Trudy, if you are a first time home buyer I would not be so concerned with what % less of advertised price you might expect to offer but rather what are the possibilities of seller's closing cost assistance possibly combined with a lower offering price. There is no "set" lower price % to offer. I have seen homes sold for full price, 3-5% lower, 10%, etc. It all depends upon the motivation of the seller(s) ,and the condition, and location of the property. If you chose to use an FHA mortgage you may ask for up to 6% seller's assistance with 3% of your own cash required. If you are going to have a mortgage of $125,000 your $900.00 per month budget might be a bit low. Hopefully you have sat down with a mortgage originator and went over your budget. You should be pre-qualified, not just pre-approved, for your mortgage before seriously looking at homes. You should ask your mortgage provider to create and review with you a "Good Faith Estimate" based upon the payment you would like to make so you can see "all" of the costs involved, how much cash you will need out of your pocket, and what price range you can expect to afford to make an offer on. We are in a good market for buyers as long as you are realistic in your goals. Far too many people think that they can buy homes in the $150,000 to $100,000 price range and expect to get things like 6% seller's closing cost assistance and a big price reduction. My recent selling client turned down flat an offer of $140,000 with 6% ($8,400) in closing cost assistance. The house is on the market at $152,900. They expected the seller to lower the price by $12,900 and then give them an additional $8,400 for a total of $21,300 off the seller's price. If these are your expectations you should expect the same results unfortunately. If a house listed for sale is priced correctly you might get a 3-5% reduction along with a possible 3% in seller's help or a combination there of. It all depends upon the length of time the home has been on the market, its condition, its location, and most importantly the motivation of the seller(s). If you should need any assistance a "well-qualified" Accredited Buyer's Representative should be able to help you to get the best price on the home of your interest. If you are not working with an agent in the Carlisle yet please consider giving me a call.