Home Buying in Marietta>Question Details

Deborah John…, Home Buyer in Marietta, GA

what is the first thing I need to do as a first time home buyer.?

Asked by Deborah Johnson, Marietta, GA Mon Jan 3, 2011

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For my husband and I, it has been deciding on what we want. We have discussed the number of bedrooms/bathrooms, the types of floorplans and rooms we like to have, the type of lots we'd like to be on, etc. After we got on the same page, it has been easy for us to look at homes online together and separately, basically making the job easier for us. We have also been watching a lot of HGTV and home buyer's TV shows!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 18, 2011
This is for both Deborah AND Debbie........get pre approved or talk to a lender or Realtor.

;-) (That's a wink sign) (FYI)

HollyGarber.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 17, 2011
First time home buyer tips
Are you a first time home buyer? Here are some helpful tips to get you started on the right path.

1. The first step before you do anything is to find out how much money you can borrow from a bank/mortgage company. Check with different lenders to see who can get you the best deal. Once you know what you can afford, then you can begin to plan.

2. Determine what you need in a home, not necessarily what you want in a home. Make a list of those needs to give to your Realtor. When you are searching for homes you will find that it is very rare to find a home that has absolutely everything you are looking for. If you stick to what you actually need, you will have better success in your search.

3. Research areas/communities that are of interest to you. Determine what things are important such as schools, proximity to shopping, restaurants, and local activities. Drive through the communities to get a feel for what they are like.

4. Learn as much as you can about the process of buying a home. Some local Realtors or lenders will offer first time home buying seminars. If you can find one in your local area it would be helpful to attend. If you cannot attend a seminar, look on the Internet for a home buyers guide such as the one at Bankrate.com - http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/BuyerGuide2004/…

5. Select a local Realtor to help you begin your search for a home. You can search Internet sites such as Realtor.com or Homes.com, but a Realtor has access to all of the homes in the local MLS. They can provide you with information on the home, the area and answer any questions you may have. A Realtor can show you properties of interest.

6. Learn about the contract and what is involved. Your Realtor can take you through step by step the process of a contract. After it is signed by buyer and seller, it is called an executed contract. Then you would want to get a home inspection. If everything is fine with the inspection, then you can go forward towards closing.

7. Know what happens at closing. Again, a Realtor can walk you through what to expect at closing. You will need to have money for closing costs such as title search, processing fees, taxes, and insurance.

Buying your first home is an exciting and overwhelming experience. So make sure you are prepared.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL tammyhayesre@gmail.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 11, 2011
I always suggest taking a free home buyer's class through HUD. They walk you through the process and answer all of your questions. Also, a lot of down payment assistance and grant programs require taking a HUD-approved class to qualify. The two (2) HUD-approved counseling agencies in Marrietta are Credability-Cobb Branch, Phone: 800-251-2227, and Cobb Housing Incorporated, Phone: 770-429-4400.

The information in this answer provided by Attorney Ranj Mohip is general information and is not intended as legal advice, nor does the attorney intend to create an attorney-client relationship with any reader by answering this question or otherwise contributing as a member of Trulia.com.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 7, 2011
I'm not a Realtor, nor am I a lender, so my response will differ with most/all of the others.

Do YOUR homework. Check with the local Police Department re: crime stats for the area/neighborhood. Find out if there is a high percentage of rental properties in the area you're looking in. An area that is owner-occupied can be more desirable. Talk to your new potential neighbors.

Don't buy something just because it's in your price range. AND, buy something that someone else will want when you decide to move.

If you believe you've found "The One", make a point of driving the route you will end up driving on a daily basis. Here in Chicago, buyers/renters will find something on a weekend, and are often shocked at the volume of traffic they now must contend with (especially for those coming from less populated areas).

A good Home Inspector is a MUST. But, don't let your lawyer or Realtor push you to use theirs. To keep everything 'above board', find someone who is independent, and will provide you with their un-biased, honest opinion. Buying a home IS a big deal, and you shouldn't have to second-guess yourself after the fact, because you MIGHT question the objectivity of the inspector.

Bottom line: Think outside the box with regards to every aspect of the deal.... If the property comes with a washer & dryer, are they unloading old machines to make the deal seem more tempting? Well, maybe you like a gas dryer, but you don't notice that the dryer is electric.

