I want to buy my first home with ACORN loan. What do I know now?

Asked by Sha, Anaheim, CA Tue Mar 18, 2008

Me and my boyfriend plan to buy a condo for less than $200k around Santa Ana/Costa Mesa/Tustin area (close to work. Boyfriend plans to find another job around Irvine within couple years)
I'm trying to find out if I'm qualified for ACORN loan. Who do I talk to about this?
Also, how long is pre-approval letter good for? Does it matter if I get hard inquiry now and another one 30 days later if I don't find the house I want?

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8
Jane Cooper, Agent, Vancouver, WA
Wed Mar 19, 2008
Hello! I have to say I agree with Monica. The home buying process is complicated and you really need someone who can be your advocate in the transaction. The rebate sounds attractive, however, without your own agent you could end up making a very costly mistake that would make your rebate seem like pennies. Use a realtor your first time out and learn everything you can from them. Most of us love to help our clients every way we can. I can give you a good referal if you need. Let me know!
1 vote
Erica Burns, , Greenfield, MA
Thu Mar 20, 2008
if you are a first time homebuyer look at this web page that you might find helpful in finding a program to suit your needs
0 votes
Sha, Home Buyer, Anaheim, CA
Thu Mar 20, 2008
Yeah you're probably right about using an agent instead of Redfin. I'll definitely think about it and do some more research before making a decision of who to use.

I spoke with an account executive from Bank of America who handles ACORN loan yesterday and he told me that ACORN was good but now they need 3-5% down payment and their rate is higher (around 7% he said). Is this true? He told me to contact OC Neighborhood Housing first and see if I could get down payment assistance. Anyone here familiar with them? Thanks :)
0 votes
Hassan Nicho…, Home Buyer, 90036
Tue Mar 18, 2008
Pre-approval letters I believe last for 60 - 90 days. You want to make sure you do your loan shopping within a certain time window - I've heard 10 - 30 days (from different lenders). To be safe, I recommend no more than 15 days to visit different lenders in order to have that count as one inquiry versus each and every individual hit.

We (the nonprofit I work with) works with several different lenders and some of them use ACORN with many of their clients. Try this person for questions:

Jeanette C Ruiz-Mayes
CitiMortgage
13657 Van Nuys Blvd.
Pacoima, CA 91331
0 votes
Sha, Home Buyer, Anaheim, CA
Tue Mar 18, 2008
Jane & Jason,

Thank you so much for your quick reply. I guess the problem that I have is that I plan on using Redfin (Redfin.com) as my agent and that leaves me with pretty much doing all the work by myself to get the cash rebate in the end. With that said, do you have a mortgage professional in mind that I can trust and will give honest opinion? With "finding a lender you like" do you mean like Bank of America? So who do I contact first, Bank of America or ACORN?

I've checked ACORN website and emailed their LA office yesterday morning. No word from them yet.

I'm sorry for all the questions. This is my first time buying house and I have no clue about the terms and all. I'm trying to read as much as I can but it'll be great if someone could teach me too.
0 votes
Erica Burns, , Greenfield, MA
Tue Mar 18, 2008
I've had several clients use the ACORN program. As Jane commented, Bank of America is the place to go when looking to get one of ACORNs loans. (at least in Mass) YOu should schedule a meeting with a loan officer at a branch in your area and say you're interested in the program. The acorn website has links to where the closest place it to go for meetings and whatnot. It's well worth it, and is a grat program. be prepared to fill out a bunch of papers on your personal budgets. Best of luck!
0 votes
Jane Cooper, Agent, Vancouver, WA
Tue Mar 18, 2008
ACORN is a fabulous program! I've had quite a few clients use it. I know Bank of America can provide it for you and let you know if you're qualified. I've also attached a link to their site. You need to attend a 3 hour class that they offer and then sit down for a one on one appointment with an ACORN counselor. You'll want to check with a mortgage professional about the other questions to make sure you get accurate information. As a realtor representing a seller I always require a very recent approval letter as the lending industry is so volitile right now. I would suggest finding a lender you like and sticking with them until you find the home you want. All the best in your search!
0 votes
Jason Willia…, , Anaheim, CA
Tue Mar 18, 2008
I'm working with someone right now who is looking for a 200K condo in Tustin/Santa Ana. I have a guy that is working on one of those for them, you can give him a call anytime and he can find out if you are qualified or not.

714-709-1016 Miguel
0 votes
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