All residential mortgages are based on owner occupancy, or using the home for vacations, and not as an investment property. However, I have never heard of anyone notifying the bank when they move, turn the property into an investment.
It is usually if you're moving for a job, but I suggest you ask an accountant.
Well, to be fair, it was the first agent that showed you the house, and wrote the offer so that's the agent that you should work with if you do indeed want to pursue that house. From what I can tell the second agent never showed you that house, so the first agent would be procuring cause. It really is the fair thing to do.
You can offer anything you like, but it all depends on your market. In a seller's market even foreclosures sometimes sell for above listing price. Keep in mind that foreclosures are priced by agents, and they try their best to come up with a true market value. Just because it's a foreclosure doesn't mean it's not market value :D
Three ways you can handle a low appraisal, and still buy the house:1. Add more cash to the deal2. Seller lowers the price to make the deal work3. Buyer and seller split the above two options
In some areas it's impossible not to know everyone, so it's not necessarily a conflict of interest. If they communicated directly about the sale your agent would have acted unethically to both you, and to the seller's agent. Are you really happy with the house? Is the price average for the area? If the answers to these questions are yes, then maybe it's a moot point, and you could just "be happy." :D
Interview local agents, and let the agent you choose walk you through what you need to do. How I would choose an agent is I would find the listings with the nicest presentations: both the written descriptions, and the photographs. It will be easy to tell which agents put a lot of effort into their work, and take pride in their work.
You can't not afford to buy right now. Depending on your debt to income ratio you should qualify. Mortgage rates are at an all time low making homes more affordable than ever. Don't delay! Get your pre-approval from a lender, and start looking for a home right away before rates increase.