I am looking to buy my first house. Where do we start? I know what I want I want a 4 bed 2 bath in the Pembroke Pines area (west of Flamingo and

Asked by Roxieebd0607, Florida Wed Dec 9, 2009

north of Pines Blvd) oh and my max price is $280K.

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Angela Schra…, Agent, Pembroke Pines, FL
Wed Dec 9, 2009
Dear Roxie:

I agree 100% with Mike. First time buyer, or experienced buyer, the first step is always to seek professional advice about what you can comfortably afford. You may discover that you can get more than you ever dreamed of, or you could just as easily find that your hopes are grander than your wallet. The biggest mistake you could possibly make is to get yourself into a property that you couldn't afford. It's not even a matter of how much you can possibly afford, the real question is how much can you COMFORTABLY afford.

That first step requires you to contact one and maybe more lenders and/or mortgage brokers. They will spend time with you and ask you a lot of questions about your finances. What you're really looking for is a pre-approval as opposed to what's known as a pre-qualification. It's harder to get a pre-approval, but a pre-approval is much more valuable. Not only will you need to answer questions about your finances, you will have to provide the lender with documents. They'll ask for W2s, bank statements, tax returns and things like that. Once they review the documents, they will be able to procide an approval letter that will pretty much guarantee you that you'll qualify for a mortgage, unless your situation changes.

When you know exactly what your purchase budge is, then you can work with a Realtor to help you find exactly what you're looking for, at a price that you can afford. A good Realtor is a good listener. You don't want a Realtor who wants to sell you a house that he/she likes, you want a Realtor that wants to sell you a house that you like, and the only way they can do that is to really listen when you are explaining what you want. They should have lots of good advice about what you should think about, but ultimately all of the choices should be yours.

It is completely realistic to expect to find a nice 4 bedroom home in the area that you describe. I would be happy to work with you to help you find it. I am thinking about communities like Spring Valley, Towngate and Pembroke Falls. All very desirable developments within your preferred area.

Don't forget that there are many additional costs involved in purchasing a home. Your Realtor will be able to provide good estimates of closing costs, taxes, HOA fees and PMI (private mortgage insurance). As I am sure you know, you'll want to move quickly on your purchase plans, because the government is providing an $8,000 tax credit that is meant to help you pay for your first home. You'll need to have agreed to a contract by April 30th, 2010, and you'll need to have completed the deal by July 1st.

Finally, a good Realtor will have lots of advice to help you navigate the complicated landscape of short sales, foreclosures and traditional (regular) sales. It's easy to fall into the trap of expecting short sales and foreclosures to always be your fist choice - believing that that's where the bargains are. The reality, however, is that short sales and foreclosures may not be particularly better deals, and there are a lot of frustrations involved. I am not saying avoid them at all costs, but I am saying that a good Realtor will help you anticipate what the advantages and disadvantages will be.

Best wishes on your home search - it's very exciting to be looking for the first real home of your own, and I personally love working with that type of buyer, because of the excitement and enthusiasm. If I can help you, please let me know. As a "Pembroke Piner" myself, it would be great to welcome you as the city's newest resident!

I hope this helps and I hope to hear from you!

Best regards,

Villa G Realty, Inc.
Tel: 954-816-7996
Email: angela@villagrealty.com
Web Reference:  http://www.villagrealty.com
1 vote
Ana Huffer, Agent, Cooper City, FL
Wed Dec 9, 2009
Hi Roxie,

Congratulations on deciding to buy your first house! Have you already been pre-qualified for a loan? If not, then that would be your first step so that you know exactly how much you can afford and what kind of payment you will have. You can usually get pre-qualified in just a matter of minutes. Once you have that information, you're ready to start your search. I would be happy to answer any questions that you may have and I am very familiar with the West Pembroke Pines area. I can also send you updated listings of everything that is currently available.

Deciding to purchase a new home can be a very exciting time, but it can also be very complicated. You need a professional who is familiar with how the entire process works and all the intricacies that come along with real estate contracts and negotiations to ensure that you receive the best deal possible. I work closely with buyers and sellers, from start to finish, to provide a worry free transaction through a combination of my real estate expertise and by giving you the outstanding customer service that you deserve.

Ana Huffer
Green World Realty
(305) 951-7201
1 vote
Sandra Rathe, Agent, Weston, FL
Wed Dec 9, 2009
Hi Roxiee

Mike is correct that your first step would be to get pre-qualified for a mortgage so you know what type of loan you qualify for and what your price range truly can be. By going through this process you will learn the full monthly payments involved in purchasing a home of a certain amount. After you have the pre-qualification letter you want to contact an agent who knows the West Pembroke Pines area well. In the meantime I would be happy to send you some listings so you can get an idea of what is out there. If you would just send me an email so I know how to contact you. I am very familiar with the Pines area and would be happy to help you through the process.

