I'm looking to buy my first home by the summer,what is the first step to take,i am a recent college grad and make 36600 a yr will i be approved

Asked by James Thomas, Philadelphia, PA Sat Feb 12, 2011

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, ,
Sun Feb 20, 2011
Let's talk about things from a more realistic point of view. You are a recent college grad, earning $3050 per month. You will find someone who will allow you to have total payments including principal and interest on a mortgage, taxes, homeowner's insurance, any homeowner's association dues and PMI if necessary, plus all other debt total $1525. However, is this a smart thing for you to get into at this point in your life? Are you renting something now? If that is working out for you, can you find something where the payments I mentioned equal your rent? If you are not renting, but living at home now, how much have you been able to save every month? Do you have any deferred student loans that you will have to start to pay? They must be included in your debt-to-income ratio because they will not be deferred for at least another 3 years, which is the rule.
If all that I have written makes sense to you, and you feel comfortable being in that position, then buy something. If, on the other hand, you know that is not where you want to be, don't get yourself stuck into something like this so early on in life.
1 vote
, ,
Tue Feb 15, 2011
James, I agree with Alan, Have a loan officer pull your credit, analyze income, down payment , etc You should be able to get pre approved within a day or find out what you need to do to get pre approved. I'd be happy to assist you and my office is about 5 miles from the city. Chad Bahnsen 610 622-2212 cbahnsen@mortgagenetwork.com.
1 vote
Maura Mcdonn…, , Philadelphia, PA
Tue Feb 22, 2011
the P&I payment would be right around $1500. I think Robin being from NY doesn't realize in Philly taxes are typically $100 / month --or possibly less with a tax abatement.
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Ryan Quinn, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Tue Feb 22, 2011

Please know that I have consulted a mortgage broker in PA on this specific property that I speak of. With FHA and seller assist this scenario is plausible.

I suggest next time you contact someone privately if you wish to challenge or try to discredit. This is not the place to do so. I would gladly speak to you off line and share my property with you. Get the facts.
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, ,
Tue Feb 22, 2011
Ryan, where are you getting the idea that $1500 per month can buy James a $300,000 home? Not only is the payment on the mortgage more than that, you are not counting the FHA MIP fee, which would add another $200 or so to the payment, plus the property taxes, homeowner's insurance, and any HOA dues. Besides that, the $4500 you mentioned is not enough for the 3.5% down on FHA, and you also are not counting a single dollar of additional debt.
Aside from that, no underwriter is going to allow you to qualify based on rental income in anything other than a multi-family, If, on the other hand, you can find a condo for $150,000 or less, with very minimal fees and property taxes, you might have a point. By minimal, I am thinking under $300 combined for those amounts. Then, on top of that, James should have parents that still help him out with certain things.
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, ,
Mon Feb 21, 2011
Bottom line is you need to have a loan officer pre approve you. It looks like there are a lot of good answers below. I'd be happy to assist you. Robin gives some good input below as well. I'm a local banker and would be happy to discuss things in more detail with you over the phone. Chad 610 -622-2212
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Ryan Quinn, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Sun Feb 20, 2011
Okay, so I'm a REALTOR, and I don't care if you buy or rent, as long as you're doing either I'm fine, but I'm going to give the advice and tell you to buy vs. rent in Philadelphia. It's a great time to think about it more so now than any other time in the past 5 years.

I met with someone the other day who was looking for a $1500 apartment in Center City. There are literally hundreds of options in that range and we checked out a few. While we were out looking, I asked the client why not look at options to purchase? If most places are requiring $4500 out of pocket to move in (first last plus security), why not use that same money to put down on a house and buy it?

Did you know that a monthly rent check of $1500 could get you a mortgage on about a $300,000 home? It's making a little more sense now but let's delve further into the buy vs rent dilemma.

Say you have or intend on having a roommate. Buying a place with two or more bedrooms affords you the chance to have that roommate pay part (or ALL!) of your mortgage payment!

One roommate paying $750 a month now means you are paying $750 for your $300K investment!

Buy a three bedroom and rent two rooms at $750 each....you're living for FREE in the house you just bought. Furthermore, I haven't even mentioned the tax benefits and direct line deductions you are eligible for buying your first home these are a few reasons but there are even more reason to buy if you're interested.

I've got some great properties in mind for first timers to look at, some in South Phillly, Point Breeze, Fishtown, Northern Liberties you name it....Contact me and at least look into the possibility of home ownership. Stop paying off your landlord's mortgage and get your self on track financially!
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David Miles, Agent, Cumberland, RI
Sun Feb 20, 2011
If you find a Realtor who has been helpful and has the skills and experience to represent you as a Buyers Broker that is a good starting point. They will be able to guide to the next critical step which is to get a mortgage pre-appoval letter from a lender they work well with. This will save you the grief of looking at and wanting to buy homes the banl will not appove you for. It also helps you target the price range you are comfortable in so the agent can start an initial search.
I would suggest you find an agent who has the technology to e-mail you properties that meet your criteria on a daily basis. This puts you way ahead of the other buyers and also puts you in control of the search process. It allows you to select the homes that appeal to you.
Your approval is based on a number of criteia with income and credit scores being the most impotant.
0 votes
Ryan Quinn, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Sun Feb 20, 2011

My suggestion would be to meet with both a mortgage broker and a REALTOR to discuss the complete process from start to finish so that there are no surprises during your home buying process.

