â€¢Tip #1: Do Your Homework
The perfect home won't find you by itself. The key step in buying a home is doing the proper research. Educate yourself on local schools, neighborhoods, and the kinds of homes available. By reading available materials and talking with experts, you can start to put together your idea of the perfect home.
â€¢Tip #2: Start Planning
Most decisions benefit greatly from proper planning, and home buying is certainly no exception. Start a filing system with sections such as home buying, home financing, and service providers. By forming a home buying plan you can more easily focus on the most important factors and help give structure to the entire process. My website is a great resource for property information.
â€¢Tip #3: Get PreQualified
Getting prequalified for a loan normally only requires a short phone conversation with a lender, and can greatly help your home search. Prequalification does not guarantee you a loan, but it does provide you with an estimated monthly payment and a price range to use as a guide when shopping for homes. Being prequalified can also often indicate to sellers that you are a serious, prepared buyer.
â€¢Tip #4: Look for Value
When shopping for homes, it's important to consider potential value. Even if you're not planning to sell the home some time down the line, it's a good idea to consider the future value of the home. Protect yourself against things like falling prices and gradual shifts in the nature of the neighborhood. You may not think of a new home as a means to make money, but it's an important investment that requires caution.
â€¢Tip #5: Decide What You're Looking For
Settle on the home features that are important to you (covered parking, hardwood floors, architectural style, etc.) and make an ordered list. Having well established guidelines will help narrow down your search and will prevent you from being shown properties that lack your key amenities. It can help you make the decision not to buy an attractive property that doesn't really fit your needs. My website has a search feature that allows you to filter thousands of listings based on attributes that you select. If you know you want a brick house with gas heat and a garage, you can get the results you're looking for.
â€¢Tip #6: Relax
You don't have to make an offer on the first home you see. Make sure to look at other listings in the area to get a feel for the marketplace. When you decide to make an offer on a house, consult with your real estate professional so that all of your questions are answered.
â€¢Tip #7: Shop Around for Your Mortgage
Deciding on the financing for your home can be as important as choosing a home itself. The first step is deciding what kind of loan best fits you: a fixed rate mortgage, or an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). There are benefits to each form of loan, and your real estate professional can provide you with more information. Next you'll want to begin to shop around for different lenders.
â€¢Tip #8: Protect Yourself
Be careful when signing a contract on a home that allows you to find financing, have the home inspected, and work through any problem areas that may arise. Paying for a quality home inspection is absolutely crucial! You can save yourself thousands in repair costs by being sure of what you're getting into.
Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Re/Max Palm Realty
2) Begin saving enough money to put at least 20% down;
3) Work on getting or maintaining good your credit scores for the next year.
The down-payment will vary depending on the bank but most are requiring between 15-20% down now. I am suggesting you begin saving for 20% down because I truly believe banks are going to face more trouble ahead and by the time you are ready to buy they may be requiring close to 20%. Better to be safe than sorry and if you are able to put less down when you are finally ready to buy you will have some extra cash to play with (perhaps for upgrades).
Second, write down the things you would like to have in a home and things that you need. Then go to Realtor.com and browse for homes that meet the price range and criteria to get a good idea of what is out there.
Finally, consult with at least 5 real estates agents so you will have a better understanding of how everything works and to find someone you feel comfortable with, trust and has experience.
FYI, the best to find agents is on the interent like Realtor.com, callin off of magazines or signs in the areas you like and can afford, visting open houses and by asking around for a good referral.
You probably need to start with a pre-approval. Are you comfortable with how to do that ? Once you understand what mortgage amount is best for you then you can start looking for homes in that price range.
If you would like some direction with a mortgage company, it is usually best to get a referral or at least avoid shopping on line. If you would like some help, feel free to give me a call
Best wishes !
You don't have to answer here, but what is the combined income between you and your husband?
I will be one of the presenters at MIT this evening in a program specifically addressing the concerns of recent college grads. It's called "Backpack to Briefcase"
Perhaps you'd like to drop by. It starts at 5:30p at the MIT Student Center.
You would need a pre-approval letter before going house hunting anyway, and many mortgage consultant/advisors would be able to give you an idea of what you can afford now and what you would need to afford more ... firstname.lastname@example.org (781) 304-1048
I would always give the advice to try to put 20% down if you can ... but you can still buy a home with 3-5% down if you qualify for an FHA loan. Again, talk to a professional mortgage advisor.
I think this is a great question and an excellent approach to home buying. Most importantly, you should get in touch with a reputable bank or mortgage lender. There is a program through the FHA (federal housing authority) where you can buy a home with as little as 3.5% down payment. A good mortgage lender will tell you, based on your income how much loan you qualify for. Best of Luck and save, save, save.