My husband and I are looking to buy a home in about 5 months. We're in a lease until February 28th.

Asked by Nbkinz, San Antonio, TX Thu Sep 22, 2011

We plan to have the funds and are working to build up credit as high as possible by then. When should we start looking for a house? What is the smallest down payment needed? What other expenses should we keep in mind?

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Justin Werner, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Sep 22, 2011
Hi Nbkinz,

All great answers below. Now the only question for you is who will you work with as your Realtor? And the answer is one who has proven he is dedicated to working with buyers. Look for a Realtor with the letters "ABR" after their name. This stands for Accredited Buyer Representative and they have gone the extra mile in taking extra classes & having a minimum amount of experience in working with buyers so you know you'll have someone do the best they can for you on your side. Now if you want to get specific, on average my buyers this year have paid 91.2% of asking prices on houses they have bought, whereas the average of all other San Antonio Realtors per SABOR MLS right now is 96.34%. So ask yourself on a $100,000 listed house, would you rather pay $91,200 or $96,340? Let me know!!!

You say "when should we start looking for a house?" Somebody below said 30-60 days before. Only thing I'll add is expect about 35-45 days to close from the time you get a house under contract. Now if you are the type of person that needs to see 1 house and it's the one and you know it right away, then yeah, maybe 60 days will work. If you're the type of person that needs to see quite a few, just take that into account and maybe start looking, say, 90 days before.

Sincerely,
Justin Werner, ABR, CDPE, CRS
Accredited Buyer Representative
Certified Distressed Property Expert
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RE/MAX Exclusive
210-367-4757
http://www.AlamoCityHomeInfo.com
http://www.JustinWerner.com

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0 votes
Sherrell L.…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Sep 22, 2011
Nbkinz,
Congratulations on making the decision to purchase a home while the market is still offering low interest rates and a good variety of financing options. The fact that you're proactively planning for 5 months from now is a good sign. You've already received good advice from several agents so to add to that my advice is to get all of the loan preapproval work done first so you'll know exactly how much house you can afford. That way when you start looking at houses you'll be looking from a position of strength that will make it easier to eliminate those houses that do not suit your needs. If I can be of sevice to you in this process please let me know. Happy hunting!
0 votes
Nbkinz, Home Buyer, San Antonio, TX
Thu Sep 22, 2011
I'm not sure where to reply, so sorry if this goes in the wrong place!
We do quarterly monitoring, and my husband's score was in the 670's last time it was pulled.
I feel like the process is going to be very hard because our budget will be pretty low, under 100k. I've been getting emails from a website with homes that look okay and are in budget. Lots of them end up being foreclosure or short sales. I think we will be able to afford more if we buy in a location that is outside of city limits or doesn't have high taxes.
I will go over the information provided with my husband tonight, so we can decide on places to call or email! Thanks!
0 votes
Sherrell L.…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Sep 22, 2011
Nbkinz,
Congratulations on making the decision to purchase a home while the market is still offering low interest rates and a good variety of financing options. The fact that you're proactively planning for 5 months from now is a good sign. You've already received good advice from several agents so to add to that my advice is to get all of the loan preapproval work done first so you'll know exactly how much house you can afford. That way when you start looking at houses you'll be looking from a position of strength that will make it easier to eliminate those houses that do not suit your needs. If I can be of sevice to you in this process please let me know. Happy hunting!
0 votes
Roland Flores, , San Antonio, TX
Thu Sep 22, 2011
It is a good idea to contact the lender or bank for pre-qualication because it takes a long time to qualify buyers now because of all the new changes and regulations.
0 votes
Leah McNamara, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Sep 22, 2011
FHA loans need only 3.5% down. USDA loans require the property to be outside the city limits.The seller can be asked to pay your other closing costs. I am currrently offering a buyer assistance program at http://www.BestPracticesRealty.com/1000
0 votes
Adriana Vann, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Sep 22, 2011
You can get a loan with as low as 620 but 640 is better, also depending on what what location you pick, you could look into USDA programs. You will not be required to put down any money with USDA but you will need at least a 640 for that. I have a wonderful loan guy I use, he works very hard to get you the best rates and will even help you with making the right moves when trying to increase your credit score. Call me I would be more than happy to help!
210-685-1074
Adriana Vann
The Home Team of America
0 votes
Sheri Walls, , San Antonio, TX
Thu Sep 22, 2011
If you go FHA your typical down payment is 3.5 %. A good course of action is to go ahead and get pre-approved with the lender of your choice, so you know what you have to overcome & plan for by the time you are ready to buy. If you need a list of 3 Mortgage Professionals, I would be happy to send you the contact information for those that have helped my clients. You will need to have about $450 for the appraisal, most Mortgage companies require this upfront. You will also need Inspection Fund, due at the time of services, for about $300-500. This should cover any "extra" inspections (plumbing, pest, alarm system and such). You will incur other expenses as well: moving, utility deposits and such.....

