Purchasing your first home likely is one of the most important decisions of your life so far. It is an exciting time filled with opportunity, as well as many questions. Because it's a new experience, first-time home buyers can be a bit intimidated. You want to make the right choice and not put yourself at risk. Here are five pieces of advice from the real estate lawyers at Creighton McLean & Shea PLC about preparing to buy your first house.

Figure Out What You Can Afford

The happiness of a new home purchase can quickly dissipate when it comes time to pay the mortgage. It's a good idea to sit down and determine a monthly budget that lists your income and expenses. This will give you a good look at the amount of mortgage you can afford to pay. Don't forget to factor in insurance and taxes.

Determine Neighborhoods That Interest You And Research Home Prices

It can be surprising what you may or may not be able to afford in different areas of Livonia. Setting realistic expectations before you begin house hunting is a good way to avoid disappointment.

Gather Documents

When applying for a mortgage, you'll need to show proof that you have a sustainable income. A lender will ask for W2 forms from the previous year, pay stubs, bank account statements and statements from current loans.

Get Preapproval For A Loan

The housing market can be competitive. You don't want to find a home you love only to lose it to another interested party because you were waiting to get approval for a loan. Contact banks before your search begins.

Hire A Real Estate Attorney

The law firm of Creighton McLean & Shea PLC in Livonia, Michigan, has helped many clients successfully navigate the overwhelming, but exciting, experience of buying a home. Our attorneys are equipped with a thorough knowledge of real estate law, and will review and carefully craft purchase agreements with the considerations of our clients' properties and best interests in mind. We also help to guide sellers and buyers through the mortgage and title insurance process.

Contact Creighton McLean & Shea PLC to talk with our attorneys about how we can help you to purchase or sell a home today. You can reach us by phone at 734-245-9289 or contact us via email to arrange an initial consultation.