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Home Shopping 101

solitaire homes

Your home is the largest single purchase you’ll likely ever make. Knowing where to start isn’t easy. There are so many options available and so many different things to consider. Here are a few tips to ease the process and maybe clear up some of the unknowns.


Before you start searching for a home it is important to know which loan you qualify for and how much you pre-qualify for. Speak with a local bank or credit union to get your pre-qualification letter. It is important to have this before you start shopping so home owners and realtors know you’re serious. You can apply for several pre-qualifications within two weeks without each pre-qualification impacting your credit score. If you apply within a two week period you’ll only have one pull on your credit because FICO will see you’re shopping for a mortgage.

Loan Types

Most loans require at least 3.5% down, however, the USDA rural development loan allows you to put 0% down if you buy a home in an area that qualifies as rural. Much of America qualifies. Check the USDA website to see where you’re looking qualifies.


Many homes might meet your basic needs, but just need a little TLC. Don’t immediately discount homes that have bad wallpaper or need appliances. These are all things that can be taken care of down the line. Look for good bones and you’ll be happy you did.

Home Inspection

Never waive your right to a home inspection. Once you find the home you love you’ll want to ensure you get a home inspection by a qualified individual. Many states don’t require a license to have someone do a home inspection, so make sure you choose someone who is experienced and recommended.


Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Your home won’t be yours until closing and deals can fall through. Just stay patient and level headed and things will work out.