I believe your lender is correct. I am sorry, but I don't know of another way. You will need to qualify for both UNLESS you have that 30% equity. They won't count rent from a tenant for you unless you have the equity.
Home prices are rising in nearly every metro in the USA and rates are near all time lows. So, yes NOW is a great time to buy. Certainly no one can predict the future, but if you are buying real estate for the long term, these market conditions are very favorable to buyers.
Not in Maryland. I would recommend getting under contract first with the seller and then make the contract subject to the inspection results. If the results are bad, you can cancel the contract or ask the seller to fix. This way you don't spend money on the inspection until you have terms and the home locked up with the seller.
The problem is appraisers give an opinion of value and if you higher 3 different appraisers you can get 3 different answers. I would recommend waiting to see if the appeal comes back higher. If not, certainly, consider getting a conventional loan. It maybe a better deal for you anyhow with no upfront mortgage insurance and hopefully no or smaller amounts of monthly mortgage insurance. Good luck.
A title company will typically have an attorney, but that attorney doesn't typically represent just your interests. Most buyers in Md do not select an attorney to represent them. Title fees can vary from company to company so get 3 opinions. If you have a Realtor representing you ask them for 3 recommendations.
It is probably best to have a home inspector or radon remediation company run the test for you.
You really can do either, but I would recommend you interview several agents or several lenders to make sure you are finding the right match. A good agent will know a good lender and vice versa. Read reviews about the agent/lender and meet them in person. A good agent can guide you from start to finish so it probably makes the most sense to start with them.
I would contact the Broker first, your state Real Estate Commission and/or local Realtor boards. Good luck!
Certainly you could bring in 3 local Real Estate agent experts to determine market value. And/or 1-3 appraisals. Appraised value is not always market value and vice versa.
In Maryland, exclusive buyer's agent means you work in the buyer's best interest and "dual agent" technically means when a broker is dual and has a buyer's agent and the seller's agent both in the same company. So, arguably if you trust your buyer's agent, it probably isn't a big deal they work in the same brokerage as the listing agent and therefore as long as it is disclosed and both parties agree then neither is probably much different. Just the way it works in Maryland. Perhaps these words are used differently in other states.