The first thing you need to do is get to a lender. You will want to know what you will qualify for before starting your search. This is important for a variety of reason. You won9;t want to look at homes in a price range much higher than what you qualify for because you will be comparing every home to them after that.
In addition, because of the market that we are in, many of the homes you look at are distressed properties. Some sellers require you to have a pre-approval to even view the property and many banks will require you to submit your pre-approval or pre-qualification with the offer. If you do find a really good deal and wish to put in an offer, the last thing you want to happen is that you need to take a step back to start interviewing lenders and obtaining what you need.
Also, I'm hoping someone from New York will let you know what your state laws are requiring agency. In my state, if you look at a home by calling a listing agent or going to an open house and then you decide later to sign a contact with a buyer's agent, you could run into a procuring cause issue. Again, wait for someone from New York to give you the specifics on that .
And finally, be careful when searching the internet. Many sites are not up-to-date with their information and some are just plain wrong. It can be a frustrating experience for a buyer. My suggestion would be to find a reputable lender, get pre-approved (not just pre-qualified), shop around for an agent that you trust and get a long with personality wise and then sign a buyer agency to show you are committed to him/her. Ask your agent to sign you up on an auto email so that you get all of the MLS listings as soon as they come on the market.
You can still sift through those listings and decide which ones you are interested in viewing. Some buyers like to ride past the house to see if it suits their needs.
Wishing you good fortune in the search for that perfect home.... more
The best way to accomplish this is to have a local agent set up a search for you. Ideally the agent would be familiar with ranches and do a fair amount of business in the area. You can discuss your parameters with them and in addition to sending you the listings; they might already be familiar with some of the current properties and be willing to preview new ones to find the best match for your criteria.... more