I am interested in buying my first home. I have picked the neighborhood I would like to live in and I have a

Asked by Alicia, Georgia Fri Mar 28, 2008

roommate who is going to move in with me. I have already looked at one house and the agent has been bugging me ever since. I have a million questions and I want to make sure I know what I'm getting into before I actually sign anything. According to that agent, I will not get approved. She also suggested a cosigner(not an option I'm interested in as this is supposed to be MY first home) or a lease purchase(I don't really understand this one). This is my situation: I make minimum wage plus tips(on a regular day, I make about $13/hour) and I work full time. I have several thousand dollars in my bank account so I was hoping the minimum wage issue wouldn't be an issue. The agent told me it didn't matter how much I had saved because it would look worse for me to make minimum wage. I really don't have any bills right now, so it has been easy to save...and the house I found is $136,500. Should I bother??

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Jim Johnson, , 78233
Mon Apr 14, 2008
I applaud your independence and judgment. Don't let anything you think I may be saying discourage you. Read it all--I'm upbeat about your prospects.

Even if you can demonstrate an income at the level you state and have no debt, an income of $27,040 would not qualify for a home in the $130K range without a very sizable down-payment. Don't let this discourage you. That house may be out of the picture, but you may still be able to buy a home that will serve your interests better than a rental.

It costs nothing to get pre-qualified, so talk to a mortgage loan officer to see whether you can use that $13/hr figure, and just what your borrowing limit is. If you can, great! If you can't, but you feel good about being able to steadily bring in $13/hr, you should not dismiss getting a co-signer. A co-signer does not change the fact that you own the home, and will be buying it on your own. The co-signer just gives the lender the assurance that their interest will be preserved.

Then take a look at the link below to see whether you might qualify for one of the assistance programs available in your area, and what that may be.

Assuming that you get a handle on what you can afford, and have explored your buyer assistance options, your next step should be to sign on with a buyer's agent to help you find the best property you can.
1 vote
Doris Barnett, Agent, Richardson, TX
Mon Apr 14, 2008
Call the city and ask about a first time homebuyer program. There may be a way to get a bit more money from that fund and still be able to get you into the house. Do speak with a mortgage broker. They search out better deals and programs to try to help you get into the property. They are not all the same so if one tells you no. Try again and ask a Realtor who sells in this price range who they recommend. SO do a search on REALTOR.com and see who specializes. Good luck you aren't in my area (Dallas and north tx) or I would offer to help.
0 votes
Karen Shrock…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Sat Mar 29, 2008
I totally agree with all the pros who say to check with a mortgage lender to see if you qualify and what you qualify for.

There are many options available at $100K or less in the area depending upon where you are looking and what you are looking for. You may have picked the wrong agent match for you this time around.

I worked with a client who ended up getting a cosigner. She had a very healthy trust fund, but she was young, a student without a job, and had no credit. She didn't want to pay cash and she didn't want to take a loan against her trust fund.

If you have someone who is able to co-sign for you and help you get your first home, consider the option. You'll save yourself some hassle in getting a loan. Is including your roommate in the purchase an option?
0 votes
Marcia Levine, Agent, Plano, TX
Sat Mar 29, 2008
Real Estate is local-not national. It happens to be a very good time to buy in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
You absolutely should talk to a mortgage lender to find out what you can afford. This is important because when it comes time to writing an offer on a property, you'll want to be able to show that you've been preapproved by a lender and that you are a serious buyer.
Web Reference:  http://www.MarciaLevine.com
0 votes
Cory Kutin, , Dallas, TX
Sat Mar 29, 2008
Hi Alicia,
Simple.... Talk to a mortgage lender. Find out what the banks say you can afford and go from there.
0 votes
Hi, , Virginia
Sat Mar 29, 2008
save your money
you cant go wrong by saving money
it is not a good time to buy a house
prices are declining
if you buy this house for $136,000
next year it could be worth 10% less
or $123,000
and if you must buy
get an FHA loan


good luck
0 votes
David Hitchi…, , 75252
Sat Mar 29, 2008

You need to speak with a qualified mortgage lender. They will take your information and determine whether or not you can qualify to buy a home and at what price. This is the only way in my opinion to purchase a home, find out what you can purchase then start looking. The agent should have told you that right up front.
Web Reference:  http://www.DavesHomes4u.com
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Fri Mar 28, 2008
Never depend on another person so assist in paying a mortgage life happensWhy does someone not pull your credit determine what you can qualify for?Never purchase a home from a seller, or a builder unless you have your own agent representing you
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
David - Appr…, , Maricopa, AZ
Fri Mar 28, 2008
Talk with a lender first to see how much you can get qualified for and preapproved. You can also determine what type of financing package will work best for you and your financial situation. Then you will have a better idea of what price range of homes to look at. You would be wasting your time and get discouraged by letting an agent find homes that you love but can't afford.
0 votes
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