Posted: Jun 12, 2006 4:40 pm
After a while, a lot of people will say, why pay a mortgage broker/realtor - do it yourself. I would highly recommend avoiding doing anything yourself the first time, other than being directly involved, so that you don't mess up and can learn.
If you haven't already, you should start by figuring out what it is you want in a house. Make a list of needs, haves, have nots. Think about how long do you see yourself living in it? A common first time mistake is over extending yourself financially to get a home that meets all your haves. I don't know how lazy/motivated you two will be, but I would suggest in thinking of buying a home not as the place you see yourself dying in and raising grandchildren, but as an investment towards your next house. With single income financing, you really won't be able to get your dream house (unless your dreams are modest) right off the bat, so you should plan on getting something that you can live in for 4 or 5 years, fix up a bit and sell for enough profit to bump your budget up for the next place. It's a shame you guys didn't start earlier here as P-town has had a booming realestate market for the past 10 years. Anyway, you should prepare your mindset that the first house isn't your dream house; it should be your four year education in homeownership.
Find a mortgage broker - don't worry about trust, just get one that was recommended, you'll review their proficiency later. Avoid banks as they generally aren't as motivated in searching out all financing products. A mortgage broker, who is obviously motivated, should seek out whatever you tell them to find - that's the important part: you need to tell
them , sometimes, what to look for as they don't make the same commision off FHA, etc. So, that's where you need to bone up on is financial packages, like everyone else has mentioned. Avoid ARM (adjustable rate mortgage), and balloon mortgages - these are killers if don't plan on selling quick and are mainly there for investors to play around with.
Find out if the place you're moving has something similiar to Portland Maps
, which is an incredible tool for the home buyer/seller. This site gives tax, historical, municiple info on properties in the Portland area. What you can do is get your RMLS listing info and then use a tool like the city's to compare things, assess crime, storage tanks (only really an issue for older houses - places that care about DEQ), find out what comprable houses went for.
I don't know, there's too much to wade through on here. I'd start by researching different types of financing. Also, make up that list of what you guys will want in a house; be sure to factor in your home improvement comfort level. I know quite a lot of people who bought "fixer uppers" but discovered that they didn't have the skill or desire to fix up. That's not to say that you can't do your own home improvements, it means, you need to see how motivated and disciplined you will be. That's why I mentioned before that your first house is sort of like a training house. You'll be all aglow with your new nest; you'll spend less time going out, more time working on the yard, buying furniture, painting, passing out on your own floor. Use that time wisely but enjoy.
I'm sure our paths will cross someday and I can yak more about this. It's a year away, isn't it? Plus, you really should live there before committing to purchase. Whatever.