Your first step in the home buying process is to talk with a lend to see what you qualify for and if there is anything that shows up on your credit report that should not be there. You will need a pre-qual form filled out by him to go in with any offer that you make.
Next you will need to be working with a good agent that will take you through all the steps of the buying process. This is why we are experts in our field. We can set you up with a automated search which will send you daily updates of homes that match what you are looking for. This will quickly give you a good idea of the market and soon you will get a feel of which ones are priced right for their condition. You can also search like I do at this link:
If you need any assistance using the MLS search, please let me know. I can help explain how to use it. Most people find they like playing around in the system better than only receiving automated searches.
Once a Realtor gets a feel for what you want, and you have the "pre-qual form" (which can be received the same day you speak to the lender) it is time to start viewing homes. If you are looking in a low price range you will need to realize that your competition will be high. If you are getting a loan and not paying cash, and you are wanting something around $20,000 to $30,000, you will be competing with investors (local, national, and international) all paying cash. Cash is king, so you will need patience. You will most likely make offers and not be the winning offer. Many investors are buying homes under $125,000 (they purchase higher as well but under this gets more activity) and the lower you go the more are snatched up for investments.
Next, if you are looking at condos and doing financing then the next hurdle is that many of these condos will not be able to get financing since the development may have too many rentals in them (which is one thing that your lender will check on) especially the lower priced condos.
Once you get an offer accepted (after negotiations on price and terms), you will have an inspection period, review the SPDS (seller property disclosure statement), review the CLUE Report (insurance claims history), have an appraisal done (these can be problematic at times), review the preliminary title report, review the CC&Rs, crime stats, and the financials of the HOA, give more documentation to your lender, among other things, down to a final walk through prior to the closing date and go to the closing with your Realtor. (Well your Realtor should go to the closing with you.)
These are some of the things that we help our clients through.
Ron & Brenda Cunningham
West USA Realty
**** Recognized in the Phoenix Business Journal as "One of the Top 50 Realtors in the Valley" ****