3 Things to Do Before You Buy a New Home Mortgages and Home FinancingBy Rob WilliamsBefore you place an offer on your dream home, take a step back and consider a few important factors that will influence the way you live, work, and play in your new home.Analyze the area.One thing that home buyers tend to do is judge the neighborhood off of their drives in and out of the area. Take a walk around the neighborhood and get a taste for how everything looks, feels, and works. Is there heavy traffic? Is there noise from a nearby retail space? Is there a group of college kids living next door? Taking a walk through the neighborhood or area that you’re buying a home in will open your eyes to several factors that you may not have noticed before. You can even knock on doors and speak to your neighbors about what they like about the area, what they don’t like, and what they think you should know about before you move in. You want to love the environment you’re living in – make sure you’re aware of your surroundings. If you have children, make sure you know what school district they’re in, and what schools are closest. Knowing the schools near the area before you even start to look for a home makes the process much easier.Find a realtor.Don’t overestimate your ability to find a new home by yourself. Realtors are your biggest allies in the home buying process, and having a professional at your side can make your experience much less stressful. Realtors can save you time and money, and as much as you think that you might be able to negotiate the process using online tools, the reality is that you need a real estate professional. One of the reasons why buyers choose me to help them find their new home is because I’m a native of the Triangle area and I’m an expert in housing – having a native resident of the area you’re trying to buy a home in assist you is a huge help. I know the areas in and out, and having been in the building products industry, being a former general contractor, and currently being an expert in real estate, really helps me help you. Find a lender.Having a lender assist you with budgeting for your new home will determine what price point you can afford, and provide you with guidance on all of your toughest mortgage questions. You can request to get pre-approved for a loan, and they then will let you know exactly what you can afford by looking closely at your income, amount of credit, and amount of debt. This is a vital step in your home buying process, and a step that may need to even come first – without knowing what your budget is, you can’t choose potential homes to put an offer on. Jean Hedges, the Senior Loan Officer of Hedges Mortgage Group at PrimeLending, is dedicated to providing home buyers with the best mortgage available to you. If you’re early in the process, that’s the best time to call and ensure you’re fully knowledgeable about all of your options before you make a purchase or refinance decision.See more articles about home mortgages and financing »To search for new homes in the Triangle, click here.