If you're making the transition from renter to homeowner, your finances need to be in order.
According to Edward Storey, JD real estate attorney, questions to ask first include, "How much can they afford? They should start asking their bank or lender what are their financing options. What do they qualify for? How much money can they spend on a home?"
Experts say don't waste time looking outside of your budget.
"People like looking at houses that are outside the scope of their budget which I can appreciate, but ultimately it slows down the process if it's not realistic," Storey said.
You can get pre-approved for a mortgage by submitting finance and credit information to your lender. Pre-approval is good for 90 days so do this when you're all ready to decide on a house.
Not sure of which home loan to choose? A fixed-rate mortgage is good if you plan on being in the home for a long time. An adjustable-rate mortgage may be better if you plan on selling the house in a few years.
Storey warns potential homeowners should also not forget about unexpected costs like, "the termite inspection, the home inspection, appraisal, survey- some of the things that the bank may require."
There are apps and websites to help determine how much of a loan to take out.
For a mortgage calculator, click here .