The accompanying link can be used to compare communities on countless criteria. If you have trouble accessing it, try going to: bestplaces dot net.
Web Reference: http://www.bestplaces.net
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 3, 2011
Deborah, before you get pre-qualified, make a personal budget to be certain you are able to afford a home and all that comes with it. Other associated costs include: insurance, taxes, home owners assoc. fees, yard maintenance, trash collection, utilities, up keep of wear and tear, repair/replacement of appliances. The purchase price of a home is only one spoke in the wheel of home ownership.

After you've done your budgeting, then get pre-qualified by a lender. You'll know what you can afford even though you might be approved for more money.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

-J Lewis
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
It is always best to meet with a Mortgage Broker to get pre-qualified before you start you search! This will save you more time and hassle than you can possibly imagine!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 26, 2011
Deborah,
You need to contact a lender and get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan. This will let you know the maximum price of a home you can purchase. Buyers with a pre-approval (buyer competes the application process and is approved by the lender only subject to an appraisal of the home) are in the best position. Sellers want to know if buyers are approved or at least pre-qualified to buy before even considering an offer from that buyer. All the best in your search for a new home.

Gary Geer
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 26, 2011
Get qualified speak to your Mortgage Loan officer Today and get a Realtor in your area that's an expert!

They will give you all the advice you will need to get you started and on your way to Home ownership!


Millie
Exit Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 24, 2011
If you're financing, get pre approved by a legitimate lender. If you're a cash buyer, get an asset statement or have the bank manager you do business with, supply you with a letter stating your proof of funds. If you are making an offer, be sure the proof of funds statement only reflects the offer you're making. Just like a game of poker, you never want to show your hand. Best of luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 23, 2011
1). Get pre-approved (find out what payment you are comfortable with)
2). Find an agent (he/she will also help you with the pre-approval/shopping lender)
3). Look at as many homes as you can so that you can learn the market
3). Start writing offers (make sure you get a deal :)!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
I agree with the many posts, the only thing I would add is know your credit score and improve it. Get it over 720 if you can. Also, start saving cash. Not so much for the down payment but for the reserve requirements many lenders require on a 10% down loan. Lenders can also coach you on improving your credit score when you do the pre-qual. Don't buy a new car or add to your debt to income ratio before you buy a house. Last thing, dont change jobs! 18 months in the same company is important underwriting standard. So changing companies for a 10% increase in pay will hurt your underwriting profile.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 16, 2011
First, if you're considering purchasing a home, it's important you get your finances in order. Start by obtaining a copy of your credit report.

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to obtain a free credit report once a year, or within 90 days of being denied employment or credit based on your rating. A credit report verifies such things as your name, address, social security number, job history and debt history.

The major credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Visit any of their Web sites to obtain your free report.

Credit scores range from 300 to 900, with the lower end indicating to lenders that you will be a poor credit risk. Generally, the cutoff point for issuing loans is around 600.

If your credit rating is questionable, it is probably a good idea to improve it before applying for a loan. Paying off debt, canceling unneeded credit cards and even consulting consumer credit counseling services are all steps you can take to get your finances in order.

The next step is to find a mortgage broker, bank or credit union that can help you secure a loan. A mortgage broker will have access to a number of programs from a variety of lenders, while banks and credit unions will only offer you their programs. In either case, shop around for the best rate, terms and loan fees (in many cases you can negotiate these down).

To make things easier and more convenient, many new-home builders have in-house lenders who can offer a preferred rate, excellent terms and numerous incentives. While it is not mandatory that you use a certain lender, it is worth at least considering, since it can translate into big savings.

Once you choose a broker, bank or credit union, you should ask to be pre-qualified, which is an initial assessment of how much you can afford and will give you leverage in your home-buying search. Prequalification is different from pre-approval, which is a more complete analysis by a lender of your ability to pay for a home as well as confirmation of how much is to be borrowed.

Now comes the fun part -- finding the home of your dreams. Once you know how much you can realistically afford, you can work with a sales associate at a new-home community and/or a Realtor® to choose the neighborhood, floor plan and upgrades that work best for you and your family.

Good luck!
Becky Burke
Ral Living Classic Homes Realty
http://www.RealLiving.com/Becky.Burke
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 13, 2011
If you will be seeking financing on the property, get pre approved from a legitimate source. If you're paying cash, get a proof of funds or asset statement from your banker. Once you know your buying range, hit the market and and find that perfect property.

