I would like to buy a house when my current lease is up (5 months); when do I start the process of buying a house? Should I wait or start now?

Asked by Phillicia, Phoenix, AZ Sun Feb 12, 2012

I am not sure how my credit is to buy a house, that's why I wanted to know how soon I should start the process.

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Allison Fish…, Agent, Ann Arbor, MI
Mon Feb 13, 2012
I would start the process now. First you need to speak with a lender and find out what kind of loan you will qualify for, credit score ect and if you start now you have some time to work with any issues that might come up. Then you should find an agent you feel comfortable with to start setting up the criteria you are looking for in a home and will have some time to see whats out there.
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Diane McDowe…, Agent, AZ,
Mon Feb 13, 2012
Hi Philicia,

Great question. I would definitely start the process as soon as possible. As the other responses have stated, you need to start with a good, lender, who can pre-qualify you. By doing this, you know exactly how much you qualify for and/or want to spend on a home. At this time, our inventory levels are down considerably, so it is taking much longer for buyers to find a suitable property. It is also common for many of the listings to be short sales, which can take many months to complete. I would recommend that you use a Realtor that has experience with short sales to help make the process smooth. I have considerable experience in short sales and real estate, so please feel free to give me a call or email me with any questions.

Diane McDowell
Prudential Arizona Properties
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A. J. Stewa…, Agent, Fort McDowell, AZ
Sun Feb 12, 2012
Hello Philicia,
I think your decision to look into buying is a great idea. There are many fantastic Realtors to help you, as well as lenders. Definitely get started now in case there are any credit issues to work out. It typically takes 30 days to close and it could take that long to find the right home for you so I would say do not delay. I have 12 years experience here in Arizona and I would be happy to help you. You can search the MLS through my web site. AJ Stewart Veracity Realty Group, 480-217-2167
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James Wehner, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Sun Feb 12, 2012
Hi Phillicia,

Congratulations on your decision to become a homeowner. There has never been a more opportune time to buy a home than now, especially with interests rates as low as they are and inventory shrinking.

I would suggest that you immediately start with consulting a loan officer for financing. If you need referrals, I have several GREAT loan officers I work with that could assist you. Once you are pre-qualified, you will know what price range of home you will be most comfortable searching for.

The home search: My website: http://www.jameswehner.com, offers FULL access to the Arizona Regional MLS. I can also offer my assistance in setting up a custom search for you based on you desired features.

If you find a home that is a short sale, it would be wise to submit an offer soon, since the average time for a short sale to be approved and closed is in excess of 90 days.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best regards,

James Wehner
West USA Realty
Web Reference:  http://www.jameswehner.com
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Vivien L Big…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Sun Feb 12, 2012
Good Morning Phillicia,

You should start with a reputable Lender, I have several I work with that are very knowledgeable. The reason for this is:
1. To make sure you can qualify for a loan
2. For what amount
3. To verify that there are no surprises on your Credit Report

Please contact me if you are interested in getting a List of Lenders or if you have additional questions.

Have a GREAT weekend!

Vivien L Biggs PLC
Prudential Arizona Properties
Check MLS for homes on my website
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Sonny Shriva…, Agent, Surprise, AZ
Sun Feb 12, 2012
Hi Phillicia, I would suggest contacting a lender who offers free credit repair in case it's needed. Contact a lender now in order to get pre-qualified and start working on credit issues, if applicable. I would NOT start looking at houses now, however, since five months is quite a ways off.

Our listings average about 40 days on market, and that includes short sales which are notorious for taking a long time. If you are considering short sales, I would probably start looking 90 days before your lease expires. If looking at regular resales or REO/bank owned, I would probably start 60 days prior to lease expiration. Understand that finding a house and successfully closing involves many steps, and it will be very difficult to time a closing to perfectly coincide with your lease expiration. The majority of today's market is comprised of short sales, which take 3-6 months to close, and REO/bank owned which take 30-45 days.

Whatever you do, make sure you can continue your tenancy on a month-to-month basis if needed. Jesse Singh @ 1st Rate Home Mortgage (480-776-2555) is one of the valley's best lenders and offers some of the lowest rates in town. He's also a good friend of mine. When shopping for a realtor, make sure you find one who represents a fair number of buyers (not just listings) and has experience with short sales and foreclosures. If possible, hire a buyer's agent who works on a short sale or REO team. You'll get someone who understands the market and has the appropriate level of expertise.

