“Unfortunately, too many people go about it the other way, where they start shopping, they fall in love with a house and then they’re pulling strings to see how they can afford it,” he said. “That’s not a recipe for success.”
Make sure your credit is in good shape and pay down your debt. That will help you snare more favorable mortgage terms, as well as prepare your finances for the added costs associated with buying a home.
“Make sure you’ve got enough room in your budget for all the costs involved in home ownership,” said McBride at Bankrate.com. “Not just the mortgage payment, but the property taxes, property insurance and the maintenance and upkeep.”
— By Abigail Summerville, special to CNBC.com