Hi, jme 1282-
If you're looking for a home in Boynton Beach and you'd like to be in by March, then you may want to start your prequalification process with a mortgage broker now.
You mention that your credit is fair and that you have debt you're repaying. Your mortgage broker will be able to give you a realistic idea of what you can comfortably afford based on how much you owe, your current credit score, and your current earnings.
If your credit score is below 620, your mortgage broker may have suggestions as to how you can remedy this. If you're above that score, your mortgage broker will give you suggestions on how to remain at or above that level in order to qualify for the best mortgage rate possible for you.
Once you have gotten a pre-approval letter, it is good for 60 days. When you have that letter in your hand, call a realtor and begin your search for Boynton Beach homes.
However, once you locate a home in Boynton Beach that you like, and you and the sellers agree on a price, you are still looking at 45-60 days until closing, assuming that title is clear and there are no snags in the mortgage process.
During that process, your lender will be reviewing your finances very carefully, and your mortgage broker will advise you as to what information you will need to supply and what kind of expenditures to avoid.
Because you are applying for an FHA loan, you will find that Boynton Beach homes that are listed as short sales or REOs may be difficult for you to purchase, despite the allure of their lower prices. That is because these homes are usually subject to multiple bids and banks typically opt to accept cash offers for these properties.
If you make offers on Boynton Beach homes that are still controlled by the owners, you will receive a response to your offer within 48 hours. If the homes in Boynton Beach that you bid on are short sales or REOs, you may be waiting several weeks to several months for a response to your offer. By that time, your pre-approval will have expired, so you will have to apply all over again.
Right now, until you have a pre-approval, you should search for houses in Boynton Beach on the Internet.
If you are comfortable breaking your lease and paying your landlord a previously agreed-on amount, then you can start searching for Boynton Beach houses with a realtor as soon as you have your pre-approval letter in hand. If, however, you plan to wait until the end of your lease to move, then you should start looking some time around December 15.
It will probably take you 2 weeks or more to search for and decide upon the Boynton Beach home you prefer. So you're already into January. Then, assuming you and the sellers agree, you're into the 45-60 days mortgage approval and processing time, and sometime around the middle of March, if everything goes well,
you will move into your new home in Boynton Beach.
If you do not have a mortgage broker at this time, I will be pleased to give you the names of a couple of brokers who are very helpful and easy to work with.
Marc Jablon, The Jablon Team