We would like to buy a house when our rental lease is up in July. When should we begin the process of looking for a new home?

Asked by Newhomebuyer, Quincy, MA Tue Nov 9, 2010

The last thing I want to do is be without a place to live. Ideally, when should we start seriously looking at houses so that our transition from apartment to house is smooth?

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Mikel DeFran…, Agent, Canton, MA
Fri Jan 21, 2011
You should be in the process now... assuming a regular resale, your transaction should take approximately 2 months from offer to closing ( of course your dates will be negotiated and mutually agreed between yourself and the seller ).

Even though it's a bit early .. it's NEVER too early to either:
1) Find the perfect property ... or
2) Familiarize yourself with the market and inventory so when #1 comes around you will know it's value and your preferences and be able to get it accordingly.

All that being said... you'd be surprised, your landlord may be willing to negotiate you an early release or a month by month extension to give you added flexibility. Remember.... everyone focuses on the dollars.. but your dates may make you an attractive buyer as well.

If you have not already... you should begin your process, preferably with someone familiar with the area you are looking to move to.

Best of luck!

Mikel DeFrancesco
Realtor and Broker
Success! Real Estate
Direct Phone: 617.755.8272
Web Reference:  http://www.SuccessInMass.com
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Julie Berber…, Agent, Quincy, MA
Wed Dec 8, 2010
I would suggest contacting a Quincy agent to start looking at properties right away. There are some great buys on bank owned and short sale properties in Quincy. While you are in an apartment you will have the freedom to wait out the time for a short sale to be approved.
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Joanne Eckha…, Agent, North Attleboro, MA
Fri Nov 19, 2010
I would suggest you start in March or April looking at home. Right now you may want to connect with a realtor so you can start receiving the homes that are in your price range and start getting familiar with the market. Also get pre-approved for a loan so you know how much you can afford. Ask your friends and family who their realtor was and if they would refer them. That is the best way to get an agent. Good Luck and have fun!
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Kathryn Acci…, Agent, Sturbridge, MA
Thu Nov 18, 2010
Work your timeline backwards. From the time you have an offer accepted on a property, it takes about 6 to 8 weeks for the home buying process to be completed - home inspection, contract signing, loan processsing and so on. So if your lease ends July 31, you'll want to have an offer accepted by the end of May. Best to actively start viewing homes in March, if not sooner. As others have suggested, talk with a loan officer to make sure you qualify for a loan. Then hire a real estate agent to give you up-to-date home listings and set up showings. Good luck!
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Ethan Kramer, , Northampton, MA
Mon Nov 15, 2010
I agree, get your financing straight first so you know what you can be looking for, and then start looking as soon as possible. It can take months to get through a sale, and for a qualified buyer the seller may be flexible with respect to extending a closing date or leasing it to you until the closing.
Web Reference:  http://www.ethankramer.com
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J.M.Jones -…, , Massachusetts
Tue Nov 9, 2010
The answer lies with your ability to get pre-approved. There is a company called NEW FED that can help you look at all your options, you dont have to use them but here is their info if you would like to check em out. Rick Frenzi is the one I recommend dealing with, genuine great guy 781-704-1300.
I would consider getting your ducks in a row as soon as possible, like you said, there is nothing like finding a problem when you have no place to go.
Many lenders are out there, and it doesn't cost anything to talk to them and ask questions.
If you need anything, just call me and I will be more than happy to help you from the first step right to handing you they your new homes keys.

Good luck - feel free to call me anytime 978-335-9092
Jamin Jones
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Lesley Maher, , Milton, MA
Tue Nov 9, 2010
Before you begin, get yourself ready for the homebuying process now so that there are no obstacles to buying when the time comes to search and you find the home you want.

Before beginning the search, talk to a couple of mortgage loan officers and discuss loan options, requirements and to get a pre-approval letter. Be aware that your credit score is a key factor in determining your buying power. Your mortgage contact may be able to provide advise on improving your score between now and when you are ready to buy. Being armed with information beforehand will help eliminate some of the anxiety homebuyers often experience.

