It is everyone’s dream to own a home in their lifetime; in fact, buying a home is a significant achievement for many. For a first time home buyer, the process is exciting yet can also be overwhelming and stressful without the proper education and guidance. Below are 4 steps that will help you prepare for the home buying process and make it as stress-free as possible.

1. Evaluate what you can afford

Just like any other financial decision, you need to set a budget for your new home. When setting a budget, you will need to consider other financial obligations that you have and your cash flow. You should also set aside some funds for home improvements just in case you need to undertake projects or remodeling.

2. Check your credit score and gather relevant documents

To get a mortgage from any financial institution, you will need good credit, proof of income and financial statements. Check your credit report prior to applying for a mortgage to allow time to fix any issues or errors. Additionally, it is recommended that you bring any document that supports your ability to repay the mortgage.

3. Research, evaluate and choose the right mortgage lender

Choosing the right lender to help guide you through the mortgage and home buying process is essential. Be sure to fully research and evaluate mortgage lenders before making a decision. Many local mortgage lenders will provide you with the time, education and guidance you need to navigate buying a home. Be sure that you choose a mortgage lender that will work for you and best meet your needs.

4. Get pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage

By getting prequalified for a mortgage, you have a better idea of what mortgage amount a financial institution is willing to loan you and what home you can afford. In addition, a pre-approval makes your home buying process less stressful since you know you have the financing for and price range of your future home. Mortgage pre-approval will also make you a more valuable prospect to the seller due to your financing already being secured.

The home buying process is can be confusing; however, research and first time home buyer education can help you navigate this process. For more information about the home buying process and first time home buyer education, download our eBook now!