If you are thinking about buying a home in the next year or so, then there are certain steps that you should be taking now in order to make your dream come true. Read the list below to see whether you are on the right path to finding and financing your dream home.

1.Check your credit score: You can request for a free credit check from these three credit reporting bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. You can even get a credit score estimate for a small fee. A higher credit score means that you are more likely to qualify for a loan for a lower interest rate. Examine the reports throughly and see whther any of the information is incorrect. These reports will also tell you what you need to do in order to improve your credit.

2. Start saving: If you are currently renting, then your goal should be to save the difference between what your monthly mortgage will be and what you currently pay for rent. If you live with your parents then save the difference between what you give to them for your living expense and what your monthly mortgage will be.

 3. Earn extra cash: If you feel that saving alone will not get you to where you need to be financially then think about finding a weekend job, or doing some work from home

4. Look at neighborhoods: You may want to live in certain neighborhoods but it might not make sense based on your work location. Think also about the lifestyle you want to live and pick a neighborhood that will meet all your needs.

5. Look at down payment assistance programs: Do a bit of research on the type of mortgages offered and see what options appeal to you.

 6. Consult a lender: Once you have done a bit of research about what is out there in terms of mortgages consult with a lender to see what advice they will be able to provide. They will give you a better idea and the pros. and cons. of certain mortgage options.

 7. Visit Open Houses: Do not go to homes that you cannot afford. If you visit any homes you may fall into the trap of falling in love with a home that you cannot essentially afford, but choose to buy it anyways without weighing the long term consequences that may arise. It is more important that you get a sense of what really matters to you when visiting open houses, things such as the floor plan, number of rooms, location, etc.

8. Attend seminars on buying a home: These seminars will explain in detail what you can expect along the way, and they will give advice on how to financially prepare for buying a home.

9. Decide how much you want to spend: It is ultimately your choice based on your limits about how much you want to spend on a house. The lender will only give you an idea of how much you can borrow.

10. Interview Agents: During your open house visits you will get a chance to meet many realtors. You can strike up a conversation with them even if you are not considering the home they are showing.