Once you are armed and comfortable with your financial status, start the process: determine which areas you'd consider living in; figure out what the "must haves" are that will be most important to you and your family; then, talk to a real estate agent who listens to your needs, provides prompt responses to your inquiries and looks out for your best interests. The simple answer is "No time like the present".
Web Reference:  http://www.lesleymaher.com
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Heidi Zizza, Agent, Framingham, MA
Tue Nov 9, 2010
I would start looking as soon as you have sat with a lender and determined what you are approved for and at what price you are comfortable. Its good to call around and interview some local buyer agents to see who you want to work with! Good Luck its an exciting time to buy a new home
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Peter Mlaguzi, Agent, Boston, MA
Tue Nov 9, 2010

How are you? The best time to begin your home search is immediately. You can begin by simply getting a preapproval letter from a lender where in you will be able to gage the price range and decide on the payments you are willing to take on prior to vieiwng properties. Then you can contact a local realtor with a website and let them know of your home search needs. I competent realtor can meet with you, discuss your wants and needs and be able to sign you up onto his/her website where in you can monitor properties that are on the market or have activity on the market that are within your search criteria. Should you come across something you are interested in prior to your move out deadline, there are always options to negotiate with the seller for a buyout of your current lease. I hope this has helped, should you have further questions, please feel free to contact me or an agent in my office.

Best regards,

Experience excellence

p.s. The highest level of gratitude my clients can show me is by referring their friends and family

Peter J. Mlaguzi III
M&A Real Estate
O: 617-588-0087 x701
C: 617-233-1476
F: 617-395-6867
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Lisa Cannata, Agent, Falmouth, MA
Tue Nov 9, 2010
First things first. Have you met with a lender to pre-qualify? Always a good first step so that you know what you can shop for and they will always request a pre-approval letter with any offer you do end up making. That being said....now is realistic. You might find that first you want to shop for location and decide where you really want to be and the things that are important to you. Yard size, number of beds, baths, updated or a little work ok...etc. It may take you a couple of months to narrow it down or you might already now exactly what you're loooking for. This is a BUYERS market so there's time to be picky and find that perfect fit. Be sure to find a Realtor who knows the area well and one that will do the leg work for you. They should be happy to help you and not act as if your bothering them. If you're not happy with one move on quickly and find someone you're comfortable with and then be loyal to them and they will be loyal to you. Also remember that if you do put in an offer you can ask for a closing that coincides with the end of your lease so that the transistion is a smooth one. BEST OF LUCK AND HAPPY HOUSE HUNTING
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Judy Boyle, Agent, Marlborough, MA
Tue Nov 9, 2010
Hello Newhomebuyer!

It is never too early to start following the market!

I would recommend you FIRST get preapproved for a mortgage so you know what your "buying power" is. This is also important because you can address any credit "surprises" NOW and make sure your FICO score is as high as it possibly can be....this will equate to the best possible mortgage rate when you find your dream home.

The other thing to do is have a real estate agent set you up to receive daily updates so you an start familiarizing yourself with the inventory and preferred towns/areas. This way, when you are ready to move forward on a home, you can be confident that you are making an educated decision!

Good luck! This surely is a very exciting time for you!

Judy Boyle
RE/MAX Signature Properties
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Dana Schatzl, Agent, Quincy, MA
Tue Nov 9, 2010
If you are looking to purchase in July, I would start looking around April. You can actually get out looking even before then to get an idea as to what is available in the market. You ultimately want to find a home and make an offer in May to make sure you can close by July.

Let me know if I can help you with your home purchase. I am a Certified Buyers Representative and will work in your best interest, not the Sellers.

You can visit my web site to search all MLS listings. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
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Greer Swiston, Agent, Newton, MA
Tue Nov 9, 2010
It doesn't hurt to start now and familiarize yourself with the inventory ... then you are ready to move when the right property pops up. You can always request a June closing ... but such a request will be better received in the April/May time frame than right now ... but again ... now is a very good time to familiarize with the current inventory so that you are ready to move.

You shouldn't start any later than late February. Let me know if I can help!
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Elizabeth He…, Agent, Agawam, MA
Tue Nov 9, 2010
I would get a hold of your ceredit report now to check on your FICO scor and the accuracy of the report. This way if you have any creit repaIr to do you'll have some time to improve it and get prepared to apply for a mortgage.

If I can be of any further help I can be reached via elizabethherbert.com
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