Deciding to buy a home is just the first step in becoming a homeowner. Learning the secrets of buying a home will get you a key to the first place that you own.

Be Careful With Your Money

If you know that you want to purchase a new home soon, you will want to be careful with your money. You will not want to make any big purchases in the months leading up to purchasing a new home. You don't want to take any chances that your credit profile will take a negative hit. You want to create the best possible paper trail for your loan application, so don't buy a vehicle, open a new line of credit, or do anything else that could jeopardize your loan application.

Get Pre-Approved

Don't mix up being pre-qualified with being pre-approved for a mortgage. It is easy to get pre-qualified; you don't need to provide much information for that to happen. However, it is much harder to get pre-approved for a loan. To get pre-approved for a loan, you will need to provide detailed financial information, and the lender is going to review and verify that information.

Getting pre-approved also gives you time to find the best lender to work with. You want to avoid a lender that adds fees onto their mortgages or adds a lot of points to the process. You want to look for a mortgage without any hidden costs.

Be Aware of Additional Costs

When shopping for a home, you need to look beyond the mortgage and look at what all of your annual costs of homeownership will be. You need to research what the property taxes, homeowners' association fees, homeowners' insurance, and utilities will cost you. You need to consider the age of the home and what annual maintenance and upkeep will cost you. You want to ensure you can afford the house when looking at the total cost of owning the property.

Know Your Needs

Finally, it is essential to know what your needs are in a home. Before you get deep into the search for a home, write down a list of what you absolutely need in a home. This will keep you grounded in your home search and will give you criteria to look at to determine if a home will meet your needs.

If you want to purchase a home, you need to be careful with your money leading up to buying the home, getting pre-approved for the loan, being aware of the total ownership costs, and knowing your needs for a home.

For more information, contact a real estate agency in your area, such as Lake Cumberland Real Estate Professionals.