Well if you would have came to me about 2 years ago with that question. I would not have hesitated to tell you sue lets find you the house you want and get a offer written. We would have sat down at the office and followed a buyer process that delt with various steps toward home ownership.
After a initial consultation and a few questions on what you were looking for. We would then search the MLS and look around the city for properties that would fit your preferences. Maybe lining up anywhere from 20 to 30 house and then narrowing them down to about 10 and then actually looking at about 5 of them.
After picking what you want we would write a offer on the property and begin to negotiate on price with the listing agent to reach a meeting f the minds to close the deal.
Not even a thought about financing in this scenario. Just going right along with the confidence that that we can get financing because then it would not have been a problem. Credit score at 580 no problem. Debt to income ration marginal, no problem, low income not quite enough to make the mortgage payment , no problem, no down payment and just enough for closing cost, no problem. Then a person could have all those particulars or a few of them and get down payment assistance and contribution form the seller and get 100% financing and get a loan.
That type of lending is what caused the damage to the housing market. Years of sub-prime lending caught up with us all. Went to the well a fe to many times and now the water has run dry. The cupboard is bare and the funds are locked up tight as a drum.
So you want to buy a house? Can you buy a house? Sure you can. You can still become a home owner and still get down payment assistance and also 100% financing. However you now must be fully qualified and meet the requirements for the risk of lending. Now you have to be and show that you are sound financially. You have to be able to show you have what it takes to be a home owner. You have to show you have paid your bills on time the majority of the time for a period of years. In other words you must have a middle score of 620 or better. You have to show you know how to manage your money. You have to have a debt to income ratio that allows plenty of income to comfortably pay your mortgage. You have to show that you have the ability to save money by having money in the bank even after you have put up the money for a down payment, anywhere from 6% to 20% of the sales price of the property. Those fly by night days of lending are orve and done. Yep you can buy a home but now you must show you got what it takes. Actually the landscape has gone back to the way things used to be. Now the traditional way of purchasing a home having a long term job, paying your bills on time, saving money toward a down payment, then finding a home to purchase.
It was a nice idea trying to make it possible for everyone to have a home. But the result ended in disaster and damaged the market. Not everyone is supposed to have a home because to many people cannot manage their finances as they should. Too many live above their means. This is a drawback of living in a material world. Wanting more than what you can afford.
As a Real Estate Professional I have not given up on the market. If you cross my path and ask for help in buying a home be ready. My first question is what is your middle score? Then how much do you have on have in cash for a down payment closing cost and pre- paids. Then how long have you been on your job and what is your gross income. If you can't answer with good answers well..... it's a no go. I will however help you prepare to purchase if you have the discipline to get it done. Home buying is no picnic anymore.