1. Pre-Approval: Before we can take you home shopping, you will need a pre-approval in hand. You can call your mortgage broker, bank, or current lender to find out if you are an eligible home buying candidate. They will tell you how much house you can afford based on your debt to income ratio. If you have a home to sell first, you can still obtain a pre-approval with a home sale contingency.

2. Search criteria - Once you have a pre-approval in hand, it is important to come up with a home search criteria. IE, price, location, amenities, features, bedrooms, bathrooms, acreage.. and so on and so forth. This criteria will keep you focused on the homes that meet your needs.

3. Real Estate Attorney - Once you've found the perfect home and you have an accepted offer in hand, you will want to acquire a real estate closing attorney. Most banks will require you use one as well.

4. Home Owners Insurance - Before you close on a property you will need to obtain a HOI policy for your new home.

5. Keep Calm- Remember, searching for the perfect home can be draining, but once you've closed, it will all be worth it.