My team closes an average of 100 properties annually and we do mostly REO and short sales. We have three buyer's agents who work exclusively with buyers and have extensive training on short sales and REO. We would be happy to assist you and discuss your needs. Call my office at 480-302-9650.
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Ted Canto, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Scottsdale, AZ
Sun Feb 12, 2012

As a licensed and bonded loan advisor we would review your credit history and income and determine the best options for you to get into an affordable payment. If there are any blemishes on your credit, we will address them and prescribe the best approach to clearing them up and improving your scores. Doing this now will secure your financing before or by your 5 month period. Call me for a consultation, we are located in Scottsdale and Mesa .
Web Reference:  http://tedcanto.com
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Debbie Nieman, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Sun Feb 12, 2012
First, congratulations on the step to become a home owner. Now is the perfect time to get started. You will want to align yourself with a Real estate Professional like myself that will sit down with you, discuss the options and the different types of homes available for you to purchase.

You will need to get with a Lender to make sure you qualify and if you do not, can work with you to help you get to where you need to be credit wise to be able to qualify.

Please take a look at my website, there is a lot of information on there for the buyers and potential buyers. If you would like to have a in depth conversation either via the phone or in person, I am available to assist.

Purchasing a home is a very exciting time and there are a lot of information as a potential buyer you need to be aware of, because an educated buyer is a buyer that knows their options.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Debbie Nieman
Keller Williams Sonoran Living

Web Reference:  http://diverdebi.com
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Fred Shocklie, Agent, Peoria, AZ
Sun Feb 12, 2012
Absolutely start now. A good lender is vital in this process. My thought is to find an agent you trust and who is experienced. Please note the average number of transactions per agent is five. You need an agent who does more than five transactions and who is a great negotiator to help you navigate this market. Also, use home search agents that give you current market information so that you are not wasting your time on properties that are sold or under contract.

If you would like a free 30 minute consultation, please call 602-330-1840 and I will help you map out a plan.

Fred Shocklie
MoreChoices Real Estate LLC
Web Reference:  http://www.morechoices.net
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Bryan Vasquez, Agent, SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Sun Feb 12, 2012
I am working with several buyers just like you that have leases up in in the next few months; and they are starting now! The housing market is looking very strong right now in terms of low inventory and strong buyer demand; as things head into the spring and summer prices will continue to rise. Just like the buyers I am working with you should start yesterday : ) I am happy to help. Let me know what other questions you have I have a strong network of resources AskBryan@kw.com
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Sean Heideman, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Sun Feb 12, 2012
Hi Phillicia,

You could start the home buying process now to get an idea of how much you would pre-qualify for or the maximum amount of a loan you could receive. This is generally the first step in purchasing a home. The loan officer could also provide some advice regarding what you could do in the next few months to improve your credit rating or pay down some debts, if any. If you do not know any loan officers, then I can provide you a few names and number to some truly remarkable loan officers that know the lending business inside and out. Just give me a call!

Once you are prequalified, then you can start looking for a home in the area you desire. Our company provides DIRECT access to the Arizona Multiple Listing Service and we all you to search for home as if you were a licensed real estate agent. This service is 100% FREE and the search features are easy to navigate. Just go to our web site: http://www.positionrealty.com and click the home that says "CLICK HERE". The REAL MLS will open and you can start your search for a new home. Also, if you have any problems with using the search features, then please give me a call so that I can walk you through the process. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.


Sean Heideman, BROKER/OWNER
Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251
Fax: 866-232-2256
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David Brumba…, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Sun Feb 12, 2012
It would be best to start now. Contact a lender and see what you qualify for and then contact a local agent to start having him or her send you current listings with the features you are looking to have at the property. I would be happy to assist. Contact me at david.brumbaugh@ziprealty.com
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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sun Feb 12, 2012
You can begin now by visiting with any licensed loan officer to determine mortgage qualification; choose an agent to work with, he/she will best guide you; research areas of interest online and do take the time to visit in person, etc.
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