So the first question will be, where do I start? Many people begin their search online looking at properties on Zillow or Trulia, etc. – some go to open houses they see signs for around their neighborhood – some go to a friend or loved one and ask for a recommendation for a realtor to help them get started. All of these are acceptable ways to begin the process. However, the part that most people don’t know is the best FIRST place to start is to speak with a lender to find out what your purchasing power is. Two simple yet so important words…I’m going to say them again, purchasing power. When you’re first starting your home search you may assume you can afford a certain amount for a home or maybe you just know that the homes you like online are all priced at 300k or higher. Either way, how will you know if you can truly afford it until you’ve sorted out your financials. There is something so powerful about knowing exactly what you can afford – you begin to look at homes differently. Like hey, I can buy you wink wink.