Home Buying in Philadelphia>Question Details

Jose, Home Buyer in West Oak Lane, Phila...

Me an my husband wants to buy a house and we don't know how to start so can anyone please help

Asked by Jose, West Oak Lane, Philadelphia, PA Mon Oct 25, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Jose,

How are you doing today? Thank you very much for your online inquiry. I guess you just started to look for a home online? If so, I’m just wondering if I may be of any assistance to you. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to let me know and I’ll be more than happy to assist you with it.

In aiding your search for the best suited home for you and your family, can you please provide me with the following information via email so that I may send you some listings that are of your interest:
1.) What areas are you interested in living in? (e.g. Interested zip codes, such as 19145, 19146, 19147, 19148, 19149, etc.)
2.) What type of homes are you looking for? (e.g. Single Detached, Twin, Town/Row, etc.)
3.) How many bedrooms & bathrooms do you prefer?
4.) Do you require a garage/driveway? Is Street Parking OK for you?
5.) What is your price range for your new home?
6.) Do you currently own a home that you need to sell before buying your next house?
7.) Have you been working with another Real Estate Agent?
8.) Have you selected your method of financing?

Providing the above information will help ensure your home buying experience to be as smooth as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Phong.Lam@c21ag.com or call my cell at (267) 918-1880.

Thank you very much for your time and I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon!

***** If you like the answer - please consider giving it a Thumbs-up & making it a "Best Answer" ! Thank you! *****

Best Regards,
Phong Lam, CSM
CENTURY 21 Advantage Gold
2010 Oregon Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19145
Business: (215) 465-1400, ext. 508
Fax: (215) 336-7793
Mobile: (267) 918-1880
Email: Phong.Lam@c21ag.com http://www.c21ag.com
Professional Profile & Testimonials: http://www.linkedin.com/in/PhongDucLam
To connect with me: http://www.retaggr.com/AddMe/PhongDucLam
Buyers' Info: http://www.facebook.com/TriCountyPhiladelphiaHomebuyers
Sellers' Info: http://www.facebook.com/TriCountyPhiladelphiaHomeSellers

Century 21 Advantage Gold Top 21 Percent Award for 2009!
A referral from you would be the biggest compliment you could give me!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 31, 2010
Just look for a good Real Estate Agent They should be able to help you step by step .You need a Good Real Estate professional to make the transaction smooth as possible .

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
Hello Jose

First you get yourself qualified by talking to a lender, either many good ones not his board or
Your local bank.

Then that gives you a basis for what you can qualify. Check then by either going on Trulia or
http://Www.Realtor.com by typing in a zip code or city name what is available.

This gives you an idea as to what you get for what you qualify, check whether this works for you.
This is relevant as if you are looking for a five bedroom. Four bath home that costs a quarter million but you qualify for say a hundred and fifty thousand then clearly you want to revise your expectations.

Now get in touch with many fine Real Estate agents on this board and check whether they have any off the market homes, any upcoming homes that are not listed on the MLS.

Good luck.
Web Reference: http://www.ruthandperry.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
Good Afternoon Jose,

It is an easy process to purchase a home. In order to find out how much home you can purchase you will need to speak to a real estate agent and a mortgage person. The agent will be able to guide you during the transaction by the price range you are able to purchase. You will also need to have a specific sum of money available for the down payment and closing costs (if applicable).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
It is a very exciting time for you and your husband. You could start by searching on sites like this one for areas to consider buying in if you are not sure yet. Once you have an idea of locations you will need to talk to a Realtor and also get pre-approved for a mortgage. Often times a Realtor will have some recommendations for mortgage companies that they have worked with that are reputable with good customer service. (This is key!)

You will want to hire a Realtor who is a buyers agent to work for you specifically! Avoid calling listing agents about a home you drive by or see on various websites, they are not working for you, they are working for the seller. You want your own representation that will negotiate for you and not the seller.

A good buyer’s agent will bring you into the office and talk with you about what you are looking for in a home, what you can afford and what that translates to in buying power, the process of buying a home from start to finish and your personal timeline. This should take about an hour and from there you should be able to go with a pre-approval letter and be able to start looking at homes right away with your agent.

It should be pretty seamless if you are working with a good agent! Call me today if you would like to get started. I specialize in working with first time home buyers.

Carmel Archdekin, REALTOR Office: 215.923.7600
Coldwell Banker Preferred Cell: 215.680.5998
223-225 Market Street E/Fax: 215.940.8207
Philadelphia, PA 19106 http://www.cbpref.com

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
I'd love to help. Please call me . . . we can go over what you and your husband need to do to make it happen. Check out my website for my info. Thanks.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
Hello Jose,

Buying a home for the 1st time isn't as difficult as much people think and right now we are seeing the lowest interest rates ever. 3.25% fix rate for qualify 1st time home buyer.

The first step you should take is getting a mortgage pre-qualification, this only means how much the bank is willing to lend you, how much do you qualify for according to their guidelines, this is not an actual mortgage application. Each lender has different guidelines and ratios which is why some lenders might be able to go higher on the loan amount than others.

Once we have the pre-qualification is just a matter of finding the perfect home for you and your family, write up and offer for the property and start the negotiation process with the seller.

