■ Have a five-year plan. You need to own a home for at least about five years to build equity.
■ Make a budget. Regardless of the loan amount you qualify for, you need to know what you’re comfortable paying for housing.
■ Check your credit. Your score is paramount to getting a loan — you may need time to improve it.
■ Consult a lender. You must know your price range and your ability to obtain financing.
■ Consult a real estate agent and see what’s available in your price range.