Acquiring as much information as possible before buying your new home helps you to negotiate with confidence. Determining your closing costs as well as your monthly housing costs can give you idea of what you can and can’t afford. Talk to a real estate agent to get a pulse on the local housing market.

Use these 4 tips to buy the right home for you.

Figure out Your Closing Costs

In addition to the actual buying price you’ll be paying multiple fees at the closing. Homeowner’s association fees, homeowner’s insurance, taxes, settlement and title fees and origination fees charged by lenders may all factor into the amount of money you owe when closing. Keep in mind that fees may vary according to your state. Research all costs you’ll need to incur before you prepare for the close.

Determine Your Monthly Housing Cost

Figuring out your total monthly housing cost can give you an idea of whether or not you can afford a home. Factor in homeowner’s insurance and taxes for an idea of how much you’ll be spending on your home on a monthly basis. Various online affordability calculators are available for number crunching.

Mortgage payments may double if you live in a community where your insurance escrow and taxes are sky high. Do your homework before planning to move to a particular area where you might be socked by taxes.

In some cases your yearly premium may triple depending on your location.

Work the Home into Your Budget

Avoid the common mistake of buying a home based on your desires and dreams versus fitting a home within your budget. Although owning a home offers you many benefits going heavily into debt isn’t worth the upside of home ownership.

Firmly decide on a monthly home owning cost before you start shopping. Use the internet to find comparable prices in surrounding neighborhoods. If you plan to move to a close by location you can quickly get an idea of what you can and can’t afford in terms of prices.

Be disciplined in sticking to your budget. As bells and whistles are added to a potential new home it can feel tempting to go over your budget. Stand firm. Keep your financial future in mind. It’s far better to stay within your budget by ignoring the bells, whistles and various other upgrades than it is to go into debt for a few sweet add ons.

Speak to a Real Estate Agent

Asking local real estate agents for their opinion regarding any potential bottoms or ceilings in the housing market can give you confidence in your home search. Knowing that home sellers have a large group of buyers to work with can make you more flexible in changing your buying price.

Agents can give you an idea of what’s moving and how quickly homes are being sold. Leverage your knowledge of the current market by speaking to licensed professionals about real estate in your area.

Buy a new home from an intelligent space. Arm yourself with as many facts as possible to make an informed, confident decision.