Step 1 - Working out what you can afford
Buying a property is a big step involving a substantial long-term financial commitment, so think hard about what you can afford. You will need to consider the assets you have - like savings - as well as the money that's coming in and going out.
Although it may reduce your buying options, you don't want to commit to a mortgage and then realise you can't afford some of the nicer things in life! It may sound obvious but take time to think of all the things you spend money on throughout the year, even without a mortgage.
Using Rightmove's Budget Calculator to help you determine what you may be able to afford on a new mortgage - this simple calculator could save you a lot of time and pain in the long run.
Once you know what you are able to pay back on a mortgage each month you can use our Mortgage Calculator to find out what total mortgage amount your monthly payments could represent.
The Budget Calculator takes you through everything your household could spend throughout the year. You have the option of specifying whether the amount you spend is weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually so you don't have to calculate it all yourself.
In addition to understanding your monthly budget limits, you need to work out your one-off moving costs.
You read our guide to the Cost of Buying so you can avoid any unwelcome surprises.