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Let's face it – paying monthly rent for your tiny apartment is no longer feasible. Instead, you need a bigger place to live, i.e. a house that you can enjoy for years to come. As a first-time homebuyer, exploring the real estate market may sound like a fun, exciting opportunity – and it is! However, you need to prepare for the housing market, and by doing so, you'll be able to improve your chances of finding your dream residence quickly and effortlessly. So what does it take to find the right home? Here are three ways to boost your chances of buying your ideal house: 1. Save Money Before You Buy a Home. You'll likely need to find a lender that can offer you a mortgage with an interest rate that fits your budget. And if you save money before you buy a house, you could improve your chances of getting a mortgage with a lower interest rate. Typically, having enough money to cover several months worth of a home's mortgage may make you a better candidate for a mortgage than other potential homebuyers. It also is important to keep in mind that saving money now may help you pay closing costs and other fees that frequently arise during the homebuying process. 2. Look at Both Your Income and Debt. Ideally, you'll want to establish a budget as you prepare to explore the real estate market, as this will allow you to determine which houses you can afford. When you create your budget, be sure to consider both your annual income and outstanding debt as well. Evaluating these factors will enable you to better understand your yearly expenses and ensure you're able to search for homes that fit your budget perfectly. Don't forget to consider your future earnings as you develop your budget, too. For instance, if you're a student who already has a job lined up after graduation, you may be able to handle a larger monthly mortgage payment. On the other hand, if you have a baby on the way, you may want to account for the expenses associated with a newborn as you pursue a residence. 3. Monitor Your Credit Score. For homebuyers, your credit score reigns supreme in the eyes of lenders. Thus, spending some time monitoring and improving your credit score may make it easier for you to move one step closer to landing your dream house. Remember, you're eligible to receive a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) annually. And if you review a copy of this report, you can understand where your credit score currently stands. If your credit score is low, you can improve it by paying off any outstanding debt. Furthermore, if you find an error in your credit report, be sure to notify the agency that provided the report to you to ensure you can fix this mistake; otherwise, the error could impact your ability to buy a house. Being a first-time homebuyer sometimes can be challenging. But if you use the aforementioned tips, you may be able to bolster your chances of purchasing your dream residence.

Do you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the big city? If so, you're sure to enjoy a city home.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to consider purchasing a home in a big city, including:

1. You can enjoy quick, easy access to public transportation.

Let's face it – owning a car sometimes can be problematic, and the costs associated with fuel, insurance and maintenance can add up quickly. However, you may be able to cut out some of these expenses if you live in the city.

Many cities feature public transportation systems that make it simple to travel from one location to the next. That way, you can avoid the hassles commonly associated with car ownership.

2. You can check out a broad assortment of attractions and entertainment.

The lights are always brightest in the city. Here, you can visit museums, historic landmarks and other attractions any time you choose.

For those who live in the city, you should have no trouble accessing a massive assortment of attractions and entertainment. From live theater performances to sports events, you can enjoy fun experiences in the city year-round.

3. You can visit a wide range of high-quality restaurants.

Foodies rejoice! Cities are home to some of the world's best restaurants, guaranteeing you can sample gourmet cuisine that you may struggle to find elsewhere.

Whether you appreciate traditional pub fare or elegant French dishes, you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for at a city restaurant. Plus, many city restaurants offer take-out menus, ensuring you can get first-rate cuisine delivered to your home.

How can you obtain a home in the city?

You don't need to be a millionaire to purchase a city home. In fact, here are three tips to ensure you can acquire an outstanding city house at a price that meets your budget:

1. Browse the housing market closely.

New homes reach the real estate market every day. As a homebuyer, you'll want to explore the housing market closely to find a residence that you can enjoy both now and in the future.

Examine the prices of recently sold homes in the city. Also, be sure to check out a variety of residences in-person. By doing so, you can understand what you can afford and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Meet with multiple banks and credit unions before you begin your search for a city house. This will enable you to get pre-approved for a mortgage and kick off your home search with a homebuying budget in hand.

3. Work with a real estate agent.

Hire a real estate agent who understands a city's real estate market. This real estate professional will offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. That way, you can accelerate the homebuying process and avoid the risk of spending too much on a city home.

Use the aforementioned homebuying tips, and you can move one step closer to securing your dream home in the city of your choice.