Location, location, location! Its true, much of real estate pricing is determined by location, however, much of your house hunt will be determined by your budget, or what you can afford, and wish to spend.
Speak with a Lender
Your first step is to speak with a lender
to get pre-qualified. Pre-qualification is simply an informal designation that your lender will give you regarding what you can afford based on your credit score, income, debt, and current monthly payment obligations. After you are pre-qualified, your lender will issue you a pre-approval, which entails verifying your income and employment, as well as analyzing the criteria used for your pre-qualification.
Analyze your Cash Situation
Most buyers will finance the majority of their home purchase, however, you will be required to show up at closing with a down payment, and sometimes, closing costs. Your lender may also require you to have a certain amount in reserves left-over after closing. For a conventional
loan (not an FHA
loan) you are required to put down at least 5%, for an FHA
loan the minimum down payment is 3.5%.