The first thing you want to do when looking for a home is go to a bank or mortgage lender and get pre-approved. Realtors stress getting pre-approved first because the market is picking up very fast and we do not want you to fall in love with a house and not be able to get it because someone else, who was pre-approved, put in an offer before you. Also, it is best to get pre-approved before you start looking at homes so you have more of an idea of a price range you will buy in. Important factors for considering a condo would be to read over the bi-laws a condo has. Every condo association has bi-laws and those are the rules you have to follow every day. So before you move into a condo, look through the bi-laws and make sure you are comfortable with those. When looking for an agent to represent you buying a home, I would go to their personal website and look at their reviews. Some agents have reviews on other websites (Zillow, Trulia), but if they do not, that does not mean they are a "bad" agent to work with. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know!
Here is some additional information for you regarding purchasing a condo in the Toledo area. You will want to have your agent find out what the owner-to-investor ratio is. If it is less than 70% owner-occupied, then you will need 20% down payment. Also, within the last week or so, PMI (private mortgage insurance ) is no longer available on condos, so you will need 5% down, regardless of owner occupancy. Make sure your agent finds out who the president and treasurer of the condo association is, as they are the ones who will help you to get the occupancy information, etc.
It sounds a little overwhelming, but it really isn't. It's just there is a right way and a wrong way to buy a condo these days. Hope this helps. Give me a yell if you need anything.
Being a 1st time buyer can be exciting or scary.....depends on how you start. In an effort to make this a positive experiance, I suggest you contact your local bank and start the prequalifing process. This will set the stage for what purchase price you are comfortable with and you will also have the peace of mind knowing you can buy. Next, shop for a Real Estate Broker which has great communication skills. Ask them about the amount of sales volume for 2007....this will give you some insite. Give your Broker a range of information as to what you are looking for and remember...."see the Condo Documents" before you make up your mind. I wish you the best of Luck with your adventure!
Buying your first home will overwhelm you with different emotions to include excitement, pride, fear and even confusion. One of the important things that you have to do is find an agent that will explain each step of this home buying process in terms that you understand and make sure that you have confidence in your agent. Most all real estate offices offer Home Buyer's counseling sessions in which they explain the steps, agency, and relationships that are available to you as the buyer and are usually FREE. Also during this process the agent should briefly go over the different types of financing that may be available to you and suggest at least three lenders for you to go and visit to get you pre-qualified for a home that is affordable for you. If you have already been pre-qualified, ask your lender to suggest some agents to you. Though there are different requirements for each states, as a buyer, the broker/agent usually seeks compensation from the transaction (meaning the seller agrees to pay the compensation to both the listing agent and the selling agent) if this is the case it should be stated in the MLS. I would also advise you to find a REALTOR that is a member of the National Association of REALTORS. This will give you the peace of mind of knowing that we are upheld to a Code of Ethics. As previously stated, different laws and policies are in place for each state, but I would strongly advise you to get your home inspections, surveys, etc... done for your protection. It may cost you a little up front, but may save you huge in the end. I wish you Happy Home Hunting!
You look to be a Toledo area buyer, so how coincidental I've just found your question in my email. I've just walked out of a meeting where a lender was discussing recent issues with buyers getting loans for condos in the Toledo area. Because of declining market issues lenders are now putting all sorts of stipulations on these condo loans.
I very much agree with all of the above answers. It is most important first of all to find a realtor you are comfortable with and who is knowledgeable with what is currently going on in this challenging market. Your realtor will guide you in choosing a reputable lender and working with you to find properties that meet your needs and price range. After you find a property, your real estate agent with then help you make a decision as to your offer, guide you through the inspection and title process, and then, SMILE with you at the closing! Please feel free to contact me for additional advice if you wish!
Truly the first step should be in selecting a realtor to help you in your market. I find that most first time buyers are unaware that it usually doesn't cost the buyer to work with a realtor (please verify this in your area), and the benefits in having a knowledgeable professional working for you are tremendous. The second step should be locating a reliable, affordable, and reputable lender. Your professional should be able to assist you with this.
In general, in selecting a condo, you will want to consider the factors that you mention above, but there are some additional questions you should ask -- such as condo fees for maintaining exteriors of the condos and the common areas. Do they have a pool, club house, etc. What are the requirements for the association, such as can you enclose a back patio, etc. These are all factors to consider. However, don't be overwhelmed, a good real estate professional will walk you through all these considerations and you will feel more in control of the overall process. Best wishes for finding a great home!
Your first step is to find a good agent. Ask your friends, neighbors, or aquaintances for a referral. Almost, 80% of my business is from repeat and referral clients. Once you have a few names make contact with the agents and see who you are comfortable with.
Then ask the agent for referrals to reputable lenders. You will need to be "prequalified" so that you know what price range you can afford and that you need to look in. Have the lender give you a letter stating what you are approved for. You will need that to submit an offer for most properties.
Finally, the MOST important criteria for purchasing any real estate is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Most buyers find a balance between the best location they can afford and their other needs like, size, bedrooms, etc. If you buy a condo "in the city" you will certainly have "less square footage" than one in the suburbs but, you will not have the "commute". These are choices a good agent can help you make.
The second step is to find a realtor. You should ask friends, relatives or co-workers who they would recommend or you can go to this website, realtor.com, or the website of a local real estate broker in your area to look at profiles of realtors who know the areas you may be interested in looking for real estate.
The third step is to contact this agent and set up an appointment to meet to discuss the type and price range of properties you would like to preview. Once this is done, the agent can set up the appointments and help you preview any properties that are in the price range and areas that suit your lifestyle.
The agent will guide you thru the purchase process, home inspection process and the closing process.
Good Luck and remember one important real estate phrase, "location, location, location". This will be important for re-sale of your property in the future.
Congratulations. great time to buy,Just go to to www. realtor.com search under the zip code you are interested in and call an active experienced realtor who can go over the entire process and wlk you thru it.
Congratulations! Buying your first home is a major accomplishment and should be a good experience. My number one goal is to help buyers through the process of purchasing a home alon with having a wonderful experience. First, it is a good idea to select a realtor that has the ABR certification which means Accredited Buyer Representative. With having that certification it will better prepare a realtor to assist you in the home buying process. Also, you should get pre-approved with a reputable lender. I have many contacts that I work with. Then, you should sit down with a realtor to discuss the many steps in getting you into your first home.
If you have any questions or would like more information please give me a call at 330-760-0697.
The first step should be to contact a lending institution to find out your budget(what you qualify for)
In purchasing a condo location should be first. For re sale bedrooms and floor plan comes next. As far as finding a good agent to help you ask your friends that are homeowners. You can also go on Realtor.com or this website and look. Although, your friends can direct you to the agent who helped them OR tell you who not to go too.