Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

Buying a home could be one of the most complicated financial transactions of your life. With a little pre-home buying preparation, it can be a lot less nerve wracking.

I’m Sheyna Steiner with the Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

If a home purchase is anywhere in your future, it’s never too early to check your credit and do what you can to strengthen it. Experts say that credit scores above 750 get the best rates and anything below 640 to 660 may not even qualify for a loan.

Before falling in love with a house, determine your budget. FHA loans dictate that home payments can’t exceed 31 percent of your income. Don’t forget taxes and insurance as well.

Finally begin saving for the down payment early. Nearly all loans require down payments. Depending on your credit and financing you’ll typically need between 3 ½ and 20 percent of the home’s price. Save some money for closing costs as well, they may be between $2,300 and $4,000.

For more on this and other real estate issues, visit Bankrate.com, I’m Sheyna Steiner.