Home Buying in San Jose>Question Details

April, Other/Just Looking in

what are the steps i need to take in order to purchase our first home?

Asked by April, Sun Dec 2, 2012

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You have received a lot of excellent advice. I offer first time home buyers a free, no obligation consultation. You will walk away with an 80 page book to help you understand the various steps to home buying, including the different types of properties, disclosures, sample purchase contract and more.

Simple contact me and we can schedule that appointment.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Start by locating a competent Realtor. Once you’ve found one that is (1) a First-Time buyer specialist and (2) has a proven track record in the current market, meet with them and have them walk you through the entire process.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Choose an agent first. One that is experienced and familiar with the area of interest. No need to be the area specialist or necessarily live in the exact city. However, should not be an out of area agent. Someone local enough to get your area of interest in a reasonable time frame.
Then get qualified for a loan....how much can you qualify, afford, etc...
Then start looking at areas, homes etc.

Jim Mauldwin
Intero Real Estate Services
DRE # 0125380 since 1991
12900 Saratoga Ave.
Saratoga, Ca 95070
Web Reference: Http://www.jimmauldwin.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Depending on where you are located, there are often homeownership classes offered by nonprofit groups across the country to educate consumers about the process of buying their first home. I would start by taking one of these classes. In Minnesota, these classes are called the Home Stretch course and they are offered by the MN Homeownership Center. Their website is: http://www.hocmn.org

Through that class, they will help you understand the process and what role Realtors and mortgage professionals play in the process. As a first-time buyer, they may also have information on various forms of down payment assistance available to you based on your income or the area you are looking to purchase a home in.

The MN Attorney General's office also has a Home Buyer Handbook that is free for any consumers to access. You can find a PDF copy online at: http://www.ag.state.mn.us/

Regardless of what state you live in, these resources are probably out there in your state if you do a little research.

As a licensed Realtor, I often meet with potential buyers through word-of-mouth referrals from clients who I've worked with in the past and by people searching on Linked In and other networking sites. If I meet them first, I guide them to these resources as well as mortgage professionals who are qualified to work with any special programs the buyers may be eligible to access. Depending on which state you are in, you may find there are agents who are really well-known for working with first- time buyers in the areas you are looking in, and I suspect they would offer similar guidance if these resources are available in your area.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Hi April,
be willing to sit down for about 2 hours with an experienced and patient Realtor. You will then know not only those things which need to be done, but how they get done, and why they are needed.
Good luck,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Hi April, here is the home buying process broken down into 5 steps for you http://bayareaconnect.com/buy-a-home-step-1/

This is my real estate blog with weekly market reports and new listing photos.

Please give me a call at (408) 840-3852 or Thomas.Feng@gmail.com to further discuss your situation and how to win in this current market.
Web Reference: http://BayAreaConnect.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Hi April,

As a former Mortgage Broker/Banker, in my opinion, you first need to know what you can afford. Quite frankly, it makes no sense to view properties you cannot buy, which can happen if you "just start looking to get a feel for what's out there". Instead, first focus on being 100% sure what you can conservatively accomplish financially.

When it comes to "financial vetting" there are different levels of quality as detailed here: http://www.Steven-Anthony.com/GettingStarted

In regards to where I would suggest you obtain your "True Pre-Approval", while there are occasional exceptions in service level, I would recommend avoiding the Retail banks (Wells, BofA, Chase, etc.) for your True Pre-Approval. Here's why:
"Retail Banks vs. Mortgage Broker/Bankers" http://tinyurl.com/6qln6nd

If you would like a referral for a professional Mortgage Broker/Banker feel free to contact me via email. Additionally, if you want to search on your own I suggest locating a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist in your local area. This designation indicates the individual has been trained in financing, investment, and tax planning topics. You can search individual profiles here: http://www.cmpsinstitute.org/public/menu

Best Regards, Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012

I can take you through the steps of getting your first home.

First, contact a loan agent or lender to get a pre-approval letter. The more obvious lenders are BOFA, Wells Fargo, or any loan broker listed in your area. You need to do this first as the lender can tell you what price home you can afford based on your financial situation.

Once you get that preapproval price from the lender you then contact an agent who can find you that home in your price in the area of your choosing.

It's that simple.

Contact me should you need any help.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Start by shopping around for a mortgage broker, they have access to many banks, private lenders and many different programs. Explore all your financial options and get pre-approved for the amount that you can afford. After you know your budget, ask your friends, co-workers and relatives to recommend real estate agents that had worked with them in the past. Get in touch with a few and select one that will click with your needs right away.

Best of Luck,

Maria Cipollone

Century 21 Tenace

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Hi April,

I have a very simple overview for buying a home posted on my website at:

The overview will help you get started thinking about the steps. It will help you interview realtors you would consider working with. Every buyer has different needs and expectations. These needs and expectations will change as you get closer to making a purchase.

Just as someone playing baseball once a year at a company picnic isn't as skillful as a professional baseball player earning his living playing baseball, a real estate agent is dramatically more skillful at purchasing and selling homes than someone who does it every five years or so. Talk with agents and choose who you would like to work with.

Depending on your circumstances, your real estate agent may recommend one or more loan agents to get prequalified with. The reputation of your loan agent can affect how your offer will be viewed in a competitive situation.

After you are prequalified you can start looking carefully at homes you would be interested in. Your real estate agent will save you time and help prevent you from over-looking important factors.

I would love to help you.

