Figure out what you can afford:
Consider how much you currently need to live on and how much you actually have leftover every month. People have a tendency to create budgets that look nothing like reality - when we should have $400 left over, for some reason we only have half that.
Consider these basic costs of buying a new home:
The sort of home you can afford depends on several things:
The past has a way of haunting new homebuyers. If you are concerned about your credit rating you can usually get a free copy of your rating report from your local credit bureau. Normally all that's required is a couple pieces of photo identification. Remember, a few late payments or disputed bills can besmirch your record. Try to pay everything on time and don't have more than two credit cards. A bad rating can spell trouble getting a mortgage or you end up paying more for your mortgage as a form of insurance to the lender.
This refers to documents from a bank or other lender indicating that you have the financing to back up your offer on a house. Pre-qualification is free and most lenders are happy to sit down with prospective buyers and figure how much they can afford. Having an accurate idea of price range will save time in the bidding process. If there are several people making offers on your dream home, being pre-qualified can make your offer more attractive since financing is not in question. It is important to note, however, that lending institutions will base their final decision about a mortgage on ability of the buyer to service the debt as well as the property. Most lenders state that the two components go hand in hand - the buyer with the ability to repay a mortgage and the property as security in the event of default on payment.
By taking all these points into consideration, you can worry less about the process of buying and get busy finding your ideal home!