It is a big decision that requires planning, research, and a very organized budget! Here are 3 financial questions and to consider before purchasing a new house, with tips on how to save and budget accordingly.

First, where are you planning on living? In many cases it is wise and stress free to live close to the place you will be working and making money. If your job is in the city, ask yourself: how long of a commute do you want? Would you rather live downtown, or in a suburb? And depending on how you answer these questions, would the money you will be making at your job cover the expenses involved with the new place of your choice? It is important to be sure that wherever you decide to put down your roots, the money you earn will be substantial enough to stay there.

Next, start saving before you get ready to move! To get a house loan, you must be able to prove through a solid paper trail that you are ready to handle the expenses associated with the potential new home. This paper trail, along with a decent credit score, will help you land the loan—but it is up to you and your budgeting skills to make ends meet once you get there. Take into consideration monthly bills, any updates or remodeling you may want to undertake, and transportation to and from work. Remember it will be home: think about even something like a potential new pet! You can organize your budget by shopping Petco for great deals on leashes, food, kennels and more if you decide pet ownership is just what you need to make your new house a home.

Lastly, it is important to understand the financial ramifications if things don’t work out quite the way you’d expected. Once you own the new house, paying for its upkeep is your responsibility. Before attempting to get a house loan, research things like bankruptcy and foreclosure: know how these things will affect your credit score and future options. Don’t be caught without the means to support yourself and your new abode: plan accordingly!