Sylvia Jenssen: I am a first time home buyer, what do I need to know?
Your first step should be to examine your finances. Get a good understanding of your typical income per month and your typical spendings per month. Gather up the last two years worth of income tax statements and other associated financial details. Then go talk to a mortgage lender/ bank. In fact, talk to 2 or 3 and select the best deal from there. After you get pre-approved -- and once you know how much house you can comfortably afford -- then call me or a Realtor. Talk with the Realtor so he/she can learn what your primary criteria are. Go visit a few homes, and once you find "the one," I/ your Realtor will take care of the offer paperwork. There are a couple more steps (home inspection, appraisal), but I/ your Realtor can explain those steps to you. Finally, you will reach closing day, where you'll sign the paperwork at the notary office and you become a home owner.