I've found that by knowing each step along the way you'll be more relaxed and at ease when searching and buying a home.

I can help you with this if you would like.

Last year I've helped clients purchase over $3 Million in real estate and I'd like the opportunity to help you if you're still in need of assistance.

If you're well under way I wish you all the best of luck.

0 votes
Tom Lowy, Agent, Wayne, PA
Sun Feb 13, 2011
James - The first thing I advise my clients is to seek out a financial person who will look at all of your numbers and give you a rough estimate of what you can afford. Then you take what the maximum you can affor according to the money person and balance that amount with how you feel about the security of your job, the kind of life style you like to lead how much and where you want your hard earned money to go. You then can calculate what you want to spend per monh on housing Max to min and there you go. Now that you know what you want to spend (within your limits) you can go hunting for a home. And like all good hunters you might want to take a guide with you - also know as a buyers agent. Good luck in finding a good money person. If you would like a recommendation for a financial person I would be happy to ecommend three or four I trust and you can choose the on you like. The financial person is a very important person in the housing equatioon as they get you the money to buy the house and without the money showing up - you do not get a home.
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Dave Lombardo, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Sun Feb 13, 2011
If you were to review any self help sites they would tell you to seek out your own buyers agent. This something not to be taken lightly. If you were to sell your home I am sure you would interview 2 or maybe even 3 different real estate licensees. You should do the same when seeking out a buyer agent. Your buyer agent is a person who should provide you with the information needed to help you make educated real estate decisions. I often meet with my buyers in advance so they can interview me and I can better understand what their goals are and address any questions or concerns they may have. Good luck with your home search!
0 votes
Carol Diament, Agent, philadelphia, PA
Sat Feb 12, 2011
It's very easy to find out if you call a reputable mortgage lender. You can look into PFHA loans that are available for first time buyers and have lower than average interest rates and even help with some of the down payment if you qualify.
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, ,
Sat Feb 12, 2011
Hello James,

My suggestion is to speak with a local mortgage broker. Give them your basic information and let them check your credit. They can then give you a pre-approval so that you can start shopping for a home with a Realtor. You qualification will depend on income, credit, how much other debt you have (student loans car payment and credit cards) and the purchase price of the home and the real estate taxes.
I'd be happy to meet with you to discuss your options. Call me on my cell 267 992 7276

Best Regards,
Alan Openshaw
Cornerstone Lending Inc
720 Second St Pike Suite 104
Southampton Pa 18966
Office 215 953 0800
Fax 215 953 1706
Cell 267 992 7276
Voted Best of Bucks 2010
0 votes
, ,
Sat Feb 12, 2011
The first step is to speak with a mortgage lender that can make sure that everything is in order to start your home search. I have been helping first time homebuyers for the last 16 years. Feel free to call me 412 726 1654 to review your options.
0 votes
Maura Mcdonn…, , Philadelphia, PA
Sat Feb 12, 2011
Hello James --

I am a Mortgage Advisor and have been assisting 1st time home buyers for 10+ years. I'd be happy to chat with you over the phone and set your expectations, answer questions , and steer you in the right direction. There a a lot of 1st time home buying ptrograms that are not offered by all lenders. Call me at 610.291.1460.

Maura McDonnell
0 votes
Renee Porsia, Agent, Newtown, PA
Sat Feb 12, 2011
Hello James,

What I tell consumers is the very first thing you need to do is hire your own buyer agent. Your buyer agent will protect only your best interests. Since this will be your first home, you really will need a patient buyer agent who will hold your hand and guide you through every step.

I provide a buyer counseling session to all of my buyers where I sit with them and go over the buying process and answer all of their questions.

Once you hire your buyer agent, they can also help you with the mortgage process. The mortgage process is more important than ever before because there are so many new rules and guidelines which makes it even harder to get approved. It's important to deal with a reputable mortgage consultant.

I'd love to talk with you about your future goals. Feel free to contact me either via email reneeporsia@mac.com or on my cell at 215-669-0589.

Feel free to go to my website and check out my video blogs which explains buyer agency as well as the buying process. I also have a written blog which you will find helpful. http://www.reneeporsia.com

There are so many things that you need to know and do before you get approved.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
RE/MAX Action
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office Ask for Renee
0 votes
Kevin Tran, , Philadelphia, PA
Sat Feb 12, 2011
Yes, I believe you are...but how's your credit? Any established credit (12 months) such as cell, PGW, PECO, cable...etc. I agreed with some of the agents that responded...you should talk to a loan officer first. You don't want to start looking and unsure if you're qualify or not. Be sure to let them know what is your comfortable monthly payment.... Hope this help. Take care.
0 votes
Timothy Garr…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Sat Feb 12, 2011
Hi, James.

