William, Other/Just Looking in Gallatin, TN

What Should Be My First Step?

Asked by William, Gallatin, TN Sun May 27, 2012

Hi! I have never owned a home before, but I'm looking around online at houses. I was wondering what first step should I do? Should I go out first and simply see what lenders will approve me for or should I go out and get an agent involved first? Any little advice would help. Thanks!

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HI There! This is a great question that most people have but never get around to asking ... most just jump in without testing the water first : )
Your first step would be to speak with a mortgage lender. It’s very important to know how much you are approved for and what your monthly payments will be in each price range – make sure the payment quotes they give you include taxes and & insurance. Shop around and ask for good faith estimates to compare lending prices from company to company.
During your pre-approval process, go online and search through homes. Drive around different neighborhoods and areas that you could live in and get to know the traffic flow, crime rates, schools, etc. This will help narrow down your search before speaking with an agent who can help you even more and start showing you homes. Trulia’s App is a great tool to use while driving through different areas. It will show on a map which homes are available for sale and the details of the home in the neighborhood, right there on your phone.
Most agents will ask for your preapproval letter, so it’s a good idea to have one before contacting an agent to view homes. The agent will help you narrow down your search and negotiate to buy a home. There is much more to purchasing from this point, but I hope my answer will help you get started. Please contact me, I’d love to speak with you more and help you find the perfect home for you. (615) 499-3694.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 28, 2012
The first thing you should do is to talk with lenders and get an idea of what you can afford and what you're comfortable spending.

Your lender can tell you what kinds of loans you qualify for; and if you can't qualify right now, then what you can do to improve your credit score, save for down payment, etc.

Knowing that, then you have a target to aim for in terms of property within your budget range.

If you don't have a lender, a realtor can provide names/contact numbers of lenders who can help you.

If you don't have a realtor, focus on the area(s) you like, and since you're on Trulia, look for agents serving the area, and whose blogs and answers to questions in your area show their level of knowledge and expertise.

But don't search for a property without knowing what you can afford. You may be setting yourself up for disappointment if you fall in love with a property but discover you can't afford it.

Bottom line: have a target, and then aim for it.
Your target: get preapproved, know what you can afford...and then start looking.

Good luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 27, 2012
I would be glad to send you to a competent lender. It is good to go on and know what your monthly mortgage would be and how much you would need to put down before you start looking for a home. You really have no idea how much house to look for until you start with your finances. Feel free to start your search on my website SaveMyHomeSearch.com and I will email you a list of qualified lenders that I trust in our area. Now is a great time to buy and the interest rates are still great. Have a great day!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 6, 2012
Hi William: The first thing you should do is get yourself qualified by a reputable lender. You need full understanding of your DTI (debt-to-income ratios) and what kind of payment you can make and still live a good quality of life. One should always be aware of their credit score and what they can continue to do to keep it growing. There are so many simple things you can do to achieve this goal. Let a qualifed lender teach you how to get there. If you don't have one in mind I have one who will show you how to lower your DTI, if needed, and grow your score. His services are free and with over 25 years of experience as an underwriter he can help you achieve your goals. Always remember, you should never live for a house. It should live for you. Call me at 615-712-0286. Have a fantastic day William!

Cat Stevens
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 29, 2012
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