I'm looking to buy a house, but I'm really not sure, given how strict I hear lenders are these days, if I have a shot at getting a mortgage.

Asked by stacymcclellan, Green Bay, WI Wed Jan 2, 2013

I'm currently considering first-time home ownership. In fact, I've found a home that I really, really like for a price that I found to be very reasonable ($89,900), but I feel like I might have a hard time qualifying. I have a FICO score of 631 but my credit card utilization is like 96% between three low-limit cards. I have no late payments or anything derogatory. I'm going to pay off all my credit card debt once I get my taxes in about a month. I went through some simulators that put my score at 680-720 once these are reported as paid (is this unrealistic?). I only make about $32,000 per year. My DTI is about 20% right now with an auto loan, student loans, and credit cards. I'm also taking some classes this month that will allow me to get down payment and closing cost assistance from a local program as long as I can get my own financing. Is it possible?

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Sonal Goda’s answer
Sonal Goda, Agent, Chantilly, VA
Thu Jan 3, 2013
Hi Stacy,

The best thing to do is to speak with a loan officer directly - there is no cost and no obligation to do this. It is wonderful that you have done so much research, but the best resource for real life information will be someone who works with loan approvals day in and day out. You have shared a lot of financial details, but there may be even more factors that the loan officer will need to consider. For example - it makes a difference if there is a condo fee or just an HOA fee.

You should speak with two or three loan officers from different types of institutions and find one who can walk you through what you need to do to qualify. As Faiza mentioned - it may not be necessary to completely pay off your credit cards... I believe if each card has a balance of 25% or less, it is fine, for example.

Bottom line - it is not "hard" to get a mortgage approval, especially for people who have a job with a regular paycheck. It has become harder for people with businesses who used to do "no doc" loans - but this does not sound like your situation.

What area are you looking in to purchase?

0 votes
The Dudley R…, Agent, Tysons, VA
Tue May 7, 2013
Hello Stacy.

We're now in the Spring Market - Shristhi and I would love to help you with your real estate needs.

Have you had a chance to talk with a lender to discover what you can qualify for? We also work often with first-time home buyers.

Please don't hesitate to call us if you have any real estate questions.


Chris & Shris Dudley
Long & Foster, Realtors
Licensed in DC, MD & VA
Office #: (703) 556-8600
Office Address: 8227 Old Courthouse Road, Tysons Corner, VA 22182
Chris Cell: (202) 297-3047
Email: chrisdudley@longandfoster.com
Shris Cell: (301) 655-1521
Email: shristhi.dudley@longandfoster.com
0 votes
Faiza Alvi, Agent, Woodbridge, VA
Thu Mar 21, 2013

I would like to follow up with you ~ on buying your first home!! Have you found anything yet? Please let me know, thank you!!
0 votes
Rob Ross, , Reston, VA
Wed Mar 20, 2013

I am one of the Top lenders in the Nation and actually local in the Reston / Herndon market.

You can call me anytime at 703-568-3749 Cell

My site is http://www.DCmortgageSource.com

Best regards and I would love to chat.

0 votes
Jeanne Little, Agent, Vienna, VA
Sun Mar 17, 2013
Hello Stacy,

Have you found a lender or an agent that can assist you? Talking with an experienced mortgage lender is key to your journey in the home buying process. If you are still searching, or you are on the right track now and need a qualified agent to guide you in the real estate buying process, please call me. I live in the Herndon area and work with first time home buyers. Your dream of owning a home may be near or you may still need some planning. Let me help make your home wishes come true..call Jeanne at 703-973-7742.
0 votes
Faiza Alvi, Agent, Woodbridge, VA
Wed Jan 2, 2013

I've recently helped a couple buy their first home with down payment assistance from the county. It's absolutely not unrealistic to start looking into buying and taking care of your debt but before you do anything I would highly recommend that you get together with a buyer's agent who can help you through the process and also find you a lender who may have a program for your needs. Paying off all the debt is not always the case but your loan officer can look at your report and point out what needs to be paid to get you financed for your first home. Interview 2-3 different agents in your area and work with the one who understands your needs the best. If you want I can also find you a knowledgeable buyer's agent through my network, let me know if I can be of any help and Good Luck for your first home!!

Best Regards,
Faiza Alvi - Realtor®
Prince William Realty, Inc.
703-389-7973 (Direct)
703-580-9995 (Fax)

I believe:
Real Estate is about building relationships
& serving clients with honesty, integrity & passion.
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