The first step in buying a house really is getting pre-approved by a lender. Any Realtor who knows what they're doing would tell you this. However, as far as you're concerned, I would say contact a Realtor who specializes in your area first and here's why: most Realtors work with a team of people needed to complete a transaction which includes, a title rep, escrow officer, lender, home insurance agent, appraiser, etcetera - and they should. It just makes sense that Realtors would choose only those they trust and who they know will deliver their part in the process.
So interview at least 2 or 3 Realtors and work with the one you're most comfortable with and know that when you hire this person, he or she will get his or her entire team working to get you what you want. He or she should direct you towards getting pre-approved first and you can rest assured that you will be referred to a loan consultant who your "Realtor of choice" trusts.
In addition to getting pre-approved you might want to check out what amenities are near by, are you near Mission College in Sylmar where the community services offer many varied classes that you might enjoy, food stores, emergency 24 hour care centers etc....
My suggestion is first to contact a reputable Realtor in your area. One that will be able to explain you the process. As a Realtor myself i have had several first time buyers working with me and it is crucial for you to get the best advise possible in order to make such an important move/decision in your life.
First of all, you need to get a good loan officer to help you. Some lenders won't even lend on manufactured homes. It all depends on if it is on a fixed foundation and there are some other qualifications that the lenders have. So, let me know if I can put you in touch with a few lenders. But, that is your first step even before making an offer, to make sure you are qualified and that you can find a lender to lend on that type of structure.
Make sure you have a good buyer's agent as well that knows how to really protect you when writing an offer on this type of home as well.
Joan Patterson, B.A., A.S.P., G.R.I. Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
8250 White Oak Avenue, Ste 102
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
You can try contacting a trusted mortgage broker in your area to get prequalified, stay away from the internet lenders. You should also have someone representing you, You should considering hiring a buyer broker, make sure their fee is paid from the selling agent. They also can gove you some mortgage referalls. Once you know you are qualified, they can assist you in writing a purchase agreeement. Goo dluck with your purchase.