Have you ever seen those TV commercials where a luxury car drives down the street and a neighbor looks at it in awe from his front lawn? He clearly dreams of owning a car like that someday.

Unfortunately, most people can’t spend six figures on that dream car. But, if you’ve started wondering about the possibilities for your next dream home, that home may be more achievable than you realize. Why not find out?

The first step is to make a list of the basic characteristics you want in your new home, such as type and size, number of bedrooms, etc. You’ll also want to note any special features you’re looking for, such as a larger kitchen or better view. Don’t forget to include the neighborhood. The profile of your ideal home should include the areas you’re targeting, or at least what you’re looking for in a new neighborhood. Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll have enough information to determine the price range of your dream home.

Next, you’ll need to figure out if such a home is affordable. For that you’ll need to find out the current market value of your existing home, which is basically an estimate of what it will sell for in today’s market. Once you know that, finding out what level of financing you qualify for is fairly straightforward.

This two-step exercise won’t take long and is certainly worth the effort. After all, you might discover that your next dream home, which you might have assumed was too lofty to pursue, is actually realistic and achievable. Perhaps you can even get into it this year.