I am interested in purchasing a home but i have no idea where to start. Any advice?

Asked by Teka, 32218 Thu Sep 9, 2010

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Blaine Rabe, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Thu Sep 9, 2010

The first thing is to get a real estate agent to help you through the process. Its free, so why not. The the rest of the pieces of the puzzel should become easy.

Blaine Rabe
1 vote
Dee Eaton, Agent, Albuquerque, NM
Wed Oct 13, 2010
Definitely START with prequalification...find a lender. Know how much you can purchase before meeting with a realtor. Although, most realtors can help direct you to a reputable lending institution.

Then sit down with a realtor. Discuss your preferences (neighborhoods, style, price point, amenities). They in turn can eliminate what doesn't meet your requirements. A realtor will educate you on the whole process of purchasing a home...from contracts to risk management and protection. Buying a home might seem daunting or over welming but with a professional to guide and educate you...it doesn't have to be a scary endeavor...you might even have some fun!
0 votes
Tammy Hayes, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Wed Oct 13, 2010
First time home buyer tips
Are you a first time home buyer? Here are some helpful tips to get you started on the right path.

1. The first step before you do anything is to find out how much money you can borrow from a bank/mortgage company. Check with different lenders to see who can get you the best deal. Once you know what you can afford, then you can begin to plan.

2. Determine what you need in a home, not necessarily what you want in a home. Make a list of those needs to give to your Realtor. When you are searching for homes you will find that it is very rare to find a home that has absolutely everything you are looking for. If you stick to what you actually need, you will have better success in your search.

3. Research areas/communities that are of interest to you. Determine what things are important such as schools, proximity to shopping, restaurants, and local activities. Drive through the communities to get a feel for what they are like.

4. Learn as much as you can about the process of buying a home. Some local Realtors or lenders will offer first time home buying seminars. If you can find one in your local area it would be helpful to attend. If you cannot attend a seminar, look on the Internet for a home buyers guide such as the one at Bankrate.com - http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/BuyerGuide2004/…

5. Select a local Realtor to help you begin your search for a home. You can search Internet sites such as Realtor.com or Homes.com, but a Realtor has access to all of the homes in the local MLS. They can provide you with information on the home, the area and answer any questions you may have. A Realtor can show you properties of interest.

6. Learn about the contract and what is involved. Your Realtor can take you through step by step the process of a contract. After it is signed by buyer and seller, it is called an executed contract. Then you would want to get a home inspection. If everything is fine with the inspection, then you can go forward towards closing.

7. Know what happens at closing. Again, a Realtor can walk you through what to expect at closing. You will need to have money for closing costs such as title search, processing fees, taxes, and insurance.

Buying your first home is an exciting and overwhelming experience. So make sure you are prepared.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL tammyhayesre@gmail.com
0 votes
Jeff Kim, Agent, Blackhawk, CA
Sat Oct 9, 2010
1. Contact a lender and see how much you qualify for- this way you will know what your price range is.
2. research research and research the location location and location you want to move to
3. Contact a local real estate expert.
4. Schedule showings for homes you like
5. Put an offer in and get accepted
6. Work on the contingencies.
7. Sign documents
8. Congrats! you have a new home!
The above is just a snapshot and obviously there is a lot more to the process. So make you contact a great local real estate agent to discuss with you.
0 votes
Rachel Z Adr…, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Fri Oct 8, 2010
Hello, first step is to talk to a lender for you to know how much you can afford and for additional information to qualify for a loan. Do your wish list and make it realistic depending on how much you can afford. Good luck!
0 votes
Leslie Jones, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Tue Sep 14, 2010
I agree with - talk to a lender - even before a realtor. Nothing is worse than falling in love with something you can not afford. A loan officer will tell you what price range you qualify for and how much money you will need for a down payment. Get pre approved so that when you do find the right property, you will be ready. Now is a fabulous time to buy since interest rates have never been lower and prices are down, but you need to understand the market, to know what a short sale is, how long it takes to close with one. I have a very good book that Keller Williams produces called The First Time Homebuyer that I would be happy to share with you.
0 votes
Robert Basin, Agent, Sun City Center, FL
Sun Sep 12, 2010
1. Where do you want to be?
2. What type of lifestyle do you see for yourself there?
3. Do you want a condo, townhouse, single family home?
4. What can you afford?
5. When do you want to be there?
0 votes
Victoria Cro…, , San Diego, CA
Fri Sep 10, 2010
Hi Teka,
I would begin your search by selecting a few Realtors to interview within your local area. Explain to them that you are a first time homebuyer and would like to sit down and talk to them about the purchasing process. At that point, hopefully there will be one that you connect with and you will be ready to learn more information regarding the process. Once you have selected a Realtor, I would ask for a few lenders, ideally use a direct lender and then interview the lenders. It is critical that you develop a relationship with both your Realtor and your lender. They are there to help you and protect your throughout your homebuying process.

Good luck!
Victoria Crown
Broker Associate
Willis Allen Real Estate
0 votes
Fri Sep 10, 2010
Trulia is a good place to start.
The first thing you need to do is find out how much you can afford and what loan you qualify for. You can give us a call and we will be happy to pre-qualify you for a mortgage and tell you the max amount you can finance and walk you through what it takes to get a loan and what to expect.
After you're pre-qualified, you'd want to contact a realtor in your area ( we can help you with that too), who will get started on find a home that you like and can finance.
Once you find the house you'd like to buy, and have an accepted contract, we would get started on financing that usually takes 20-30 days.
We would take care of everything starting from application, appraisal, inspection, survey, title insurance and arrange everything the day of closing.

