Buying a House - Davis,CA

Updated on February 16, 2011
A.M. asks from Davis, CA
17 answers

Hi, mamas! This is the first time I've asked a question, so here it is - I would like to buy a house someday, but I don't know where to start! I am paying a lot for rent right now, & we have 3 children. The house we are in is really too small! I'm not sure how good or bad my credit is, but I've been working for over 10 yrs at the same job. I have a steady income. I think I would look into buying a foreclosure or a house that needs to be fixed up (because my husband can do all the work), so I'm not looking for a brand new house. I am pretty sure I would not qualify for something brand new. I don't know how to start. Any advice would really be appreciated. Thanks!

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answers from Johnstown on

Find a realtor and they can walk you through it from there. You may want to contact someone like ReMax, Howard Hannah, an ERA office, etc. Look in the Yellow Pages and go from there. GL, Happy Shopping!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Give me a call whenever you would like and I can go over the buying process with you. Whether you choose to work with me or not; at least you will know what to expect.

Lucy B. C. DRE#01447809
Intero Real Estate Services
5898 Silver Creek Valley Road
San Jose, Ca 95138
###-###-#### office
###-###-#### cell

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

I think you and hubbie need to sit down and do a detailed budget first. See what you bring home every month and what you can really afford in a house payment- not what you will get approved for! You should do no more than 25-30% of your monthly income on your house payment- this helps you factor in repair and maintenance costs that you don't have when you are renting. How much is your down payment going to be? The average is about 20%- although for a while you could buy a house with little or no down payment- I doubt they have much of those loans anymore.
There are web site with mortgage calculators on them- you type in the loan amount, the interest rate and the term limit(15-30 yrs) and it will come up with a monthly payment- plus you will need to figure in taxes and insurance- that will help you figure out how much you can afford.
Don't be in a hurry to buy. check out the different areas you would like to live in and really look at the school districts. DON"T feel pressured to buy!!!!!!!!! We have been dealing with that for the past couple of years. We had to move out here because of work and only had 4 weeks to find a place to live- we should have rented first! even though rent was more expensive monthly than our mortgage. We both felt a lot of pressure to buy even though we weren't totally sold on the house. We should have listened to our instinct because we have had a lot of problems with this house since we moved in! But hopefully you might be able to learn from our mistake!
Once you've got your budget down, list in order of importance what you would like in your house- how many bed/bath rooms- what kind of neighborhood, how big of yard, etc. Then find a good Realtor and let them know you are looking and see what they can find for you. Let them also know that you are not looking to rush things and do some looking on your own. Then if you find something you would like to look at your Realtor can set it up for you to see and find out more about it for you.
I hope this wasn't too long- please, if you are feeling pressured to buy- WALK AWAY!!! you don't want to be in a $100,000 mistake for any amount of time- it just puts stress on the rest of you life! :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Contact Trans Union, Experian and Equifax to get copies of your credit reports. See what your score is and find out about anything you don't recognize. If your score is in good shape, contact a local realtor to discuss what you're looking for and they can guide you along. They can tell you depending on your salaries, credit and any money owed now what loan you would qualify for, how much your mortgage payment would be, insurance, taxes, etc. Then you can look at available properties in that range -and if you can buy now, it's a great time to do it! You can get some amazing deals on homes right now while the market is down. On the flip side -it's MUCH harder to get a loan now than it used to be (which is good), so if your credit isn't great, see what you can do to fix it the fastest. The fact that you've been employed at the same job for 10 years is definitely a plus!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I just answered another question about 1st time home buying...

My suggestion is to talk to a lender first (or at least pull up your credit reports). They will look at several factors: current job/income for you & hubby, credit history (overall score, timely payments, etc.), and debt-to-income ratio. What I told the other poster is this: "You should find somebody who is willing to take the time to sit down, talk with you, and go over all the nitty-gritty details. Shop around--your local bank, credit union, large mortgage broker, personal broker, etc. They each have strengths and weaknesses, it's up to you to find the one to best fit your situation."
When we bought our first house, we talked to 3 different companies before we found one willing to look at our "whole picture" and help us figure out what we could/should do. I even had 1 company say "oh, you'll NEVER get approved for a mortgage with *that* on your credit report!" We had just moved to a new state, I just started a new job, hubby was unemployed (in school), and we had minimal savings. We were pre-approved for a mortgage (very low $$) and got referrals for several realtors. We went "out" with 3 of them before picking one who really suited our needs (and personalities). She helped us find a cute little condo (well within our budget) which we lived in for 3 years. We are now renting it out and in the process of getting a new (bigger) house!

Oh, and about the foreclosures & fixer-uppers... your broker and/or realtor will be the ones you want to talk to about that. They can give you the run down on those often drawn-out processes. And, some mortgages will NOT let you purchase either. This all goes back to finding a broker/realtor who works WITH you!

Good luck!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

The best thing to start is to request copies of your credit reports.

Get your financial ducks in a row and pay off any & all debt so you know what you've got to work with.

If you haven't already, I would rec The Total Money Makeover book by Dave Ramsay.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I would start with your bank and talking to a loan officer. They can tell you what you need to pay off to increase your chances.

