There was an awesome article today on Inman real estate news by Ms. Nelson...  She has 2 books to her credit, and some incredible advice on how effective homebuyers are more and more proactive these days. I would encourage anyone thinking of buying a home to read this excellent article, and seriously think about putting these habits into practice.

http://www.inman.com/buyers-sellers/columnists/taranichollenelson/4-habits-highly-effective-house-hunters

It spans some very needed activities, one of which is a quick nutshell explanation on why you should perform a "tough love" review of your finances even before you begin looking at homes for sale... don't wait for the last minute, when you have found the home of your dreams...only to find that you don't qualify for the loan or even worse, find out after the purchase, that you can barely afford to put gas in your car to get to work...