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      Tips for new home buyers in the new year

      A local real estate expert says 2013 is a great time to buy a new house.

      CBS recently released 13 tips for home buyers to use in 2013, which have been picked through and localized by real estate broker Mikki Starmer

      First, Mikki encourages getting started by checking your credit report. She said there are several online resources that offer credit checks."You can go to and it's truly a free one," she said.

      Mikki said there are many perks to buying a home this year, such as tax incintives. However, making an offer too quickly is not the best way to secure your new home sweet home.

      We learned that it's impartitive to do research. There are many housing market and home buying research options available, such as"It's just too easy to be an informed buyer now, so it doesn't make sense not to be," Mikki said.

      Finding yourself a realtor is a shortcut to the question-and-answer game. Mikki explained that a realtor can do the research for you."There are just so many research tools at their fingertips regarding the market for buyers and sellers -- what is out there, what is coming," she said.

      Saving for a down payment on a home is another good idea. Mikki said it's crucial to have some cushion. Plus, there are still minimal down payment loans available to some home buyers. Mikki explained that requirments haven't always been as financially appealing."It used to be, everything required 20% down," she said.

      Mikki suggests that while you are saving for a down payment, consider setting money aside for home insurance as well.

      By taking the time to plan ahead, you're more likely to get pre-approved by a credit lender, mortgage company or bank with less hassle. When it comes to getting pre-approval for a loan, Mikki finds something special about shopping for local loans."There are lots of choices online, but to stay local is really the best care you will get as a consumer," she said.

      Once you are pre-approved, you'll be one step ahead of the home-buying game and ready to make an offer on the house of choice.

      Mikki feels like this year is a great year to climb out of the dipping housing market."2013 is an excellent time to buy, with low prices, tax incintives & affordable loans," she said.