RE Agents/Mortgage Brokers: home buying questions?

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I am a first time home buyer and my fiance (who would be purchasing the home with me) is not. (He owned a home a couple of years ago.) We are currently renting and wish to buy a home in the near future. (I would love to be able to take advantage of this year’s tax credit.) However, we currently have no money saved for a down payment and have “Fair” credit. I anticipate that we will be looking at houses in the $ 200,000-$ 210,000 range in the King of Prussia, PA (suburban Philadelphia) area. Also, we would need to keep our payments less than $ 1,500 per month.
I guess what I’m looking for is advice on what I need to do to prepare to buy a home, what options are available to me as a first time buyer (and does it matter that my fiance is not?), and what are some realistic expectations I should have? Further, are there any legitimate downpayment assistance grants/loans available?

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2 Comments
  1. Reply
    gabyrig
    May 14, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Have you tried NACA.org? They can give you some good tips and tell you how ready you are. It’s a long process though and I personally didn’t want to do it because I wanted to buy fast knowing how much I can afford and my downpayment. They offer low rates and tell you what you need as a couple. Also look into city sponsored first-time home buyer courses (Boston has homebuyer 101). You can ask questions in class or ask the instructor questions in private to get clarification.

    As for your fiance not being a first-time homebuyer, if you are not married when you purchase, you can claim the tax credit (not him). But if you are married, neither of you gets it: http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/faq.php#2

    Not RE agent or broker but I thought you’d like to know that there are programs out there that can help. FHA mortgages are also another way to go. They allow a minimum of 3% down and offer rates in the 5% range. With a 200K purchase and not having more than 20% down, you are looking at $ 1,200 in mortgage payment, some $ 200 in taxes (assuming 2400/yr) and if you have a condo include the condo fees which would include master insurance, if you don’t buy a condo then include you master insurance (assuming 2,000/yr) you’ll also have PMI for about $ 100/month. That gets you to $ 1,600-$ 1,800. I bought for 200K with the same conditions. My monthly payment is $ 1,530.

    My tools of choice.
    – Redfin.com gives you an idea of what’s around and the property taxes.
    – Zillow.com gives you comparable stats
    – Realtor.com (you can find listings as well as agents)
    – Bankrates.com for searching mortgage rates, calculate monthly payments and finding banks.

    Good luck!

  2. Reply
    Prosperity66
    May 14, 2011 at 2:02 am

    Firstly it would be a good idea to get pre-approved before starting hunting for a home to buy.

    As for more info on what does a home mortgage work, here they are:

    There are 5 different options:

    fixed interest rate (the best one: interest and payment rate always remain the same for the entire life of the mortgage)
    adjustable interest rate (change periodically to reflect the economic conditions)
    balloon mortgage (not completely get paid off by the end of the term)
    jumbo mortgage
    interests only mortgage (interest is paid first – you typically end up paying more)

    Your mortgage approval is determined by:
    – your credit score
    – employment and income stability
    – the amount you’re able to put towards the down payment
    – your net assets

    Make sure you prepare your credit report for home mortgage approval:

    – ask for a copy of your credit report 2 years before applying for a loan and make sure there are no mistakes
    – clear collections from the credit file
    – repay your debts

    Home mortgage interest rates are determined by:
    – your credit score
    – the interest rate of the economy and the stock market as well as the international rates
    – economic trends and history

    Hope this helps you a bit 🙂

    You can get extended information here:

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