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Questions at end.

Overwhelmed. A week ago I received an offer from a company I've dreamed of working for since high school 15+ years back. Looked over the offer, was satisfied - should have asked more questions, but am definitely happy with the package - and said yes. The pre-employment screening - legal, medical & background - is underway and should be completed in a week to two weeks. Once that is finished a start date can be set and the real whirlwind will start.

A homefinding trip has to be worked in around one business trip in mid October (16-19) and another possible local conference the 26-28th. I'm not sure when I'll give my 2 week notice.

The DW & I don't own a home, but would like to buy a home where we're relocating (St. Paul/Minneapolis - MN) and our current income at 28% for housing would allow for about $1200/month mortgage payment. Now just from the offer I received, my base salary (not including company performance variable based pay), allows us to go significantly higher (not that I want to).

The company has relocation agency that can find us an agent and has preferred mortgage suppliers (Wells Fargo & Citibank).

Ideal scenario is taking the homefinding trip in about 2 weeks (be in MN for 1 week) and hopefully find a place we like and can afford. We left the area two years ago after I finished grad school, so there is familiarity, but no experience regarding real estate. We are prepared for an 80/15/5 mortgage setup as avoiding PMI would be nice.

As this is the first time buying a home for either of us, is it wise to go with the relo agency's recommendations? Do we need to get pre-authorizied or pre-approved for a mortgage asap? What should we do before the homefinding trip in order to maximize the productivity of the trip?

Awash in a sea of uncertainty,

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