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Where to start on buying a home?

We have to decided to look into buying our first house! I want to know all the facts before we actually do it, so where should I start? I just looked at my credit score, now what? Any info would be great!

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:50 AM on Dec. 5, 2009 in Money & Work

Answers (8)
  • Firstly I would meet with your bank and get a preapproval just to see what you can afford but also know they tell you the very max doesn't mean you can actually afford it so I would look at interest rates and set a limit between your hubby and you about what you really can afford
    Than I would ask around with friends or coworkers for recommendations on real estate agents . . don't feel pressured to go with the first you meet find someone that you both feel comfortable with because this person is gonna be your best friend for a long time . .so don't sign any contracts on first meet
    Hope this gives a little help

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:56 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • One thing for sure if you live paycheck by paycheck it's not a good idea to buy a home. Make sure you have at least 8 months of savings in the bank on what you live by month to month now.

    Go to the library they have a books on the subject. One is Home Buying for Dummies

    Good luck


    Answer by Anonymous at 8:57 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • figure out how much you want your monthly payments to be and remember that each additional $1000 you finance can add anywhere from $13-20 per month onto your total. and if you don't put 20% down you have to pay pmi. which can cost you an arm and a leg for 10 years or more! but, there are sooo many great forclosures listed now that you can find an excellent deal! just make sure to get the proper inspections done especially if it's an older home. and DON'T let ANY realtor try to show you a home out of your pricerange!!! it's important bc you will have unrealistic expectations after that. they are bulldogs most of the time (like used car salsmen) and are need just like everyone else right now. but, good luck and have a great time in the process, it should take however long it takes you find that perfect home and addition month to close after you get your offer accepted. once you put in your offer, STOP looking.

    Answer by angevil53 at 8:59 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • Go to a lender/bank and get them to make you a letter stating how big of a loan they can give you. Then find an agent. Make sure you get your own real estate agent and not just call the one listed at each house. You will get a lower interest rate offered on a loan to you thru a mortgage broker than you would at a bank. All of that of course depends on your credit score. Interest rates were as low as 4.75% last week. Find a lender and get one locked in. Also, lenders will want you to take out a PMI which is basically insurance for them in case you can't make your payment. And of course that makes your mortgage higher with out paying any towards the actual house. You can avoid this by taking out a small second mortgage to go towards the principal on the house rather than the back. Avoid loans that have arms and will balloon. Basically they have super low interest rates for a few years then balloon to something huge.


    Answer by momjoy1027 at 9:00 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • Do you have the money for the down payment and the money for the closingcost? Have you figured out how much you can aford as in mortgage?

    Answer by louise2 at 9:24 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • I would recommend getting the book Home Buying for DUmmies...or whatever it's called. I used it when I bought my first house and it helped a lot to explain things I didn't understand (escrow, points, closing costs, property taxes, interest rates (variable, fixed), etc.). The second thing I would figure out is how much house payment you can afford each month. Your house payment should include the mortgage AND your property taxes each month AND your homeowner's insurance. Just because your mortgage is $600/month, your property taxes might be $150/month, and your homeowner's might be $100/month, so your total payment would be $850 for example. Don't start with a lender because they will tell you that you can borrow more than you can actually afford to pay each month. But start with the book.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:33 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • The first thing is to sit down with your bank and get preapproval - they'll help you know what your interest rate will be, how much you can afford in monthly mortgage rates, what you'll need for a down payment, etc and that will help narrow your search. You may also want to find yourself a good real estate agent and start developping a relationship with them - let them know what you are looking for, and they can give you the heads up when hot properties come on the market - sometimes you have to act very quickly, that's why preapproval is so important.

    Answer by LisaLulu at 10:45 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

  • Wow---some really good advice here! I would just say the most important thing is finding out exactly what you can afford that won't force you to worry about paying your other bills. NEVER take a chance, always have extra money every month. SOmeone mentioned having a savings with 8 months of salary..good advice. The reason there are so many foreclosures the last few years is because people obtained huge mortgages and found out too late they couldn't make the payments. Don't get an (ARM )Adjustable rate mortage, because you might start out with a low rate...maybe 4% but in a few years the rate will go way up which is why they call it adjustable. the mortgage payment will go way up too. Not good.
    Good luck!!! Buying your first home is so exciting!!!

    Answer by Lindalu2 at 10:48 AM on Dec. 5, 2009

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