The home buying process can be an emotional roller coaster especially if it's your first time. This is especially true for the actual house hunting process when emotions run high. It is, after all, one of the biggest financial moves you'll ever make. So before you begin house hunting, make sure you have a good plan in place. Here are five tips for success with first-time home buying.

Tip #1 - Bring a Friend Along

Do you have a friend or family member with strong opinions on everything? You know the one. Well, bring them along during your house hunting trips. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The house hunting experience stirs up a lot of emotions - - excitement, enjoyment, anxiety, fear, frustration and exhilaration. While these emotions are perfectly normal, they can cloud your judgement. That's not something you want when making a big financial decision. You can balance this out by bringing a friend or family member along on your house hunting trips. This gives you an objective ally who can help you identify the pros and cons of each house. Chances are they will also be able to spot aspects of a house you might have missed. 

Tip #2 - Take Pictures of Each Home

Take pictures of every house you visit and categorize them in folders by house address. These photos will help you recall the details of each house in the future when the details tend to blur together. The photos will also give you an opportunity to see each home more objectively after your initial excitement has faded. Then, you can more easily decide which houses you'd like to seriously consider.

Tip #3 - Compare the House to Your Budget

Have you heard the expression "house poor"? House poor is what happens when people spend too much money and take on more of a mortgage loan than they can comfortably afford. Think of it this way. If you have to work longer hours and scrape by each month just to afford a house is it really worth it? Keep your finances in mind no matter how beautiful a house may be.

Tip #4 - Consider the Commute 

So you've found a home you like, and it's well within your price range. The next thing to consider is the location. How far is the home from work? Does it have easy access to the major roadways you need? How long is your daily commute going to be? It’s easy to be so enamored with a home you forget about the drive time. But if you commute every day, drive time is a quality-of-life issue you can't afford to dismiss. Try driving to or from the house during rush hour. It will give you a good idea of what you'll face every day.

Tip #5 - Avoid Snap Decisions

Buying a home will probably be the biggest financial decision of your life. So it deserves careful consideration every step of the way. Even in a hot market where homes sell quickly, you have to make wise decisions based on research. Keep these tips in mind while house hunting and you will have a much better experience.