After you have found your desired lending agency, make no major purchases, preferably within a year of when you plan to buy. The reason is that lenders will see this as part of your debt to income ratio if you’ve bought it on credit. Owning your own car free and clear, for example, puts you in the best position to get the amount of money you really want.Expect to have to produce at least a two month “money trail.” Your prospective lender will ask to see all your financial statements, including your checking, savings, retirement, money market accounts, stock, and CD’s. It is particularly important not to be moving money around at this point when you are buying real estate because lenders don’t like seeing large withdrawals. Don’t change banks. Doing business with the bank you’ve used for a long time can save a lot of hassles because they have access to their records.When buying real estate, you want to be sure to make an investment in a house that has excellent resale value. Even if you are sure you want to live there the rest of your life, things change. Make sure you will have the best chance possible to resell it if for some reason you have to move. This is especially important these days.Everyone knows about “location, location, location,” but not everyone knows what makes for a good place. First of all, you want to choose a city or area that is in good economic health. When an area has no jobs, population either leaves or stays stagnant, making potential buyers hard to come by. Buying a smaller house in a neighborhood of big houses will probably make your house’s equity increase more quickly.Check into the crime statistics and the location of the nearest fire station. When buying real estate always look into the quality of schools, even if you don’t have children. Houses in good school districts are much easier to sell. You can actually check a school’s test scores online.By all means, get a good view, but don’t invest in one. It won’t increase the value of your house. Level rectangular lots sell better. Get only a modest amount of landscaping because you can easily do that yourself and pay less. A good two or three car garage is essential for good resale value.Make sure the laundry room is on the main floor, just out of sight, and two and one half baths are ideal-no fewer than two. Only get a fireplace in the family room, as one in the living room won’t get much use or help the value of your house. Only get a pool if you really want one. Because of safety worries they can actually decrease the salability of your house these days.Whether you are buying real estate for yourself, or as an investment, the above tips will help you find the perfect place.