The Time has Come the Walrus Said to BUY YOUR FIRST HOME

With the New Year comes a new challenge for me. My fiancee and I decided to look into buying a home. This is the American Dream. Own your own house, be your own man. There is something they don't tell you about this whole process.

According to Dante, there are nine circles of Purgatory. My ninth level is house hunting, only barely beating out being stuck in Rush Hour Traffic on a Friday after a big rig caused a 5 car pile up on a bridge.

No one in my immediate family has ever owned property. I have no idea how the process works, so I have been spending every waking hour of my free time frantically googling everything about the process.

So what have I learned? That there is no clear cut place to go for information. There is a big difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification. Every financial institution under the sun wants your money and isn't entirely clear on what options are best or available to you. Thus, you need a mortgage broker? Or a better lender? And you have to do a bunch of pre-approvals all in a two week span or it hurts your credit score?

On top of all this, I live in the Bay Area, and the market here is...well. Google it.

So thus far, we have met with two realtors, and we have a third one tomorrow, we have looked at 8 open houses, we have spoken to three different people at three different financial institutions to get three different quotes, and now we have two mortgage brokers to talk with?