My husband and I and our two children are first time homebuyers, we currently rent an apartment here in San

Asked by Lola Torres, Texas Wed Feb 11, 2009

Antonio, Texas. Our lease is up in September, after 4 years. We do not have great credit but our income is good. Will we have luck getting in to a home this year and what should we do first ? Thanks for your help.

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Dominick Dina, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Feb 19, 2009
First thing to do is make sure you both agree on what you want in a home.

Second find out what you can afford. Talk with your bank or other financial institution.

Thirdly, go back and see if you qualify for enough mortgage to buy the home you want. If not, go back to step one and modify it to the level you can afford.

Fourth, find a local agent you feel comfortable with. Many to choose from here in San Antonio.

Fifth, decide what part of town you want to live in.

Sixth, take your time working with your agent and find that dream home. Do not hurry or rush into making such a large decision.

Let me know if I can provide you with any assistance.

Best wishes,

Dominick Dina, Broker/Owner
Christian Realty San Antonio
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Buyers House…, , Texas
Wed Feb 18, 2009
BuyersHouse Realty would love to be of assistance. You can do searches of San Antonio resale homes and New home searches on our website for free. Also keep in mind that Buyers House Realty is the Virtual Evolution of Real Estate, we reward our clients with 75% of the commission we receive from the seller or builder when you purchase a home as our client. Visit us on the web at

You definitely should sit down with a lender to see exactly what your financial picture looks like. You may be ready sooner than you think you are. If you would like to ask us specific questions, please feel free to contact us immediately. Good luck in your search.
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Josh M. Boggs, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Feb 12, 2009
Hi there Jeri,

If anything.. please keep in mind this: This year is going to be YOUR year! You and your husband (with a little planning and work involved) are basically going to have such HUGE opportunities to take advantage of but ONLY if you are ready and truly believe it!!!

In the past 2 weeks, I've met some other families like yours beginning to peak their heads above the "first time home-owner's" fence wondering if this is the time to make that your dreams come true and begin laying the foundation to theirs and their children's financial future... it's soo exciting!

With over 5 years of experience in the credit and financial field there are many clients that I am currently working with to improve their credit in preparation for the months ahead to fully take advantage of the same thing you are inquiring about. The answers given below are somewhat correct in that one of your first steps should be finding a reputable loan officer to run a snap-shot of your purchasing abilities. My answer will be that your FIRST step is to find an experienced Realtor that not only knows how to serve your real estate needs, but one that you can trust to also be an important part of your journey to arrive at the purchase capability you are seeking.

Did you know that under your given rights under the FTC Fair Dept Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) there are legal ways to improve your credit substantially within under a matter of a month and a half? There is also a $25 software kit available for purchase that may save you thousands vs. going to a credit repair company to do the work for you?

Jeri, there's a lot to cover on that; but the true exciting thing is... THIS IS YOUR YEAR! Find someone that you can sit down with and trust that also knows how to serve you on both sides of the coin! I'm happy for you!

God Bless,
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Marty S, , Irvine, CA
Thu Feb 12, 2009
There are a lot of good answers here. The first thing to do, IMO, is to sit down and get pre approved with a mortgage broker.

I am a mortgage broker. If I can be of service, please let me know!

Martin Smith

Precision Funding
877-238-6324 Ext 704
877-238-6324 FAX
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Amanda P. He…, Agent, Bulverde, TX
Thu Feb 12, 2009
Hi Jeri,

This is an excellent time to get started by first talking with a loan officer and finding out what you can qualify for! I can recommend a wonderful loan officer here in town who will help you get qualified for a mortgage loan and, if needed, she will help you repair your credit in order to buy a home! Since you have a full 5 months to do this, I feel sure she can help you. Her name is Erika with Prime Lending. E-mail her at Let her know of your situation, when you plan to buy, what your credit concerns are, and let her know that I referred her to you! She'll be glad to help you get everything in order so you can get out there and start house hunting! Isn't this exciting?! Visit my website for more real estate information. When you are ready to start looking, please keep me in mind. I'd be glad to assist you and I am also an Accredited Buyer Representative!
Good Luck!
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Luke Allison, , Asheville, NC
Wed Feb 11, 2009
I have seen customers define "not great credit" in a number of different ways. However, keep in mind for loans like FHA, a 600 score is not really much different than an 800 score. As long as you are keeping the payment and debts within allotted ratios and have a down payment and some left over reserves, you should be okay to get approved. My suggestion would be to try and get qualified now (because approvals are good for 6 months) and if you get denied, find out why and work on those issues specifically. Don't think that you are going to have to bend over backwards and pay off every bad debt and collection. You don't have to be a girl scout to get a mortgage - you just have to show a reasonable history with your credit and the ability to afford your new mortgage.

