Am I ready to buy a house? I am 23 years old and will be graduating with my masters in may. I have been

Asked by Alicia, 23601 Wed Jan 30, 2008

renting since the age of 18. My credit is fair, i make like 1250 a month and have saved 5000 dollars. am i even eligible to find a decent house and if so am i still too young.

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Annie, Home Buyer, Frederick, MD
Wed Jan 30, 2008
I am in the same situation as you, except I'm not in school. I haven't completed the journey yet, I'm only half way through, but here are the steps I took, that so far, I've found helpful:
1.) Get pre-qualified. This just takes a 10 minute phone call to the bank (I like SunTrust), and it tells you the range you can afford.
2.) Research first-time home buyers programs. I've found so many tips this way!
3.) Take a home buyers ed course. You can do this online or find a seminar.
4.) Find a good buyers agent, who is patient and will answer all your questions. (I found mine by reading his blog).
5.) Just do your research in general. Learn about how your local market is working, make a list of what you want and list your priorities.

Good luck! We're in this together! :)
3 votes
Vicky Chrisn…, , 20176
Sun Aug 3, 2008
If you're asking, the answer is probably no. I was 23 when I bought, and I am so glad I did. But, I was married and had 2 kids, and I've ALWAYS lived within about 15 minutes of where I bought my first home. I knew I wasn't going anywhere. My husband and I had stable income, and live in an area where if one job fell apart we could easily get another within minutes - a very strong economy and versatile skills.

Annie gave you GREAT advice! John, on the other hand, probably has a bomb shelter in his house and uses a ham radio every day, monitoring secret messages from around the world.

Don't buy for the market, buy for yourself.

May I suggest 2 books - both by David Bach. The Automatic Millionaire and The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner. I gave the first of those two to each of my sons when they graduated HS - its everything we, as parents forget to tell you. It tells you how to take the $25 you have and use it for your daily expenses, your debt, your emergency fund, your retirement fund and your house fund. It starts talking about owning... but the second book builds on that far more.

Note that the term is "automatic" not instant - these are not get rich quick books, they are not schemes or Carlton Sheetz kinds of a high risk/high gain deals. These are REAL life lessons here - teaching you to make saving AUTOMATIC, so you don't think about it; so you don't blow your retirement - or never own a house - because you had too many lattes.
1 vote
Lori Jeltema, Agent, Suffolk, VA
Thu Jul 31, 2008
Alicia, In my opinion, you are not ready to buy a home. It is wonderful that you are thinking ahead, but I think it would be in your best interest to continue to save your money until you have a larger down payment (closing costs alone could eat that $5000) and earning more income to qualify for a home in your area. It is tough to pay rent every month and not have it going towards your home. You may want to sit down with an agent and a lender and figure out what income it would take for you to purchase a home that you feel is suitable. If you could increase your income to that amount and it is acceptable to the lender, then your options are better. Good luck.
1 vote
Sean Hyland, Agent, Williamsburg, VA
Thu Apr 12, 2012
You are to be commended for being the age you are and working towards home ownership. The question of if you quallify and what you qualify for can be answered by a mortgage banker/broker. Even if you do not qualify at this time, the right banker can tell you what steps you need to take to meet your goal of home ownership. Keep on the path they tell you to take and you will be just fine!

If you need the name and number of some qualified lenders just give me a call or email me. Since my expertise is in Foreclosures, Short Sales and Government Owned properties, I can get you the most for your money when the time comes for you to do a home search.
0 votes
Lexus4oo, Home Buyer, Houston Heights, TX
Fri May 13, 2011
Purchasing your first home is the biggest investment of your life! Last year I got myself into a house, especially taking advantage of the Obama incentive. But like you I did have a few questions afterward. There were a number of things I would have done differently. I wasn’t aware of the difference between conventional and FHA loans except the down payments are different, and the steps to follow up to the point when you close. I really needed a mentor! However, im in the process of purchasing my investment home. Even though I learn a few things from my first experience buying a home I found this website that showed me the terminology and steps to purchase a home. Thought I throw that in there incase it can help others, it did for me!
0 votes
Lori Jeltema, Agent, Suffolk, VA
Sun Aug 3, 2008
Vicky, You're a hoot! Give me a buzz if you're ever in my area and we'll have lunch! I was laughing so hard that my husband came in to find out what the heck was so funny!
0 votes
Hi, , Virginia
Mon Mar 10, 2008
You will need an interest only no doc arm loan. It sounds like Frank Bigans below can help you.

good luck

happy house hunting
0 votes
Frank Bigans…, Agent, Newport News, VA
Sat Feb 2, 2008

With your income, it all depends on your monthly recurring debt such as student loans, credit card bills, and monthly car payments. If you’re going for a masters degree, then I assume you have a rather large student loan balance? Unfortunately, lenders calculate all debt against you, and this lower your qualifying amount.

If you had no recurring monthly debt, and if you only earn $15,000 yearly, this would only qualify you for a mortgage of about $60,000. Unfortunately, there aren’t any properties available in this price range in the entire Hampton Roads, decent or not.

