The first step in the home buying process is always to evaluate your expenses. In general, you can afford to buy a home that is priced two or three times your gross income. However, you must remember to consider other expenses such as property taxes, insurance, and utilities, among other things.
After deciding how much you can afford to spend, you should develop a “wish list” to assess which features the house must have and which features you’d like it to have. It’s helpful to make two lists; one for your top-five must-haves and another for your top-five wants. For example, a must-have feature might be handicap accessibility while granite kitchen countertops would be considered a bonus feature. Making the distinction between your must-haves and your wants will help focus your search so that you can make a logical, rather than emotional, choice when shopping for your new home. For more helpful steps to take before beginning the home buying process, click here.