How soon to look for a house?

Asked by Patti Ogden, Taylor, MI Sun May 5, 2013

My lease is up in 7 months, and I would love to buy a house. I don't want to get stuck paying two rents, or be screwed and have no where to live. I don't think I will be purchasing a foreclosed, or short sale home (as the mortgager I spoke to said that since my credit isnt over 700 no banks will be willing to work with me.) So when should I start looking? And when should I start putting offers in?

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Haig Istambo…, Agent, Rochester, MI
Mon May 6, 2013
Hello Patti,

You really should start working with a Realtor now to begin receiving email updates with homes that are in your price range. but before you do that, you should speak with a lender to see exactly what it is you qualify for. It's not just about a credit score, you will have to provide pay stubs, credit obligations, legal judgements, etc, to the lender so they can see how credit worthy you are.

Once that is done you will have an amount that you qualify for, which will help both you and your Realtor search for a home that is within your price range. Even if you found a house today and had an offer accepted on it, it will most likely take 45 - 60 days to close on it. So it will take time even if you act quickly.

I would get prequalified immediately, and if your credit needs some help, they can tell you what to do to help you improve your credit worthiness, such as maybe paying off a credit card, or consolidating some bills, etc. So if you are set on purchasing a house, get started today.

With rates as low as they are these days, chances are your mortgage payment will be less than your rent payment. Plus with the competition on buying homes these days, there are no guarantees that you will have an offer accepted quickly. Most of my clients have to place multiple offers, many over asking price, in order to secure a home, it is that competitive these days.

Good Luck!

Thank you,

(248) 379-65467
1 vote
Chad Gray, Agent, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Mon May 6, 2013
Kudos to Haig for providing a well-thought out and complete response! I couldn't have stated the facts any better!

Chad Gray PA | Realtor
Luxury Living Fort Lauderdale
(at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate)

100% of clients rated our service as "EXCELLENT"!
0 votes
Greg White, Agent, Warren, MI
Sun May 5, 2013

Great question. To qualify for an FHA mortgage you need a credit score of 620. There will be time needed to get pre-approved as well as find a home since the market is so active right now. Your best bet is to get things taken care of early so you don't end up having to stay in your lease longer than you need to. I have a great mortgage lender that is excellent at getting people pre-approved and even helping if your credit needs a bit of work. Give me a call and I will be happy to help out. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Greg White
Principal Broker
Imagine Home Realty
0 votes
Jeff Gushman, Agent, Plymouth, MN
Sun May 5, 2013
Hi Patti,

The answer is now! Buyers are having a very hard time in today's market finding a house and not getting outbid. We are looking at about 10 buyers to every one house. It is taking awhile to find the home and get your offer accepted, then go trough underwriting.

I know of people who have gotten loans with scores under 700. The typical minimum for FHA is 640.

Drop me an email below and I can get you in touch with a mortgage lender.

Talk to you soon,

Jeff Gushman
RE/MAX Home Sale Services
0 votes
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