And that's pretty much it. When you surround yourself with quality professionals, the home buying process is easy, because everything is done for you.

Like, i said before, you're more than welcome to call us and get started on that pre-qualification as the first step to homeownership: 904-238-0668 or 800-801-6080

Elena Ollick
Amerivest Realty
Faith Home Loans
0 votes
Terry Bell, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Thu Sep 9, 2010
Hey! You're starting at the right place! Do some surfing on the net to get an idea of what is appealing to you; email some local agents and loan brokers and talk to them to get an idea of what you can afford; go to open houses and ask lots of questions! If you are a first time homeowner, talk to several agents and have them show you some houses. Once you find an agent that you trust and are comfortable with, try to stay with them because they can watch for your perfect house to come on the market, and help you be ready with a pre-approval letter and the knowledge of what will be the perfect fit for you!
0 votes
MaryBeth Sch…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Thu Sep 9, 2010
Hi Teka,
I would love to help you! I am a Realtor with Vanguard Realty. Please call me or email me. This is a great time to buy!

Mary Beth Schillig
Vanguard Realty Inc.
Web Reference:  http://www.ILoveMBHomes.com
0 votes
Desari Jabbar, Agent, Stone Mountain, GA
Thu Sep 9, 2010
Your first step would be to find a an experienced loan officer and realtor who can assist you through the home buying process. The agents here on trulia would be a great place to start your real estate agent search. But, do your homework also. Start researching possible neighborhoods where you'd like to live. Once you know how much house you can purchase and the area, your agent will assist you with finding the right home.

Best of luck to you!
Web Reference:  http://www.DesariJabbar.com
0 votes
Tonya Brobeck, , Everett, WA
Thu Sep 9, 2010
Start talking to your good friends about home ownership, ask they why they chose to buy. Who was their agent, especially important if you live in the same area. Ask the realtor you choose for all the information available on hand (printed material) regarding process, education, home inspections basically a front to back explanation of how the home buying system works. Then talk with a lender (agents/brokers) usually have good connections (friends do too). Learn all you can about various loan programs, fees, interest, down payments, closing costs. Etc. You will find a good realtor and lender will educate you 24/7 instead of attempting to sell you. Beware of the ones that do hard pressure
0 votes
Round Table…, Agent, St Johns, FL
Thu Sep 9, 2010
And to reiterate that you should spend as much time on the web researching the homes you want to see that are in your price range before hitting the road. If you dont do this you'll find yourself looking at far too many homes that dont meet your wants and needs and that will simply lead to confusion. There are great websites out there that will allow you to bookmark your favorite homes and save searches, search via map, etc. Ive referenced ours but there are a lot of them out there to meet your needs (I like ours in that: 1 its mine and 2 it shows full size images of the homes instead of thumbnails you have to squint to see)
0 votes
Victoria Kui…, Agent, Lemon Grove, CA
Thu Sep 9, 2010
I agree with the first answer - start with a good lender. Ask friends or family who may have recently refinanced or purchased for a recommendation. They may recommend a licensed Realtor who could also give you recommendations for a lender. Talk to at least 3 Realtors and see who you connect with. Talk to 3 loan officers/brokers and see who you connect with and compare rates. Make sure you work with a lender and Realtor who sincerely understand your price range and don't try to talk you into buying more than you can afford!

Also - do lots of "shopping" on-line first in terms of looking at houses. This will help your education process, so you understand what is available at the price you can afford.

Once you are pre-approved then you can go out and start looking in earnest! Have fun and expect that the search may take longer than you thought.

0 votes
Lynn Brier-De…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Thu Sep 9, 2010
Hi Teka,

Your very first step should be to contact a lender of choice, who can get you pre-qualified and tell you what price range you should be looking in. Then you find a great REALTOR to help you find properties that meet your needs. I'd love to help. My number is 904-343-8586...

Lynn Brier-De La Cruz, REALTOR
Vanguard Realty Inc
Web Reference:  http://www.LynnSellsJax.com
0 votes
Joann Corwin, Agent, Marshfield, MA
Thu Sep 9, 2010
Start by getting your finances in order. Talk to a mortgage specialist and find out how much you can afford, get prequalified. Talk to a local realtor and find out what is available in your price range and start looking. If you are not ready to go touring through homes, ask your realtor to register you to receive daily emails. Good luck and have fun!
0 votes
Linda S. Cef…, Agent, Franklin, WI
Thu Sep 9, 2010
Hi Teka,

While I am very happy to see so many new buyers getting off the fence. I think this question comes up at least several times a week. I would advise you to click on view all questions on this subject. There is so much useful information there for you. I do not want to be repetitive in such a short time span, so please check out the previous answers.

The one thing that I will say is you need to start with a reputable lender. Check with friends, family, co-workers, neighbors.....ask lots of questions and interview at least three lenders before making a decision. The lender will be able to steer you in the right direction. Be completely honest and answer all questions thoroughly. The more they know about you, the better they can help you.

Hope this was helpful.
Web Reference:  http://www.lindacefalu.com
0 votes
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