Most important, do not fall in love with a property out of your buying power. Wish with your heart, but think and decide with your head. You can always upgrade down the road. Good luck and make sure to use a qualified Realtor.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 12, 2011
~ The key question you need to consider is, of course, why are you still renting? Think about it for a moment. If your reason is fear, then it may be time to let go of that fear and focus on the facts of home ownership.
~ If you’re renting and have a stable job with some savings, and a credit score in the high 600 range, you can likely qualify for FHA or conventional financing at historically low rates.
~ Very few people can afford to buy their dream home when they buy their first home. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors®, 69 percent of first-time home buyers in the United States compromised on some features of their first home. So you make some compromises, buy your first home, and start building equity. This approach takes you further and faster down the road to being able to own your dream home than if you hadn’t purchased a home at all.
~ In the Book, Your First Home, all these points, and more are covered: The eight-step process consists of making the decision to buy, how to hire a great real estate agent, determining what you can afford to buy, securing the best financing, recognizing the right home for you, crafting a winning offer and negotiating with sellers, spotting serious issues at inspection, closing on your new home and how to maintain it for years to come. You’ll also learn about successful creative financing strategies and ways to overcome less-than-perfect credit.
~ FOR A COMPLIMENTARY COPY OF THE BOOK: "YOUR FIRST HOME" By Gary Keller, contact me at your convenience....
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 12, 2011
Find a good agent who can recommend a good lender if need be. We have agents in our network that work the Marietta area and give up to 50% of their commission with the buyer. The seller typically pays this so it's like free money. Feel free to check out the network online.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 10, 2011
I'm sure this has been said, but the first thing I would do is to find a qualified Realtor. I would ask for a referral to a good local lender and then begin reviewing properties online that were within my range. You should also begin driving through the neighborhoods you are interested in during the day and the evening. Then you should begin to tour properties with the advice and counsel of your agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 6, 2011
Put together a plan - timeframe, budget, areas to consider, home needs (house/condo/duplex/other?, beds, baths, sf, etc). Once you've completed a strong draft of the plan, get in touch with key people to talk about steps required to execute (ie lender, for validation of budget and pre-qual; agent, for info on neighborhoods and properties available; etc).

Be patient! It's a good time to be a buyer, lots of leverage in most areas. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 5, 2011
Hi,
Finding out your buying power and affordability should be your first priority.

Regards,
Web Reference: http://www.penfedrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 5, 2011
Find an experienced agent who you trust and like. Preferably someone who has been referred to you by a trusted family member. They will refer you to several bank loan officers with skill and competence.
Once you get the loan amount approval letter....you can go look for your first home.

Good luck to you in your dream of home ownership. It is a rare opportunity right now to find yourself a great deal!

Sandy Harrington
CRS ABR E-Pro CDPE SFR
Adams Cameron & Co REALTORS
Ormond Beach Fl 32174
386 547-4805
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 5, 2011
I always advise my first time homebuyers to take a first time homebuyer course. These classes are offered by most cities, so check with your local city housing development department to learn where you can take one of these classes.

What is covered in this 4-6 hour course is what you need to know as a first time homebuyer which starts with knowing your financial situation, including credit, assets and buying power. How to select an area that fits your budget and has the important factors you are lookings for, such as schools, proximity to work, etc. and then how to select the right professionals to help you find the Right Home at The Right Price.

Best of luck to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 3, 2011
Getting pre-approved is 1B, 1A is getting a trusted agent to work for you.

An experienced agent that is active in this market is the single most important thing any buyer or seller will do - it sets the tempo for the rest of the process. Consider that this agent will be relied upon to advise and counsel you on every step of the process; from preapproval to explanation of the HUD. The importance of selecting correctly should be obvious.

Pre-approval is critical but talking to a single lender and hearing bad news may have you think that there are no options when there might be. A good agent will also review the different options from different types of lenders; some can do things others can't, some offer options others don't......

The critical first step is agent selection - done correctly you will buy with confidence. 7 questions and 10 minutes - http://hankmillerteam.com/questions-real-estate-agents/

Good hunting -

Hank
Web Reference: http://www.hrmiller.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 3, 2011
1) TALK TO A LENDER!

2) Hire an agent
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 3, 2011
You need to get with a couple of lenders that you fill comfortable with and get pre-approved. This way you will know what you can quailify for. Also, find an agent that you fill like has your best interest in hand.Give me a call and I can discuss what all we provide our buyers and help you with the process! 404-819-8016 or you can visit our website.

