How do I put myself in position to purchase next summer? What steps should I be taking NOW?

Asked by DanielleB, Irving, TX Sat Dec 7, 2013

I am looking to buy a house at some point during the summer of 2014. I am 22, a first year teacher, and gross about 47,500 per year. I just checked my credit score and have a 671 :(. I DO have student loan payments of about $250 monthly, but my car is paid off and will likely drive it for 2-3 more years. I've done some research, but would like to hear from more people. What price range should I be looking in? What can I be doing to boost my score? How much should I try to save? etc...

Thank you so much for your advice! :)

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John Lyng, , Dallas, TX
Mon Dec 23, 2013

Your current FICO score is high enough to qualify for a FHA loan. That is one piece of the puzzle; another is debt ratio. With my program your monthly debt to income ratio cannot exceed 40%, so based on your monthly income of $3858 you'd be looking at a maximum total monthly mortgage payment of $1333 which would get you a purchase price of about $165-170K. If you have other debts on credit in addition to the student loans that would reduce the maximum payment by the minimum payments on that debt, and obviously would reduce the purchase price.

There are going to be other documents that you'd need to go over to get a full idea of your situation. At this point you should be saving as much as your budget allows to create options for yourself in buying a home, and always make sure that all bills are being paid on time, and you have a way to prove your rental payments for the last 12 months.

You are smart to look at buying a home if possible so you don't waste money on rent. Since it's early in your career buying a manageable home would be my suggestion.

Contact me if you think I can be of help.

John Lyng
Mortgage Counselor - NMLS 280951
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Susie Kay, Agent, Dallas, TX
Wed Dec 11, 2013

You need to talk to a lender/mortgage advisor to see how much you'll qualify for a loan. 671 isn't a bad score and I have clients with much lower score approved for a loan.

Let me know if you need me connect you with one or two lenders. They have helped many of my clients obtain a loan.

Take care,
Susie Kay, Realtor®
United Real Estate
III Lincoln Centre, 5430 LBJ Freeway #280
Dallas, TX 78240

Servicing your real estate need is my priority!
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Anthony Scott, Agent, Fayetteville, NC
Wed Dec 11, 2013
Talk to a local lender and they will advise you on what you will qualify for. If you have done some research on a area that you like, ask what loans qualify for that area and if you have a price range for a mortgage payments in mind, ask the lender what is the amount of the loan for that kind of payment. Once you have prepared everything with a lender. You should talk to a Real Estate Agent to assist you in finding your first home!
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Linda Barrett…, Agent, The Colony, TX
Wed Dec 11, 2013
I can help you..I work with a lot of 1st time home buyers and I have great Lenders that can advise you. Give me a call..214-527-7144.....Thanks
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Tammy Hayes, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Wed Dec 11, 2013
Meet with a local lender. Have them go over your credit report and outstanding debts. They can tell you what steps to take to prepare for obtaining a loan. It may be consolidating, paying off ,etc. The lender will also tell you what price range to look in.

Getting prequalified for a loan normally only requires a short phone conversation with a lender, and can greatly help your home search. Prequalification does not guarantee you a loan, but it does provide you with an estimated monthly payment and a price range to use as a guide when shopping for homes. Being prequalified can also often indicate to sellers that you are a serious, prepared buyer.

Deciding on the financing for your home can be as important as choosing a home itself. The first step is deciding what kind of loan best fits you: a fixed rate mortgage, or an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). There are benefits to each form of loan, and a lender can provide you with more information.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Re/Max Palm Realty
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Jennifer Fiv…, Agent, Red Hook, NY
Tue Dec 10, 2013
I too would suggest that you speak with a lender, ask about products designed to help first time buyers.

The lender will also give you advice as to how to increase your credit score which would lead to a better mortgage rate.
Best wishes.
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, ,
Tue Dec 10, 2013
Based upon the information provided, you are already in position to purchase a home. To determine your affordability, you should speak with a mortgage professional. Texas has down payment assistance available for Educators, and I specialize in this process. You may take a short online test to determine if you qualify, and discover the benefits of utilizing these grant funds. Also, I would advise you to take advantage of Home Buying Seminars. This will help to educate you on the responsibilities of home ownership. The Urban League of Greater Dallas is one location which sponsors these seminars, although there are plenty of others in the Metroplex.
Web Reference:
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Janet King, Agent, Dallas, TX
Mon Dec 9, 2013
Hello home buyer,

It would be in your best interest to contact a mortgage lender. They can help you with improving your credit score and get you prequalified for a loan. A lender will tell you what monies you will need at closing and the price range you should look for. I have the names of lenders who can help you, if you would like to contact me.

Best wishes,
Janet King-Nelson
William Davis Realty
Cell 972-658-4401
0 votes
Kenneth "Ken…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Sun Dec 8, 2013
Contact any lender of your choice for real and hard answers.
0 votes
, ,
Sat Dec 7, 2013

Start with the free e-book I have linked you to above.
Call me with any questions you have.
We can pre-qualify you without pulling credit so you have a price range to look for.....

