I am a first time home buyer and would like to get a fha loan, what should be my first step? How do i get my pre-approval letter?

Asked by Edtheia Moses, Philadelphia, PA Sun Jan 22, 2012

looking to move in february-march in far northeast philadelphia, pa

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19
Larry Lichtm…, Agent, Bala Cynwyd, PA
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Hi Edtheia,

Everyone below seems to want you to choose a Realtor to represent you as your Buyer's Agent.
You definitely want to find a Realtor who you feel comfortable working with and makes you feel assured that he/she will work in your best interests. I'd also be happy to interview for that job.

Your first step is to get yourself pre-approved for a mortgage so you know the maximum mortgage amount you may qualify to borrow. That information along with the amount you have saved for down payment and closing costs will give you an accurate price range for the homes you want to begin looking at.
I would suggest you contact Edward Dubinsky of Absolute Home Mortgage Loans at 215-808-5353. Ed offers very competitive rates and exceptional service.

Once you are pre-approved, your next step should be interviewing to find a Realtor to assist you in searching for the right house and negotiating a great deal for you. As I said, I would be honored to meet with you to discuss working together. It will be my job to make your homebuying experience stress-free and smooth sailing to settlement. Please feel free to call me anytime. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

All the best,
Larry Lichtman
REALTOR, Property Manager
Your Real Estate Resource For Life
Cell/Text: (267) 254-7994
2 votes
Larry Lichtm…, Agent, Bala Cynwyd, PA
Tue Jan 24, 2012
Hi Edtheia,

When you are ready to start looking at houses, I just listed a beautiful 3BR/1 BA single home in the Far Northeast 9236 Andover Rd, near Academy Rd. & Grant Ave. This will be a great short sale opportunity for you to consider. I'd be happy to show you this house and some others in the area.

Good luck with your mortgage pre-approval. Looking forward to speaking with you soon.

All the best,
Larry Lichtman
REALTOR, Property Manager
Your Real Estate Resource For Life
Cell/Text: (267) 254-7994
1 vote
Elliott R. O…, Agent, McLean, VA
Tue Jan 24, 2012
The pre-approval is one of the most crucial parts in the home buying process but you need to know what to look for when picking a lender. Please take a minute to read about the Pre-Approval process here: http://www.trulia.com/blog/elliott_r_oliva/2011/12/pre-apppr…
1 vote
Renee Porsia, Agent, Newtown, PA
Mon Jan 23, 2012
I am sorry but I do not agree with Mr. Lichtman and heres why.. Getting approved for a loan is like putting the cart before the horse. When you do finally choose your buyer agent who's only job is to "protect" your best interest, he/she will be helping you take care of the loan process. Most agents have reputable mortgage consultants their clients have used in the past who they trust. Please keep in mind that you can use any lender you want but if you are working with an agent, you will probably want to work with people the agent has worked and built trust worthy relationships with rather than just choose someone out of the blue especially these days when so many things have changed in the mortgage industry. This is just my professional opinion.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
RE/MAX Action
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Ask for Renee
http://www.reneeporsia.com
1 vote
Renee Porsia, Agent, Newtown, PA
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Edtheia,

My advice to you would be to first find a buyer agent. If you do not know a buyer agent, you can ask your friends if they had a great experience with a buyer agent they can refer you to or you can find one right here on Trulia. By having your very own buyer agent, that agent will protect your best interests and will help you obtain that FHA loan if you qualify for one. Your buyer agent will educate you on the entire buying process and being a first time home buyer, having a buyer agent who will hold your hand through the entire process is extremely important.

If you are not aware of what a buyer agent exactly does, feel free to read my blog or listen to my vlogs. http://www.reneeporsia.com You do not pay the buyer agent, the seller pays the fee for your buyer agent., so, why not find a buyer agent who will protect you?

It typically takes 30 days to settle on a property so your goal to move in February might not be attainable at this point. First you need to find your agent, then get approved for a loan, then go find your property, get under contract and finally settle on your new home. You might be looking to be in your home by the end of March.

I'd love to discuss your needs further, so feel free to email me at reneeporsia@mac.com or contact me directly at 215-669-0589.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
RE/MAX Action
(215) 215-669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Ask for Renee
http://www.reneeporsia.com
1 vote
Bryan Torrey, Agent, DE,
Sat Jun 9, 2012
I can get you in touch with the right person to get you pre-approved please contact me Bryan@EganRE.com
0 votes
, ,
Mon Jan 30, 2012
Edtheia,
You received more information that you needed it seems (ha). My recommendation is to get a no cost/no obligation quote from a trusted loan officer so that you and your agent will be better informed when you are searching for a home. Once you know your pre approval amount you can then search for homes that meet your pre approval amount as well as a home that fits your "comfortable monthly payment" needs. With a 6% FHA seller's assist, 3.5% down, and super low rates (around 3.625% for a 30 year) FHA is a pretty good program for buyers. However, you may want to look into a conventional loan if you have very good credit. I'd be happy to help if you don't already have a loan officer.

