Most homebuyers are a little nervous about taking such a big step. The best way to relieve that anxiety is to be confident you’re purchasing the best home at a price you can afford with the most favorable financing. These seven steps will help you make smart decisions about your biggest purchase.

1. Decide how much home you can afford.
Generally, you can afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. Consider costs every homeowner must cover, (property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities), and costs specific to your family like day care or commuting.

2. Develop your home wish list.
Sort needs from wants. (Handicap accessibility could be a must. Granite countertops are a want). Your top five needs and wants will help you make a logical, rather than emotional, choice.

3. Select where you want to live.
What are your top five community priorities? (Commute time, schools, recreational facilities?) Ask your REALTOR® to help you identify target neighborhoods with those priorities.

4. Start saving – How much?

5. Ask about all the costs before you sign.

6. Get your credit in order.

7. Get prequalified.

Click here to read the full details on items 4-7, too lengthy to compress here.