Buying A Home
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Getting started

Hi, all!

My husband and I have been married for about a year and a half and moved to NYC immediately after for a "last hoorah" before home ownership and babies. It's been a fun adventure so far, but we're looking to move back to South Florida and buying a home within the next year and a half or so. In preparation (I know we may be a bit early), does anyone have any book, podcasts, or courses (at banks, or similar) that could assist with getting familiar with the process and how to get started? I feel as though it will be much less stressful if we feel prepared to make such a large investment.

Thanks in advance!

Re: Getting started

  • Home Buying for Dummies is a commonly mentioned book here.
  • Call around to a few local banks.  There's one near us that has a home buying class for first time buyers.  In the meantime, start saving.....
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Yes, on the saving front, the rough numbers are to save 10% of the purchase price for realtor fees, and other closing costs. Depending on how good of an interest rate you want, if you can, put down at least 20% of the home purchase.

    Get your and DH's credit REPORTS (not scores) from each of the three credit bureaus (Transunion, Experian, and Equifax). You are each legally entitled to one free report per year from each of the bureaus. Check them for errors.

    Don't take out any new loans including opening any new credit cards, unless you absolutely need to. And, continue to pay on time on all your debts.

  • Just another point on the savings front......make sure you have money left over AFTER the purchase.  Things in a home break.  When you rent, your landlord takes care of these.  They're now your problem.  Some things can wait.  Other things can't.

    I don't say this to scare you.  I just don't want to see you dump every dime you have into the down payment and then not have any emergency funds available.  This is probably why a lot of realtors are writing home warranties into the purchase contract these days (that and I'm sure they get a kickback for it).
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Thank you all!

    Definitely helpful!
  • I definitely recommend taking a first time home buyer's class.  I'm sure you can find them in your area, though you will want to make sure it is not too specific to just NYC.

    I took one when I first started looking.  It was lengthy...4 nights, but worth it.  Each night had a lesson with 1-2 guest speakers who went over one part of the homebuying process.  Topics covered were loans, realtors, home inspections, insurance, and assessments (property taxes).

    The class I went to had just a few items here and there specific to my area, but 90% of it was just the home buying process, in general.  

  • Everything above is great advice. Get your finances in order and start putting together a budget to figure out how much home you can afford. My husband and I had a very large and colorful Excel spreadsheet that laid out all of our expenses and it was really helpful to figure out how much home we could, and wanted, to afford. 

    Get pre-approved when you're ready to start pursuing loans and real estate agents. When you meet with an agent, ask him/her about the keys to being the most attractive buyer. Our agent did this, and we got the first home we put an offer on.

    Start checking out the neighborhoods that interest you. And prepare yourself for disappointment--most people will not have their first, second, or even third offer accepted and may tour dozens of houses before they find their home.

    Happy House Hunting!
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