Winning the home buying game also requires a good plan

1. Find the right representative Even if youre not quite ready to buy, your buyers agent can be an absolute wealth of information, and can often offer scoops on local developments you might not have know about otherwise. Speak to your agent first and he or she can be helping to guide you right from the start. 2. Find out what your price range is Online mortgage calculators are a good place to start, but as you get closer to being ready to buy, there is no substitute for a written mortgage pre-approval. Just speaking to your lender is an extremely worthwhile venture this is the only way to really get an in-depth picture of your overall financial picture and to discover exactly what you can reasonably afford to spend on a home (and possibly on renovating). 3. Find out what your local market looks like The internet can be incredibly valuable in doing preparatory research. Start with your agent he or she can direct you to valuable resources and immediately start e-mailing you real estate listings that may interest you (or at least give you a better idea of what your needs and wants are). 4. Find out what your true needs and wants are Compose a needs/wants list that takes into consideration your local market conditions, your price range, and the advice of your real estate agent. 5. Find your dream home! Once youre ready to act, you may be surprised by how quickly you can make a decision. Armed with your pre-approval, a little market knowledge, and your needs/wants list, call your real estate agent, hit the pavement, and when you see the house, put in an offer.

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