This is always a great questions. May folks are unsure as to where they should begin when they begin home shopping. Knowing your finances is a great start. You'll want to know your credit score, what your monthly expendable income is (can include any rent you are paying), and know your timeline.
If you are unsure what your credit score is, check out Credit Karma. This site is actually free and will show you everything that is attached to your credit profile and will alert you when changes occur. If anything you see is inaccurate, this is a good time to dispute those.
If all looks good with your credit profile, you'll want to have a minimum of a 620 to qualify for most banking programs; now it's time to contact a lender. The reason we suggest starting with a lender is you want to make sure your financial profile will fit into banking guidelines. You'll be able to do a quick pre-qualification process which will determine usable income and serve as a basis of affordability. Bring your prequal with you to meet your realtor, as this will set the parameters of what you can shop for. This is the best route of action as you don't want to fall in love with the PERFECT house only to find out you cannot afford it! That's no fun!
Here at O'Rourke Realty, we have many great contacts at local banks, and we are happy to connect you with them. Reputable lenders are very important, as they know the area, know the properties, and know what programs will fit for which. I would recommend asking a realtor who they recommend for financing and WHY. At O'Rourke Realty, we recommend lenders that we and our clients have had great experiences with and that know their stuff!
Once you have become prequalified, then it is time to begin your house hunting! O'Rourke Realty's Team is happy to assist your search, inquire online, email us at email@example.com, or give us a call today at 855-WHT-MTNS (855-948-6867)!!