Congrats!

Amy Walker
Your Home Team Realty Group
2809 Lassiter Road
Ste. 250
Marietta. Ga. 30062
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 3, 2011
first step is to get pre-approved. Know your budget and credit score. Make a list of the things you need in a home, bedrooms, bath etc. Have some idea of where you want your new home to be and you will be comfortable and happy in that area. Contact a realtor and happy searching.
I would be happy to help you, give me a call.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 28, 2011
Get qualified speak to your Mortgage Loan officer Today and get a Realtor in your area that's an expert!

They will give you all the advice you will need to get you started and on your way to Home ownership!


Millie
RE/MAX VOYAGE
1930 Williamsbridge Road
Bronx, NY 10461
email:mildredvalentin@remax.net
646-957-4648
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 15, 2011
Contact a local reputable lender who will determine if you are eligible for a mortgage loan based on your credit score, your income & employment tenture and your debt to income ratio. Once you obtain pre-qualification from your lender, research and secure a local real estate agent to assist you. Be specific with your realtor as to location, size, type, price and style of home you are seeking and also if you need help from the seller with closing costs. Armed with this information, your realtor will be prepared to guide you successfully through the home buying process. All the best to you and congrats on your soon to be home owner status! Patti Chapman, Macon, GA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 19, 2011
Deborah,

I have attached a great link from Realtor .com, check it out great tips and facts.

Best of Luck!

Millie from Exit
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 19, 2011
First thing to do is to find a good lender. Ask people you know that have purchased recently for a recommendation for a loan officer and a Realtor. If you are not sure of who to use for your loan, but you have a great recommendation for a Realtor, that Realtor will be able to tell you of some good lenders that he/she has worked with. The person that is recommending a lender to you may have only had one experience with that lender. Meaning they may be good one time and not the next. But a Realtor has worked with the lender multiple times, some of our lenders we have used hundreds of times. If that lender doesn't do a consistently good job, then the Realtor will find one that will! So a recommendation from a Realtor that has been in the business for awhile is usually a good recommendation. We usually will give 2 or 3 good lender recommendations to our clients so that they can find a good fit for them. You can talk to a couple Lenders and compare what loan they have that may work for you, and the costs that their company charges as well as the interest rate that they are quoting. Different loan types also have different down payments. One lender may have a special financing program that another lender may not such as some of the down payment assistant programs. Rates do change regularly so one lender may be higher than the other lender on one given day and then that can be opposite the next time you check. But their costs remain pretty steady.

The reason why this is so important is because you need to know what you qualify for before shopping so that you do not find a home you absolutely love and end up not qualifying for it. Then, when you go out and look at homes that are lower in price, they just don't appeal to you because you have been looking at more expensive homes previously and they just don't compare. Also, when you make an offer on a home, the Realtor needs to know what loan you are getting so that the contract can be written correctly and the Realtor will receive a Pre-Qualification letter from your lender that is attached to your offer. Many banks that have homes for sale that were repossessed won't even take an offer without this letter. So you could miss out on a home you find that you love because they accept another offer while you are scrambling trying to get a pre-qual letter together. One other reason is that many experienced Realtors won't start working with you until you have this. They know the turmoil it can create without it and they also don't want to waste your time or theirs. This is just being a professional. They are not trying to be difficult or rude. It is for your best interest and theirs.

You will want to make sure that you find an experienced Realtor as well as they will be better qualified from experience to protect your best interests. They will know more pitfalls to watch out for as well.

Then you will be ready to start looking for the home that is just right for you!

Best Regards,

Brenda

Brenda & Ron Cunningham
602-980-3133
***Recognized in the Phoenix Business Journal as on of the Top 50 Realtors in the Valley (July 2010)***
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 19, 2011
Eat a good breakfast and get a good nights sleep the night before.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 19, 2011
Hello Deborah,