If your masters will significantly increase your income over the coming years, then I suggest that you wait until you can show at least two years history with this new income. If your student loans are over $10,000, then you might also want to pay down as much of these loans as possible over the coming years.

But you have a lot going for you, and that’s a good thing! You must already realize the huge tax savings afforded only to home owners, and that’s smart! And at the risk of sounding like a skipping CD, our local area is NOT experiencing the market slow down like the rest of the Nation (i.e.: California).

I suggest that you contact a “local” Realtor, lender, or CPA. I’d be happy to speak to you about your future income, and make any additional suggestions or recommendation.

I hope this information was “thumb-up“ helpful to you!

Frank Biganski, Realtor ABR
(757) 303-0517
Web Reference:
0 votes
John, , Los Angeles, CA
Fri Feb 1, 2008
Would love to get your feedback on why you are buying...I've been asking many people on the site the same question...

Merrill Lynch announced that home prices are going to fall 30 percent by 2010. Home prices have fallen significantly in the past year across the country. Mortgage rates are resetting and foreclosures are popping up. The economy is either in a recession or on the verge of a recession depending on whom you speak with...Also, if you look at any of the most fundamental charts about home prices, they will show that homes are way overpriced based on home prices vs rent prices, and home prices vs. income.

In spite of the horrible state of the market, what would drive you to buy anyway?

Really, I'm not trying to be disrespectful or rude. I'm actually very curious why you would buy in light of all the evidence that housing is a terrible place to put your money right now...

0 votes
Brendan Murp…, , Laramie, WY
Thu Jan 31, 2008
"too young" has only one meaning here: Too young by your state laws to enter into a Real Estate contract!
And at 23 you're thus not "too young". So really it boils down to what you're capable of and what is best for you. Talk to some lenders and/or mortgage brokers and see what you are capable of, and don't spread yourself too thin if you do decide to buy. But you sound responsible, so if you can find the right house at a price you can afford monthly, go for it!

Brendan Murphy
Broker, CRS, GRI, ePro
Raving Real Estate
Laramie, WY 82070
0 votes
Flynn Korneg…, Agent, Chesapeake, VA
Thu Jan 31, 2008
Hi Alicia. Sounds as though you have received some great information thus far. I have been in the business for many years and have helped many first time home buyers through the process as their representative. If you would like help, you may visit my web site at to see the articals that I've posted there, or call me at (757) 472-4954, and I will do whatever I can to help. It is usually beneficial to buy for tax reasons etc, depending on if you can qualify for the amount that would give you the home you desire at a comfortable monthly payment. Thanks - Flynn Kornegay, Rose and Womble Realty Company.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Danilo Bogda…, Agent, Reston, VA
Wed Jan 30, 2008
I bought my first house at 23 and was very happy to have done so, but I can't tell you if it's the right time for you to buy or not. That is something you have to determine on your own based on your own situation.

You may want to speak with a lender who can tell you what you're approved for. This will give you an idea of what you can (or can't) buy in your area, which will surely affect your decision.

You may also want to check out a post I recently wrote entitled "Should You Buy or Rent In This Market?" (link below).
0 votes
Viji Sashika…, Agent, Columbia, SC
Wed Jan 30, 2008
Go for it! Last year, I helped 1 med student and a university student buy homes. They had no income, yet, but by renting the 2 other bedrooms to fellow students, they could pay their mortgage easily.

Talk to a lender and ask him/her to calculate the principal, interest, the tax and insurance for different price ranges and pick the one you are most comfortable with. That is your starting point. Now call a Realtor and look at homes to figure out what you like.

Good luck!
0 votes
J Paul Picco…, , Virginia Beach, VA
Wed Jan 30, 2008
You're never too young to buy a home. The only person who can determine if you're eligible to purchase a home would be a mortgage lender, so ask around and interview lenders. Don't just purchase a home to "purchase a home". Be certain it is in an area you like and find convenient. Sometimes renting is the better alternative to owning something in a location you ultimately will end up disliking. Happy hunting and congratulations on the graduation!
0 votes
Pat Mulligan,…, , Hampton Roads, VA
Wed Jan 30, 2008
Good for you for keeping your credit clean AND saving money AND being only 23 y.o.! You are never too young to buy, but you might want to see what you will be making after you graduate- I am sure your income will go up quite a bit then. You won't qualify for much at $1250/month. Good news: you don't need to actually start work to close on a home-- just a letter of employment.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Wed Jan 30, 2008
You are definitely a prime candidate for real estate ownership. Find yourself an agent and outline your targeted goals.....make them realistic.

If you are still single this adventure probably will be step number one. Step number two will result after marriage and children enter the picture. At that time your needs will change, resulting in possibly a different consideration for a home. To this end, it is important to select a home that will be desirable for future sale so that you will be able to meet your family needs.
0 votes
john womeldo…, Agent, Williamsburg, VA
Wed Jan 30, 2008
Talk to a local mortgage company and find out what you qualify for and can afford. I would recommend Ginny Phillips at B.F. Saul 757 599 2827. their office is in Oyster Point,
0 votes
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