Visit me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChadTheMortgageManView my blog: http://www.trulia.com/blog/themortgageman/Chad E. Bahnsen- Mortgage Professional
Mortgage Network, Inc.
14 E. Stratford Ave Ste 3C
Lansdowne, PA 19050
Cell: 610-457-7262
Office: 610 622-2212
Fax: 1-866-590-3806
E-mail: cbahnsen@mortgagenetwork.com NMLS # 127719
0 votes
, ,
Fri Jan 27, 2012
Edtheia,
You have a lot of great professional answers to your question here. As you can tell it is imperative that you obtain a buyer's agent and a pre-approval letter from a reputable Realtor and loan officer. Let me offer a couple website that can help you weed through some of your choices.

http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org will let you review the mortgage loan officer and state or states they are licensed in. For example, you can review my nmls # 146855 and see how long I have been licensed in NJ & PA. Some mortgage reps are register with the nmls and not licensed.

http://realestatemarbles.com/jscordova/2011/06/24/pre-approv…
is a link to a video on my blog discussing the importnace and documents neccessary for a pre-approval.

Good luck in your home purchase. Feel free to reach out any time if you need advise.
0 votes
Renee Porsia, Agent, Newtown, PA
Tue Jan 24, 2012
Alan,

I think the only dispute actually "lies" with you because it seems that you have twisted my words. Perhaps you should re-read my last post because I never ever said that I insist on my clients using anyone. In fact, I said that they can use any lender that they want... However, if they are working with an agent, they probably will want to work with those people the agent has built relationships with already. The key word being "probably."

The reason we are in this whole real estate mess is because of predatory lending and because of such activity, RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) made many changes "The most recent RESPA Rule makes obtaining mortgage financing clearer and, ultimately, cheaper for consumers. The new Rule includes a required, standardized Good Faith Estimate (GFE) to facilitate shopping among settlement service providers and to improve disclosure of settlement costs and interest rate related terms. The HUD-1 was improved to help consumers determine if their actual closing costs were within established tolerance requirements." So, along with all of the recent changes RESPA has enacted to protect consumers, one more added protection measure for buyers is to have someone else on their side which would be a buyer agent before they get approved for a loan.

See Alan, I build "relationships" with my clients. They are not simply another transaction to me. My relationships start way before a buyer or seller ever wants to buy or sell. The problem with the mortgage and real estate industry is that many Realtors and lenders care more about their commission checks rather than the consumer. The mere fact that you would jump all over my post proves that. What I did was give this consumer options and things to think about.. what you did was criticize me or belittle me for doing so and that Alan is very sad.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
RE/MAX Action
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Ask for Renee
http://www.reneeporsia.com
0 votes
, ,
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Hello Edtheia,

I am sorry but I have caught you in the middle of a little dispute here.

Renee porsia says getting a mortgage pre-approval first is putting the cart before the horse. Au contraire: why go shopping for a horse when you can't even afford the cart!

Most reputable mortgage brokers have realtors that they trust. I am not sure that I understand the difference. I have Realtors who I think do a wonderful job for my client. However, I don't push their services on my client at all. I would not deal with any Realtor who is insistent on you using their mortgage lender. They clearly have a low estimation of your ability to shop for your own services.

Regards,
Alan Openshaw
Cornerstone Lending Inc
Southampton Pa 18966
215 953 0800
cell 267 992 7276
VOTED BEST IN BUCKS 2010
NMLS ID 143960
0 votes
Jim O'Rourke, , Philadelphia County, PA
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Edtheia,

The professionals that post on this site are among the more knowledgeable and committed in the real estate industry. Although they may not always agree, nevertheless, they are likely to provide you with a wealth of information to mull over. Please reward them for taking the time to reply to you question here, by calling them, interviewing them, and allow them to compete for your business to assist you in your real estate purchase.

I do agree with Ms. Porsia about finding an experienced buyers agent. An agent who achieved a designation as an Accredited Buyer’s Representative is probably the best real estate sales representative you could hire, and is specifically trained and experienced to help you as the buyer find and effectively negotiate the purchase of your new home.

Although you are ready to buy within the next 12 weeks, you may also want to consider participating in a homebuying program or seminar presented by various consumer counseling agencies in Philadelphia. Many of these programs may be free of charge and are approved by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. These programs may give you a much broader picture of the homebuying process than even the most thorough real estate agent would typically provide you.

In addition to shopping for a lender and a real estate representative, you should also consider shopping for and personally selecting your Property Insurance agent, your Home Inspector, and your Title Insurance and Closing agent.

My company has been providing Title Insurance and Real Estate Closing services since 1993. I have personally been in the industry since 1976. Call me on my cell phone 267-679-8544 or at my office 215-625-3660 at your convenience, and I would be happy to explain all the options available to you. You are under no obligation to use my company and are free to shop around for the best closing and title agent to meet your expectations.

