It is difficult to answer the first part of your question "what is the market like for first time home buyers" without more information. "The market" depends on your price range and the area you are shopping in. In real estate, markets are very neighborhood specific. For example, in the beach cities, if your are looking for single family homes under $600K, the market if very competitive. There are very few listings and lots of buyers. Then again, if you are looking in the $1.0 mil and above range, you have much less competition, since loans are harder to get in this range, and there is more inventory available (so lower demand and higher supply, translates to a better chance of getting what you want). If you could be more specific about the your preferred area, property type and size, and price range, it would be easier to answer this question.
Next, "are there still FHA loan?" Pretty much, there are only FHA loans, unless you have 20% or more as a down payment. The good news is, FHA still has "jumbo" loans up to $729,750 (check with your lender as this varies by county) which require only 3.5% down, and they are at very low/competitive rates right now.
Last, "what do experts recommend first time buyers do today?" My guess is that experts would say; Work with someone who specializes in helping first time homebuyers. And just as importantly, work with someone who makes you comfortable, answers your questions, helps you find a great lender, communicates effectively and knows the programs available for first time homebuyers. You will spend a lot of time with your Realtor between your first meeting and the time you close escrow, so make sure that you work with someone who makes the searching, evaluating and buying process joyful. You should have fun finding your first home. Don't settle for less. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you and Dare to Dream.
Shel-lee Davis. CDPE
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
As a first time buyer I recommend you get in touch with a direct lender get qualified for a loan. There are FHA loans with 3.5% down payment. A conventional loan with require a minimum of 10% down payment. You can discuss with lender the amount putting down. Lender will require 2 years of tax records and will run a credit report. It is to your benefit after qualification you will know your purchasing power. Knowing your loan maximum enables you to look in affordable areas. Be sure to go to reputable direct lender.
Gail Mercedes Cole
Your Westside Homes
The housing market is good for first time buyers depending on price rate and loan qualifications. Hope this information is helpful.
Gail Mercedes Cole
So the first step is to talk to a mortgage broker and get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE). The GFE will provide you with a detailed information about your borrowing ability, estimated monthly payments on your loan, taxes and insurance. The GFE will be based on several factors such as your credit history, employment history, income, assets and the downpayment you're willing to put. Most banks want to see at least two years of steady employment (particularly if you're self-employed). Bring your bank statements, tax returns for the last two years and credit reports from all three credit agencies (Experian, Trans Union and Equifax). Go to http://www.myfico.com to get your credit scores and reports.
If you're looking to buy a home with value of $500K or more you can contact me and I can guide you in the right direction. 310-590-4591. Ask for Eric. I am also an attorney but will strictly act as a broker.
Once you have that information, then you can start a smart property search, to see if there is anything available that meets your needs, in your price range...
Call me anytime for advice or if you need some lending contacts. I have some great lenders, closing loans for my clients in these areas...
Best of luck...
Abbot Kinney Real Estate
Top producer 2009 & 2010
Now is an excellent time to buy! There are still a lot of great first time buyer programs, FHA is also another great option, but for much of the "Westside" you will have to settle for a condo and this does limit it somewhat as there are only so many fha approved condo complexes. I would highly recommend speaking with a loan officer, they can tell you all about the current programs available and which ones would be best for you. Feel free to email me or call me with any questions you may have and I can try to help point you in the right direction.
The best first step would be to contact a lender to see what you qualify for and if a conventional loan is possible. If you don't know a lender or have a good recommendation, contact a realtor for a referral. A lender referred through the realtor you are working with will usually bend over backwards to make your experience more pleasant and less stressful. I can be reached at 310-883-8921 or Reid@LAHomesExpert.com.
I would recommend you meet with a Realtor to discuss your options for home purchase. I normally will include a loan officer who can explain FHA financing as will as the conventional loan. FHA is a great way to go with only 3-5% down payment.
My contact information in below if I can be of further assistance.