The first thing you want to do is find a good lender and get "Pre-approved" not pre-qualified. Then while you're being pre-approved, find a local realtor that works with first time home buyers and will be with you every step of the way. You probably want to stay away from charging up your credit card, buying a new car, new appliances, etc. since that would ding your credit rating. Wait until you get into your new home. Happy house hunting:)
Caroline Barooshian
Broker
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
daycreekrealty.com
909-200-9280
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 30, 2011
You need to find qualified professionals - a knowledgeable Realtor and a lender. Before you even start looking you need to work with the lender and get pre-qualified for a loan. When you know how much house or condo you can afford - start looking! Then you need your Realtor to negotiate and protect your interests!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 30, 2011
I would write down how much I want to pay for my house payment, Tax , Insurance, Utilities. Then Walk to a bank. Go through your finances with a loan officer. They would give you a number, that is the amount of monthly you can qualify for. Then start finding a Real estate Agent. Some one you are comfortable with.....keep a steady line of communication with both Realtor and mortgage person, specially the Realtor. You will find ahouse, hopefully quick and your dream will come true..... Really it is that easy :)
Regards
Ramona, ReMax Results, broker Associate, MN, mahb0002@gmail.com, 1-952-239-1697
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 28, 2011
Talk to a lender
Speak wit your friends and co workers to see if they can recommend a good lender.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 28, 2011
Really take the time to find a good loan professional before anything else. I would start by asking around some friends, co workers, family, that recently bought a home. Not just a refinance, but an actual purchase. Interview a few loan people, and then once you choose one, have a detailed pre approval done. Some if not most, of the issues regarding failed home purchases, lead back to not being properly qualified in the pre approval process. There is nothing more frustrating then finding you dream home, only to find out mid way in the process, you will not be able to get the loan.

Once you have this done, and your pre approval is in hand you should select a buyers agent. Again start by asking friends, or look online in your area for people with experience.

Your down payment will play a factor in the type of home you can qualify for. If you are putting down less than 20 percent, certain properties may not qualify. FHA loans on condos can be tricky, you need to run each home by your agent before you go and see it.

Pre approvals should be done in person or on phone but not onlne. Talk to an actual person.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
Check your credit score with a quality lender and provide them a true picture of your debts to income ratios before taking a step forward.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
I would say that you should start with your home search at the bank. you can save a lot of time by getting pre approved from a lender. You should know the diffrence between VA,FHA and conventional. Then you should ask for a Good Faith estiment from a few diffrent lender based of some of the types of properties that you are interested in. for Example, if you want a manufactured home one bank may tell you that you need 10 % down but another may tell you that you need 3.5 %. The average down payment is 3.5% of the purchase price in my area with a FHA loan. It is good to see were you need to be finacially before you start your search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
Contrary to what you may be thinking, the first step to buying your dream home is NOT rushing out and finding a house that you love. In actuality, the first step to a smooth and successful first-time home purchase is to study. Gather as much information as you can about the home-buying process. Take some time to become familiar with what you will be required to do, how the process will proceed, what sellers and lenders are looking for in a prospective buyer, etc. Knowing what to expect will make you much less uncomfortable and anxious as you move along the road toward the actual purchase. Besides, having good information will always pave the way to making good decisions.

So, in order of steps:

1. Interview and hire a Realtor. (Referrals from friends who have recently purchased is a great place to start.) Your agent should be experienced and should truly care about your housing needs.
2. Get referrals from your Realtor TRUSTED lenders. (a large, national bank/a small regional or local bank/ and a mortgage broker whom they have worked with before) Make appointments with all three to discuss your credit, and what you qualify for. (a GREAT lender will not only pre-qualify you but will discuss the reality of your monthly obligations.)
3. Let your Realtor know what you qualify for, and allow them to guide you through the rest of the process.

Enjoy the process!
Mimi Osterdahl, Founding President NWWA Women's Council of Realtors, GRI, ABR
The Muljat Group Realtors
Bellingham, Washington
http://www.livegoodbehappy.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
Deborah,

You will definitely want to speak to a qualified mortgage lender. They will run through your income and credit with you as well as debt and length of time on the job. In our area a buyer needs the Loan Status Report to go in with their offer on a home they want.

You can speak to your Realtor for suggestions on some lenders. One thing getting pre-qualified or pre-approved before looking at homes will do for you is to save you a tremendous amount of frustration. Some people THINK they know what they can afford, but once looked at closely by a lender they find that figure may be to high, and if they have already fallen in love with a home they can't qualify for, well, this can be quite upsetting for any buyer, especially a first time home buyer that has no idea how emotional this process can be. The next problem is that when a buyer has to start looking at homes that are priced lower than where they were looking, then those homes just do not measure up to what they really wanted and can't have.

You will enjoy the process more when you know what you should be looking for!

