Congratulations on your decision to buy a home! It is an investment in your future. Don't feel like you are wasting anyone's time looking around. Go to open houses, meet agents face to face and get referrals from other professionals so you know you are working with someone you can utilize as part of your team ih the process. It will take awhile to find what you are looking for, first just narrowing down the neighborhood. A good Realtor can give you all kinds of great background information in this regard, which will assist you in making your decision. Also they can refer you to two or three loan agents so you can meet all of them and decide who you think will be best to work with you on the loan. Assembling your "team" is an important part of the real estate purchase. If you would like a referral to a great Realtor in your area, I would be happy to do a little research for you and find someone you would like. Let me know if I can be of assistance!
A buyer's agent is precisely where you should start. They can guide you through the best areas, schools and other relevant points in searching for a home. You can also do some of the work by using the internet and sites like trulia.com and realtor.com. Do not hesitate to contact an agent as this is what "we" are trained to do. Good luck!
There are many realtors who love to work with first time buyers no matter what the purchase price, so do contact a realtor to start looking and gathering information. As Doug said, a good realtor will help you get all the information that you need to make the best decision for you. Check out some of your local realtors' profiles to see who specializes in working with first time homebuyers, then give them a call and "interview" them to find out who would work best with you. You can even meet with them at their office to discuss your home buying needs. They will ask you to sign a Buyer's Agency Agreement if you want to hire them. This contract says that they work for you (you are their client), what their responsibilities are to you, and also stipulates how they will be paid when you find an acceptable home to purchase. You definitely want a Realtor working for you and your best interests. Buying your first home is very exciting! I wish you well!!
It is not to early to begin the process. Start with a good "Full Time Realtor" that works in the area you think you want to live. You might want to schedule a meeting with more than one Realtor to get one you fell comfortable with. You will know who feels right and then ask for a committment from them to work together.
Once you pick your Realtor you can further share your goals and timelines to determine the schedule of events and trigger points along the way. A good Realtor will then assist you in locating the correct mortgage person and all the others needed to fullfill your dream. A good Realtor will be positioned in the middle to provide advise for you along the way and explain everything for you.
The "Eckler Team"
Century 21 Almar and Associates
Venice, Fl 34285
Its not a waste of time to contact a Realtor, but you do need help finding your way through the maze of options out there. You don't need a buyer's agent specifically, but someone who specializes in helping first time home buyers would be very useful.
There's a lot available in your price range, and depending on your details, there may be special programs you can take advantage of to maximize your buying power.
I work with a lot of first-time homebuyers and would be happy to help you since I work in your area. If you don't choose me, please choose someone who won't rush you, who understands that buying your first home is a special event and, especially important, someone willing to educate and advise you every step of the way.
I recommend finding a Realtor before looking for a home. You'll be less likely to make a mistake using a good Realtor, and a good Realtor will make sure you understand the process.
With your first contact, your Realtor should be able to email you a list of available homes meeting criteria you discuss over the phone or via email, such as how many bedrooms and baths, and what particular area or type of home. This will help you feel a bit more comfortable. When she/he calls back, you can ask for help locating a mortgage advisor. For mortgages, while I recommend people, I also suggest you look - and shop on your own for rates once you have an idea of what's necessary (again, your Realtor should be able to help you). After that, you will actually look at homes. This is where you and your Realtor will discover what it is you really want in a home as you see several and comment on your personal likes and dislikes. A Realtor is invaluable in helping you manage the homes you'll see, whether resales or in new communities. A good Realtor will know the communities and will have seen many homes. Ask if they go on "caravan". A good Realtor knows the inventory.
Please feel free to contact me by phone or email. I'll be happy to send you that first list of homes, and naturally, feel free to look at my web site, where you can peruse all of the homes on your own too.
Its an exciting adventure, buying your first home. Good luck!
You have been given some good advice so far. As you have already been told getting your financing in order should be one of the first things you do in preparing to buy your first home. After all you need to know what you qualify for before you start looking at homes. Your mortgage professional will tell you what your maximum loan amount is so you'll know what price range you should be looking in. Doing so will save you a lot of frustration and disappointment. You mentioned a price range of $150,000 - $180,000. If you like I can send you email listing reports on available homes that match your search criteria. Just let me know what you would like in your home and what part of town you would prefer to live and and I will send you the information. If you like you can also visit my website where you can search the MLS (multiple listing service) for all available homes in North East Florida.
You will also want to check your lease to see what the requirements are for termination. Most leases require written notification at least thirty days before you intend to vacate.
I am also a mortgage broker and would be happy to work with you in obtaining financing for your investment. Fell free to contact me though my website at your earliest opportunity.
You have received some great advice. I would also recommend that you attend a First Time Homebuyer Seminar that local builders put on. They are also an invaluable tool and will help you to understand the process and you don't have to purchase a home from them.
However, should you end up purchasing a new home, make sure that you have an independent home inspection done before the drywall goes up and prior to completion. It is worth the investment.
Remember, that this is your First Home, and one day you will be able to purchase your "dream home".
Have fun and enjoy the process. Keep us posted as to how things work out for you.
I defenetly recomend to you to get yourselves pre-approved first by a Mortgage Lender or Bank, this way you know exactly how much home you can afford, If you are more that 30 days removed from actually purchasing your home there is nothing wrong with "tire kicking" looking at models et., I also recomend after you get pre-qualified and are ready to enlist the help of a buyers broker to help you look and guide you through the hunt and the contract process.
You should defenetly feel comfortable with both your Lender and your Buyers Brokers, you should feel they are trustworthy and are in touch with your needs to be part of your Team.
I would interview a few pro's until you find the right person's to work with.
Asap Mortgage & Investments Inc.
Mortgage Banker/Correspondent Lender
Approved FHA Lender
Apply on Line @ http://www.asapmortgage.org or http://www. asapmortgage.com.web-loans.com/
P.S. Remember to follow your lease and give proper notice to your landlord