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(NNPA)–For most people, the decision to purchase a home is the single biggest financial commitment they will make in a lifetime of decision-making. The decision to buy a home, especially a first home, involves so many competing factors, that it can cause high levels of stress and anxiety.

As stress-inducing as a home purchase can be, there are things that a prospective homeowner can do to minimize potential headaches.

Ruth Hudspeth, branch manager for Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, says the number one thing homebuyers need to do is be prepared.

Know your finances first.

“A homeowner should be able to enjoy their new home without being overburdened by the financial commitment. Like any other big decision, however, that takes some planning.” Hudspeth said. “You have to take the time to understand your credit score, your capacity to qualify for a mortgage loan and what your budget will be.”

Hudspeth, who has degrees in economics and business administration, recommended that individuals moving from a rental property into a home set aside the difference between the mortgage payment and the rent payment and put that money into a separate account.

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