Mortgage rates are at all time lows.  It’s a great time for buyers. You may be able to afford a higher priced home.  But you need to decide what monthly payment you are comfortable with.

Get pre-approved. Inventory is tight.  So you need to be ready to make an offer when you fine a home you love. Getting pre-approved as a buyer puts you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Unlike pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history. By doing a thorough analysis of your actual spending power, you’ll be less likely to get in over your head.

Choose your mortgage carefully.  Should you get a fixed rate mortgage? Or an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?  Do you want a 15 year or a 30 year loan? Additionally, when picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points (a portion of the interest that you pay at closing) in exchange for a lower interest rate. A good lender will help you understand your options, how much you loan you qualify for and create a mortgage strategy for you.