With so many single-family homes for sale, it can seem impossible to find the house that your family will make into your home. Having to stick with a budget, find a school that your kids will fit into well, learning about the neighborhood and determining if the house is a good buy are all things that you have to navigate through. Here, you'll find a few tips that can help you get through the selection process of home buying a little easier.

Know Your Budget

Before you even begin shopping around, you must figure out how much you can honestly afford—be realistic as you work your budget because you don't want to find yourself in over your head in the first year.

When determining your budget, be sure to include all of the costs of homeownership. You'll have to pay homeowner's insurance, the mortgage, possibly property taxes, HOA fees—there's all kinds of fees on top of the actual cost of the house that must be calculated into the scenario.

The best way to find out how much you should be spending on a home, go see a lender. You can go through a preapproval process with the lender and they'll provide you with some offers for mortgages. You'll get a good idea of the interest rate that you'll be paying, as well as know how much of a down payment is expected or required—you'll even know how much to expect to pay monthly when you get preapproved.

Tour with a Contractor

Sometimes, the perfect home isn't quite perfect when you first look at it. If you find a home that meets most of your family's needs but is missing an element or two, consider taking a tour of the home with a renovation contractor. He will be able to take a look at things for you and determine if there are any changes that can be made to transform the home into exactly what your family needs at this time.

You may find that the two bedroom can be made into a four bedroom for much less than it would cost to continue searching for the perfect four bedroom home that has everything your family wants and needs.

Take your time as you browse through the many available homes. You never know what you'll find when you least expect it. By this time next year, you could be spending time with the family in your new home. For more information about single-family homes for sale, contact a real estate agent near you.