As much as we love shows on HGTV where buyers find their perfect home in 30 minutes (including commercial breaks), it doesn’t reflect reality and the time and effort shopping for a new home entails.
Your Actual Budget
A key step to successfully buying a home is to first find a lender and receive preapproval on a mortgage. The pre-approval amount that the lender offers will help you figure out the home price range you can afford and what you’ll be expected to pay monthly. It should also be noted there is value in working with a local lender. Don’t get us wrong–national lenders like Bank of America and USAA can offer quality services, but it is the local guys that you can meet face to face with and give personal customer service that you don’t get from lenders that identify you as just a number.