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Looking to Buy a Home? Read This First

Buying a home is a landmark event for most individuals and families. It's easy to find the listings and ogle over beautiful rooms and imagine your family playing in the fenced in backyard. But before you start packing your boxes in your rental, make sure that you're prepared for the realities of all that goes into buying a home.

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Locate Your Resources

Start at ground zero. Get online and use the myriad resources at your fingertips. For example, Zillow and Homegain will give you a basic idea of the market in your area. Look at the MLS listings as well to see neighborhood prices. Use mortgage calculators to see what your monthly payment would be and to calculate the down payment you want to do. When you know how much you can afford and the general area you want to settle into, you should do some research to find a real estate agent. Rather than emailing a general mortgage company, ask around to find a good real estate agent. You may be surprised what a difference it could make in the ease of the process. The real estate agent's knowledge of the area and of real estate will make a big difference in your getting what you want at the price you can handle.

Save First

Some home buyers have a hard time maintaining the patience they need to build up a down payment. They often see a house and wish they had the money to put down. Instead, they jump in before they're financially prepared. First determine your budget. Next determine not just the cost of the house, but also the taxes, insurance, escrow amounts and figure out whether you will have to pay insurance on your mortgage as well. You may have done a mortgage calculation that didn't include these fees. You may find that your actual monthly payment is double what you thought it would be. Most experts suggest never surpassing 30 percent of your income for your monthly home budget.

Balance Patience with Preparedness

You don't want to buy the first thing you look at. If you're moving to a new city, don't get too anxious to buy a house right away. Instead, look for a flexible rental situation so that you can make sure that you're finding the right thing. On the flip side, once you do find what you want, don't hesitate too long. Especially in high-demand real estate areas. Homes don't sit along for long. If you're prepared and you know where you want to be and how much you can afford, you can act fast so that your dream home doesn't slip through your fingers.

Don't Get Emotional

Especially when it's your first home buying experience, you'll be extra excited about finding the house that fulfills your every imagination. Don't let the idea of the house overshadow the reality of the house. Don't ignore the red flags in the initial inspection because you can't stop imagining your desk in that perfect sunlit nook upstairs. You have to be prepared to walk away. Or you could get yourself into some major trouble down the road. Even if you have already put down earnest money, don't be afraid to back out if something doesn't feel right.

First time home buyers can use their excitement to fuel their search for the perfect home. They just have to make sure that their lack of experience doesn't send them down an uneducated or emotional path that will come back to haunt them down the road.

About the author: Robin Knight writes articles explaining the ins and outs of purchasing real estate. If your looking to buy a retirement home consider Orlando, Fl. Homes for Sale at Movoto.com.

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