Let me start with a confession : GOOGLE is my best friend. If I don't know something, I can Google my problem and after a little digging, I can find the answer. In real estate though, this isn't always the case. Google is great for explaining what terminology means, but when it comes to real estate, as your Realtor, I have to understand what's going on, and how the law applies to it. I'm also licensed in DC, which has a completely different set of laws than Maryland has. Laws are made to protect you as the buyer (and some apply to the seller as well), so it's important that I understand it all as we move through the whole process. When in doubt, ask your Realtor! Google is fine, but trust in your Realtor, because they know what they are doing!
Another issue I came across is time frame. Buying a new home does not happen over night. If you're planning on trying to plan your move, it's going to take you more than just a month or 2. Each step in the process takes time. For example, closing is typically 45 - 60 days from accepted contract. So once you find the house, put in the offer, go back and forth a few times, when everyone says yes, it's about 2 months from there! When you go to closing, that's when you actually get the keys to start moving in! I suggest starting this whole process about 6 months before you need to move! Yes you read that right. 6 months.
In this 6 month time from, you need to be getting your financial house in order. How do you know how much house you can afford? You can't just say "I'd like my house payment to be the same as my rent" because it's not that easy! How much money are you putting down? Where is that money coming from? With all your other debt commitments, can you responsibly handle that? Your lender is going to ask you for bank statements, credit reports, etc. And once you get all that information to your lender they have to review it, and it takes time to get your approved amount. Once you get that preliminary approval, and through the whole home buyer process, don't take out any new loans, buy a new car, or max out your credit cards. Your paperwork will all go through final approval, and if the bank sees that your situation has changed, your loan may not completely approved because of it!
Once you do find the house, and both parties agree to the terms, then what? This is where I as your Realtor comes in to help guide you. You're going to have to get your new home inspected (which you pay for) and once that report comes out, you have the chance to ask the sellers to either repair the item, or give you a credit to replace. Your Realtor will guide you through the whole thing, because the inspection report can be a little scary your first time out!
But one thing I do want to reiterate is, to please please trust in your Realtor. If you ever have any questions, I am always here to answer them for you. I do not mind explaining the process to you, or explaining why something is happening at any stage. I am here to represent you. Please call me anytime and I'll be glad to help!