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Many would-be homeowners find themselves in uncharted waters while on the hunt for their dream house. An increasing number of people have been forced to postpone their aspirations of home ownership due to a range of economic issues. Nevertheless, there are a few tips that can help anyone navigate through this tumultuous and uncertain period.

Keep Tabs on the Listings

Knowledge is power in a tight housing market as some homes are being sold almost immediately after going on the market. For that reason, any savvy shopper should be checking in on the listings available online at least once per day.

Increase the Down Payment

While a 20% down payment has been generally accepted by housing lenders for generations, the current trend is toward even higher percentages upon finalizing a mortgage agreement. In fact, a recent survey indicates that roughly one in four first-time home buyers was willing to come up with a down payment higher than 20%.

Beat the Competition

It might seem rational to consider every detail before getting the ball rolling, but anyone who is serious about buying a home in the current market should be willing to at least make an offer as soon as possible. This will at least get the ball rolling toward what will hopefully be a successful purchase. A growing number of prospective homeowners say that they would consider putting in an offer as little as a day or two after touring a home.

Go Above and Beyond

There is perhaps no clearer evidence that it is a sellers’ market than the fact that many homes are selling for thousands of dollars over the asking price. This means that a dedicated home buyer might want to consider putting in an offer that exceeds what the seller is publicly seeking. Chances are, some other bidders are quietly doing the same thing, thus driving the value upward.

There are many potential pitfalls along the way to purchasing a house, but a few strategic steps can help secure almost anyone’s aspirations of home ownership.