Also, please consider registering to receive our free email newsletters published for Homebuyers in the Greater Philadelphia area. Text the word "SAVE" to the number "42828" on your cell phone; or simply click this link: http://goo.gl/c1vJl

Once you are registered, you will automatically receive all the current information we regularly compile about home buying in and around Philadelphia; including tips, recommendations, programs and seminars that help home buyers throughout the entire process.

Hope this information was helpful to you. Good luck, and enjoy your home buying experience!


Jim O'Rourke
Principal Title Agent
Liberty Bell Agency, Inc.
"Experience a Better Real Estate Closing!"
Web Reference:  http://goo.gl/c1vJl
0 votes
Kathleen She…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Edtheia,
If you start by finding an experienced Realtor in the area where you want to buy, they will refer you to lenders who match your needs. The lender should check your credit, gather information about your income and available cash for you property. Then the lender will prepare a pre-approval letter indicating the type of loan and your price range.
0 votes
, ,
Sun Jan 22, 2012
Helo Edtheia,

give me a call and I will have you pre-approved in 15 minutes.

Regards,
Alan Openshaw
Cornerstone Lending Inc
Southampton Pa 18966
215 953 0800
cell 267 992 7276
VOTED BEST IN BUCKS 2010
NMLS ID 143960
0 votes
Timothy Garr…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Sun Jan 22, 2012
Hi, Edtheia.

Your first step would be to speak to a loan professional at a bank or lender. It's a free call, and it should not take longer than 30 minutes or so. If you need an experienced mortgage contact, I can recommend someone for you.

Just let me know.

Sincerely,
Tim

Timothy Garrity | Realtor & Consultant
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - #RS314897
215-829-8850 Office
267-879-2716 Mobile
tim@usspaces.com
0 votes
, ,
Sun Jan 22, 2012
Hello Edtheia,

The first step is to contact a lender that understands FHA loans and is also willing to take the time to help you even if you don't qualify right now. The first thing the lender will do is to check your credit report. Most banks want a 640 minimum FICO score for an FHA loan. We at Primary Residential Mortgage are one of the few lenders that has an FHA loan program that will go down to 500 FICO. If for any reason your credit score or report are not where they need to be, we enroll you in our Get Mortgage Ready Program completely free of charge.

If you past the credit check then the next step is to complete a loan application which will get all your employment, income, asset, and residency history for the past two years. This would constant a pre-qual only at this point which is not very strong and most real estate agents will not accept a pre-qual they want a real pre-approval. So the final step in order to get a pre-approval is to submit your most recent 30 days of pay stubs, W-2 and 1099 forms for the past 2 years, Federal Tax Returns for the past 2 years, 2 most recent bank statements (all pages), most recent retirement account statement, and a copy of your photo ID.
Once the lender has reviewed all of this information and confirms your meet the guidelines for an FHA loan, then you are really pre-approved for a mortgage.

The pre-approval letter should state the maximum purhcase price you qualify for, any closing costs assistance you will need (you can ask up to 6% on FHA loan), the loan program you are using, the information that has been verified, and the items still remaining to be reviewed.

If you would like to get pre-approved for an FHA loan to purchase a home in PA, then give me a call at 610-906-3109 or send me an e-mail at jthomas@primeres.com and I can walk you thru the whole process.

John R. Thomas
Certified Mortgage Planner - NMLS 38783
Primary Residential Mortgage
610-906-3109 Office
APPLY ONLINE now at http://www.PRMIDelaware.com/loanapplication
0 votes
Stephanie Ba…, , Philadelphia, PA
Sun Jan 22, 2012
Hi Edtheia,

I would suggest doing an online pre-approval through http://www.tridentmortgage.com
They are one of the best and most competitive mortgage lenders in the city and their staff is very friendly and helpful.
If you have any real estate questions or want to know more about the lending process and the differences between mortgages, I would be happy to help you in any way that I can. Feel free to contact me!
Stephanie.barr@prufoxroach.com
Cell: 412-559-5730
Office: 215-440-2057
0 votes
Marge Bennett, Agent, Fort Myers, FL
Sun Jan 22, 2012
you might want to start with your bank to see if they offer FHA loans. Get pre-qualified with them, then find a good Realtor, maybe from some of us who are active on this site.,
Happy hunting!
0 votes
George Chava…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Sun Jan 22, 2012
Hi Edtheia Moses,

I'm a real estate agent. If you would like to call me I could help you. I can explain all the steps of purchasing a home, beginning with getting you pre-approved for a mortgage. My direct # is 215-620-3798.
0 votes
Ana Barlow, Agent, Philadadelphia, PA
Sun Jan 22, 2012
Hi Edtheia:

You can go to your bank for a mortgage or to a private mortgage broker. They will both have several types of loans available, but a mortgage broker can really fit the mortgage to your specific needs.

Addtionally - if you are a member of a credit union it is an excellent place to start.

Please let me know if you need more direction or mortgage broker recommendations, I will include my email address.

Ana Barlow
Coldwell Banker Preferred

anabarlow@gmail.com
0 votes
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