If you think you can buy a house, be prepared to discover some extra costs. Realtors say first-time home buyers are especially at risk of foreclosure if they don`t stop to plan for the future. "These are all new appliances and they all get to stay, so that was a big selling point." Sarah Dryer has yet to close on her new home, but she`s already making big plans. Years of planning have paid off for Dryer and her fiance, but she and her realtor Jennifer Wilson know not everyone works ahead. "We both live at home, so we`ve saved lots of money to put down, and we kind of stayed within our price range," Dryer says. "We don`t want them in over their head, we don`t want a 125% loan, we don`t want listing back that`s upside down, so we try to be very cautious with new home buyers so that they understand all of those details," Wilson says. Wilson says first-time home owners are falling into traps. "Predatorial lending would be anybody advertising something that sounds too good to be true--1.9% financing, $200,000 mortage with a $735 house payment--not really realistic," Wilson says. buying into loan packages that have the potential to skyrocket. adjustable mortgage rates...or arms...will balloon after the life of the loan "The loan can go up two percent, once a year adjustable, depending on prime. It can also go down," Wilson says. But, it`s a risk. You could lock in at a much higher rate. Lenders recommend ARMs for people who don`t plan on staying in their home very long. For people like Dryer who is in for the long hual, a fixed rate may be more appealing. "Right now there`s not as big of a difference between a fixed mortgage and an adjustable rate as we`ve seen in the past," Jennifer Kneib, home loan manager, says. Lenders say avoid common mistakes. "If you want to be able to go buy dinner, go to a movie or go shopping, you need to account for those things," Kneib says. "What are the things that you`re going to have to do to the house? Is it going to need new windows? Is it going to need a new furnace? Are we set up to save for that?" Wilson says. Lenders and realtors agree, just because you qualify for a bigger house payment doesn`t mean you can actually afford it. Before you house-hunt, lenders and relators recommend you know your credit score and how much you can actually afford.