Buying A House

How Do You Start Trying To Buy A House?

House hunting can be confusing and intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. But don’t worry. We have a few tips on how to make the process easier.

First Step: Figure Out What You Can Afford

It’s important to understand how much house you can afford before trying to buy anything at all. To do that, you need to know your credit score projections and your down payment goals based on your income and debt-to-income ratio. You can use a mortgage calculator to figure that out, or try some sites.

Second Step: Get Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage

It’s hard to buy a house without being able to prove you’re financially capable of doing so. By getting pre-qualified for a mortgage, you’re showing the seller (and yourself) that you’re truly considering making an offer. You can do that on a site or with a mortgage broker.

Buying A House

Third Step: Research Your Neighborhood

Before you start to look at houses, it’s important to know what you’re looking for in a neighborhood. You’ll want a home in a good school district, with low crime rates and plenty of things to do near it. Then you can start looking at homes on sites or in a magazine.

Fourth Step: Consider Pre-Owned Homes

If you’re less than thrilled by the idea of having to fix up a home before you move into it, then perhaps the pre-owned market is the way to go. The Internet is full of listings for homes still under the original owner’s name. It’s important to find a good agent, though, to help you navigate this market.

Fifth Step: Find a House You Can Afford

A house is not just any house; it should be one that’s within your price-range and meets your needs. Use sites like to figure out the salaries of comparable homes in your area and to identify which neighborhoods are the best for you.

Sixth Step: Once You’ve Found Your Home, Start the Move-In Process

Once you’ve found a home that meets all your requirements, you can make an offer. Remember, though, that real estate prices are constantly changing, so it’s important to keep track of them. The Zillow home value price index is a great way to do that.