Juliana Lee, MBA LLB
Cell: 650-857-1000
Top 3 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty

Over 20 years experience
Over 1000 home sales completed in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
Web Reference: http://julianalee.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Thank you April:

Jim Mauldwin said it best, and that is select your agent first.

Your agent is the one and only one who has a Fiduciary Duty to you to represent your interests above all others.

Real Estate transactions have been described as "Integrated Complexity". Your agent is the one who coordinates all of the other parties and represents YOUR interests above all others.

I recommend that your agent be someone who has a great deal of Knowledge and experience in the Real Estate Industry.

Your agent will help you identify the next steps that you need to take. .

For example, if you have had credit problems in the past, the most important next step for you, might be to sit down with your agent to figure out how to cure your credit problems. If you are short of cash, your most important next step might be to sit down with your agent and figure out how to cure the cash shortage. If you cannot afford the property that you want here in the Silicon Valley, the most important next step for you, might be to figure out what you can afford here in the Silicon Valley and determine if that will work for you, or whether it would be better for you to buy some distance away from the Silicon Valley where prices are lower, and commute to The Silicon Valley instead.

These are issues that you really need to have sorted out before you even talk with a lender. Your agent is the one who will help you sort out those issues.

For more information you may reach me at my cell phone: (408)509-6218 or send me an email at my email address: charlesbutterfieldbkr@yahoo.com.

Thank you,
Charles Butterfield MBA
Real Estate Broker/REALTOR
American Realty
Cell Phone: (408)509-6218
Fax: (408)269-3597
Email Address: charlesbutterfieldbkr@yahoo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index Methodology
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Dear April~

As all have mentioned below the first thing you should do is interview a few Realtors, ask for past client references. Know or have a good idea where you would like to live, get pre-qualified for a loan in order to find out what your budget will allow. That should get you on the right track.

If you need to talk and or interview a few Realtors, please feel free to contact me.

Warmest Regards~

Denise A. Szyszlo Realtor
DRE 01441160
Office:: (408) 369-2000 x319
Mobile: (408) 768-7097
Email: denise.szyszlo@century21.com
CENTURY 21-Alpha
419 E. Hamilton Ave,
Campbell, CA 95008
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Great question!

I have found that one of the first things to do is look at the area you find appealing and would the best commute to work and fit for you. It is an important consideration and can be very wearing to have long lengthy commutes. Life can be a lot less stressful for you and your family if you an live relatively close to home.

Secondly the schools your children will be attending if you have children now or plan to the future is very. For example, in my particular area that is the most important thing that buyers are looking for.

I would then seek out a trusted real estate agent than can answer many of your questions and concerns,such as interest rates, market trends, etc. A good agent will listen to what is important to you and point you in the right direction.A Realtor can also intoduce you to an lender that can pre-qualify you for a loan and set your expectations to what you can afford. The pre-qualified process is a very simple one.

Together with a trusted agent and good lender your journey for finding your dream home can be a lot easier.

My best wishes for you in finding the perfect home. Don't worry, it is out there! (:

All my best~

"Keulen Realty"
Sandy Keulen Albanese, REALTOR
DRE# 01919291
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Hi April,

You've gotten some good advice below.

I would suggest you start with interviewing some Realtors who can act as your consultant and guide you through the entire process. A good agent will have solid relationships with good mortgage lenders who can get you pre-approved. Your lender and your agent will work as a team throughout the process so working with people who have existing relationships will be advantageous to you in the end.

At RealScout, we are changing the way you think about buying a home by providing not only a unique search experience, but helping you every step of the way, from getting pre-approved to bringing more transparency to the process with a visual roadmap to keep you informed and involved along the way.

Try our all-new "lifestyle-based MLS search" which uses exclusive data to help you find a home that matches your tastes and preferences. http://www.RealScout.com

Best of luck with your home search!
Web Reference: http://www.RealScout.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Dear April,

Work with a loan agent or direct lender to get a pre-approval letter, you need to show your income statement such as paycheck stub(s), bank reserve in order to find your purchase ability.

Get an experienced realtor and express your requirements such as locations, school districts, floor plans and environments. Most experienced realtor would like to share their opinion about how the real estate market trend and strategies.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Dear First Time Buyers,
You can also visit my website to get search for a home or read market reports.
Thanks and best wishes,

Lamson Dang
Web Reference: Http://lamsondang.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012

The first step you are already doing...seeking information! The second step is to find a realtor who you trust, respect, and who is familiar with the area where you want to purchase your first home. This second step may involve asking friends, family or co-workers for recommendations. Some people also look on-line for local realtors. Regardless of who recommends who, make sure you are comfortable with the real estate agent. You will spend lots of time with your agent, and will need to work well with them.

And your third step is to meet with this agent and learn what is involved in buying a home: how you will finance the home, identifying the types of homes you want to consider (single family, condo, etc), and what communities are of interest (and within budget).

Congratulations on beginning the process! How fun.

Sally Blaze
Alain Pinel Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Hi, your best bet is to get yourself pre approved for a mortgage first. This way you know what a bank is willing to lend you based on your current financial and credit state. You will need a pre approval in order to make offers on properties anyway and you never know how quick the right home will come along. The next step will be to locate a buyers agent to work with. See if a personal friend or family member can refer someone reputabl;e to you, then meet to see if they are a good fit for your needs. The agent you choose will be able to sort oput the rest and guide you step by step, it's that easy!

Good luck!

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
Hi April,

I think you can chose a Realtor after you are pre-approved.

With a pre-approval both the Realtor and you can shop in confidence.

NMLS 327086
Web Reference: http://onewallstreet.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
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