The biggest investment you may ever make is in a home. While that may seem like a challenge, there are simple tasks you can accomplish to make the process easier and even more so, informative. From evaluating your credit score to finding the ideal real estate agent, here are the simple first steps in buying a house you should take.

Your Credit Score is a three digit number that can most likely make or break your chance at buying a home. The higher the number indicates you are proactive with payments and the lower indicates you might be behind on paying back. That being said, a low credit score does not ultimately eliminate your chances at buying a home. However, it might leave you with a mortgage with a high interest rate. Before you decide to house shop, look at your credit score. Keep track of your spending and pay all of your bills on time.

Gathering all your paperwork and getting pre-approved for a mortgage may seem like a no brainer, but it is another important first step in buying a house. Documents you need to apply for pre-approval with a trusted lender include W-2 forms, pay stubs, list of assets, proof of current rent and credit score. Make sure to have all your ducks in a row and be ahead of the game when the time comes to buy a house.

Additionally, one of the other most crucial first steps in buying a house is finding the right real estate agent to align your budget and needs with the home of your dreams. Look into the agents previous clients and determine if they were completely satisfied with the service or if they had concerns. It is always good to have a second opinion before making a big decision, kind of like evaluating references for a job before hiring for a position. Make sure to ask your real estate agent any and all questions; how long have you been in real estate? What is your schedule? Do you have any vacations planned? How long have you lived in this area?

For more first time home buyer education to help you choose the right home for you, download our informative eBook.