1. Get your financial ducks in a row.
Calculate how much money you have in savings and assets, your total annual income and your expenses. Know how much of it you can allocate toward a down payment and other expenses. Check your credit report and fix any errors. This will help you determine what type of loan you qualify for, and the price range of homes you want to look at.
2. Determine how much house you can afford.
A common rule is that your monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 28 percent of your pre-tax income. You can plug your information into an online mortgage calculator to get a starting idea of exactly how much you’ll pay each month with different interest rates and terms.
It’s important that you keep an open mind and look at a wide range of properties. Go to open houses. Cruise the Internet. Peruse different neighborhoods. As a real estate agent, I can help by finding properties that match as many of your “wants” and “needs” as possible. When you fall in love with a house and are ready to make it official, I can help you navigate the process from putting in an offer to the closing table.