I really need to just sit down with somebody qualified to give this kind of advice, bring all of my financial information, and talk about buying a home in the next couple of years given my future plans. But I know that I’m not going to actually buy the house for at least a year (I’ll be moving from where I currently am in a year.) So I don’t know if a real estate agent is what I’m looking for. I just need someone who can really lay out all the options. Any ideas??
Start saving. If you can come with 20% of the purchase price in cash. That’ll be a huge help. That is to say if you can come up with $20,000 you’ll be pretty much gauranteed to get qualified for anything up to $100,000. OTOH, there’s a type of loan called a 80-10-10. Where you come up with 10%, the bank gives you a secured line for 10% and the mortgage is the remaining 80%. In this case that same $20,000 will get you a $200,000 home. Also…well, there’s a million things you can discuss, theorys on when to buy, wheather or not you should lock in youre interest rate, what books you should read etc, etc, etc… No matter what, my biggest piece of advice is going to be to save up some money for that down payment.
I’m in the same situation. We’re moving to a new town, and have taken an apartment for the first year while we get to know the area, and plan to buy a house next year or the year after. I’ll watch this thread with interest.
The down payment is the least of the problems. I already have that. What I don’t have, and won’t have for at least three years, is a decent cash flow (I’m going back to school for a master’s in social work.) It’s a very unusual financial situation, which is why I think that actually sitting down and talking to someone would be so helpful. But I’m not even sure who this would be, or what kind of qualifications they would have.
There are various types of mortgages you can get (interest only, graduated payment, some types of adjustible rate loans) that let you start out with a relatively low monthly payment, which increases with time as (presumably) your ability to pay increases.
However, all these require betting on your future earning power. If you finance a purchase based on anticipating you’ll be making $50,000 after graduation, and you wind up in a job that pays $35,000, you could be in for some hurting.
There are too many upsides and downsides to discuss in any detail, and they all depend on your particular situation. I second finding a decent financial advisor to go over things with you.