Here’s what every homebuyer needs to know to dive into house hunting with confidence—and with a few curveballs as possible. Whether it’s getting a mortgage, getting a home-buyer commission rebate, shopping for a home, or making a down payment, we lay out the must-knows of buying your next home.

1. How much home you can afford?

Don’t shop for a loan at your bank. These institutionalized lenders only have their loan products. Talk to a mortgage broker instead. Mortgage brokers shop 25-100+ other lenders (including Band of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, etc.). Mortgage brokers are able to save you money and get better rates.

Still, the question remains: What price home can you really afford? That depends on your income and other variables, so punch your info at www.GetPaidHalf.com and get a ballpark figure of the type of loan you can manage.

2. Pick the right real estate agent… one who gives you a Commission Rebate!

Make sure to find an agent familiar with the area where you’re planning on purchasing as the agent will have a better idea of proper expectations and realistic prices. Make sure your agent gives you a Commission Rebate. For instance, if you are buying a $750,000 home and agents commission is 2.5%, then you should get a Commission Rebate of $9,375.00. Getting a Commission Rebate is a huge home buyer advantage that you probably didn’t know existed! Get Paid Half of your agent’s commission at www.GetPaidHalf.com

3. Know there is no such thing as a perfect home

It’s your new home—we understand if you’ve dreamed about the ideal house and don’t want to settle for anything less. We’ve been there! But understand that real estate is about compromise. As a general rule, most buyers prioritize three main things: price, size, and location. But realistically, you can expect to achieve only two of those three things. You may get a great deal on a huge house, but it might not be in the best neighborhood. Or you may find a nice-size house in a great neighborhood, but your down payment is a bit higher than you were hoping for.

Find a home that “checks most of the boxes.” If you can find a home that meets 80% – 85% of your needs and wants, consider that a win! The perfect home for you does exist, but honestly, it’s probably out of your price range.

4. Know your tax credit options

There are a number of tax breaks new homeowners may not be aware of. The biggie: Mortgage interest deduction is a boon for brand-new mortgages, which are typically interest-heavy. If you purchased discount points for your mortgage, essentially pre-paying your interest, these are also deductible. Some states and municipalities may offer mortgage credit certification, which allows first-time homebuyers to claim a tax credit for some of the mortgage interest paid.

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