What are the first steps in homebuying?

Asked by Trulia Atlanta, Atlanta, GA Tue May 7, 2013

Should you work with a bank or an agent first?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:

Answers

17
Natallie Kei…, , Atlanta, GA
Tue May 7, 2013
Attend a homebuyer education workshop from a HUD approved, nonprofit counseling agency. Visit the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's website to select a nearby organization.
1 vote
David Herren, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Mon May 13, 2013
The first steps in buying a home start with good preparation.
1. Educate yourself about the home buying process and home ownership.
2. Assess you credit and financial health
3. Think about what kind of home you want, single family detached, townhome, condominium, etc.
4. Think about where you want to live. Your search will be much more efficient if you can narrow it down to a small town, quadrant of a large city, or even down to a few neighborhoods.
5. While you are doing these things, begin asking friends, family and co-workers for recomendations for Realtors and Lenders.
6. There is much debate about whether you should find a lender first or a Realtor. Both are equally important to your home buying experience, unless you do not need a loan. Start with someone who is recommended to you, but stay with them only if they are a good fit for you.
7. Choose a Realtor who offers buyers representation. In exchange for your commitment to work exclusively with them, they will represent your interests exclusively and are contractually bound to put your interests ahead if the seller's.
8. Do not feel like you have to get all the answers before you go the the professionals. Look to your Realtor and your lender to be your coach throught the process.
9. Prepare well, and stress will be minimized.
10. Most important, relax and have fun!

Best,

Dave Herren
Best Atlanta Properties
404-425-4945
0 votes
David Herren, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Mon May 13, 2013
The first steps in buying a home start with good preparation.
1. Educate yourself about the home buying process and home ownership.
2. Assess you credit and financial health
3. Think about what kind of home you want, single family detached, townhome, condominium, etc.
4. Think about where you want to live. Your search will be much more efficient if you can narrow it down to a small town, quadrant of a large city, or even down to a few neighborhoods.
5. While you are doing these things, begin asking friends, family and co-workers for recomendations for Realtors and Lenders.
6. There is much debate about whether you should find a lender first or a Realtor. Both are equally important to your home buying experience, unless you do not need a loan. Start with someone who is recommended to you, but stay with them only if they are a good fit for you.
7. Choose a Realtor who offers buyers representation. In exchange for your commitment to work exclusively with them, they will represent your interests exclusively and are contractually bound to put your interests ahead if the seller's.
8. Do not feel like you have to get all the answers before you go the the professionals. Look to your Realtor and your lender to be your coach throught the process.
9. Prepare well, and stress will be minimized.
10. Most important, relax and have fun!

Best,

Dave Herren
Best Atlanta Properties
404-425-4945
0 votes
Tony Teixeira, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Wed May 8, 2013
I just wrote a confusing answer! Okay, this is a hard one to nail down. Both steps are equally important and a homebuyer can talk to an agent or a lender without committing. I recommend a homebuyer talk to several of both. They should like and mesh well with the agent they choose. They should feel comfortable with a lender too... making sure that person is going to be accessible to them at the times that are best for them and make sure that that lender has programs that support their own borrowing scenario.... whew... that's better!
0 votes
Tony Teixeira, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Wed May 8, 2013
I think it's a combined answer. A homebuyer should have an understanding of what their purchasing power is. A real estate agent can have plenty of resources for finding a good lender, but that real estate agent is spinning their wheels if the homebuyer does not know what kind of loan they are qualified for. I would say probably THE FIRST STEP in homebuying is to figure out where you want to live. When someone approaches me and tells me they want to live in Atlanta, I want to know why. I want to know what they need to be close to and what they want to be close to and go from there. Home preferences, if not known, will develop. I have to say talking to a lender should be one of the first, if not the first step.
0 votes
Natallie Kei…, , Atlanta, GA
Tue May 7, 2013
Attend a homebuyer education workshop from a HUD approved, nonprofit counseling agency. Visit the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's website to select a nearby organization.
0 votes
Fred Yancy, Agent, Woodstock, GA
Tue May 7, 2013
Buying a home should be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mind these tips for making the process as peaceful as possible.

Find a real estate agent who you connect with. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the agent you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality.

Remember, there’s no "right" time to buy, just as there’s no perfect time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer — you risk losing out on the home of your dreams. The housing market usually doesn’t change fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won’t stay on the market long.

Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family — the people who will be living in the home.

Accept that no house is ever perfect. If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.

Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take.

Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself — room size, kitchen, etc. — that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.

Plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.

Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.

Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.

Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes generally appreciate well, a home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.

Fred Yancy, Broker
Crye-Leike Realtors
(678) 799-4663
http://fredyancy.cryeleike.com
0 votes
Rodney Mason, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Atlanta, GA
Tue May 7, 2013
Getting Pre-Qualified should be a Buyer's very first step. This allows the Buyer to find out whether or not they might even qualify for a mortgage.

Starting looking at homes first sets many Buyers up for failure. Many Buyers start out looking at too high of a sales price becasue they are not able to equate a sales price to a monthly mortgage payment.

