picky, but don't be unrealistic. There is no perfect home.
your homework before you start looking. Decide specifically what
features you want in a home and which are most important to you.
your finances in order. Review your credit report and be sure you have
enough money to cover your downpayment and your closing costs.
wait to get a loan. Talk to a lender and get prequalified for a
mortgage before you start looking.
ask too many people for opinions. It will drive you crazy. Select one
or two people to turn to if you feel you need a second opinion.
when you could move. When is your lease up? Are you allowed to sublet?
How tight is the rental market in your area?
long-term. Are you looking for a starter house with the idea of moving
up in a few years or do you hope to stay in this home longer? This
decision may dictate what type of home you'll buy as well as the type of
mortgage terms that suit you best.
let yourself be "house poor". If you max yourself out to buy the
biggest home you can afford, you'll have no money left for maintenance or
decoration or to save money for other financial goals.
be nave. Insist on a home inspection and, if possible, get a warranty
from the seller to cover defects within one year.
help. Consider hiring a REALTOR
as a buyer's representative. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is
to the seller, a buyer's representative is working only for you. And
often, buyer's reps are paid out of the seller's commission payment.