Buying a home is the largest single investment that many families will ever make in a lifetime and is a decision that you should be fully prepared for.

With the information provided and with the help of your real estate representative you can plan ahead and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

The first step is to choose a real estate representative with who you fell comfortable and who you believe will guide you through the process and will ensure that you are aware of every detail.

It does not cost you any more to deal with a professional salesperson, as the fee that the salesperson earns as commission is paid by the seller of the home from the proceeds of the sale of the home.

What Kind of Home?

Provide your representative with as much information as you can about the type of home that you want: number of bedrooms, bathrooms, lot size, fireplace, garage, neighborhood and as many other details as possible.

Your representative will be able to guide you as to where you will find the type of home you want at the price you can afford.

How Much Can You Afford?

Your representatives will calculate for you how large a mortgage you can qualify for based on your gross income plus your spouse's income and taking to account any other monthly payments that you are committed to.

The current interest rates will affect the calculations as the higher the rate, the higher the payment and as a result the income will have to be higher.

How Much Down Payment Do We Need?

At the present time the government is making possible for first time homebuyers to buy a home with only 5% down. Otherwise the minimum down payment required is 10%. Of course the larger the down payment, the smaller the monthly payment will be.