1. You don't need to have a real estate agent when buying a brand new house. The process is very straight forward.
2. You do need a real estate agent, when buying a old house, for him/her to show the houses and tell a little bit on them.
3. Do your personal research on -- mortgages, house buying -- basically, A to Z on house buying.
4. You can still be pre approved even if you don't have 20% down, if your credit score is excellent.
5. If it is your first home, stay away from foreclosed homes.
6. All you need is 3.5% down payment and excellent credit score, to get FHA loan.
7. When deciding on mortgage rate, understand points and rates. If you pay for additional points, you may lower your interest. Decide on that depending on how long you are planning to stay in the house.
8. You will normally get qualified for much more than, what you can afford. Decide the price of your house on affordability and not on how much you are qualified for.
9. Have some money aside for closing costs. It normally includes -- application fee, title, insurance, escrow fees, credit report fee, attorney fees, appraisal fees, document preparation fees and notary fees
10. You shouldnot hurry, have patience and take your time.