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2. Not Thinking About the Future

(Image: JD Hancock, via Flickr)

Several credit experts we spoke to said this is key to finding the right loan and home for every homebuyer, not just newbies. But first-time homebuyers tend to not know what they want five or 10 years down the road, which is a major factor for not only the type of house you want (Will I need a nursery or a backyard?), but also the type of loan you need (Will I want a 30-year mortgage or an adjustable-rate loan?).

This applies not only to where you want to be in 10 years, but also to where you are financially right now. Can you afford a $500,000 house, or is $300,000 more realistic? These are the questions you need to ask yourself.

“Know your budget and stick to it,” says Chantay Bridges, a senior real estate specialist. “In doing so, this leaves you wiggle room for emergencies, salary fluctuations or anything else that may come along. Don’t increase your budget $100,000 because one house has a pool and the other doesn’t unless you can truly afford it.”

(If you’re worried about how your credit could impact the home-buying process, check out Credit.com’s free Credit Report Card, for an easy-to-understand overview of your credit history, as well as your credit scores.)

Mistake #3: Not Doing Enough Research in Advance »

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