Buying a home is an important decision that you should take seriously, but with the right help it can be made into an easy process. Here are two steps to help you successfully begin the home-buying process.

Determine What You Can Afford

Depending on your finances and your monthly income, you will only be able to afford a certain monthly mortgage payment when you buy a home.  It is a good idea to determine what this amount is before you begin searching. Talk to a mortgage broker about determining how much of a mortgage you can qualify for based on your income and your credit. Let your mortgage broker know if you plan to put a down payment on your purchase and how much you can put down.

As you look at your budget and calculate your new mortgage payment into it, keep in mind you will need to cover other costs with home ownership. You will need to pay for home owner's insurance and property tax on the home. This amounts are usually included in your mortgage payment and held in an escrow account until they are paid, but make sure this is the case with your mortgage broker.

Make sure you can afford any utilities with your new home. If it is a larger home than the one you are currently living in, the utility bills can be more expensive than what you are currently paying.

Search for a Home

Hiring a real estate agent can give you the best information and provide the best opportunities for searching for your home. A realtor will have access to their database of homes listed in the area, so they can search for specific parameters based on your wants and needs in a home. If you are searching for a home with your partner, spouse, or another person, make sure you decide on your wish list before you begin the search. Then, once you decide what homes in the database pique your interest, your realtor will schedule a showing for you to view each home.

When you find a home for sale that you want to buy, your realtor can help you fill out the contract to make an offer to purchase the home. Your realtor is trained in real estate law to help guide you through this process.They will help you by answering your questions about the home by the listing information or by inquiring of the seller of the home.

Keep in mind as a home buyer, you don't have to pay out of pocket for the real estate agent's services. These services are paid by the home seller and split their commission with the seller's real estate agent.