1- How motivated are you to move forward with your dream home?

2- Get a Letter from a lending institution stating you are qualified and for how much.

3- Set an amount you can afford with a budget that makes sense.

4-A low credit score can trigger higher interest rates and prevent you from qualifying for a loan. A good score can help you purchase your dream home. (These guys can help: creditaidtoday.com)

5- Pick out a couple of desirable locations. If you are building, look for a lot first. Don't forget about the impact fees associated with the purchase of the lot.

6- Find a builder that will give you a competitive price and the quality you desire. Be sure and get at least 2 bids on the plans. If you do not have construction plans, ask your builder to provide budget appropriate selections for you to choose from.

7- If you are looking to buy an existing home, check out the area you're most interested in. (this would be a good time to include a realtor–– someone who knows the area and that can provide quick access to new listings.)

8- If you decide to build, be sure and get a construction loan yourself. Getting your own loan will save you money over builders' package loans. Construction loans are easy to turn into mortgage loans when construction is complete and you will only have one set of closing costs.