After seller and buyer side agreed on the contract, as far as price and repairs if any that seller is wiling to take care of.

Then we move to complete the actual mortgage application, we will be submitting all of your documents to the lender. Here is where it can become a little stressful, depending on the client and the situation lender will be requesting documents, letters etc in order to complete the application. The faster we get this information to the lender the faster we get to settlement.

Me and my wife work with a lot of 1st time home buyers. She works for a lender, once she gets the client pre-qualify for the loan I find them their new home. We can also help you if you have credit problems.

Hope all the information that was provided to you really helps and best of luck!!!
any additional question, please feel free to contact me

Jason Rodriguez
Remax Affiliates NE
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
As previously stated you would need a financial quote from a mortgage company to see how much you can afford on a mortgage. We can refer you to a few mortgage companies that we deal with. We are located in Northeast Phila.

Thank you,

Jim Whalen
V.I.P. Realty Corp.
(215) 725-5700 X29
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
Hi Jose -

You have received lots of good advice below. This process can be a tad overwhelming for the 1st Time Home buyer. Give me a call at your convenience and I can walk you through thwe process and set your expectations. There is a whole different side that a 1st time home buyer must consider ----How much per month are you comfortable paying etc.... I specialize in working with 1st Time home buyers. Feel Free to call me 610-291-1460

Maura Mcdonnell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
Hello Jose,

Th fist thing that you should do is speak with a mortgage lender to see how much of a home that you qualify for. They will check your income, savings and credit and recommend a purchase price which you can afford.
Also If you are not in a position to get the best rate now, I can show you what you need to do to get there.
Once you have a mortgage pre-approval you need to speak with a Realtor who will help you define exactly what you are looking for. You do not pay any fees to a lender for a pre-approval and do not pay a Realtor to help you find a home. We arte both paid at settlement when yopu buy your house.

Good luck,

Alan Openshaw
Cornerstone Lending Inc
Southampton Pa 18966
215 953 0800
cell 267 992 7276
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
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 Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
Hi: I am the broker and owner of Platinum Real Estate. I can give you the individual attention you deserve. We are located in Philadelphia's fabric row.
Please call me anytime at 2673045600. Thanks, Allison Bethell Platinum Real Estate. 'We treat clients better than gold.'
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 25, 2010

As a first time home buyer, I recommend that you begin by getting a pre approval from a mortgage company or bank. This way you can figure out how much you are financed for and what you can afford as a monthly payment. After that, I think you should sit down and create a list of needs and wants. The needs should be things that you have to have and the wants should be the things that are a bonus. This list should also have ideas for locations. Then do some online research or contact a Realtor to start to see what is in your price range. Just remember that you may need to compromise on your location, needs and wants.

I am attaching an article called "A check list for First-Time Buyers." Check it out. I think you will find it very helpful. Also, I think it is a good idea to watch shows like Property Virgins or House Hunters on HGTV. This will help to make you familiar with the process.

I wish you the best of luck in your home search. This is a very exciting time. If you would like me to refer you to a Realtor in your state feel free to send me an email. Good luck and happy hunting.


Stephanie Drag
Realty Executives, NJ
stephaniedrag@realtyexecutives. com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 25, 2010
Hello, Jose,

Buying a home is a big step, but it is a good thing for you to do. Mortgage rates and prices are very low so you will probably be spending less on your own home instead of renting. I typically work with lots of first time buyers and would be glad to sit down and review things with you when you are ready. Also, if you go to http://www.pahomesandloans.com and click on the Buyer tab, just go to the bottom and get a copy of Buying you First Home. I also have a great booklet called 10 Mistakes Buyers Make. If you would like it, just let me know.

Good Luck,

Carol Cei
ReMax Action Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 25, 2010
I would be happy to help you. I work with first time home buyers all the time. The home buying process can be complex but I would love to speak with you about it. Please feel free to contact me through my email kerry@elfantwissahickon.com or call me on my cell (215)840-4091. I look forward to hearing from you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 25, 2010
First step is to find out where you want to live, what size home you want and how soon you want to move. If you are selling a home, several Realtors at this site can help you.

Next, you need to become pre-qualified for a loan (unless you are paying cash). If paying cash, you may want to rephrase your question to: We want to pay cash for a house, what do we need to do?

If getting a loan, then I can help or anyone else you feel comfortable with in your local area can help.

By applying for a loan, it helps the Realtor to know that you can get money for a loan and they will feel more comfortable knowing what price range to get for you, the area where you want to live, the size of the house etc.

Once you become qualified for a loan, the loan officer will issue a letter to your Realtor which will be given to the seller to show that you have talked to a financial company to get a loan.

You will then find a house and once satisfied, you will sign a contract, get an inspection of the property, pay for an appraisal, sign loan documents and after underwriting, close on the loan.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Bill Polack
Yo Hablo Espaniol
Prime Lending
Atlanta, GA
Web Reference: http://www.glending.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 25, 2010
I would be happy to help you. I work with first time home buyers all the time. The home buying process can be complex but I would love to speak with you about it. Please feel free to contact me through my email kerry@elfantwissahickon.com or call me on my cell (215)840-4091. I look forward to hearing from you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 25, 2010
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