Best Regards,

Brenda & Ron Cunningham
602-980-3133 / 602-499-0694

Recognized in the Phoenix Business Journal (July 2010) as on of the Top 50 Realtors in the Valley.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
Talk to a local mortgage broker.
They will give you invaluable insight as well as a firm understanding of your price range.
The service should be free.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
The first thing you should do is get pre-qualified. This way you will really know what you can afford. It's not only knowing about what you can afford though. Its very difficult in some instances to ge a loan now. I have a lot of clients that are in the serviice industry and receieve tips. (non-documented income). They hav e to come up with more money down, cosigners etc... So you really need to know what you need for down payment ,closing costs,etc... So you can make sure your prepared. Good luck on finding your new home!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 26, 2011
I would absolutely suggest you meet with a mortgage broker.
It is free advive and will answer so many questions for you.
And really show you what your options are price wise
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 26, 2011
The first time I speak with a buyer I suggest they get pre-approved. I dont want to see anyone to fall in love with a home they cant afford. So... ask your Realtor for names, ask your bank, see a mortgage broker, check with freinds find a person you feel comfortable with.

Have a great day!
Joann
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 26, 2011
Everyone is certainly in agreement that a good Buyer's Agent will guide you through the process and save you a lot of headaches later. We're trained to know how to avoid or work through all the twists and turns that may come up during the homebuying process. Be sure and find an agent in the area you want to move into.. I'd rather send you to another Agent in that area and remain friends than take you to an area I'm not familiar with and not be able to give you 100 %.
Wanda Couch
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners-Buford, GA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 25, 2011
Congratulations, Deborah!

1.The first thing I recommend is to check your credit reports. That way you won't have any 'surprises' and can start working on correcting any errors, immediately. For more information, including where to order the reports, please visit this link: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtm
Obviously you want to save up for your closing costs and your down payment, but you'll also want to pay any credit cards down to under 30% of credit available. That is going to help get the best rate.
2.Talk to a lender about what kind of loan works best for your needs and how you can work towards a better rate.
Finding the right lender/loan has it's own rules. For your rights, options and frequently used terms go here:
http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/mortgage/mortb_1.htm There are also more great links at the bottom of the page.
3. Get a Realtor! Honestly, this is a FREE service to home buyers, so take advantage of our education and experiences...we are professionals who are bound to hold your best interest above all others, including ourselves.

While trulia is full of willing and helpful agents, I have read too many stories (even on here) of those wishing they would not have went at this alone. We are here to help you get the best rate on your home loan, protect you from Contract to closing and offer our help as needed. You will be surprised there are MANY more helpful things we can do for you.

Take this time to educate yourself as best possible. When you are ready to move forward, it will all pay off for you...litterally:0)

All the best to you!
Web Reference: http://www.har.com/sboon
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 25, 2011
Hi Deborah-

The very first thing you need to do is find a good lender and get pre-qualified. You need to find out what your buying power is- find out what you can afford and look in that price range. Good luck to you- home ownership
is awesome!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 25, 2011
You should sit down with a mortgage adviser and find out what a realistic home purchase price should be. Hopefully they will discuss with you the other costs associated with the home buying process: Application fees, home inspection fees, etc.
Always go to two or three "lenders" to get the ball rolling. A pre-approval or a pre-Qual letter will be extremely helpful when you put an offer on a property.
Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 25, 2011
You need to sit down with a Mortgage Professional to know exactly how much you qualify for. Call me today.

From your Trusted Mortgage Banker,

Alexander Romo, Manager / Senior Mortgage Banker
Chicago Bancorp, Inc. I 300 N. Elizabeth Street, Suite 3E I Chicago IL 60607 I USA
direct: 312-738-8430
fax: 312-628-8311 (private)
email:alexander@chicagobancorp.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 25, 2011
Absolutely your first step is to speak with a mortgage lender. I do not recommend on-line lending institutions. Check with family and friends to see if they have a local lender they have used with success. That lender will provide a free pre-qualification which will outline the type of loan you need, amount of your downpayment, what closing costs you can expect to pay (or ask the seller to pay) and most importantly the budget you must work within for a home price. Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 25, 2011
I did a long string google search using your question in the google bar and came up with this link. I gotta ask is this a sincere question?

http://www.finweb.com/mortgage/for-first-time-home-buyers.html
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 25, 2011
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