Make a wish list and try to stick to it. If you are shopping with your partner, try to be on the same page and discuss your must-haves and deal breakers together. Work with one realtor and only one. Give these details to that person and it will make your search much more productive. Working with more than one realtor is a disservice to you as well as to the realtor who is giving you his or her time.
Don’t view too many houses in one day. Too many homes in a short period of time might run together in your mind. If you like a home, come back to see the neighborhood. Ask questions of the neighbors. Stay within your price range and consider taxes, home owners association dues and maintenance.
Steps to Buying a Home within a Year
Clean up your credit as soon as possible. Pull credit reports and see if there is anything which will make for a difficult process. Judgments, lates, past dues..?
The key to getting a good mortgage is good credit.
Make certain you have filed your taxes. The mortgage company will ask for your last 2 years of tax returns so pull that together.
Save for a down payment. The larger your down payment the better. It might be best to contact a mortgage professional now to get a pre-approval and make certain of your purchasing power.