My family is in the process of trying to go from renters to buyers. If you've been through the process, you understand that buying a home in Casper can be a challenge.

Please don't take this as complaining or whining. If it helps, read this imagining the voice of Morgan Freeman. But, I feel like I need to vent about the home-buying attempt that my family is currently going through.

I realize that trying to buy a home is a complicated process no matter where you live. Dealing with the financing aspect of real estate, the buyer's agent, the seller's agent, mortgage lenders, blah blah blah blah blah. It feels like you're constantly negotiating with a zillion people at once. It can be exhausting.

There are some challenges that are unique to Casper that I've encountered. Here are a few tough lessons I've had to learn.

1. You really need to work directly with a real estate agent in your home search

Sure, you can browse through Zillow or Realtor.com. But, I have found the agents I've been in touch with have given me valuable information you can't find on a website. Knowing that a home needs extensive renovation before it will pass inspection can save a ton of time and avoid deal-breaker disappointments.

2. Middle-class home selection is very limited in Casper

You may or may not agree with my assessment. I won't make this more awkward by telling you what my home budget is, but let's just assume I haven't inherited any money from my oil billionaire uncle. I did a search of not expensive, but fairly low to middle ground homes last week. My search criteria returned a grand total of 11 results and I think 2 of those were actually in a prison.

3. It pays to work with a local lender

I've explored the Rocket Mortgage type of mortgage companies. They work for a lot of people. For me, I have spoken directly with local finance people in Casper (no names to protect the innocent) and they have been so helpful in understanding what is a good idea and what isn't. There's no way to fully explain how nice it is to get local insight from a lender instead of talking to someone who lives in Chicago.

Don't think for a second that I have this home-buying thing solved. My family is still in the process of looking, talking, negotiating and crying...not necessarily in that order. But, if you ask me (doubtful), I can recommend that you deal with local people in the process. They continue to be helpful to me and local Casper people would be my first recommendation when it comes to trying to overcome the (I think very difficult) Casper home-buying struggle.

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