I am a first time home buyer, looking to buy a home with a low or no down payment. Where do I start?

Asked by Thezombiekelly, 92509 Tue Oct 16, 2012

I am a 24 year old single woman, with an annual income of $50,000 and a credit score of around 680. Looking to buy a home under $150,000.

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Teresa Mejia, Agent, ONTARIO, CA
Mon May 20, 2013
You should obtain a Pre-qual letter first from a bank lender, you might want to use one you are currently banking with. They will give you all the information you need to determine what you qualify for and all the information about payments. I would seek out more then one lender but usually you can get a great deal if you make them all work for it. You can also let them know what you want your monthly payments to be so its at a comfortable amount for you.

If you need any help with this please feel free to contact me, I have work as a lender for many years before I became a real estate professional, as such I keep up with all the updates to keep my clients well informed.

Teresa Mejia
Intero Real Estate Services
909-721-7679 Cell
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Jose Ixmay, Agent, Chino Hills, CA
Wed Apr 24, 2013
Good Evening,

Have you been pre-qualified? Obtaining a pre-qualification from a reputable lender would be your first step. The pre-qualification will let you know what you can afford as well as help you determine your comfort level in regards to the associated payment. Not all lenders are the same. There are various lenders offering incentives and other are not. So don't hesitate to talk to two or three before you make a decision. Let me know if I may be of further assistance.
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Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Wed Nov 14, 2012
Here's my advice for any first time home buyer, no matter who you are or where you are located. Start at the beginning and assemble your own real estate "team." Here's how:

1. Meet with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for.

2. Get a referral to a good, local, real estate attorney. Call the attorney, retain the attorney so you have her information handy when you make an offer. Having that information at time of offer helps you demonstrate to the Seller how serious you are, and they will consider your offer with more interest.

3. Line up a Home Inspector. A good home inspector will scare the heck out of you: that's what you pay him for! But you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the property: roof free of leaks, plumbing, heating and electrical up to code and in good working order. Again, when you make an offer and you have your Home Inspector ready to go, your offer will be considered with much more interest by a Seller because you truly have your "ducks in a row" and your preparation demonstrates your serious attitude about conducting the purchase transaction in a timely manner.

4. Find an experienced Local Realtor who works in your desired shopping area. A serious pro Realtor will refuse to show you homes until you are Prequalified for mortgage financing. Don't take offense! That Realtor doesn't want you to be disappointed and wants you to have a smooth experience as you shop for your new home.

Put together your Team of real estate professionals and shop 'til you drop!

Good luck!
Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
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Susan Vander…, Agent, Lake Elsinore, CA
Thu Oct 25, 2012
You should be able to use the local and state downpayment assistance programs. Your income will qualify for Riverside and Orange Counties. Credit score should be fine too as long as you have not had any bankruptcy filings in the previous 2-4 years. How long have you been at the same job or same industry?
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Morcos Azer, Agent, La Habra, CA
Wed Oct 17, 2012
You are at the right place Trulia.com, and already started the process. Identify, first the area that you wish live in close to your job, family, schools, ...... Second, get qualified by lender of your choice, and you can find a qualified lender here on Trulia as well. And Finally, hire a local agent to work with, and also you can find a lot of qualified agent right here.
Good Luck
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Susan Vander…, Agent, Lake Elsinore, CA
Wed Oct 17, 2012
Look into your city and county programs for low/median income programs. Some offer downpayment assistance. Others offers more than downpayment assistance -- it depends on where you want to buy. Riverside County has a lower income limit for low/median income compared to Orange County. There is oftentimes disparity between the program requirements, who is really being helped and how would participating in such programs affect your ability to collect on equity. These are some trade-offs to consider.

To qualify, at the minimum:
How long have you been working? At least 2 years will be great at a new job; longer the better
Any bankruptcy filings? None within 2-4 years (depends on where you go)
Reserves (6-8 months); your credit score looks like you could do okay with 6 months of reserves
No felonies
There are other parameters

I hope this helped.
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Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Tue Oct 16, 2012
You can do it, but please - save up some money before you go buying a house. Six months of living expenses at a minimum.
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Gayle Stellas, Agent, Glenview, IL
Tue Oct 16, 2012
The best way to start is to talk with a trusted mortgage lender who can pre-approve you for a mortgage and help outline a plan for what costs to expect. You'll need a down payment, closing costs plus a monthly mortgage payment. The 30 yr FHA conventional loan allows for only 3.5% down.

Then choose a local Realtor who is experienced with first time homebuyers to help you navigate to properties best suited to meet your budget with an eye on keeping other costs in check like taxes, homeowner association fees etc. On the MLS, some homes offer a "down payment resource". Tied to the property which offers any special assistance programs to help purchase that home. Good luck!
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