While moving out of a family household can sometimes feel like a confusing experience, the truth is that a bit of planning can go a long way towards helping you claim your independence and purchase a new house. And as many new buyers are discovering, now is a great time to purchase a first home. Here are just four easy steps towards buying your own place, and why the process might be easier than you think!

List Your Priorities

To find a home that you can afford, you'll want to consider where you'll want to live and what your expenses will be once you move into your new house. Different areas will offer different real estate prices, and many areas of the country offer great homes at reasonable values. By listing your priorities in life before you look at potential houses, you'll also gain a clearer understanding of what to look for in a new home. For example, if you're raising a family, you may want to look at areas with reputable schools, and if you'll be commuting to work, you'll probably want to explore what amount of time you're willing to travel to get to your job.

Estimate Your Price Range for Purchasing a Home

People often create a rough estimate of what they can afford in the real estate market by multiplying their yearly earnings by three. For example, a couple with total yearly earnings of $100,000 might consider a $300,000 home to be within their budget. Interest rates on mortgages can also affect how much you’ll pay per month, so finding a great interest rate can be worth the time and effort.
Considering how much you’ll pay upfront on a house can also help you estimate your price range when purchasing a new home. While a 20% downpayment isn't always necessary when buying a house, there are advantages to putting money down when making an offer. In addition to lower mortgage costs, a downpayment can also provide buyers with a better interest rate on their mortgage and reduce insurance costs in the long-term.

Fine Tune Your Budget

Once you've come up with a general estimate of how much you can afford on a mortgage, you can fine-tune your plan by creating a realistic monthly budget that weighs mortgage costs against your other expenses. When considering mortgage costs, for example, you’ll want to estimate how much you’ll be paying per month towards school loans, savings accounts, car payments, living expenses, and other monthly bills. In general, many people try to keep their mortgage payment at or below 30 percent of their gross income. Getting your mortgage pre-approved will also give you a realistic understanding of what house you can afford to purchase.

Talk to Realtors in Your Desired Living Area

To get a good sense of the housing market in an area where you may want to live, try contacting companies offering local real estate services. Real estate service professionals can show you great deals on homes and even find you hidden gems in desirable neighborhoods.
For these reasons, finding a home of your own doesn't have to be difficult. With the right help from a trusted real estate professional and a bit of research, you'll be able to find the perfect house for your needs. Truly, that is home-buying at its best!

Author's Bio: 

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.