Home Buying in Queens>Question Details

John, Home Buyer in Queens, NY

First time homebuyer - question

Asked by John, Queens, NY Sun Feb 8, 2009

I am just starting out in the process and I need to know what comes first. Do I get pre-approved for a mortgage and then select a buyers agent? or do I select the buyers agent first and then get pre-approved?

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10
A pre-approval first is always an excellent way to start, Interview buyer's agents and choose one. Remember you will be spending a lot of time with this agent, therefore make sure your personalities are comparable and that you both like each other.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 3, 2009
John,

A good agent is going to make sure your pre-approved first. The first reason is because it could mean the difference of your offer getting accepted or not . No home owner is going to wait for you get this done after you submitted your offer. Some other buyer can come in offer the same as you and get his offer accepted because he was ready before you. Second you need to make sure of your buying power especially in this market where most buyers can't get approved for the loan. 3rd, so by doing this you will save yourself time and disappointment.

Cesar Garcia
Associate Broker, Residential Appraiser
Determined Realty Group of Keller Williams Realty Landmark
Office :718-362-5453
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 1, 2009
John,
I believe you might start the ball rolling simultaneously.. Researching on Trulia, calling around and/or meeting broker/agents in your area (also check out open houses) will give you feel for who you would like to represent you and they probably will be able to provide you with a list of reputable mortgage people...In all fairness to you and the agents it would be best to be pre-qualified before you start making appointments to see specific properties. Be aware that it is in your best interest that if you are going to be qualified by different lenders that you do it at the same time as having too many credit checks over a period of time can affect your credit decisions...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 11, 2009
Dont forget about the $15,000 tax credit that was recently passed.

http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2009/02/09/faq-senate-stim…

All of the information that you have been provided with is excellent. In queens you can also find all of the properties on the Multiple Listing Servcie by location at MLSLI.com.

Douglas Montgomery
HomeNY Corp.
Web Reference: http://www.homeny.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 11, 2009
Hi John,

It's great that you are thinking about the buying process and considering taking the right approach. Most buyers do not give it the consideration they should.

Our recommendation is to first review your personal financial situation, your budget, income, savings, personal needs etc.

This should be followed by becoming informed about the financing process. This can be overwhelming and should be given considerable time. It is recommended to see several loan specialists in an effort to understand terminology, programs, rates etc before making any committment. IMPORTANT: Always request a good faith estimate from the agent. It is written documentation of specific rates and programs you have discussed. It is sometimes beneficial taking this document to other loan specialists for their comments.

Do not overlook the importance of finding the right program....it has the potential of saving you thousands.

Once you have the financial piece in place and have a "letter of approval" at your disposal you are ready to begin your search knowing what amount you have to work with and what you can afford.

The next search phase includes three components:
1. find an agent
2. identify a location(s)
3. locate the perfect home

It is our suggestion to begin with findingyour agent first so they can support you with the other steps.

Good luck and happy house hunting..........

The Eckler Team
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
The first step would be to speak with a mortgage rep and see how much and what type of loan you are qualified for. Generally speaking there are 2 type of loans available. You have government back loans (ie, FHA, VA, USDA) and conventional loans.

An FHA loan is a very good, flexible product. You can get a gift for the down payment, have a full sellers concession (closing costs added to loan), have multiple co signers who do not have to occupy the property and a low down payment of 3.5%. The loan limits fit very well into Queens county with a 1 fam limit being as high as $625,500. Keep in mind that you have to pay MIP insurance (1.75% of the loan amount) with FHA.

A conventional loan is a bit more restrictive. They underwrite a little quicker and you can get a slightly better rate if you put down 20%. You CAN still put down 5% on a 1 family home but your credit score should be higher than 660 and you should have your down payment in the bank, with reserves.

After you have a loan officer verify what you can afford, you should identify where you wanna live. You can start the search yourself using realtor.com, trulia.com, zillow.com, forsalebyowner.com, and craigslist.com. The best way in my opinion to find a good agent (buyer or sellers) is to see who is out working and showing property. You might even be able to hook up directly with a homeowner and make a good deal for yourself. The benefit to a GOOD agent is that they migt have the expertise to put together a good deal and / or be better finding properties.

Any questions feel free to email. I am licensed Real Estate Broker and a Registered Mortgage Broker in teh state of NY.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
Hi John,
I have a different take on this question. I would research good Realtors in your area- ones with referrals, solid business, educational designations. I would interview these Realtors and select the one you feel the most comfortable with and then ask for a recommendation for 3 good lenders. Realtors have inside knowledge on trustworthy and reputable lenders and can help you find the most appropriate one for you and your individual needs. This can save you time and trouble and possible multiple hits on your credit score. Mandy Loftis
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 8, 2009
GREAT QUESTION:

1st step - contact mortgage broker for pre-approval
2nd step - locate a buyers agent

NOTE: Buyers agent can't effectively work with a client unless they are aware amount of loan you are approved for. All sales offers are submitted with lender approval letter of statement of type of mortgage you would have.

FYI ` Home ownership you receive annual tax benefits great opp's out purchase homes with equity
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 8, 2009
Hi John,
You need to know your "Comfort Level" so that you can have a good understanding of where to begin looking (prior to where, you have to know HOW MUCH). An agent can only assist you in your goal if he/she knows your financial capabilities. Give me a call, I'd be very happy to assist you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 8, 2009
I recommend getting approved first - then find a buyers agent. No use having an agent if you're not sure of price range yet. Good luck - and congrats on your first purchase!
Web Reference: http://www.cindihagley.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 8, 2009
Cindi Hagley, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
MVP'08
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