1. The first step before you do anything is to find out how much money you can borrow from a bank/mortgage company. Check with different lenders to see who can get you the best deal. Once you know what you can afford, then you can begin to plan.
2. Determine what you need in a home, not necessarily what you want in a home. Make a list of those needs to give to your Realtor. When you are searching for homes you will find that it is very rare to find a home that has absolutely everything you are looking for. If you stick to what you actually need, you will have better success in your search.
3. Research areas/communities that are of interest to you. Determine what things are important such as schools, proximity to shopping, restaurants, and local activities. Drive through the communities to get a feel for what they are like.
4. Learn as much as you can about the process of buying a home. Some local Realtors or lenders will offer first time home buying seminars. If you can find one in your local area it would be helpful to attend. If you cannot attend a seminar, look on the Internet for a home buyers guide such as the one at Bankrate.com â€“ http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/BuyerGuide2004/
5. Select a local Realtor to help you begin your search for a home. You can search Internet sites such as Realtor.com or Homes.com, but a Realtor has access to all of the homes in the local MLS. They can provide you with information on the home, the area and answer any questions you may have. A Realtor can show you properties of interest.
6. Learn about the contract and what is involved. Your Realtor can take you through step by step the process of a contract. After it is signed by buyer and seller, it is called an executed contract. Then you would want to get a home inspection. If everything is fine with the inspection, then you can go forward towards closing.
7. Know what happens at closing. Again, a Realtor can walk you through what to expect at closing. You will need to have money for closing costs such as title search, processing fees, taxes, and insurance.
Buying your first home is an exciting and overwhelming experience. So make sure you are prepared.
Tammy Hayes, Realtor
RE/MAX Palm Realty
I would be more than happy to assist you as your buyer's agent.
I am a CT licensed Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS#1046297 associated with Cross County Funding out of White Plains, NY. I reside in CT. Please feel free to reach out to me if I can assist you with determining and qualification so when you are looking at potential properties you will know the appropriate price points and also be in a good position as a qualified buyer when you find that perfect opportunity.
It would be my pleasure to help you during this exciting time.
All the best,
If you're eligible, your mortgage broker/lender should also help you find out what mortgage programs you should apply for.
If credit problems prevent you from getting pre-qualified, you should look into credit repair.
In some cases, you may have to get a co-signer. There are also home sellers who are willing to offer owner financing.
Feel free to give us a call or visit our web site: http://www.WestchesterRES.com. We help home buyers and sellers navigate the real estate maze.
Westchester Real Estate Services
Federal Law requires lenders to give you a GFE, (good faith estimate), which will allow you to compare the number.
Do it! Get it!
I have to disagree with Dave's response since your question was "first step" and I don't see anything wrong with talking with a banker that you've got a relationship with about what you can afford. That's fine and doesn't mean that you will get your mortgage from them, it's just a start.
Buy the money before you buy the house is key as you need to set a budget based on rock solid information on what you can afford. I DO agree with David that finding a Buyer's agent that you are a good match with will be the key to a successful purchase. They can provide you with additional lending sources which can be compared to your banker's program. Dave also makes a good point about keeping it local: Agent, Attorney, Home Inspector, Mortgage originator. Trust me, there's no shortage of professionals that want your business. It's your job to select the best qualified pros to give you excellent service and you will end up in good hands. Online research will help you narrow your candidates quickly.
Hope this helps.
Greg Hanner, Broker, REALTOR, e-PRO