First find someone to talk to that makes you feel comfortable. The right realtor can hook you up with the right lender for a smooth and easy transaction. It is a good idea to get pre-qualified with a lender before you start looking so that you are looking in the price range. Judging by what you have disclosed I would recommend that you stay under $130,000. If you would like to talk one-on-one give me a call 512-721-6320. I'm an Accredited Buyer's Representative and I love helping families find their first home. The $8,000 tax credit is a real incentive to buy right now.
Getting pre- approved is a good idea, so you don't waste your time looking at homes that won't work for you. I have several lenders on my website. You will find them under area links/local service providers/mortgages. Please feel free to call any of them to get a more solid idea of what you can qualify for. Bernie Brenfeld even goes to the closing with you to answer any last minute questions. Find someone local instead of a website lender. I feel that someone local is easier to reach and will be more prompt with getting back to you. Please give me a call if I can help you further. Good luck!
You should get pre-approved so you can find out exactly what $1100 will buy.
Knowing the tax rate where you are looking will help the lender greatly in providing an accurate estimate.
$130K might be pretty close to your target of $1100 per month. But, again, this is just a guess on taxes and insurance escrows.
Let me know if you need to run some numbers. Or feel free to follow up with more specific questions
For what it's worth, I was in your exact same situation about 3 years ago. I was making
about the same, had the same amount in the bank and ended up buying a home in
the $150's. From my personal experience, you are in the right ball park. But you have
an extra bonus that didn't exist when I was buying a home. The government is handing
out $8,000 tax credits for first time homebuyers. You may also qualify for this money
before you file your taxes next year. I'd bet you can use this money to your advantage.
About the credit, it used to be a 15 year tax free loan, but now there are options to
simply make it more of a "grant" that you don't have to pay back. If your credit is
good, the price range you are looking for seems reasonable.
You can and should get pre-APPROVED for a loan before you start looking at homes.
Whether you do this before or after you find a realtor is not as important as doing it
before you actually start looking. A pre-approved buyer is much more attractive to
a seller than one who is not.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you'd like to hear how my stuff turned out, since it
is so similar.
If you are looking for a great lender then check out Ashleigh Fletcher.
She does an awesome job.
Here is a link to her info.
I know it is scary. But start off here first and then you can have a gameplan of what price range you SHOULD be in........
Best of luck!!!!!!!!!
I suggest you contact at least 2 lenders. If you are a member of a credit union, you might start there. There are many lenders who can give you good information about loan programs available to you. I would be glad to send you my "short list" of lenders who have successfully helped past clients get mortgage loans that met their needs.
You can make an informal inquiry about what loan programs they have, but you will only get rather broad information until the loan officer can pull your credit report and "plug in" your assets and liabilities. You can ask for a copy of your credit report/score and allow other lenders you meet with to use it to give you more accurate information about your qualification to get a mortgage loan.
FHA financing only requires 3.5% buyer participation (most going to down payment). You may be interested in purchasing a home in an area that is eligible for USDA 100% financing. As a teacher there may be other programs available to you to help with lowering your costs. And don't forget the $8,000 Tax Credit for 1st time homebuyers! Lots of options for you.
If your credit history and debt to income ration are good, you can probably purchase a home with a sales price of around $130,000. - $135,000 and keep your monthly payment where you are comfortable. I'm figuring a property tax rate of $1.1531/$100 valuation, which may be a little low depending on where you will be buying a home.
When you are ready to speak with real estate professionals, I hope you will give me the opportunity to meet with you.
THEN interview and choose a buyers agent and then begin your search for your home.
Good Luck! It is a great time to buy and there are some great programs out there....including the first time buyers credit!
John L Scott Real Estate Ocean Shores
You are thinking the right way have you have the right approach. Here is what i would recommend:
1. Find a REALTOR that you are comfortable with. You can ask friends and family or you can search the web. It is important that you find a buyers REALTOR who can serve your specific needs.
2. Sign a buyers representation agreement with your preferred REALTOR. This will give you the very best service and fiduciary responsibility (he/she will always have your best interest in mind) from your REALTOR.
3. Have your REALTOR recommend a couple of lenders he/she has worked with in the past.
4. Get pre-approved (not just pre-qualified) by the lender you feel most comfortable with.
5. Set up an automated email search to your email in box with your criteria so that you can start to see what is available.
6. Once you have finalized your criteria like price, neighborhood etc. then it is time to have your REALTOR take you out and show you some homes.
e-PRO, REALTOR, GRI, SRS
Keller Williams Realty
Also keep in mind that your closing costs will be about 3% so your 10k is going to be more like 7k at the end of the day, and thats being generous. If you find an owner financing deal, which there are several, then you will usually be able to afford more house than would usually be afforded to you.
Check out my blog for first time homebuyers, it is chaulk full of helpful hints and guidlines in your first time home buying adventure! Oh yes, you will also get a nice 4k check from uncle sam next year if you buy before December 1, 2009.
First, you definitely need to talk with a couple living, breathing and LOCAL lenders and see exactly what you and your husband can afford. However, only let ONE lender actually pull your credit. (Then share your score with the other lenders).
Once you know exactly what you qualify for, make sure you are ALSO comfortable with the total monthly PAYMENT. Sometimes what you "qualify for" and what you are comfortable paying are 2 different things.
Finally, interview a few different Real Estate Agents. Ask friends/co-workers who have recently purchased a home if they recommend their agent, or "Google" the different areas that you are interested living in and see if there are agents who specialize in those areas. It is a good idea to get an agent who represents YOU - and not the home seller.
You are SO LUCKY to be buying a home right now - there are AWESOME and super AFFORDABLE homes out there right now. Good Luck and Have Fun!!
- Mariana Wagner