to find out more ..... http://www.maryland-fha-loans.com/HOC.html
Sure, lots of suggestions. Here are a few:
First, find a good Realtor. One who understands creative techniques and creative financing. Also, one who will actually look through the MRIS, not just build in an automated search to send you properties.
Second, I don't know how much you have in savings or the details of your finances, but if you could afford to buy a $200,000 condo or townhouse, there are plenty out there. Especially if you get creative in purchasing or financing. But even if not, I know of 3 bed/2 bath condos in Reston for $175,000 or less, and townhouses in Woodbridge for around $200,000. In fact, I just did a search for single-family homes or townhouses in Northern Virginia, price under $200,000, minimum of 3 beds, 2 baths, and came up with over 200 listings. In fact, there are about 65 for under $175,000. Most are townhouses in Prince William County; many are foreclosures. So...the properties are out there. As for Maryland, just did a search in PG County--came up with 9 under $175,000. Not a whole lot, but they're out there. And I didn't even search condos...just townhouses and single family homes.
More ideas: I like lease-options. Find a property that's either listed as a rent-to-own/lease-option, or that's listed for sale, long days on market, or listed for rent. Structure a lease-option (some Realtors know how; many real estate investors do, too). You rent for a while, with part of your rent being credited toward the purchase price. During or at the termination of the lease, you can if you choose purchase the property for an agreed-upon amount. Or, if you want, you simply let the lease run out and move on.
Hypothetically, because I don't know your finances (and disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer or accountant, so what I'm offering is not legal or accounting advice): Suppose you find a property you really like. It's on the MRIS for $275,000. It's vacant. You tell the owner: I'd like to rent your property for $1,600 a month. I'd like you to credit $500 a month to the purchase price, if I decide to purchase it. And I'm willing to pay $250,000 for the property. And I'd like a 1 year lease-option, with the right to renew for two additional 1 year terms.
Owner thinks: Hmmm. Property is vacant. I'm being bled dry by it. I don't know what's going to happen with prices. I'd love to sell for $275,000 now, but this is a way to eliminate my negative cash flow, and it gives me a shot at selling for $250,000...probably what I would have accepted if I'd received an offer today.
So, you're in the property. You pay $1,600 a month rent, of which $500 is credited to the purchase price. (That's a heck of a lot better than if you'd gotten an amortized loan.) In one year, if you exercise your option, you'll have accumulated $6,000 in option money, bringing your actual purchase price down to $244,000. If prices have declined, you can continue to rent or you can terminate the lease and move on. If prices have remained stable or risen, you may have a bargain at $244,000. Let's take it out to three years. In year 3, if you exercise your option, you'll have accumulated $18,000 in option money, bringing your actual purchase price down to $232,000. And, though I don't have a crystal ball, 3 years may be enough time for home prices to have firmed up a bit. If the property was actually worth, say, $265,000 at the initiation of the lease-option, it might be worth, say, $280,000 three years from now. And you'd have the option, but not the obligation, to buy it for $232,000.
One other suggestion: The way I bought my first house (through a creative Realtor) was to buy a house and rent out the lower level. The additional rental income helped offset my expenses. The agent even lent me a portion of her commission on the transaction to enable me to fix up the downstairs (to add a kitchen) to make it a complete rentable unit. That was over 20 years ago. (I've put a link to her site below.)
In short, someone with a reasonable salary and a good credit score who wants to buy a property in today's market can do so.
I think one of the most common misconceptions in our society is the belief f that they are entitled to be able to buy a home. DC is an expensive place to live and your salary just doesn't isn't high enough to own a home YET.
Your best bet is to start stockpiling cash and paying off all of your other debts first (credit cards, car, student loans, etc). Once you have the debts paid down and some cash reserves, the loan will not be as intimidating to a lender.
Home ownership is the right way to go, however if your budget is $1,600 that put you around $200K purchase price. (Condos + Town Homes)
Step 1. Call a Loan Officer and discuss your options and explain your credit history http://(www.myfico.com), and learn about your affordability. If you are ready to proceed, give your SSN and get a Pre-Approval.
Step 2. Consult a Real Estate Agent to define your home buying needs, view some properties that within your purchasing limits.
Step 3. Read about Affordability Index (http://htaindex.cnt.org/) to understand location vs. travel to work.
Step 4. Choose a location + the right house + make a decision = Home Ownership
Or you wait to save more money, or get better job and than buy a home!
Word of advice-
Don't wait to buy a Real Estate, Buy Real Estate and Wait!
Need any help, we are here to guide you and bring Joy to your home buying process!
(If you don't have a Loan Officer, try choicefinance.net. They will let you know your max approval and show you all options you qualify for.)
A few things spring to mind as I read your post.
Condo fees in the DC area aren't cheap! A $300-$400 condo fee can make seemingly affordable condos out of reach. Sometimes, you are better off going with a slightly more expensive townhome without the condo fee.
Do you have a lot of other debt that is causing your debt to income ratio to be too high? At $50,000 a year if you have a large car payment, credit card or student loan debt, it can quickly make you afford less home.
As for closing cost assistance programs, if you are in the DC metro area and making $50k a year, I know of at least 2 programs that you should be able to qualify for. You can take a look at my blog, they are in the 2 most recent posts.
My blog: http://www.ThoughtsAboutRealEstate.com
Carrollton Mortgage Services, a subsidiary of Carrollton Bank
I certainly understand your concern of not wanting to waste money on rent. Renting is basically paying someone else's mortage. There are some first-time homebuyer programs out there that you may qualify for that may help you with something towards closing costs. A good lender can provide you with that information. Another option is to ask for seller help. You didn't mention if you had any money to put down or you were trying to do 100% financing.That certainly will make a difference in your monthly payment.
What areas have you been looking in? If you're willing to go a little further out into the Gaithersburg, Germantown or Frederick area,I know of condo's that have been on the market for a while and may be willing to negotiate.
Then you can start your search for properties. By hiring a Realtor as a Buyer's Agent - they can show you what area(s) you can then afford and show you those properties which best fit your needs.
Keep in mind that Buyer's Agents are typically paid by the seller - not you, the buyer.
I also have a FREE Internet Search that will allow to search all the properties for sale in the DC area.