Buying your first home is regarded as one of the most significant life and financial milestones. There is a strong possibility that this will be the largest purchase you have ever made.

How To Buy Your First Home - Nine Basic Steps To Find and Purchase Your First Home

Here are the steps to take as you prepare to purchase your first home.

• Prior to taking the first step toward purchasing your first home, ensure that your finances are in order by paying off debt and establishing an emergency fund.

• Do your research to become familiar with all of the available loan types, and then compare their terms to determine which is best for you.

• Obtain preapproval for a mortgage loan so that you know beforehand how much you can spend on a home.

•Find a qualified real estate agent who can guide you through the home-buying process and the closing details.

First Determine Whether You Are Ready to Buy a Home

Determine first if you are prepared to purchase a home. Homeownership can be more expensive than renting due to the fact that you are ultimately responsible for additional expenses such as home repairs, utility costs, garbage collection, water, and electricity.

Additionally, you must pay taxes and insurance on your home. If you are not financially prepared, you could find yourself in a difficult situation, especially if you only have one income.

In addition to establishing an emergency fund, you should consider eliminating or at least reducing your debt before applying for a mortgage. While having debt is not necessarily a deal-breaker, lenders will consider your debt-to-income ratio, which demonstrates how much of your income goes toward debt repayment. This ratio helps lenders calculate how much mortgage you can afford.


If you're unsure if you can afford a home, try sticking to a budget based on what you anticipate your mortgage payment to be, and save the extra money. This can enhance your confidence and savings plan, allowing you to move forward with your home purchase.

Although you may be under pressure from friends and family to purchase a home, it may be financially prudent to wait until you are truly prepared.

Start your search for a loan

Most people requires loan to purchase a home. In many instances, it makes sense to get preapproved for a mortgage prior to house hunting. Your preapproval can help you determine how much home you can afford.

Consider using a mortgage broker if you'd like more options. A mortgage broker gives you access to numerous loan companies and programs, allowing you to find the best rates. However, your small local bank or credit union may also offer money-saving options.

Determine the Best Payment Options and Loan Types

You may be surprised by the variety of loan types and payment options available for your mortgage. Private mortgage insurance (PMI)-related terminology can be intimidating, but a little research can help you move forward.

Some buyers choose a 15- or 20-year loan due to the shorter term and the possibility of locking in a low interest rate. In contrast, one of the reasons 30-year loans are so popular is that a longer term typically results in a lower monthly payment. In this case, the interest rate may be slightly higher, but the payments are typically more manageable.

Adjustable-rate mortgages versus fixed-rate mortgages

The interest rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is subject to change over time. The initial rate is lower, but there is a risk that it will increase as market conditions change, resulting in a higher monthly payment.

On the other hand, a fixed-rate mortgage remains unchanged regardless of economic or market conditions. This provides monthly payment stability and can facilitate planning. You risk missing out if interest rates fall, but if they do, you may be able to refinance to a lower rate and capture the savings.


Be wary of hybrid mortgage products that offer a low, fixed interest rate for the initial few years, but then switch to a higher variable interest rate. You may receive a larger payment than anticipated.

Prepare a Down Payment

Your down payment can reduce your debt and lower your expenses. Realize, however, that if you put less than 20% of the home's price down, you may be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). Although a 20% down payment is not required for homeownership success, it may be prudent to consider the cost of PMI when purchasing a home.

You may be considering creative financing options to cover the down payment, but you should proceed with caution. You wish to accumulate wealth through the purchase of a home. If you make the wrong decision, you may end up financially hurting yourself.

Be Sincere About Your Financial Capacity

Additionally, you must determine how much home you can afford. A good rule of thumb is to keep your mortgage, taxes, and insurance payments between 25 and 30 percent of your income. Other experts suggest that your home should not exceed 2.5 times of your annual salary.

You may not be able to meet your daily obligations, let alone save for retirement, if you spend excessively on your mortgage. A smaller home may be worth the peace of mind it provides. If you are carrying debt (such as credit card debt or student loan debt), a smaller mortgage payment may be a wise choice.

Find a Good Real Estate Agent

Once you've determined how much you can afford and have been preapproved for a mortgage, it is the best time to find a good real estate agent. This is one of the most significant steps in the home-buying process.

Your agent should support you at every stage of the home-buying process, taking your wants and needs into account. They will be your go-to source for advice, recommendations, and market explanations to help you locate a home that meets your needs and is within your budget.

After submitting an offer, your real estate agent should negotiate terms that meet your needs. They can also guide you through the necessary paperwork and closing procedure.

Call for a Home Inspection

Once you've found your ideal home, you should conduct a thorough home inspection. You must cover the cost of the home inspection. When you do so, the home inspector will examine the property for hidden flaws before you purchase it.


Through the home inspection, you can discover any issues that could prevent you from purchasing the property. These may include mould, termites, foundation issues, or a need to replace the roof. The inspection can save you thousands of dollars in future repairs.

If the home requires significant repairs, you may be able to negotiate a lower price. Consider a separate home inspection from the one conducted by the homeowners. In many instances, the results of a home inspection can be grounds for withdrawing from a contract without forfeiting your deposit.

Be Patient Throughout Escrow

After submitting a bid and having your offer accepted, you will enter escrow. During this step, an escrow holder will ensure that all the necessary documents, funds, and other information are prepared prior to closing. Escrow is established to safeguard the buyer, seller, and lender. Escrow can take time to close, depending on a variety of factors. It is not unusual for closing dates to be three to five weeks away.

Close and Move-In

When the closing date arrives, you sign the closing documents. When this occurs, the escrow agent will release the funds to all parties who are entitled to them.

After closing on your new home, it is time to move in. You can decorate, unpack, and enjoy your new residence.

Be sure to update your bank and other accounts with your new address. You can set up new utility services and cancel your old ones. This will save you both time and money, as you will avoid incurring late fees. Some companies, such as Xfinity, waive installation fees if you also transfer your old account to your new address.

Frequent Requested Information (FAQs)

How can a low-income individual obtain assistance to purchase a first home?

There are numerous state and local assistance programs, including tax credits for first-time homebuyers; check with your state's housing finance agency. Other programs include:

• The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds public housing and offers vouchers to low-income Americans;

• The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have home loan programs for service members, veterans, as well as eligible surviving spouses;

• The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a homeownership program for rural Americans; and

• The Federal Housing Administration insures mortgages and provides down payment assistance, thereby making homeownership more accessible to low-income Americans.

What questions should you ask your real estate agent when purchasing your first home?

You should ask your realtor about the technical and commercial aspects of purchasing a home. A real estate agent will have extensive knowledge of your negotiating options and the appropriate concessions and contingencies for your situation. You can inquire about the sales history, comparable sales in the neighbourhood, and home inspectors. Consider asking your real estate agent if they would purchase the home in order to determine the home's pros and cons.

What items should you purchase when purchasing your first home?

Cleaning supplies are sometimes overlooked by first-time homebuyers as essential purchases. For instance, what types of flooring does the home have, and do you have the necessary cleaning supplies? Moving from an apartment to a house may necessitate the purchase of yard equipment, such as a lawnmower.

What is the first-time homebuyer tax credit?

The first-time homebuyer tax credit is as much as $15,000 or 10% of the home's value, whichever is less (whichever was less).