Technically a First Time Buyer needing some help

We've gone out looking at houses with one realtor but he seemed to expect us to look at houses for an afternoon and buy one of them. We just weren't seeing what we're looking for. We are new-ish to this area. New enough we don't know the little details and we realize this.

We have been looking at homes but lack a certain je ne sais quoi knowledge I am not sure how to explain. We looked at a house in what appeared to us to be a perfectly fine area. Houses were all brick, mostly newer cars where any were parked visibly, no bars on windows or prominent beware of dog signs. Realtor assures us we don't want to live there and when I talked to people at work they also view this area as questionable for nebulous that's a weird neighborhood reasons. Fair enough.

We tried to get the realtor to suggest a few houses for us to look at but all he wanted to do was show us the five we'd expressed interest in from the online MLS. We found out one of them was already sold a few days earlier when we got to it, too. Aren't realtors supposed to know these things?

We also went to some open houses and even some new build open houses. This is going to probably sound bad but the new construction in our area is just awful. We're talking top dollar being asked for particle board cabinets with very thin granite counter tops and plastic tubs that aren't properly supported so that even a puny thing like me can easily press firmly on the bottom and flex it. And none of them let you pick your colors anymore. I'm sorry but no.

How would we go about finding either a builder who will work with us or a realtor who is willing to help us find our feet enough to pick a neighborhood that will have reasonable resale value? I've tried asking people we work with but we commute in from a nearby community where it so happens very few of our coworkers live. We don't really know who else to ask for recommendations.

More real estate tips at Program Realty Wix site

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