If I can be of any assistance, please let me know.
Luke Allison
Flagstar Bank

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Trudy Pape, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Wed Feb 11, 2009
Congratulations in taking the first step in buying your first house. Thinking ahead and knowing how much money you have to spend on a house is where you should begin. Meeting with a loan officer to determine this amount has its benefits. You will look at the right houses, save money dealing with a comfortable seller, you can move quickly and you will minimize trauma of not knowing whether or not you qualify for a loan. If you do not have or know of a loan officer, a referral of a qualified loan officer can be provided. Call or email me to discuss your options, I will be happy to assist you.
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, ,
Wed Feb 11, 2009
You need to start now. Maybe there are a few things you can do to get your score up real quick.
Read the free book at the link provided and call me AFTER you have read it if you would like some help.

Good luck!!
Tom Burris
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Steve Johnson, Agent, Spring Branch, TX
Wed Feb 11, 2009
My suggestion is to talk with several lenders to see which one may be able to help you get your credit rating up before you are ready to purchase. This will also let you know before your lease expires weather you will need to renew your lease or start looking to buy your first home. If you would like a few different lenders numbers to start this process, just send me an e-mail. Hope this information was helpful. You are not alone and I have a client that is currently working on getting his rating up before purchasing.
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Danny T Thom…, , Austin, TX
Wed Feb 11, 2009
Hi there:

Credit is king, in today's market. Have you actually spoken to a loan officer recently?

I highly recommend that you speak to a loan officer who works in this area. I use several mortgage representatives here in town who commonly assist my clients in reapiring their credit to enable them to purchase a home... sometimes it is a lot of work, but there is nothing better than owning your own home. I really enjoy helping folks acheive their dreams of homeownership, so I surround myself with experts in their field to better serve my clients.

So, once you connect with a great LO, then you can make a plan to get that home. I highly recommend that you get a great realtor too, to help you find the best home possible for your needs and desires.

I do wish you all the best!! Let me know if I can help!
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Melissa Yates, , San Antonio, CO
Wed Feb 11, 2009
It really depends on your credit on wheter or not you could qualify for a home in Sept. It usually takes about 30 to 45 days to close on a home so if you want to make sure that you have enough time to find the home before the end of your lease. Also you don't have to make a house payment for a month or so depending on the time of month when you close. I have to say that you would need to know your scores to see if you qualify and if you don't know your credit scores sooner you might have missed that opportunity to fix any problems that might be there. Inquiries are not as bad as people make them out to be unless you are inquiring on different types of loans/credit. So if you decided to pull credit now and find that you have a few items that need to be address you have the time to address those issues. But don't have anyone else pull your credit until your ready to buy and as long as credit is pulled by a lending institution for mortgage within 30 days it will only count as 1 inquiry. Other thing is start saving for down payment & closing cost and start looking to find the area you have interest in (not the exact house so much because the possibility of it not being there is when your ready is good). If you need further assistance please don't hesitate to call.

GOOD luck and let me know if I can be of assistance now or in the future. Nothing is more satisfying than becoming a home owner.
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Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Feb 11, 2009

I am a Texas mortgage loan officer great for you start NOW than in September.

If your credit scores are low you need repair or reduce your balances. Lenders will require 3.5% or more downpayment reduce your " expenses" save towards this downpayments which can increase up to 20%

Dont close any credit account it will lower score reduce balance by at least 50% or more per card

Dont have anyone pull your credit till approx 60 -75 days from move out date each credit inquiry would lower your scores.

Dont purchase anything new on credit will lower your credit scores

Difficult to determine not reviewing your entire financial files, statements are made general rule of thumb.
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