First-time Home Buyers Guide: Know the Lingo

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So, you want to buy your first home, congrats! This is a big deal! A home purchase is one of the largest investments you’ll make in your lifetime. Starting your home search can be both exciting and stressful. We’ve turned 75 years of local Wisconsin home-buying advice into a simple guide to help ensure that you buy your dream home. To start your journey we want to help you understand the real estate lingo. 

Real Estate Agent vs. REALTOR®

The word Realtor is a trademark referring to someone who’s an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). A certified Realtor adheres to a strict code of ethics based on professionalism and protection of the public.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

When you work with a Shorewest Realtor, you’ll have access to their multiple listing service (MLS), a list of properties for sale compiled by real estate agents and brokers. MLS is a powerful force for competition. An MLS levels the playing field so that the smallest brokerage in town can compete with the biggest multi-state firm. Buyers and sellers can be confident that they have access to the largest pool of properties for sale in the marketplace.

Once you’re ready to take the next steps and speak with a real estate professional, find a local expert in your neighborhood here –


A pre-approval is a preliminary evaluation of a potential borrower by a lender to determine whether they can be given a pre-qualification offer. A pre-qualification is a lender’s estimate of the amount a home buyer can expect to be approved for during the loan process. Getting pre-qualified is a quick assessment by a lender of the buyer’s financial situation based solely off of what a buyer tells a lender, and not based on any proof or verifications. Wisconsin Mortgage is a member of the Shorewest Family and can provide you with the information and resources you need when it comes to the financial aspects of purchasing or selling home. Visit Wisconsin Mortgage’s website to learn more about the pre-approval process and how their loan officers can help you today! 

Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio is all your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income. This number is one way lenders measure your ability to manage the monthly payments to repay the money you plan to borrow.

Want to learn more about the home buying process? Visit the Shorewest, REALTORS® website today to learn more and get in contact with an agent today! 


Categories: First Time Home Buyers, Home Buying

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