Sandra Rathe
Web Reference:  http://www.SandraRathe.com
1 vote
Mike Brasco, Home Seller, Jacksonville, FL
Wed Dec 9, 2009
You might want to start with Getting pre approved first and getting your credit checked. Then you will truly know exactly how much you will qualify for. FHA will allow you to spend roughly 35% of your before monthly tax income on your housing expense. That would included your mortgage payment plus taxes and insurance. In addition FHA will only require you to put down 3.5% now but I would hurry because they are talking about raising the FHA min down payment to 5% next year and only allowing the seller to pay up to 3% of your closing cost. Right now the seller can pay up to 6% of your closing cost.
1 vote
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Thu Mar 22, 2012
First of all Congrats, on deciding to buy a home of your own!

First and most important get in contact with a lender and get pre approved for a loan. This will let you know what price range you can truly look in. Knowing how much home you can actually purchase is a plus. The pre approval process will also inform you about how much you will need for a down payment and closing cost. The lender can also give you info on down payment assistance programs and low interest rate loans for first time buyers. I suggest you work with a major lender, perhaps you can check with the bank where you do your personal banking.

Second find yourself a great buyer's agent. You need an agent who is not too busy to take the time needed to help you find a home you will be most happy with.

Again, Congrats!

Best of luck to you!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
Irina Karan, Agent, Aventura, FL
Thu Mar 22, 2012
Pre-approval is the key for the successful start in the transaction, but you got to do some "financial planning" which is often forgotten. F.e. once you find the house, you'll need to do an inspection.
There are different types of inspection: regular, mold, termites, roof, 4 point and wind mitigation, Chinese drywall. Most often, buyers choose regular, termite, roof, and mold inspections.
The prices on these can amount to hundreds of dollars (so you need to plan for this expense).

On a single family house, you'll also need to buy home and flood insurance (4 point inspection with wind mitigation inspection, along with elevation certification, if applicable - might help you save money on your yearly home insurance premium). You have to ask the seller about the elevation certificate, if they have it.

Home insurance could go up to $3,000 or more, and it is normally paid before the closing.

I would also suggest for your to find out about all of the mortgage programs available to you in your specific credit, income and assets situation, before you proceed. You can buy more of a house on a community with the lower HOA, for example. There are no silly questions, so go ahead and ask!
Especially on closing costs - so you are not overcharged at closing!

With a good agent, you'll have a good team working for you (an inspector, an attorney/title company,
a mortgage pro etc.) and the process will be nice and smooth, and hopefully fun!

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes
Bsinger, , Florida
Tue Mar 20, 2012
Good morning Roxie. If you have not been pre approved for a loan yet please contact me. I am in Davie and would love the opportunity to earn your business. Being the father of 3 I understand the stress of buying your first home for you and your children. I can be reached at 954-317-3330 or you can email me at brad@leadermortgageservices.com. Hope to hear from you soon.

Leader Mortgage Services
0 votes
Boris Russa…, Agent, Weston, FL
Tue Mar 20, 2012
Please call me 954 643 1050
0 votes
Zach Mani, , Pembroke Pines, FL
Tue Mar 20, 2012
Hello Roxie, If you have not been pre-approved, sit down with a Lender and go over all your options. Once you are comfortable with a housing payment in your budget, by all means seek a good Realtor who will work with your needs and time frame. Internet is a great source to learn about real estate, but your local experts will have the inside scoop. Zach the Lender
0 votes
Luis E. Loza…, Agent, Weston, FL
Thu Apr 28, 2011
Already bought your property?
Where you bought it?

Please call me 954-297-5634
0 votes
Tammy Hayes, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Tue Feb 22, 2011
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
Luis E. Loza…, Agent, Weston, FL
Tue Feb 22, 2011
Did you have pre aproval ?
0 votes
Luis E. Loza…, Agent, Weston, FL
Thu Feb 17, 2011
Call me 954 297 5634 i have four. Properites
0 votes
Boris Russa…, Agent, Weston, FL
Thu Feb 17, 2011
You can buy the beautiful house in Pembroke Pines for $280K.
I guarantee you the house with following criteria:
- 4/3
- pool
- lake
- gated community
- total area - 2800 sq f.

Best Regards,
Boris Russanov
Realtor, FORTUNE International Realty
Cell 954 643 1050
Phone 954 727 9347 Ext 258
Fax 954 727 9348
0 votes
Luis E. Loza…, Agent, Weston, FL
Tue Dec 21, 2010
you should start looking for a good realtor who knows the area, find a mortgage company to request pre-qualification letter.
Once you have a professional Real Estates and the amount to where you buy your home. Should begin to see properties in the area was selected

Call me 954-297-5634 or see my profile
0 votes
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