Make a list of the 5 top items the house MUST have and them some that are great extras. By hiring a Realtor, which in most cases is FREE to you, you will have a professional guiding you through the process. They can set up a search to send you all the homes that match your 5 criteria and then you can start research neighborhoods and community information. As far as purchasing and looking, most sellers expect a 45 day close. So, I would start the looking process at about 60 days from when you expect to move, if you have already been approved by Mortgage. A good agent will be able to find your home with minimal excursions and in that time frame.

I wish you the best of luck!!! I would be more than happy to mail you a copy of MY FIRST HOME. It is a step by step book full of great information about buying a home. You may contact me if you would like a copy, no strings attached! Have a great day
0 votes
Stephanie K, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Sep 22, 2011
Hi nbkinz! It's not too early to start educating yourself about neighborhoods and what is available. Tim is right about the need to speak with a lender early in the process. Do you have va eligibility? That and USDA are about the only zero down payment programs that are easily available. FHA requires 3.5 % and you will probably need some for closing costs although you may be able to negotiate some of that. We have a list of lenders online or just give me a call or an email if we can help.
0 votes
Jason Campbe…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Sep 22, 2011
Smallest down payment is $0.00 - VA / USDA, or FHA with Bond or Down Payment Assist (if you qualify)
The typical first time homebuyer down payment is 3.5% of the sales price. (FHA Loan)

Step 1 - Start working with a mortgage lender now - If you need a referral to one, I work with the most aggressive team of loan officers in the business, and no one has been able to beat the interest rates or closing costs for the last 15 years in a row! - If you need to do specific things to your credit, you will know what they are, and you will have the time to get them fixed up. You may be qualifed right now as we speak, and not need to work on your credit at all. It's always good to take a look at the picture

Step 2 - Once you have a loan approval in place... it's time to get familiar with the homes in the price range and area you are going to want to live in. I can send you a full list of all the homes that fit what you are looking for, and you can start seeing which neighborhoods you like, schools, etc.

Step 3 - About 60 days before your lease expires, it's time to start looking. I can pop some doors open for you, and help you find the perfect home for your family.

* I don't cost you a penny - I get paid for by the other agent / builder
* I represent you, not the seller, so my job is to get your the best deal possible.

Easy as pie!

If you would like to start your search online... visit my site..

Jason C Campbell
Realtor / Loan Officer
Keller Williams Realty
210-389-5266
Web Reference:  http://www.SAHomeExpert.com
0 votes
Robert Cockr…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Thu Sep 22, 2011
You should start looking about 30 to 60 days before your lease expires. Most banks want 20% down, but Fannie Mae has some lower programs. You can figure on about 2% closing costs and you need your credit rating above 640.
I work in the north end of San Antoni, so if you are looking out here give me a call.
0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Thu Sep 22, 2011
You should be talking to a lender to see if you can get a loan. When you find out that you can get a loan then start looking. There is no point to look before you can buy unless you just want to get an idea what is out there, but be sure to share that info with any Realtor you speak with. You can go online and find a lot of homes in your area for sale which should be able to give you a good idea of the prices.
0 votes
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