Buying your first home is so exciting. You’ve saved a down payment and have determined that this is the time to make the move. While you’re excited to get started, it can also seem overwhelming. How do you get started?

First thing a first time home buyer will want to do is talk to a lender. The lender can be your bank or a mortgage broker. If you don’t already have a relationship with someone, ask around. Anyone who has purchased a home or refinanced might be a good source of information for you. It’s important to get a feel right up front about how much home you can qualify to purchase.

Once you have a price in mind, it’s time to contact a real estate agent. Asking friends and family for a referral is one way. There are also ways to explore online for a good agent. Your agent will be your representative during the process. They will help you find properties to view and manage the sales transaction.

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As you begin your search for your first home, it’s important to note that buying a house is not a single decision….it’s a series of decisions. As long as the answers to the questions continue to be “yes” then you’ll move through the process.

When an offer is accepted by all parties, you will then start the real work of the transaction. You will have contingencies to the sale which include the home inspection, appraisal, termite report, home owners association rules, insurance, loan approval, seller disclosures and others. If during the contingency period you find any reason not to move forward, then the process is ended and your deposit will be returned. All contingencies are removed in writing, so rest assured that if you have not signed a release which says that you are protected.

When you first meet with your agent, talk about these items. Ask about the process and how they manage a transaction. It’s important to find an agent with the experience to handle any issues that might come up. They should have a list of professional inspectors and other vendors that they can recommend to make sure that you are getting the best information possible about the home and conditions which could affect it.

Buying your first home is exciting. By finding the right real estate agent and lender, it can also be a simple process.