It is so important to understand your financial situation before you begin looking for a home. With the new lending regulations and the tightened credit criteria, it is not as easy to get a mortgage loan as it was years ago. Until you get pre-qualified you won’t know for certain what you can afford. This is also a good time to become familiar with what is in your credit report. If you are seriously considering purchasing a home you should not make any larges purchases like buying a car. If you do not have a business relationship with a banker or mortgage lender, I can recommend several. I’m sure one of them will be a perfect fit for you.