Depending on what you're looking to buy, and what your current debts are, you should definitely be able to find an affordable home in Philadelphia based on your income.

Before you get set on looking at a specific home you found online, your first step would be to speak to a loan officer at a mortgage company. He/she will be able to check your credit, run your debt-to-income ratios (used to determine loan amounts), and issue a pre-qualification.

This service is free at most mortgage companies. I have a great contact for you if you would like to get started. Please let me know what I can do to help.


Timothy M. Garrity | Brown McKinney Real Estate, Co.
Real Estate Professional & Consultant

tgarrity@brownmckinney.com Email| http://www.brownmckinney.com/tim Website
215-825-2250 x 1007 Office | 267-879-2716 Mobile | 267-318-7004 Fax
Web Reference:  http://brownmckinney.com/tim
0 votes
Alison Frick, , Philadelphia, PA
Sat Feb 12, 2011
Hi James,

The rates are still low and it is a great time to buy. I am hosting a first time home buyer seminar on the 24th, you should come. We will also have a mortgage company, title company and home inspector at the seminar to answer questions as well. I will give you valuable information to help you get started. If you can't make it call me and we can schedule a time to meet.

Event Details:
The current state of the Real Estate market in Center City Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs!

Please Join Alison Frick and Danielle Py-Salas of Keller Williams Center City for an information packed seminar on Thursday, February 24th 6-8pm at

The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, 10 Avenue Of The Arts Philadelphia, PA 19102.

We will be covering the state of the current market as it relates to buyers and sellers. We will also have special guest speakers who will be available to talk to guests about home owner's insurance, mortgages, title insurance, home inspections and the general home buying and selling process. This is a free event is open to anyone who would like to attend. If you are unable to attend this month's seminar you can always email me and I can send you information on the topics covered or you can feel free to join us for our March Home Buyer Seminar in Malvern.

Alison A. Frick

Keller Williams Realty - Center City
1619 Walnut Street, Ste. 500
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Cell: 786-999-9674
Office: (215) 627-3500
0 votes
Leon Aksman"…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Sat Feb 12, 2011
It's a great time to be a first time home buyer. Alot of programs still exist to help you. I specialize in center city & NE phila. Please give me a call to start the process.

Leon Aksman
226 South st.
Phila, PA 19147
215-922-4200 ext364
0 votes
Corey Buck M…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Sat Feb 12, 2011
Approval will all be dependent on many factors that I am sure you will not want to disclose in this type of forum for a mortgage expert to review. My advice would be to contact a bank you are currently doing business with in some capacity and make the inquiry. Next time you make a deposit, go inside the bank and talk to a representative. They already have your ss#, your account numbers and some other personal data, so it will more than likely be a 10 minute conversation and they will be able to tell you if you will qualify. Once you know you will, you can definitely shop around to find the best interest rate or the lender that has a program that will fit the home you are buying. By that I mean that not all institutions have the same type loan instruments. Example, if you are buying a home that needs a little cosmetic work, your lender may not have a program that will allow you to incorporate the costs into the loan so you can spread the payment over the life of the loan. Such as in the case of Fannie Mae Foreclosures. The have developed HomePath Financing which will allow for some additional improvements.

The point being that you may end up changing lenders down the line based on the home you are wanting. Once you are working with a Realtor, they will be able to help you in this regard. But they will also want to know that you do have purchasing power, so your question shows your head is in the right place and I bet you ultimately find the perfect deal for you.

Best of Luck.
0 votes
Michael N., Other Pro, Bucks, AL
Sat Feb 12, 2011
Home Buyer Checklist

• Get a copy of your credit report and correct any errors
• Reduce your consumer debt - pay down credit card balances.
o Pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first.
• Determine how much you can afford to pay for a home. Decide how much you are willing to spend for a home.
• Can you afford the down payment (FHA 3.5%, conventional 5-20%)? Don’t forget closing costs, moving costs, and having a small cash reserve for emergencies.
• Get familiar with basic mortgage terms
• Shop around local and national banks for best rates and programs.
• Get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan
• Research neighborhoods that you want to a house (drive & online)
o Location, schools, crime, etc.
• Interview real estate agents who specialize in the neighborhoods where you want to buy a house
• Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan
• Visit homes and make notes/pictures
• Once you find a house you like, have your real estate agent determine the price you should offer. Look at comparable houses the sold in the last 6 months.
o Compare square footage, lot size, bedrooms, baths, garage, basement, condition of the home, etc.
o If your house is dated you should offer less than a newer renovated home.
• Have real estate agent write the offer
• Complete all mortgage loan application requirements
• Hire a home inspector to examine the house & be there for the inspection. You will learn a lot about the house.
• Get agreement on repairs to be made by the Seller
• Inspect repairs and handle other details prior to closing day (settlement).
• Hand over a certified check for the down payment and pick up the deed for your home.
0 votes
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