Rent vs Buy in Des Moines>Question Details

CJ, Home Buyer in Alexandria, VA

How long should I rent before buying when relocating to Des Moines?

Asked by CJ, Alexandria, VA Tue Mar 8, 2011

My family will be relocating to Des Moines in a few months. I have spent a long time researching the advantages/disadvantages and can't decide whether I would like to purchase a home before relocating (or close to it) so I can move into the home immediately, or if I should rent for a few months before buying. Given my situation, do I need to save up and put 20% down, or can I put 5-10% down? Will anyone lend to me if I'm relocating with a new job? If I can't put 20% down, will it take longer to close on the house? Is it realistic to think I can find a home and close on it in under 3 months?

Important information about us: We would be first time homebuyers. We would have only one salary of around 80k, but no debt. We have 30k in liquid assets for a down payment. My credit is very good, but my husband has only a few years of credit history because he only recently became a US permanent resident.

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I am a Des Moines Realtor and congratulations on making the move to an area I have come to love! I relocated here in 1993 and remember oh so well the concerns involved in making a move. That is one of the reasons I really enjoy working with buyer's who are relocating to the area.

You should have no problems being qualified for a loan. Is your new job in the same line of work that you are doing now? Or is it related to a new degree you have earned? Lenders take that into consideration.

With a good agent you should be able to find a home and close on it in the time frame you are looking at. A good agent will really listen to your needs and wants to help you find the home and area that fits you. Once you have found your home you can usually close in about a month.

It can be somewhat of a challenge to find a home that you can rent for a short term. There are some townhomes that are nice, however most of those want a one year lease also. I have contacts with many agents and landlords that might be able to help you out, these rentals are not in the newspaper.

If you would like to contact me, please feel free to do so. My email address is:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 8, 2011
I would be very happy to speak with you regarding your forthcoming move to Des Moines. As a broker, I have access to dozens of loan programs, and quite a few lenders. I could help you take a look at your situation, with a FREE MORTGAGE ANALYSIS, which would help you determine your options. I also have realtors that I could refer to you to aid in your search.
With 30K available for downpayment, good credit, and good income, you certainly have a great start. With a few more minutes of your time, I'd like to help you address a few more questions, to determine whether renting or buying is in your best interest.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 4, 2011
Is the new job in the same line of work as what you have done before? If so the new job should not hurt you in buying a home here in Des Moines. As far as your husbands lack of a credit score, as long as you do not need his income to qualify for the home you want, it should not matter. Renting vs buying is a question that is harder to answer, as an agent I would love to see you buy. It is a great time to buy with plenty of homes available and a great interest rate enviroment but you have to be comfortable with your choice, There are homes for rent as well but it is eaiser to find a nice home to buy than rent. Your first stop should be with a lender to make sure you can buy if that is your decision. If you would like, I can give you a number of good lenders in the area to talk to. You can email me at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 8, 2011

I don't know what the market is like in Des Moines, but I do know that rates are inching up and that property values nationwide are typically down. If you would like the name of a realtor in Des Moines who can guide you, I would be delighted to refer you to someone who is knowledgable and experienced.

You do not need to put 20% down. You will have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), because the days of 80/20, 85/15, 90/10, and 95/5 with second mortgages are difficult if not impossible to find. FHA gives you the best case scenario and with FHA it doesn't matter what amount you put down, you have to pay Mortgage Insurance Premium (PMI). The ratios are higher (you can purchase more money) and the down payment is minimal. Less than 5% down. The seller can also pay up to 6% for your closing costs and points. If you are not changing your job description, you may qualify for a loan. If you are changing your job description, you will need to be on the job for a period of time, which might make renting a necessity.
I suggest that you speak to a lender immediately. It is better to know upfront what your options are.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 8, 2011
If it were me, I'd want to rent for a little while so I could get to know the new area, and find neighboroods I'd like to live in. You could also use this time to find a local Realtor who will be able to help you in your search. Sounds like you shouldn't have a problem qualifying for a loan (you don't need 20% down. You can put as little as 3.5% for an FHA loan, but you'll get a better rate and have lower payings with more money down). Find a local lender or mortgage broker who can review your financial information and see what you qualify for, and what loan would be right for you. If you need the name of an agent in your area, let me know. Good luck!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 8, 2011
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