8. Be prepared to pay closing and loan origination costs
In the early stages of buying a home, it's easy to think you just need a down payment and you're set. In reality, loan origination and closing costs add up to thousands of dollars. Make sure to ask your mortgage broker for "cash-to-close" estimates when you get pre-approved.

While loan origination costs will remain your responsibility, your realtor may be able to negotiate for the sellers to pay some, if not all, of the closing costs.