Starting the research process

Asked by Mike A., Massachusetts Wed Jan 30, 2013

Hi All,

I am here searching for advice. My Girlfriend and I are planning on purchasing a home in the early summer of 2013 in the Merrimack Valley/Southern NH area. What would be the best route for us as first time buyers? We will have about 10-15k for a down payment (at the least) by the time of purchase, and our looking into down payment grant programs (I am not very knowledgeable in this area). We have a combined salary of 65k, and about 25k in debt (2 cars and student loans). Both of our credit scores hover around 700.

What are the possibilities for us at this point if any? Essentially we would be searching for something around 150k (A project home).

Thank you for your time,

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Christopher Lefebvre’s answer
Christopher…, Agent, Methuen, MA
Thu Jan 31, 2013

The first step should definitely be to talk with a mortgage professional. If you don't have a local mortgage professional that you know and trust, I would be glad to give you some recommendations.

I actually wrote a blog post about the home buying process that might be helpful to you. Here is a link:

Based on your question you are looking at a down payment of around 5% to 7%. An FHA loan may be a good option for you. However, keep in mind that project homes that need repairs may not pass an FHA appraisal. A mortgage professional can tell you more about FHA programs.

Mass Housing is another program that you could consider. They have a program that allows for no mortgage insurance even though you are putting buying with less than a 20% down payment. Here is a link for more information:…

I also have a first time home buyer's guide that I wrote that I would be glad to send you. Contact me if you are interested.

I hope this info helps you out. Thank you.

Chris Lefebvre
eXp Realty, Methuen, MA
1 vote
Wen Farina, Agent, Reading, MA
Wed Jan 30, 2013
Hi Mark,

There are first time home buyers programs in the Merrimack Valley that you could look into (you can email me if you need that info). You can also contact a lender to see what you qualify for (check smaller banks and credit unions) then get an experienced realtor to help you with the rest .
1 vote
Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Wed Jan 30, 2013
First thing to do is sit down with a lender and go over your finances (you could also sit down with an accountant first). By doing so you will know exactly what you can afford and what lending programs are available to you. Once that is finalized your next step would be to get yourself an exclusive buyer broker, someone who will protect your interests as a buyer throughout the entire purchase process. This will make a huge difference in your experience and wallet.

Hope that helps get you started!
Massachusetts Premier Buyer Brokerage
Web Reference:
1 vote
Kathy Woekel, Agent, Andover, MA
Wed Jan 30, 2013
Hi Mark
If you need assistance with the process please contact me and I can help you with any questions you may have.
1 vote
Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Wed Jan 30, 2013
Definitely need to sit down with a Loan Officer. Here's a recent blog entry on the step by step process of buying a home:…

Best of luck...
1 vote
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Wed Jan 30, 2013
The steps to follow are always the same:

Step #1 = Sit down and speak with a loan officer or mortgage broker and it is best to talk with a couple.

Step #2 = Find a Realtor to work with and tell them what you learned in step #1. They will guide you from there.

Good luck.
1 vote
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