Once you know what you can afford, you can then decide on engaging an agent to help you find your home. It should be someone experienced, knowledgeable about the area you want to live in and someone you feel comfortable with. Good luck with your search!
Coldwell Banker -Brentwood
If you take the class in a non intimidating setting and with people with similar skill sets as yours you will be more inclined to ask questions, and if you are the quiet type maybe someone will have a similar question. When you begin to work with your agent the information that he/she will provide you will make a lot more sense because you will be hearing it for a second time.
Best of all the classes are free, a good lender will know where they are available, if not a quick search on the hud website will provide you with a list.
Don't focus on the national headlines when it comes to the real estate market. Real estate is local so understand your local market.
Finally purchasing a home is a partnership between you and your Realtor. Both parties need to work together to get the job done. Real estate is relational so make sure you and your Realtor will work well together.
2. Get referrals for a buyers agent that has been in the business for a while and owns or has owned property. And is a super specialist in the neighborhoods you looking in (do not with a "generalist" that knows broad areas but not your area super well)
3. Realize it is likely going to take a long time, lots of offers...be persistent. It takes a lot longer than most people think to buy a home.
4. Realize there is not just the down payment, but closing costs that you need cash for if you don't get a seller credit
5. Realize there are other costs to owning a home you don't have when renting...water bill, repairs, maintenance
Even if you know you can qualify, you must be able to prove it to sellers. Most sellers, including all foreclosure and short sale sellers won't review an offer without a pre-approval. A pre-approval will also tell you how much you qualify for â€” which is different than what you feel comfortable spending -- so you know what price range you can consider.
2. Understand your loan options.
What kind of loan is best for you - FHA, conventional or other type of loan? What is mortgage insurance? Do you want to look at rehab loans? Go over these questions with a lender so you are better prepared to take advantage of some of the attractive financing options out there now.
3. Define your search
Get an idea what you are looking for, and you can start perusing properties in your range. See what types of properties, and what areas will qualify. Get an experienced and qualified agent to help you get started on your search. They can send you properties that match your criteria, let you know what may be best for you, and maybe give you some ideas you haven't thought of! You can also learn what properties have sold recently in various areas, so you can an idea what the market is like currently.
4. Understand the different types of properties
You will such things as REO (or foreclosure), short sale, probate sale, standard sale, when you are looking at properties. Talk to an agent to better understand what these mean, the different processes for buying each property, and which may be right for you.
5. Is construction right for you?
Are you up for remodeling or expanding a home? You don't need to commit to anything yet, but you may want to consider options such as this, so now may be a good time to start considering the costs and benefits of a remodel, expansion, or new construction. It's not always easy, but can be valuable if it's an option for you.
And of course, make sure you have an experienced agent on your side. An agent will be invaluable in helping you navigate the entire buying process from start to finish (and beyond), help you find the right property for you (while helping you steer clear of properties that may not be a wise investment), answer all of your questions, save you time and money, and protect your best interests along the way.
Keller Williams Realty
#1 Agent KW Westside Realty 2007-Present
Rodeo Realty-Beverly Hills