What You Need To Know If You're Looking For Your First House

First-time home buyers are at a disadvantage. They typically lack experience with the real estate market and are eager to seal the deal and get into a house — any house — just to achieve the milestone. But behaving more like a someone who has already screwed up and learned from his mistakes will pay dividends.

Writing to newlyweds, 20 And Engadged dispenses house-hunting advice that applies just as well to those shacking up or going solo.

Tips include:

* You have the advantage. Home prices continue to stagnate and drop, and sellers are increasingly desperate to unload the multi-bedroom anvils hanging from their necks. Be patient and you can score a deal that you’ll brag about the rest of your life.

* It’s gonna take a while. The process of home-buying is arduous, including a credit check, mountains of paperwork, deposits, home visits and negotiations that can last weeks. Take care of your own businesses by rounding up your down payment and getting a lender to pre-approve you for the balance.

* Investigate a home like you would a used car. Arm yourself with questions to ask real estate agents, and get your answers in writing whenever possible. Is the drywall rotting? Has the house been treated for termites? What warranties are available? And don’t settle for your own skepticism. Before you decide to buy, spring for a professional inspection.

Top 5 Things Newlywed Homebuyers Need to Know [20 And Engaged]