MAKE A LIST OF 10 THINGS YOU WANT
In the very beginning, make a list of the 10 main things you’re looking for in a home and make sure to rank them. The list could include price, location, size, renovation, views, etc. Knowing ahead of time that you are really looking to check as many of those boxes as possible but that some will need to be adjusted is important. And along the way you may very well come up with new things to add (and hopefully some to take off).
GET COZY WITH YOUR CREDIT SCORE
Know your credit score and make sure that there are no surprises/errors. Many people now subscribe to consumer credit reporting agencies and are given monthly updates on the status of their credit score. That is a great way to keep an eye on things.
TALK WITH A MORTGAGE BROKER OR LOAN OFFICER
Next, learn whether you pre-qualify for a mortgage by consulting a mortgage broker or loan officer.
The difference between the two: a loan officer works for the lending institution; a mortgage broker works as an independent agent for both you and the bank. The latter facilitates the loan process to choose the right lender and guide you through the whole process — and you give commission if the loan closes. A loan officer typically works on commission or salary provided by their institution.