Denise P recommended Dave Ramsey which is also a good plan, but as an FYI you can get his books from most libraries instead of purchasing one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Get rate quoates from lenders and if you plan on purchasing forclosure get pre-approved. You want to have the leg up on others if there is a multiple offer. Get an experience (I mean like at least 20 years in your area realtor) I cannot say enough as to how much having an experienced realtor working for us was in buying our first home which we bought just about a month ago. Forclosures take time and can be frustraiting but we got a forclosure and love it. We did FHA loan which is great, Buy in your means not what the mortgage person will give you. We bought a good 500 less monthly mortgage then what they offered us because we wanted to still be able to do things outside fo the house. Credit score matters, property tax plays a big role in mortgage amt, PMI sucks but somethings you just gotta go that way and pay ahead, kids, school dist matters, we would not purchase outside of our prefered district no way! So much to think about, do you want to live on a busy street, big yard or small, how many stories for hte house...etc

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

I agree with all who said to contact the lender first....your primary bank would be a good place to start. Keep in mind - everytime your credit is pulled it affects your score. So don't worry about pulling your own credit, the lender will do it and give you all the info you'll need. If you've never been late on a bill your credit should be great.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Go talk to the lender first. They will pull everything you need. Realtors want you to do that first so they can show you homes in your price range.

Good luck - so exciting.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

find a realtor and go from there.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would talk to a mortgage/loan officer and see what you can get prequalified for....they can also discuss your credit issues. You are entitled annually to a copy of each of your credit reports from the 3 major bureaus for FREE -- do not pay for them....make the requests to them individually. Also, know that our real estate agent made it clear to us that buying a foreclosure can be kind of tough -- usually if you are in a good area, you need to pay what the bank is asking and sometimes offer MORE than they are asking (not less like you would when dealing with a seller in a depressed market) because there will likely be competitions for bids....then there is a waiting game....and then they can jerk you around at the last minute and you lose the place if a better deal comes along for the bank. Since you are renting, if you are on a month to month, that is not as big of a deal -- but if you are locked in to your rental agreement or trying to buy near the end of it, it could be a big issue.

Keep in mind that what the mortgage people prequalify you for is likely MORE than you can afford -- they do not take into consideration costs of childcare, monthly expenses like groceries and clothing your kids, etc. -- you need to figure out what your budget is as well and how much you can afford to put toward a mortgage and property taxes. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

One of the biggest factors in deciding to whether to buy a house or not is can you afford it?

Since you don't know about your credit, start by getting your free annual credit reports, one from each of the 3 companies. Here's the website - The credit report will not cost you anything, but a credit score will. You really don't need the score. Review it carefully for any errors. If you find any, write to the companies and get it corrected.

Find out how much homes cost in your area. Look in the paper. Pick a realty company in your area and visit their website.

Savings. There are ways to purchase a house will a very small downpayment and little closing cost, but typically you'll want to have about $7,500 for closing cost and a 5% downpayment.

Plan out a budget, to determine how much you can afford. Remember that your utilites will increase significantly, you'll have to pay property taxes, you'll need homeowners insurance, and if you put down less than 20% of a downpayment you'll need to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI).

This will get you started on your way. The next step would be to meet with a mortgage lender.

Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

The easiest thing to do is contact a real estate agent. You can find out what houses are going for in your area. Second: contact a mortgage broker and find out what the monthly payment would be for a house in your price range. In general, the banks loan up to 25% of your gross income to purchase a house. So if your before tax earnings is $10,000 (a month) you would probably be eligible for a mortgage payment of $2500 (a month). Of course it depends on your credit score and any other debts (car loan, credit card debt, student loans, etc.) The first thing you can do is start saving money towards a down payment. You'll get the best loans by putting down 20%. Lastly, find a GOOD real estate agent, someone referred by a friend. You need to have honest, ethical people helping you. Do not buy a foreclosure on your own. Get guidance. Don't feel in a rush to buy a house: prices are great right now but I doubt that they will increase as much as they did in the past. We are currently looking for a larger home - we bought our first home 10 years ago after 20 years as renters. I'm happy to be a home owner but we bought well beneath our maximum range and it's nice to not have to stretch for the monthly payment or maintenance issues that arise. Good-luck.



answers from San Francisco on

Honestly, I wish I never bought a home. I've also been at my job for over 10 years and my husband is a talented carpenter and can repair just about anything. Our home is just sucking us dry every month!! The home is a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath and the cost is about 3 times what we'd be paying in rent somewhere! We've had an interest only loan for 4 years and I don't see us getting out of it anytime soon to put any $ on the principle of the loan. To refinance, we'd need to pay off 20% of the home loan. We put 10% down and there's no way we could save up another 10%! Luckily (how I see it), for you, you'll never get in the same boat because there aren't any interest only loans being given out anymore. At least, that's the case with Wells Fargo.
Hopefully, you can get a good home now that prices are lower though. I wouldn't dwell on it though. I'd take a look at a few places within your price range. If you're happy with what you find, then go for it. Good luck!



answers from Sacramento on

I used Provident Home Loans and they will run your credit and tell you where you stand with your credit score and also let you know what you need to do if anything. You should pre-qualify before you start looking so you know what range to look in. Also get a Realtor and start looking.

I was doing the same thing paying so much in rent and figured even if i paid a couple hundred more at least I would own it and that is what I did!! No regrets at all!!

Good luck in finding your home.....




answers from Sacramento on

I have been a mortgage loan officer for 8 years and I'm also a Mama!! I would be happy to go over your options with you for free with no obligation if you want to see where you stand and devise a plan (if any) to buy on your time line. Knowledge is power. I would be happy to help a fellow Mama!
You can call me on my office line, ###-###-#### or visit my website at

My husband is from Davis and we hope to get back to living there someday soon!

Best Wishes,
S. Gray

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