Now before you get started looking at homes, it would be best to determine what you qualify for, what you could expect to pay in closing cost and determine what is your monthly mortgage payment. Some people actually qualify for a larger monthly payment than they are willing to pay. The loan officer will explain the loan options that you have based on your credit and income to help you structure your loan, which may included asking a seller to contribute towards your closing cost. Or you may find that you are not ready because of credit issues or that you may need to save more for your down payment, or that you need to pay some credit cards off to allow you to afford what you really want. Once you have determined this you and have been pre approved can than find a realtor and give him/her your parameters for of the the home you would like.
Or if you start with a realtor first then he/she will ask you what type of home or where you would like to live, they will than tell you what areas of town fit your need. Now you can than go see a lender to see if you qualify for the area you are interested in.
Ask your friends/family or those that bought a home recently for realtor and lender recommendation. Also asked what they liked and disliked about the process. Hope this helps
Most import is to start the process.
I agree with Bill and Don, both are important! A good real estate agent should definitely be able to point you in the direction of programs, financing, etc. that could meet your needs. In addition to the tax credit, there are plenty of grants through banks and community organization in the Rochester area. That said, knowledge is power, and it can never hurt to educate yourself about what's out there.
If you're interested, I'm actually holding a couple of first-time home buyer seminars later in February. Together with a local lender and home inspector, I'll be discussing the ins and outs of buying a home and how to take advantage of the federal tax credit. If you're interested in attending, feel free to give me a call on my cell phone at (585) 455-5524. I'd love to give you more details and sign you up!
Have a great day, and good luck with your home search!
The answer to your question is YES and YES!
Yes, you should be collecting as much information as possible to become an informed buyer. The first step is knowing youself by understanding your financial situation and what your perfect home will look like. Of additional assistance is understanding the maximum amount you can affort to pay for your home. This can be supported by interviewing lenders to find out what programs are available and which ones would be best for your personal situation.
Yes, your agent will be able to support you through the search, contract and closing portions of the purchasing process providing you with valuable information and simplifying the process when possible.
There is a lot to buying a home. For this reason there are a number of specialists that can help you along the way: financing, real estate professional, property inspection, title, survey, and closing. Your agent will be able to help direct you through this process.
The Eckler Team
Learn as much as you can. While you're not likely to become an expert, all knowledge is good. And the more you have, the better. It also allows you to ask better questions of your agent: "Well, this program will cover that; what do you think?"
Meanwhile, rely on your agent for all the knowledge and experience he or she has. Don't assume that a few weeks or a few months of research will put you on a part with someone who may have 5-15 years or more of experience.
Respect your agent for what he or she brings to the table. But learn as much as you can, and feel free to ask questions, make suggestions, and challenge assumptions.
And don't just limit your research to programs that can help you--first-time buyer programs, that sort of thing. Learn as much as you can about the entire process. That'll benefit you and--really--many/most agents will appreciate the fact that you're an active, involved participant.
Hope that helps.