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Well, DH and I are finally ready to buckle down and find a house. Our credit reports are in good shape. We have a question about finding a mortgage broker.

Right now, we live in Rockland County, NY, which is a suburb of NYC--and unfortunately, though we love it here, it's too expensive for our budget. Therefore, we are looking in Passaic County and western Bergen County, NJ. Our question is, when looking for a broker, do we need to find one in NJ or can we find one in NY? Does it matter where the broker is located if we are looking to buy in NJ? Our hope is to get preapproved for a mortgage before we go looking for a house. We'd like to try to move by July or August since I am pregnant and due in the beginning of October.

Also, what do we need to look for in a broker? I know that it will be easier than dealing with banks because they can shop the rates for us, so that we don't have to run all over town doing it. How do we check if they are licensed? Do we just call someone out of the phone book, or should we be more careful than that? This is our first time buying a home, so we really don't know where to start. Thanks in advance for the help!

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