BUYING A HOME
Ensure that your credit history is clean
Before you start house hunting, get copies of your credit report and make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you discover. This will help to ensure you are able to secure a mortgage to pay for your home.
Before house hunting, get pre-approved
After checking your credit history, you should get pre-approved by a lender. This will save you the time of looking at houses you can't afford and put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.
Look within your price range
Do some research and make use of online financial calculators and tools to determine what you can afford, based on your income, debt, and expenses etc. The general rule of thumb is that you can buy housing that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary.
Get professional help
Look for an exclusive buyer/professional agent, if possible, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process, and even in determining what kind of mortgage to get.
Hire a home inspector
Before you make a bid on a new home, you should hire a home inspector, preferably an engineer with experience in doing home surveys in the area where you are buying. The inspector will point out potential problems that could require costly repairs or financial setbacks to you down the road. Upon inspection, you should also make sure the home can be insured.