real estate

Buying your 1st home? 5 signs you're ready

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Get preapproved
Get preapproved © LDprod/Shutterstock.com

Very few people have enough cash to buy their first home without a mortgage. Rather, most need financing to afford today's home prices.

Realtors know that all too well, which is why many won't spend much time with would-be buyers who haven't had a serious talk with a mortgage professional.

As Jay Dacey, a mortgage broker for Metropolitan Financial Mortgage Co. in Minneapolis, explains, "A good Realtor will ask you what your criteria are and set up a search through the MLS for you, but a good Realtor is also going to say, 'The next step is for you to contact a mortgage professional and make sure you're preapproved.'"

The loan approval process is no different for first-timers than it is for experienced home purchasers, Dacey adds.

Shop for a mortgage on Bankrate.com .

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