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Old 02-15-2004, 05:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Florida
Looking to buy a home

I am just starting to look for a place to buy in south Florida. My credit is kind of screwed from a previous marriage. I don't owe any thing to anybody, but have a few blemishes. Question what kind of credit score (658) are the companies out there looking for. Any advise would be great. Thanks in advance
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Old 02-15-2004, 06:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The good news and the bad news is that mortgage banks are DYING to give you money. Even with bad credit (and a 658 doesn't seem that bad) they'll loan you money, just at a much higher rate than they'd lend to many other people. My advice would be to shop around - maybe try lendingtree.com? - and to look at some programs like Fannie Mae and FHA that might be able to help you out.
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Old 02-15-2004, 08:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I cant speak for America, but in the UK people are desperate to lend money. I would recomend seeing a mortgage broker to talk through your options - it doesnt cost anything, they get their commission from the lender - and then you will know what your price range is before you start looking.

I personally had to sell my house and go back to renting because of debt problems, but financially buying a house was the best thing I ever did, although I couldnt sustain it, with two years worth of equity I virtually wiped out my debts.

As I say, it may be different in the States, but even if your income isnt great, in the UK you can look for things like self certification mortgages, and then rent out a room in the house to cover the payments.

But, again in the UK, brokers are desperate for business, they will come round your house in the evening - if you can, see 2 or 3 and see who is giving the best/most realistic options.

Good luck!
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Old 02-15-2004, 09:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Florida
Thanks.
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Old 02-15-2004, 01:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you have no debt, a good job, and some money for a down, they'll want to talk to you. And I would shop around, as others have said. You need to look not just at interest rates but "points" (fees) and other miscellaneous fees they don't necessarily tell you about and which mean nothing really except that it's a way to make more money off you after you think you've gone too far to back out (you haven't).

Having no debt these days is huge. How much of a down can you afford? I know some people are getting in for as little as five percent down on some loans -- and I wouldn't do that, because if home prices drop you'll be under water (you'll owe more than the house is worth). But if you can make 20 percent down, you can a) protect yourself from going under water, and b) make the loan company quite happy because if they have to foreclose they'll still get their money out (since they're only loaning on 80 percent of the house's value, not 95).

If you can't make 20, go as high as you can. Like I say, they'll like you. And many of them are desperate, so don't let them act like they're doing you a favor. They need you more than you need them. The mortgage industry operates on a boom/bust cycle, and they're just past the peak of the boom. They've staffed up, opened extra offices, bought equipment, and now they have all this overhead to cover. And there's plenty of investor money for mortgages right now, because it's a pretty darned safe investment than pays 6 percent return. So they need to make loans.

Last edited by Rodney; 02-15-2004 at 01:33 PM..
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Old 02-16-2004, 01:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Tampa
I'm in Tampa, just bought a house worth for 120k with nothing down and my credit was shot to shit (620). That and I had the seller pay half the closing costs and had the home inspection done for free

Basically, you can get a house while your credit is so-so as long as you have a stable work history and you can show the lender some bank statements that verify you make said amount.

I went with Suntrust Lending in case that might help you....
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Old 02-16-2004, 08:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I just bought my house a year and a half ago with something like a 670. If you can put 20% down, I would be very surprised if you have any problems with that credit score.

Definitely shop around though. I found that some places were a real pain to deal with while others were dying to give me money. I got a fairly good rate for that time (5.375%) so I would expect you should be able to do as good or better now.

Good luck.
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Old 02-16-2004, 09:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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In the midwest, you wouldn't have any problem with that score. I got an FHA mortgage with 3% down for around 5.5% interest with a score less than that.
 
Old 02-17-2004, 08:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Go see a mortgage broker. They can help you with complete honesty and accuracy.
 
Old 02-17-2004, 08:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Another tip that not everybody knows..you can get around having to pay mortgage insurance. Usually you have to put down 20% to get out of PMI. But if you get TWO loans...one for 15%, one for 80% and put just 5% down, you won't have to pay the PMI which is a considerable monthly savings.
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