If you are taking the next step in life and purchasing a home for the 1st time, chances are that you are feeling the pressure and the anxiety that goes along with this difficult decision. Before you buy a home, it always helps to learn all that you can about the home search and buying process.

Here are 5 tips to get you started on your way.

1. How much home can you afford?

The first thing you’ll need to do when buying a home is to find out just how much money you can qualify for or afford to borrow. Make it a point to check your credit and know where you stand.

If you have any problems, you should strive to correct them before you attempt to borrow money for a home. The higher credit rating you have, the lower your interest rates will be.

2. Get pre-approved by a mortgage broker before you start your search.

If you can, you should always attempt to get pre-approved by a mortgage broker or lender. Once you have been pre-approved for a mortgage and know where you stand with your monthly payments, you can start shopping for property.

3. Make a list of what you want in a home.

When you shop for a home, you should only buy real estate that is right for you. Before you start looking, make a list of everything you want your home to have, based on what you want and what you actually need.  Also be sure to identify the areas that you are willing to come to a compromise on if necessary.

4. Enlist the help of a real estate agent.

To assist you with finding the perfect home, enlist the services of a reputable real estate agent.  When you meet with your agent, you will go over how much you are willing to spend, and what type of home you are seeking. Your agent will know where ideal properties are, and help you find the home best fits your list.

Your agent will supply you with a list of potential properties that meet your budget and your features. Once you get the list, you should drive by the homes and check out both the home and the neighborhood.  Consier the appearance and location of the home, safety, access to the freeway, schools nearby, commute time to work, local shopping, and even recreational activities.

5. Keep looking until you find the right property.

If you don’t find something that interests you the first time, you should keep looking until you find the home that is best for you. Your agent can help with tours of homes and even tell you information about neighborhoods that you aren’t familiar.

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