Planning is a very important part of buying a home.  Buying a home is time-consuming and demanding, and necessary preparations need to be made for it to take place.  The process of planning involves checking your credit report and cleaning it up before taking it to a lender, checking a lease for a release clause if you are renting, consider if you were to have kids in the next several years or any factors that might affect the number of bedrooms you may need, evaluate your income situation and consider if the addition of a child will affect it in such a way that it would affect your ability to pay a mortgage, etc.  Once you have considered these things, decide on a plan.  The earlier you start planning, the earlier you will reach your dreams!


Make sure you ask as many questions as you need to to feel comfortable with the buying process, from viewing homes to closing.


Evaluate your spending for a few months, and estimate adding the costs of owning a home into that.  Speak with a real estate professional to provide insight on how to adjust your estimates.  Based on the revised budget, decide about how much you can afford to buy, and stay within that budget in order to avoid getting attached to something that is out of your price range.  A step in deciding how much you can afford to buy, is going ahead and getting pre-approved for a loan through a lender.  This will tell you a price range that you should be staying within.  Make sure that you are comfortable with the payments.  Sometimes even though you are approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean that you would still be comfortable paying the monthly payment on the high end of the scale.


The looks of a home can be a huge influence on your opinion of a home, but it should not be the only factor.  Use your head.  Look at several homes and compare the positives and negatives of each.  Will your furniture fit comfortably?  Visit the home at various times of day to see the direction of sunlight, traffic patterns, etc.  Have an inspector look at the property.  Have a friend look at the home and provide you with feedback on their opinion.  How long do you plan to own the home?  If it’s short term, how difficult will it be to resell?  Consider all these things before purchasing. Curb appeal can be a powerful force. By disengaging the mental faculties, it leaves the homebuyer emotionally vulnerable. To counter its effect, you must be objective. Brutally objective.


Do your research on the area, and don’t stop at the property line.  Find out if the area surrounding is safe, well maintained, quiet, loud, etc.  Is there a train close by?  How far is work or school?  Ask about zoning?  Could a mall be built across the street on all that vacant land?  Explore all of the possibilities before making your purchase.


There are an assortment of different kinds of mortgages and financing terms that it are important for you to understand. When you sign that paper, you are putting your name to a binding legal document.  Consult with your real estate agent on anything that you may be unclear on, they can help you understand it.  Get every detail in writing, especially the lock-in rate, points, and fees.  Also request a copy for yourself to keep on file.  Request an estimate for closing costs, which usually run between 3 and 6 percent of your loan amount.  Ask about prepayment penalties and have the lender attach an addendum stating that you will owe no prepayment penalties if you happen to pay the loan off early.  This step could save you a lot of money.