Looking to purchase first home.

Asked by Opensqr, Acworth, GA Thu Mar 20, 2008

I am looking to purchase a new home, yet I had some issues with Credit in the Past. I am 24 years old, single, and really do not want to move into marriage living in an apartment. I currently do not lease an apartment, but have a decent sized car payment (389.00), insurance, and just a cell phone bill. For the last 10 years I have to give a hefty amount of my money to my father (help out with our crazy financial situation), and it is finally over with. He now moved to Virginia, and is married, but now my financial credit looks terrrible. (i assume, i need to probably get a credit report). Now that I am financially free, I am about to get married, I make around 36k (plus I have a graphic design business) on the side, and I would really like to make this move. I figure the smartest thing is trying to get my credit straight (which all i can do is make sure everything is on time, EVERY time). Anyways, I should probably apply to see if i can get approved or whatever.. any help?

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John Dodson -…, , Marietta, GA
Thu Mar 20, 2008

You've answered a lot of your own questions or made correct assumptions. Credit, particularly now, is tighter than than ever. Meaning that it's challenging for even well qualified people to get the money they need for a new home. Consider the fact that even homeowners who would like to lines of credit on their home equity are even finding it difficult.

As you stated, you want to show some history of having made payments on time and every time. Just promising the lender and verbally assuring them that all of your credit issues are over and done won't do the trick. I can also speak from experience as a former self-employed graphic artist that even when credit is readily available that banks prefer "legitimate" jobs. Meaning, they want you to show a W-2, not a statement of your billings. Don't count on that side job as a designer giving you much power when it comes to asking for money.

I'm not a financial advisor but I think you have some options here to get what you want. Keep working that "real job" and keep paying on time every time for several months. Use that side job to earn extra down payment money on your home. Walking into a bank saying that you can put down 10% is going to help your case a lot. If you can work your way out of that car payment or maybe sell and buy something on a shorter finance term with lower payments that will help as well.

When it comes to actually determining the amount of house you can afford your salary is of course a factor but I think more importantly in your situation is to be able to show no other debts.

Credit is a tricky game and with all of the current issues in banking industry credit is even harder to obtain. Again, you already know most of the answers to your situation. It's just a matter of committing to doing what it takes to position yourself as a low risk borrower for a lender.

I hope this was useful information and you will soon be on your way to home ownership.

John Dodson
Land • Commercial • Residential
L&M Property Group, LLC.
11380 Southbridge Pkwy.
Suite 200
Alpharetta GA 30022
1 vote
Joshua Jarvis, Agent, Duluth, GA
Fri Mar 21, 2008

I know this flies in the face of what this site is about and what we are paid for but ... RENT!.

There's several reasons, but to be brief so I can get a few thumbs down before the night is over.

1. You should rent somewhere cheap and develop a budget - so you can pay down any debt, save up for a down payment AND pay off that car.
2. YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED! CONGRATS!!!!! - Although the thought of a "home" will be enticing the stress of the mortgage and other home responsibilities is something a newlywed should avoid. I like the idea of renting one year while you figure out how it works to be under the same roof with the same accounts. Enjoy each other. You've got a 1 in 2 shot of staying together in what is supposed to be a "forever" thing. A home - in the grand scheme of things - isn't worth your marriage, why risk it.
3. Based on the info. you provided, you are young and still have plenty of time to get this stuff together. Save up for the down payment so when you do buy a home you do it at the best market rate and with a lower payment then you'd have otherwise.
2 votes
Practical advice and very well said.
Flag Thu May 17, 2012
Carl H. Mart…, , Atlanta, GA
Thu Mar 20, 2008
Get hooked up with a good lender first...that's the most important thing. Contact Jeff Adams with Countrywide, I bought my home with no money down, 100% loan in December at 5%...I was able to use income from my graphic design business http://(www.zowbie.com) in order to get a larger loan. Talk to Jeff, he worked a miracle for me, he can definitely help you out! I don't want to try to sell you on anything except a good lender. Jeff will run your credit for free and work to improve it FOR FREE.

As far as a Realtor...find someone you like and trust.
Web Reference:  http://www.rkihomes.com
1 vote
Eric Reid, Agent, Duluth, GA
Thu Mar 20, 2008
Great question!
Step on e is to find out when you can buy... and buy that I mean when you speak to a lender they will pull your credit and review your debit to income ratio. With this information they will be able to give you a credit score and look back and determine what issues maybe pulling down your credit score resulting in higher interest rate. Thus the "when" you can buy, not the "how much you can buy". Credit like good wine improves with time... and a good direct lender can review your credit all things being equal "when" your credit will be most favorable to barrow money. Think of it this way... 100,000 at 7% vs. 100,000 at 6.5% is about $33 a month... maybe not a lot on its own but when you are look at all your combined debt to income it could mean qualifying and non qualifying. So speak to a direct lend tell them your goals and ask them when is the best time for me to buy a house.
1 vote
Diane Menard, Agent, Marietta, GA
Thu Mar 20, 2008

Well first off Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. I think that it is great that you want to purchase your first home and make that new start.

First off I would suggest speaking to a lender to see how bad your credit really is. Maybe it is not as bad as you think. Your lender will then be able to discuss further options with you. An FHA loan may be the perfect fit for you and they just recently raised the limits to 346,250 for the Atlanta area. FHA accepts less than perfect credit.

If you need to speak with a lender, you can contact SunTrust Mortgage and speak with Kim King at 770-617-6694. She will take your call whenever you are available.

If you need more assistance or help in finding your new home please contact me. I just recently moved to Dallas from the Acworth area myself.

Good Luck!
1 vote
Carl H. Mart…, , Atlanta, GA
Thu Mar 20, 2008
Hey John,

My name is Carl Martens and I'm the Internet Marketing and Operations Manager on the RKiHomes team. I have a VERY similar situation to yours. Credit issues in my past, bought my first home in Dec. and own a graphic design firm that I operate on the side http://(www.zowbie.com).

I suggest that you get in touch with Brenda Richterkessing at 770.300.0023 she is the Realtor on our team and is who helped me out when purchasing my first home.

You should also get in contact with Jeff Adams with Countrywide, he'll help you work through your credit and work with you on cleaning it up. His email is: Jeffrey_Adams@Countrywide.Com

Lastly, send an email with a link or attachment of your portfolio...I'm always looking for freelance designers, my email is carl@zowbie.com

Hope to hear from you!
Web Reference:  http://www.rkihomes.com
1 vote
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