Before you start looking for homes, get your financial matters in order. I would recommend getting your free credit report from the three bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Comb through reach report and fix any errors. My mortgage partners are experts and can help you in this process.
Compile all of the documents that you may need to secure a loan (pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, etc.).
My mortgage partners can help you determine which mortgage is best for you and your family. It’s important to get a pre-approval letter from a lender (unless you’re buying with cash), because it gives you more negotiating power plus it makes you a more competitive. Side note, my mortgages partners are people that I work with for my personal matters as well, so I put my money where my mouth is (figuratively speaking of course).
Pick a mortgage amount based on what you’re comfortable with as a monthly payment, NOT on the max amount that you can get from a lender. This allows for greater flexibility. Remember that this is most likely a long-term, year-after-year, month-after-month expense that you’re taking on. You’ll also have to pay taxes, upkeep, HOA fees, etc., etc.).
Research and explore neighborhoods and make a shopping list.
Hire a Realtor. Expertise and knowledge matter.
If you think that hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.
Ask your real estate agent for prices of comparable homes in the area that have recently sold, and use those figures to determine your initial offer. Start a tad lower than those figures.
Make clear demands.
Be up-front about extras, such as curtains and light fixtures that you want to include with the house. If it’s not in writing, it doesn’t count.
Use the closing date as a negotiating point.
If you don’t have to move by a certain date, be flexible on when you move into your new home. You might be able to get other concessions from the sellers.
Ask the seller to buy a home warranty.
A good one will cost about $400 and can cover the cost of any major repairs for a year after closing.
The best advice I can give anybody looking to buy or sell real estate is make sure that you’re working with people that you can trust. People that have experience, knowledge, and people that put you before anything else. If I can’t help you, I will point you in the right direction. No strings attached.