortgage and 2) how much you have to spend.

You want to be pre-approved by a lender. That means, you have completed an application, had the lender pull your credit, review your assets, liabilities, and income. When you have a pre-approval letter in hand, you are ready to go shopping....

Ready when you are!! :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
I could not have said it better than Jerry Heard. The steps are simple, however very important. Understanding your purchasing strengths, like credit and what you can afford, set the baseline
for a smoother transaction and a happier ending.
I am in the Fallbrook/Temecula area and have satisfied clients that have enjoyed the journey
of purchasing a home thru my efforts.

Should you have any questions or would like to discuss your Real Estate needs further, please give me a call. I would enjoy speaking with you.


Fred Buffo

Fred Buffo
Sunshine Properties Real Estate
330 North Main Ave.
Fallbrook, CA 92028
Office: (760) 728-8855
Fax: (760) 451-0183
Email: fredb@sunshineprops.net
Mobile: (925) 550-0900
Website: http://fbuffo.sunshineproperties.com
DRE License #01502850
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
There are several steps that are important when considering purchasing a home.
First you need to determine why you want to buy a home at this time. Are you going to be in the area for several years? This market is a great opportunity for people who want to buy and plan to stay in the home for 5 or more years. Interest rates are the lowest that I have seen in the last 40 years and prices are at or close to the bottom of the cycle.
Secondly you need to get preapproved by a reputable lender. This is critical. You need to find out which loan program would work best for you and what price range you should be in.
Third you need to talk to an experience Realtor, like me, who will help you understand the home buying process. You do not need a hard sell Realtor who does not have your best interests in mind. Years ago I worked for the San Diego Housing Commission and developed some programs for first time home-buyers.
If you contact me I can put you in touch with a great lender who will help you determine the best program for you. Once that is done you and I can look at some homes and find one that works for you.

If you have questions please contact me and we can discuss your options in detail.

Best wishes,

Local Help with Your Real Estate Needs

Jerry Heard
Your Broker
The San Diego Property Shop
Direct 619-920-9796
Office 619-269-5545
Fax 619-269-9168
CA DRE # 00648687
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
You can get free and very helpful information from HUD (Housing & Urban Development) here...


and a superb Buyers Guide& Borrowers Guide for free from my company, Chicago Title here...



and a short video on questions to ask your Realtor...


Good Luck and let me know if I can help in any other way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
Your first step is to go get approved by a lender for a Home loan.
Your second step is to look at properties online.
Your third step is to see properties with a broker.

I wish you the best in getting your home.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes
(951) 821-8211
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
First things first..."Can I afford this?" is generally the first thought that comes to a first time homeowners mind. I always recommend as a first step for the prospective Homeowner to contact a lender (I have a few if you need to speak with one) so that they may get an approval letter. Once you go through this process with the lender you are ready to go shopping!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
Hi Angel,
We are Hosting a home Buying Event FREE to attend for home buyers.
Saturday Sept. 15th 10:00AM at our Mission Valley Mortgage Center
2375 Northside Drive Suite # 125, San Diego, CA 92108 raffle and refreshments.
to RSVP call 1866-347-6143

This would be a great 1st step to start
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
I like to sit down with first time Homeowners and explain the whole process and set them up with a good lender to get an approval letter. I also like the process of build relationship and trust. Then we set up an appointment to go out and look at properties.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
Having a Realtor in your corner from the get-go can help you.
Next would be getting Pre-Approved.
Then you can go searching for the right house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
Hi Angels,
I always advise my clients that their first step is to contact a mortgage broker/lender, so that they can get a handle on how much they qualify for and what they feel comfortable paying in a monthly mortgage. Once they get their pre-approval, then we work together to find them the perfect home. I can refer you to a really great loan officer to get the ball rolling, just message me directly and I will send you her info.

Sinead McAllister
McAllister Homes Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
First step. Get prequalified for a home loan with a reputable lender. Once you've done that, find a reputable REALTOR in the area you want to purchase. They will be able to coach you from there. (:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
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