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Set a Budget
The first step is to figure out what type of home you can afford. A good rule of thumb is to keep your monthly spending on housing to around 30 percent of your pre-tax income, but everyone has different priorities on how to spend their money. Go ahead and write it out—what money is coming in and what money is going out.
Remember, buying a house means more than just the cost of the house: Interest on your loan, taxes, and insurance are all a part of your mortgage payment each month. Once you know how much you are comfortable spending, it’s easier to start looking for homes you can realistically afford.
Save for a Down Payment
In addition to a monthly mortgage payment, you’ll usually need to come up with a down payment. It’s common to shoot for 10-20 % percent, but that’s often not realistic, and loans are available with much less down.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
It’s a good idea for buyers to get pre-approved for a mortgage before shopping around. It will give you the peace of mind that you’re in the right ballpark when it comes to housing prices. When you are pre - approved, it is shows to the listing broker that you’re serious as well it’s also great way for your broker to negotiate on your behalf.
Hire a Buyers Broker
This is an extremely important factor when planning to purchase real estate. If you are planning to go direct, the selling / listing agent is interested in getting the highest price for his client and not for you. A Buyers Broker will only find what you are interested to purchase. Many real estate agents will try to sell you product that they have in their inventory, basically, they will work for the sellers and not for you. Buyers Broker looks out of your interest.
Buyers Broker’s is there to negotiate for you and exclusive to you.