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Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions anyone can make, and while it can be a very exciting time, it can also be very intimidating. As you would with any major purchase, it is important to be as prepared and knowledgeable as possible. According to Realtor.coma great first step is to find an agent that you feel comfortable with and has your best interests in mind. Now that you have found an agent you trust, it is time to check your credit score and find a lender to get pre-approved for a loan. A pre-approved loan will help in the bidding process and instill confidence in the seller.

Expenses can start to add up when you purchase a home, so make sure all of your financials are in line. Now comes the fun part, start looking! How large of a home do you want? How many rooms? Do you want a big kitchen or backyard? This is a long-term investment, so try to check off as many things on your wish list as possible. Once you find your dream home and put in an offer, it is now time to work with your lender and get a final approval. This is a great time to bring in help to determine there aren’t any major issues with the home.

Be on the lookout for water-related issues, signs of asbestos and mold, and make sure the electrical systems are up to date. Once everything checks out, it’s time sign the paperwork and get the key to your new home!

Here are 20 helpful tips to consider before buying a new home.