What should I do before I begin the homebuying process?

Before you begin the home buying process you should do the following:

1. Determine Your Objectives - Why do you want to buy a home? Need more room? Downsizing? Tired of paying rent?

2. Determine Your Needs - Prioritize what is most important to you in a home (style of home, size of home, neighborhood, schools, cost, etc.) Keep in mind, there is a difference between what you need and what you want. So be realistic.

3. Become Informed - If you re a first-time buyer, learn everything you can about the process. Research the market by looking at classified ads and Homes magazines to get a feel for what is available, drive around neighborhoods you are interested in, scan the Internet and maybe even talk to a real estate agent, if you decide you want their help.

4. Get Your Financing in Order- This is not the time to make any major purchases on a credit card. Do not change types of work.