With a few pointers on the home buying process, the first time you buy a home doesn’t have to be stressful.

  1. Be realistic about your finances. The total expenses for your first home shouldn’t be more than around 30% of your income per month. Know that this number will include the mortgage, property taxes, insurance and sometimes repairs and upkeep.
  2. Work on getting your credit rating up.
  3. Save a down payment. There are also several government programs that can assist first-time home buyers with down payment funds.
  4. Gather up all your papers. This includes pay stubs, tax returns, and bank account statements. Your mortgage lender will need all of this to determine the amount you’ll be approved for.
  5. Go talk to your mortgage lender – and get preapproved for your mortgage. This will help you in two ways. You’ll know exactly what price range of home you can afford, thereby narrowing your search to only homes that are in that price range. And, if you are pre-approved, you’re a more attractive buyer to home sellers. 
  6. Focus your search. Do your research and focus on neighborhoods that offer the amenities that you want, and have homes in your price range. Use your time efficiently and effectively to make one of the best decisions of your life, and land in a home you love.
  7. Let your agent be your guide in all things. Their knowledge and experience can help you through the whole process.