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imageI have seen so many lists giving tips or advice on buying a home. However, none of them have been helpful or realistic. Having been looking for about a year now, here are some things I have learned:


Find a broker and decide what price you can be comfortable with. 

We found our broker through a realtor. Some realtors are also brokers so that can cut a step out. However, if you are not happy with your realtor, you’ll end up with a new broker. Remember that selling price is not the only thing that factors your mortgage payment. There are closing costs, property insurance, appraisal and inspection fees. Your broker should be able to ballpark those figures into your buying budget and give you a round about monthly mortgage payment so you can find something you are comfortable with. Also they will help you figure out what type of loan you will be going with.

Learn what is required for your type of loan. 

We went with FHA loan since we are first time homebuyers. You have to put less down on the house, but it has to be move in condition. Newer roof, up to date a/c, and has to pass a separate FHA inspection. Can’t have concrete floors (when carpets been ripped up) unless it is painted. A lot of weird stuff.

Do not feel like you must be loyal to your realtor. 

We are now on our 5th, yes 5th realtor. If the first one you choose isn’t doing anything for you, move on to someone who will. There are TONS of realtors out there. Some, like our first one, are part time and don’t want or know how to work for you. There WILL be a realtor that can show you a house the same day you ask (as long as it isn’t occupied. Then you have to make an appt.) Your realtor should be able to answer your questions and give you a real opinion on what you should offer. They should set up up for automatic emails showing you the MLS on houses that fit what you are looking for and are ok for your loan type.

Realtor.com is the most up to date website.

Zillow and all the others will just let you down. You will find a house that shows active but will already be sold. And make sure to look daily, sometimes more than once a day. New listings can show up at any time.

-Don’t dilly dally.

Found something you’re interested in? Jump on it ASAP. Have your realtor set up an appt ASAP because there is always someone else trying to see it ASAP as well. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve missed out by a day. A DAY!

Learn the lingo.

Active means available. Active with contract means they have someone under contract but are taking back up offers. Pending means under contract.