Buying your own home has long been associated with the American dream. Luckily, with a housing market this good, many first-time home buyers have been able to achieve this dream. Before you leap into the world of home ownership, there are some things that you need to do to ensure that you are fully prepared. If you don’t, you could choose the wrong home for you or fall victim to unnecessary expenses. The first thing that you absolutely must do is be prepared. Make a wish list of everything you want in a home and prioritize it. Not every home will have what you want but it should have the things that you need. You also need to make sure that you do the necessary research about the neighborhood you’re moving in to. If you have children, make sure the schools in the area are good. Check out crime maps and see what’s going on around the home. Being thorough will prevent you from getting into an unexpected situation. Financially, you need to make sure you have everything in place before you find your home. A general rule of thumb to follow is to buy a home for no more than three times your total income. You should also determine how much you are willing to pay for a home per month before you ever set foot in the lender’s office. This will prevent surprises and help you to prepare your finances in advance of purchasing. When you actually start looking for new homes for sale, try to take emotion out of it. While you may feel one way about a home the first time you see it, seeing it a second time might reveal some cracks that you hadn’t noticed before. Once you’ve found a home that you love, make sure to have it inspected. The few hundred dollars that it costs for the inspection could end up saving you thousands in the long run. Buying your first new home is something you aren’t likely to forget. Make sure you’re well prepared so that you have good memories instead of bad ones. If you’re a first-time home buyer, go to Van Metre Homes website to find out more about our various communities.