Post # 1
What was yours?
We have about $30,000+ saved up, we know we want a house, we do have a place to sell ourselves and we don’t feel we must.have.it.right.now- we are okay with waiting and taking our time.
We will be talking to someone next week or the week after and I was just curious what steps, in order, you took to get your home.
Post # 3
We started looking at what was out there online. We contacted an agent, who then put us in touch with a couple of contacts at local banks to get started on the financing end, and to get pre qualified. We got our pre-qual letter then went to look at homes. We took a long break over the winter and spring as our wedding approached, and now are re-doing the bank paperwork while we are looking at homes.
Post # 4
It’s great that you’re not in a huge rush to find the perfect place NOW. We started working with our realtor last August, and it gave us a lot of time to look. We’ve learned a lot about what we want, what we don’t and just generally all the things that could go wrong in a house, because we’ve seen the good, bad and ugly.
The order that’s worked well for us was getting a rough sense of budget (it’s changed a couple of times in the last year, as has my understanding of all the lovely monthly charges that are added to your mortgage payment, so I don’t think you need to have it nailed down to the penny). Then we worked with a realtor and started looking, thinking and waiting.
10 months later, we’ve submitted three offers total. We’re under contract now with the third one, but writing the first two offers really helped teach us a lot about what the next steps would be. Good luck!
Post # 5
Well, obviously we saved money first, haha. (And great job on having that chunk of money!!)
Then we went to the bank to get an idea of what price range we should be looking at. After that we contacted a realtor and checked out a few places.. and fell in love with the house that is going to be our first home, as of 9 days from now! After we made our offer, we followed up with our conditions (they were our offer, pending inspection and financing — which we had to really get on the bank about because they were SOOO slow) and then once our offer had been accepted and our conditions met, we had to find a lawyer to do the title search and whatnot. Despite the stress we had, I felt it was a pretty easy process.. I can’t IMAGINE doing it without a realtor though, especially as a first time home buyer such as myself!
Best of luck to you!
Post # 6
We started looking online a lot at homes, then my husband contacted a realor. Good thing he did because we found out that so many of the homes aren’t actually listed as their actual price or they might already have an accepted offer on them and such. So she would send us the “active” listings every time they were updated. We went ahead and got our preapproval. Then we started going out and looking at the homes we were interested in from the listings, mostly with the realtor (most of the houses had lockboxes so we wouldn’t have been able to get inside without her anyway). We just kept searching and searching. We put offers on two homes and lost the home before we finally got a house on our third try. We had looked at SO many homes by that point though – probably at least 50. We didn’t go inside all of them, a lot of times we did drive bys and knew immediately that we didn’t want anything to do with it and didn’t even have to bother going inside.
So glad that time is over 🙂 After losing two homes we had placed an offer on, waiting to see if the third offer was going to be accepted was a total nightmare. We were on pins and needles for two days before they got back to us. Now looking back we’re so happy we lost the first two homes though, we ended up with a much better one 🙂
Post # 7
Ooh, I had forgotten about the online listings until bloodgo1 mentioned them; We had the same issue. We looked online and asked our Realtor about some of the listings, but by the time they get online they’ve already been on the “Realtor’s List” or whatever it’s called, and most of them had offers/were sold already!
Post # 8
We started by looking at online listings but you don’t have access to a lot of them until you have a realtor. I would suggest a buyer’s agent (it’s a specific type of real estate agent). They answer only to you and help you with the process. If you have a seller’s agent and you tell them we are willing to spend X on this home, they will tell the agent that represents the seller.
Before really looking at homes, go to a mortgage broker and get prequalified. This will make it much easier to get in an offer because it shows that you are serious about purchasing a home.
Make sure to calculate insurance, taxes, utilities, and other expenses on top of the mortgage payment. It is suggested to spend less than 30% on all home expenses.
Post # 9
Thanks for sharing.
Does the prequalification expire?
I’ve been looking at ziprealty.com for houses. Someone mentioned how they are more up to date than like MSN, etc.
Post # 10
So exciting to start looking! I found the process really confusing and really frustrating because I couldn’t get straight answers about the steps to take to actually get to closing. Even from family because its a thing you do so few times you easily forget what you had to do. So, I wrote a blog post about the exact process of buying our home to maybe shed some light on it for others:
How we bought a house
Post # 11
I used this website: http://michaelbluejay.com/house/ for information on the homebuying process. It talks about a lot of the different costs and the basic process. I found it invaluable for me.
One thing that you might not realize ahead of time, is that you need a LOT of information to qualify and then GET your loan. I don’t remember everything, but I know we needed at least our last two 1040s (taxes), at least the last two months bank statements for all our accounts, plus some other things that I can’t think of right now. It was a lot of paperwork that I had to get-together.
We hooked up with a real estate agent first and she pointed us in the direction of a bank to get our pre-approval started. While I was gathering the paperwork for the loan approval, we looked at houses on-line and started going to houses with our agent. Once we found a house we loved, we put in an offer, got a counter-offer, counter-offered ourselves, and they accepted! The next steps were getting the house appraised, getting it inspected, setting a closing date, and really finalizing the loan information. It’s definitely an exciting process, though can be overwhelming and stressful. I had to put off wedding planning and just focus on the house because trying to do both was too much for me (plus finishing grad school and working full time).
Good luck to you!
Post # 12
Thanks for the blog and website Corgitales and Adira. They were very helpful and I bookmarked both.
>>I would suggest a buyer’s agent (it’s a specific type of real estate agent). They answer only to you and help you with the process. If you have a seller’s agent and you tell them we are willing to spend X on this home, they will tell the agent that represents the seller.<<
I was telling DH about what I leanred from all you wonderful bees last night but he brought up a good point and the differences between a seller’s agent and buyer’s agent. How is a buyers agent paid vs. a sellers agent? If it’s a certain percentage of the sale, what keeps the buyers agent from going to the other agent and saying “they are willing to go up to X amount of dollars” so they get paid more?
Post # 13
Yes, I agree. Get your own (buyer’s) agent because you can’t rely on the seller’s to tell you everything in the process. Both agents –yours and sellers, typically get paid 3% standard rate each, both paid by the seller. Usually people don’t discuss touching the agents’ commission.
In our case, the seller’s close family relatives made a comment that they wished they would have gotten our agent to sell the place instead of their own agent (they worked for the same company) b/c they didn’t feel their agent represented them well and our agent negotiated the better end of the stick. You need someone you can trust to work things out in your favor.
Post # 14
Usually when you don’t have a buyer’s agent, I believe you work directly with the seller’s agent and they are the ones selling the homes you’re looking at, so it’s in their best interest to show you expensive homes or encourage the sellers not to budge on their price.
A buyer’s agent is working for you and it’s in their best interest to show you homes you like and work with you to get what you want. If you don’t find a home while they’re working for you they don’t get paid. Whereas with a seller’s agent, if you don’t buy their home, someone else will. So they don’t have to work with you as much to get their pay-day.
Does that make sense?
Post # 16
I used realtor.com
When I bought my 1st home the selling agent was both of our agents and we signed a contract with him he couldnt tell her or I any info that each other said about the price. And he personally wrote us a check after closing to get some work done to get the sale
The laws very from state to state, in Maine if you dont sign a contract with a realtor (not a purchace & sales agreement) They cant tell you ANYTHING they can literly only show you the house.
On my 2nd house we had a diff broker because we were looking at A LOT of houses # 1 i didnt even see the house before i bought it I just wanted to move!
I went with mortgage broker vs local bank because brokers work with MANY lenders to find the best rates and local banks dont.