In regards to getting started… Is it best to find financing for a potential property or to find the property first then seek financing?

Yes it’s the getting started part that is the first real obstacle. Even if you do have fairly good credit it’s the unknown that frightens the most. You say you have a townhome which you’ve had for a bit and that’s a start. My suggestion would be to apply for an equity line of credit collateralized by the townhome. Take this money and invest it in a fairly stable large cap mutual fund. This will provide you with the necessary funds to close a good deal and the bank always asks where your down payment money is coming from. If the bank sees you already have a 2nd then it’s not a problem, however if you tell them you intend to take a 2nd against your home for the funds ~ let’s just say they tend to frown on this :frowning: Now talk with a few mortgage brokers, tell them your intent and ask what products (loans) are available for your particular situation. Try to get a feel for who you’re working with and make sure they understand you want to establish a business relationship - for the long term - with someone who can take care of your lending needs. Make sure it’s someone you feel comfortable with. Now you’re ready to start shopping :wink:
First >>> just look. Look at this, look at that. Become acquainted with certain areas, realtors call it “Farming”. After a short time you’ll begin to see what appear to be good deals, they’re probably not. In your mind you make them a good deal because, well because of impatience. Be patient, start shopping when you’re ready, and for goodness sake don’t be afraid of making a lowball offer — it doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings >> it’s business. Offer what You’re willing to pay ~ and less. Remember in real estate less is more, for you.
And you’ll need it when it comes time to replace those certified furnaces or cover the non payment of rents and eviction proceedings you hadn’t anticipated. Good luck.

Its ok either way depending on type of property. SOme banks have special programs based on property. What did you have in mind?

I had purchasing townhomes in mind. Particularly 3 bedrooms.