Our friend Todd submitted this excellent advice.
Some people will rent for their entire lives, but most people will buy a house at some point in their lives. If you are a first time home buyer, it can seem scary putting so much money into one purchase that is quite permanent. Fortunately, buying your first home can be less scary than you think.
The first step is to get a real estate agent that can help to guide you through the process. If you dont know anything about buying a house, they will how you who to contact, which order, and what all the jargon means. They can recommend a good mortgage broker or bank with the lowest rates at the time so that you can maximize your investment. After you get pre-approved for a mortgage and have a budget, the real estate agent will start to find houses that fit your criteria. This makes it much easier to select a few houses that you will want to physically see, and hopefully they will point out the house you decide to buy.
Searching online for real estate information is also crucial for first time home buyers. Websites have a wealth of knowledge about what the interest rates mean, the types of loans, and where to find the best houses. Even with a real estate agent, it is great to search for houses online so that you can be realistic about what your price range can afford in your area.
If you are unsure how the whole loan process work, you are not alone. It can be a bit confusing and there are several different choices that you can make during your home-buying process. Here is a great video that maps out the process of buying a house and helps make it a bit easier.