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I may have come to the point where I am ready to buy a house. I don't know anything about this process and would appreciate some up to date links about information (especially in the post-bubble market).
I am 24, and have never owned a house, or even tried to look for and buy one. I understand that this may yield me marvelous and fabulous prizes.
But I don't know what they are...
Right now I can handle between 1,000 and 1,500 in monthly housing costs (which would have to include things like insurance, and other maintenancy type stuff)
In the down payment department, I don't know what I am looking at. I've seen places online that say "at least 10%", but about a year ago I talked to a realtor who said that for first time buyers it's something ridiculously low like less than 3,000 dollars
I can probably go up to 5-7k for a down payment if someone held a gun to my head.
My credit is... not bad, but it's not overwhelming either. I have no bad marks against my credit (one medical debt collection which has been resolved now for several months), I have low credit card availability but high utilization ( > 50%). Basically my score would probably be in the mid 600's on a sun-shiny day.
I understand that a realtor will be able to walk me through most of this stuff... but a realtors primary responsibility is to make me buy a house, so I would like to get some other non-salesman perspectives on this.
It seems that financially, I can afford the actual ownership of a house on a monthly basis... its the actual down payment/acquisition part that I have doubts on.
In this completely decimated florida market there are frankly some amazing houses on the market for low prices, so it seems like a good time to buy...
Like I said, any anecdotal first-time-buyer stuff, and links to good information would be greatly appreciated.