Regards,
Rodney Mason, NMLS #151088
Sr Loan Officer
Prospect Mortgage
825 Juniper St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Office: (404) 591-2453
rodney.mason@prospectmtg.com
Apply Online at http://www.rodneymason.com
Licensed in Alabama & Georgia with over a decade of mortgage lending experience.

Prospect Mortgage offers a full selection of mortgage programs including:
Conventional | FHA | FHA 580-639 FICO | FHA 203K Renovation (Streamline & Consultant) | HomePath® | HomePath® Renovation | HomeStyle® Renovation | VA | USDA | GA Dream | Jumbo Financing.
0 votes
Solomon Gree…, Agent, Duluth, GA
Tue May 7, 2013
Hello

Here's a post that I wrote on the pathway to home ownership. Put me down for starting first with an agent who knows the programs and the lenders that work with them.

http://www.trulia.com/blog/solomon_greene/2013/03/pathway_to…

Thanks
Solomon Greene
Georgia Real Estate Brokers Associate, REALTOR®, REALTIST®, Certified Affordable Housing Counselor
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners
(678) 775-2677
0 votes
Sarah Moore, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Tue May 7, 2013
I would reach out to a local Realtor first (and please know there is a difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent). He/she might have some great recommendations for lenders to get you on the right track to pre-approvals plus can answer any home buying questions you might have (for there will be plenty).


Sarah Moore
The Live in Atlanta GA Team
Keller Williams Atlanta Midtown
678-641-7925
sarah@liveinatlantaga.com
http://www.liveinatlantaga.com
0 votes
Betty D. Scy…, Agent, GA,
Tue May 7, 2013
Talk to an agent. She will give you some pre-qualifing suggestions. An agent will want to be sure you can buy the properties. She/He Will be showing you. Sellers do not want anyone looking at their property unless the buyer is qualified, I will be glad to guide you through the buying and closing process. bscyphrs@aol.com
0 votes
Lee Taylor, Agent, Decatur, GA
Tue May 7, 2013
It's about education first and meeting the needs at every consumer touchpoint - not just what a "bank" can provide for first steps vs. what an "agent" can provide.

I like a double whammy, Trulia Atlanta...
0 votes
Curly Sue, , Texas
Tue May 7, 2013
Get pre-approved for a home loan...unless paying cash.
0 votes
Access Commu…, Agent, Decatur, GA
Tue May 7, 2013
After 10 years of experience, I believe working with the agent should be first. Your agent should know the following.
1. Loan programs available in your community that will save you money.
2. Agent should also know loan rates .
3. Agent will also know about what bank criteria that is required that will limit so many lenders pulling your credit which may lower your credit. Experian says if applying for a mortgage you have a least 14 days for lenders to pull your credit before it start hurting your credit.
4. Agent will also inform you of market conditions for making offers on properties such as seller or buyers markets. If a seller market, you will experience over bidding to get the house you want, that means you want to save more to get more. Most lender are not paying for your overbid.
Finally, it is important to start with an agent that is familiar with your financial situation to help structure the contract for your benefit.
0 votes
Elizabeth Wa…, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Tue May 7, 2013
Hi Trulia Atlanta, location, price range, home style, working with and being qualified with a
lender are all good for starters.

Elizabeth 'Beppy' Walton, Realtor
ASP, CFIS, DPP
Keller Williams Buckhead
C/404 234 9418; eFax/404 604 3965
Email: beppyswalton@gmail.com
Website: http://www.beppyshomes.com
0 votes
Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Tue May 7, 2013
Good evening,

First steps:

Meet with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for.

Line up a Home Inspector. A good home inspector will scare the heck out of you: that's what you pay him for! But you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the property: roof free of leaks, plumbing, heating and electrical up to code and in good working order. Again, when you make an offer and you have your Home Inspector ready to go, your offer will be considered with much more interest by a Seller because you truly have your "ducks in a row" and your preparation demonstrates your serious attitude about conducting the purchase transaction in a timely manner.

Find an experienced Local Realtor who works in your desired shopping area. A serious pro Realtor will refuse to show you homes until you are Prequalified for mortgage financing. Don't take offense! That Realtor doesn't want you to be disappointed and wants you to have a smooth experience as you shop for your new home.

Put together your Team of real estate professionals and shop 'til you drop!

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140

*If you thought my answer was helpful, please give me a “Thumbs Up” or “Best Answer.” Thanks!
0 votes
Aaron Mtuanwi, Agent, Conyers, GA
Tue May 7, 2013
First, I wish you the best on this Decision to Own.
Naturally, it is always the bank. In that way you know what homes to look for.
But there are some agents that work with certain banks that may be able to link you up with some programs and will guide you through as to what the banks will expect so as to avoid delays and frustrations. We sometimes act as a One-Stop for all your housing needs.
It is always the agent that the buyer will call during the transaction and after the closing. If something goes wrong with the lending process, it's always the agent that is the first point of contact.

http://www.atlantahomesrealestate.com/
0 votes
Search Advice
Search
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more