Home Buying in Southside>Question Details

Susie Sparkl…, Home Buyer in Jacksonville, FL

FIrst time homebuyer - how do I begin the process?

Asked by Susie Sparkles, Jacksonville, FL Fri Apr 18, 2008

My husband and I want to move out of our rental before the end of the year, but aren't in a terrible rush. Can we enlist the help of a buyer's agent to just look around and see what we can get in our budget? I have been hesitating to contact anyone feeling like we would be a waste of time while we look around and debate our first purchase! ($150-180K)

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14
Jenn,

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!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
The first step is definitely finding which side of town you would like to live. Take into consideration where you work and play. As you find your interest area, start talking to a lender. It is a good idea to use a reputable lender as this will save you much grief down the line. Ask the lender for a pre approval letter so you will know which price points to start looking at. Then connect with a Realtor to start the home buying process. Feel free to contact me anytime for more information.
Eddie Zahn
904-463-7637
eddie.zahn@prudentialnetworkrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
First of all you will not be wasting anyones time. As agents we are in Real Estate because we love what we do. I love knowing that I have the power to help educate people about Real Estate. Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. One of the reasons I got into Real Estate was to help educate first time homebuyers, because of my own experiences in purchasing my first home. The home-buying process has become very complicated over the last few years so even seasoned purchasers have a lot of questions. Being a first time home buyer does have it's advantages. There are so many programs for first time homebuyers out there. Wells Fargo offer some of the best. Most agents are able to set you up on property watch. This way anything that meets your search criteria will go directly to your email. This will help you to narrow down your choices. If you have any questions please feel free to give me a call. Good luck with your purchase.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 28, 2008
Hi Jenn,

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!
Leonardo
Web Reference: http://www.leonardoteam.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
Jenn,
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!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
Hi Jenn

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.
Web Reference: http://www.McVinua.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
Be sure to also check the FHA and HUD first time home buyer programs to see if you would qualify for any of them http://www.fha.com/fha_programs.cfm and http://www.hud.gov/local/fl/homeownership/buyingprgms.cfm
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
We would suggest that if you don't know a realtor that is currently active in the business that you begin by collecting and reviewing some real estate magazines. This will accomplish two very important things. First you will become a little more informed about the real estate market in you chosen location and price range. Secondly, you will come across names and ads of realtors in your location. It's important to select an agent that you feel comfortable as well as one that is knowledgable of the location you are interested in. The magazines will give you a feel for the number of listings the agent has in your chosen area. There is a direct relationship between the number of listings in an area and the amount of information they have at their disposal to share with you.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
Century 21 Almar and Associates
Venice, Fl 34285
ecklerteam@comcast.net
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
Hi Jenn,

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!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
Hello Jenn

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.

Thanks!
Web Reference: http://www.realinjax.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
Hello Jenn,

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.
Web Reference: http://www.PhilFowler.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
Absoulutely you can--the sooner you interview a realtor the better. I would also recommend that you contact at least three different mortgage companies--they can give you great guidance regarding your financial picture, and tell you how much mortgage you can be approved for--therefore, in what price range you should be shopping. Different mortgage companies have different programs and some are better with first time homebuyers than others. Good luck to you, and happy hunting!!
Web Reference: http://www.MykeTriebold.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 18, 2008
Hello Jenn,

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.

Best Wishes,

Juan Oliva
Mortgage Consultant
Asap Mortgage & Investments Inc.
Mortgage Banker/Correspondent Lender
561-719-3094
Fax 561-969-9087
Approved FHA Lender
jolivamortgage@aol.com
Apply on Line @ http://www.asapmortgage.org or http://www. asapmortgage.com.web-loans.com/
Web Reference: http://www.asapmortgage.org
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 8, 2008
Step One Find you a Mortgage, with a qualified mortgage broker or bank. Once you have that established, make sure your payment isnt more than 25% of your monthly gross. I would recommend a 15 year fixed mortgage, but if not make it a 30 year. Step 2 higher a buyer's agent to begin helping you with your home search. There are plenty of websites to go on, and begin to get familiar with what is out there. To search the Jacksonville Market, just visit: http://www.corerealtyusa.com
P.S. Remember to follow your lease and give proper notice to your landlord
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 6, 2008
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