Buying a house is an exciting time! And planning can make this process even better. Before getting into the numbers and how much your mortgage could be, have a discussion with your family about what are the needs and wants of a house. Questions such as: Do I prefer a condo or a single-family home?, How much space do I need?, Do I need an extra room for an office?, Would I be comfortable in the city or the suburbs?. These questions can help to narrow your home search. 

Going into the topic of finances, use a debt-to-income ratio calculator to know the percentage of your income used to pay debts. This is a key financial metric that lets lenders know if you’re a low or high-risk borrower, and they will determine the next steps of your mortgage application and amount. 

Also, make sure to go into the process with a set budget and decide how much you can save for a down payment. Know the limit of how much you can offer, in case there are more people putting offers on the same property.