How should I deturmine my housing needs before I begin the search?

Asked by Kate Speigle, Fort Lauderdale, FL Mon Mar 11, 2013

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Stephen McRo…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Tampa, FL
Thu Mar 14, 2013
Below are some of the best programs from A to Z available, including the all new Stated Income Alt Loans for Self Employed borrowers.

See program(s) # below, then contact me to talk about how to minimize payments and reduce out of pocket costs.

1) 100% LTV- VA / (VA Jumbo @ lower ltv)
2) 100% LTV- USDA/12 mo. into Chapter 13 BK…OK Too
3) 99% LTV- FHA / (FHA to 580 score @ lower ltv)

4) 97% LTV- No monthly MI-No FHA 1.75% Fee
5) 95% LTV- CONDO
6) 90% LTV- No PMI -2nd Home
7) 90% LTV- JUMBO w/cc
8) 85% LTV- No PMI - Super Jumbo
9) 80% LTV- Invest./Rental
10) 75% LTV- Foreign Nationals

--------STATED INCOME ALT -to Super Jumbo-----------
11) 80% LTV- FIX n’ FLIP Invest. Prop.
12) 75% LTV- Foreign Nationals
13) 75% CLTV- Short Sale, BK, Foreclosure Forgiveness
14) 70% LTV- Soft and Hard Money
16) COMMERCIAL PROGRAMS-available nationwide

Go to: http://WWW.PRO-OPTION-COM or call 888-662-4404

Steve McRory
Pro Option Mortgage/ Florida
Ph: 888 662 4404

Prior Service U.S. Marine Corps
1 vote
You rock steve, ya know that?
Flag Mon Mar 18, 2013
John Bourassa, , Fort Lauderdale, FL
Tue Mar 12, 2013

They say: "Home is where your heart is." But in reality it is also where your pocket book is. We all hope to buy our "dream homes", but they are just that, dreams, unless you are among the few fortunate people who are not concerned with limitations of money. Unfortunately, for most of us (the majority of people), our dream homes are reduced down to reality according to our abilities to afford.

As everyone said below, the FIRST step you need to make is to consult with a lender (mortgage broker or mortgage lender) and he/she will be able to determine how much you can afford to purchase and also pre-qualify you for such a purchase amount (which will be the best ace in your hand when you are ready to make an offer on a property). Then, seek out a professional Realtor who will help you find the right property for you (you may want to ask your family or friends if they know a real estate agent they highly recommend) .

The next step is to make a list of the basic things you realistically need (# of bedrooms, # of bathrooms, a large backyard, proximity to work and or schools, size of kitchen, solid roof, window protection, and etc..). Then, add the other things that would be nice to have but are not really necessary, things that would be nice to have but you could live without (1 or 2 car garage, pool, being on the water).

Again, ask your family, relatives and friends about their "experiences" but, be careful" don't ask them to help you select your home because they will tend to steer you to buy what they would want to buy for themselves and that may not be what you can afford.

Remember this: unless you have tons of money, don't buy anything to impress your friends or relatives. Buy a house that you will be comfortable in, suit your purposes and that will not strap you down financially.

Good luck.
1 vote
Well put..and straight to the point. Some realtors here answer almost as if they're angry with your question.
Flag Thu Mar 28, 2013
Simon Campbe…, Agent, Miami Beach, FL
Thu Mar 14, 2013
To qualify for a traditional loan, you are going to need a minimum credit score in the 620 - 640 range. USDA loans with a credit score of less than 580 are denied if you have been late on any payments. (Reference:…)

There are other loan programs out there that may accept less. One of these is FHA. FHA's website states: "Minimum credit score requirements for FHA home loans depend on which FHA loan product the applicant needs. Generally speaking, to get maximum financing on typical new home purchases, applicants should have a credit score of 580 or better. Those with credit scores between 500 and 579 are, according the the FHA guidelines, 'limited to 90 percent LTV'." (Reference:
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Mar 14, 2013

You answered the same question twice with the same "copy and paste" response. Not sure that presents the image you are trying for?

0 votes
Bob Robinson, Agent, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Wed Mar 13, 2013
Begin with meeting a mortgage loan officer to see what your purchasing power will be in your search. This is very critical first task and will help you save time and avoid stress, plus knowing what price range you can search afford. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance here in Fort Lauderdale.
0 votes
Chris Murray…, Agent, Hemet, CA
Wed Mar 13, 2013
The first and only step unless you are a cash buyer is to talk to a loan officer. There is nothing worse than searching for a home first, and having your dreams crushed because you either could not qualify, or by the time you had a pre approval letter in hand the house was sold. Right now there is a very limited inventory of homes for sale resulting in multiple offers and bidding wars, just like 2004. Without a pre approval letter, you have no chance. Once you are pre approved, you can have peace of mind looking at homes within your approved range and not worry about missing out.

Chris Murray REALTOR ®
Real Estate Broker
DRE License # 01339816

208 Properties SOLD in 2012!!!

Ranked #23 Real Estate Teams in California

Direct Line: (951) 487-7007
Direct Fax: (951) 487-7008

"Specializing in SOLD"
Serving Hemet, San Jacinto, Perris, Menifee,
Murrieta, Temecula and surrounding areas!

RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Inductee 2012
RE/MAX Hall of Fame Inductee 2009

REOTrans Platinum Certified
RDCPro Certified
PFC Certified

Visit for homes in Riverside County and Orange County

RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty, ranked #2 Worldwide of ALL RE/MAX offices by RE/MAX Intl.
63 Malaga Cove Plaza
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
0 votes
Joseph J. Mi…, Agent, Coral Springs, FL
Wed Mar 13, 2013
There are many factors to take into consideration when it comes to determining your housing needs. Too many to discuss in a short blog. Your first step is always to meet with a mortgage lender to find out not what you need but what you can afford. Once you know that you would contact a Realtor to discuss your wants and needs. Whenever I meet with buyers I have them come to my office for a consultation prior to looking at anything. I find this saves my buyer as well as myself a lot of time since we are not looking at everything that is for sale. Rather we are only looking at homes that fits their criteria as well as their price range. Keep in mind there is not likely to be that house that will 100% meet every want and need you have.
0 votes
Marlene Kapl…, Agent, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Wed Mar 13, 2013
What kind of question is that? is that a trick question? you by yourself only, should decide how much you can effort. then out of the amount off you think you can effort, take a $100.00 and put it in a saving account to cover for future home maintanance and repairs. If you are thinking on jumping from renting, to owning you own home, go to your nearest bank and request to be prequalified for a mortgage, they will tell you how much the bank will be able to lend you, then call your realtor and tell him/her how much you want to spend every month in mortgage. when you and your realtor find the house you like best, sign an offer and then take the executed contract to three diferent lending institutions and ask for a free good faith estimate to compare how much will cost you to get a mortgage, pic the bank of your choice and give your realtor the name of your banker. Remember, it is not what you want, it is not what you need, It basically about how much money you can affort to invest every month for the next 30 years.
0 votes
Susan J Penn,…, Agent, Weston, FL
Wed Mar 13, 2013
Hi Kate!

You first question to yourself is how much do you want spend and how much can you spend? Do you need to sell your home in order to purchase your next home? I would be glad to place you with a mortgage consultant that has closed with me. Other concerns may arise as to what type of housing you are looking for. It is a condo on the beach, a home with good schools or a townhome.

Also, you want to receive a pre-approval letter which means you need to have your tax returns ready. Offers today need a pre-approval letter to be considered by the Seller.

Susan Penn, PA, SFR, CDPE
EWM Realtors® | A HomeServices of America Company | An Affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway
2000 Main Street, Suite 103 | Weston, FL 33326
T: 954.306.7337 | C: 954.557.5993 | F: 954.515.0200 | |
0 votes
Nadine Mauro, Agent, Lake Worth, FL
Mon Mar 11, 2013
Hi Kate,

The first thing to consider should be the amount of money you are comfortable paying each month for your mortgage.

Two: How large a down payment do you have?

Three: Speak with a loan officer at your bank or find a good mortgage broker. They will determin the dollar amount of mortgage you will qualify for.

Call the Realtor of your choice (me of course) and tell them you are prequalified for a mortgage for $x. Let the agent know what you are looking for in a house. Number of bedrooms and baths. Pool. Condo, townhouse, or single family house. Let the agent know the area in which you would like to live. Armed with all the information above you should be able to start looking and find the house in which you'd like to live.

Wishing you the best of luck.

Nadine Mauro
Highlight Realty
0 votes
Marsha Umans…, Agent, Tamarac, FL
Mon Mar 11, 2013
Dear Kate,
FIRST determine what you qualify for, i.e. how much you can afford to spend on your future home, and after that you will decide... Do you really need the 5th bedroom if there is only the 3 of you, and do you really need a 3 car garage if you only have 2 cars, you know what I mean?
0 votes
Stefanie Coh…, Agent, Weston, FL
Mon Mar 11, 2013

What type of property would you be most happy with? Condo, townhouse, single family home?

Make a list of the features most important to you.....number of bedrooms, pool or no pool, do you like to cook, etc. What amenities are you looking for. Do you want to make improvements to a home, or do you want move in condition. What type of neighborhood are you looking for....gated community or not. Where do you want to be.....location.

Determine your price range. If you will be obtaining a mortgage, speak with a mortgage professional who will help you to identify your price range.

There is so much to take into account before you begin your search. Good luck!!

Stefanie Cohen, PA, ABR, SFR
Prudential Florida Realty
0 votes
Marina Sarab…, Agent, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Mon Mar 11, 2013
Hi Kate!

About determining your housing needs:


Children? (How many, how old)?

Do you work out of the house?

Do you mind driving a lot?

Basic needs?

Do talk to a lender first though.. It's good to know how much money you qualify for in order to start shopping.

Marina Sarabia | Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Profess.
M: 1-954-914-8056
0 votes
Stephen McRo…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Tampa, FL
Mon Mar 11, 2013
Get pre qualified
Below are some of the best programs from A to Z available, including the all new Stated Income Alt Loans for Self Employed borrowers

After reviewing program # below, please call me to go over loan options.

1) 100% LTV- VA - pay off debt at closing on a purchases too!
2) 100% LTV- USDA - 12 mo. into Chapter 13 BK…OK Too!
3) 99% LTV- FHA
4) 97% LTV- NEW- No PMI -No FHA 1.75% MIP Fee!
5) 95% LTV- NEW-No PMI!
6) 95% LTV- NEW-CONDO Loan
7) 90% LTV- NEW-No PMI -2nd Home
8) 90% LTV- New-Jumbo w/cc
9) 85% LTV- NEW- No PMI to Super Jumbo
10) 80% LTV- Rental Property

------------STATED INCOME ALT Loan programs-------------
11) 80% LTV- to Super Jumbo
12) 80% LTV- FIX n’ FLIP Invest. Prop. – No min. credit!
13) 75% LTV-to Mega Jumbo
14) 75% LTV- Foreign Nationals-to Super Jumbo
15) 75% CLTV-after Short Sale, BK, Foreclosure to Super Jumbo
16) 70% LTV- Hard Money to Jumbo
17) Lot Loans / Land Loans Too!

Go to: http://WWW.PRO-OPTION-COM or call 888-662-4404

Steve McRory
Pro Option Mortgage/ Florida
Ph: 888 662 4404

Prior Service U.S. Marine Corps
0 votes
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