Tom Burris
Mortgage Banker
(214) 763-4629 cell/text/nights/weekends(Really!!)
Lending all across the entire Great State of Texas!!
NMLS# 335055
Search Dallas area MLS for FREE. No registration =>
9yr Veteran navigating Mortgages for wonderful clients.
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Tom Sommers, Agent, Lakeville, MN
Sat Dec 7, 2013
The answer is simple, talk to a loan officer. It all starts there, you have to find out what your credit looks like. If you do have some issues as so many buyers do, the loan officer will help you with a plan. Its usually really easy and just takes time. Follow what they suggest and you will be ready before you know it. During this time you may want to start to interview real estate agents. Then by the time you are ready to start looking for a home your team will be in place.
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Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Sat Dec 7, 2013
You can check this website to improve your credit score. Typically I think you want to be in the 680-740 range or better.

So don't take on more debt. Pay down credit cards or other loans. Make payments on time. Save for a down payment and closing costs. Live well below your means until you buy. Get the cheapest apartment you can stand...get a at home. Tutor at night and weekends. Take a holiday job and a summer job to save more cash and/or pay down debt. Live like you mean it.

I would try to get preapproved today for a loan to see where you stand. My quick guess is about 3x your take home. Call me if you would like a recommendation to a great lender who can get you started.

I would shoot for saving 5% of the purchase price and another 3% for closing costs. Others have said you might shoot for 3.5% of the purchase price for the down payment and FHA does allow this, but in the long run you might be better off if you can qualify for conventional financing with more money down and/or a better credit score. That's where a great lender is vital in giving you different options.

Call me any time if you need help, have questions, or need advice.
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Chris Boying…, Agent, Allen, TX
Sat Dec 7, 2013
Danielle--what you need to get to get prepared to buy a house is call me! I am the local affiliate for Homes for Heroes. We help "first responders" with purchasing or selling a home by giving 25% of our commissions towards your closing cost. In addition, I work with lenders and Title Companies that give back as well. The first thing that we need to do is get you in touch with a lender and put together a game plan for the summer. I look forward to speaking to you in greater detail!

Chris Boyington
Home for Heroes Affiliate
US Army Veteran
0 votes
Amin Barrist…, Home Buyer, 75007
Sat Dec 7, 2013
Danielle, based on rough calculatuons, you'll qualify for an FHA loan up to $200k. FHA only requires 3.5% down. There are some quick fixes I can recommend to get ur scores up. Also, if u use my services to purchase ur hime, you'll get 1% cash back!!!
Call me 214.566.2646 or email
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Anne Bokalo, Agent, CANTON, TX
Sat Dec 7, 2013
Congratulations on your success so far. Also for seriously considering buy a home. Excellent! My advice to everybody is save, save and save. You will need cash. Don't buy anything large such as a car. Only essentials. Then pay everything on time, never late, and if you can pay it off. You don't want any large debt or any debt. Talk with a lender re how much they can give you in a mortgage and consider the monthly amount plus bills that you will have to commit to. Good luck. I know you'll do it.
0 votes
Linda Barrett…, Agent, The Colony, TX
Sat Dec 7, 2013
call me I can help...214-527-7144...Thanks
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Sat Dec 7, 2013
1. Save for the following :
a. Down payment of approx. 3.5% or more of purchase price
b. It appears your could qualify for a home valued $150K - or +
c. You will need money for inspection , home appraisal , credit report each approx. $300 - $400
d. Escrow money approx. 1% of sale contract which applies towards closing costs.
e. Closing cost of approx. $3K - $5K
NOTE: These figures are approx. can be high therefore you have a target to shot for till you are qualified for a loan all figures are estimated.

2. Keep in mind you receive annual tax write off's of owning a home
3. Fixed monthly amount than rent increases.
4. Most lenders would require you have steady employment in same profession for at least 2 years.

My website is updated daily therefore saves you time search accurate information

Contact my office today where I can show you many amazing homes work with your family specifications.
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant
Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer
972-699-9111 100's of Dallas homes listed for sale or lease

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter

(If my answer is helpful indicate by THUMBS UP or BEST ANSWER. Thank you )
0 votes
Shelby Johns…, Agent, Plano, TX
Sat Dec 7, 2013
Best way is to get in touch with a lender that will be able to walk you step by step to get you ready to buy a home. If you want you can email me at
I can help you get in touch with a lender and answer any questions you have!
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olivier sebag, Agent, Dallas, TX
Sat Dec 7, 2013
Hello Danielle,

My name is Olivier and I can provide you some loan officers that can easily put you on the right track regarding your financing. it would be also a very good advice to get pre approved in the next three months so you get that advantage.
Please don't hesitate to call me so we can talk further, I work as a team along with my wife Sandra.


Olivier Sebag GRI
100 Highlang Park Village
Suite 223 Dallas Texas 75205
(C) 214.356.9221
0 votes
Andrea T. Fo…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Sat Dec 7, 2013
I can get you in contact with a lender as well so that she could prequalify you and give you more information. Some lending program require a 620 or 640 to start a mortgage (give and take your debt to income ratio). You can email me or call me at or 972-468-5565.
0 votes
Josh Barnett, Agent, Chandler, OK
Sat Dec 7, 2013
Discuss with your Loan Officer, they will be able to square you away.
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Andrea T. Fo…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Sat Dec 7, 2013
The best answer would be to talk to a lender. Based off of the little information you gave now, you could be ready. I specialize in working with First Time Homebuyers and would be willing to help you through your process. You can email me at
0 votes
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