Making the decision to buy may seem more like a giant leap than a first step, but it doesn’t have to. The key is to do your homework and be prepared—whether you’re buying a home next year or next month. Determine what you can afford, consider the location and what you need in the home. If necessary, work with a lender or mortgage financing professional to determine your options including how much you will need for a down payment. A pre-qualification letter always expedites the contract process when you’re ready to make an offer on a property on HomePath.com.