Owning a house is part of the American Dream for many. But first-time home-buyers might not know everything they need to have ready. The process can get pretty overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect and find yourself unprepared! If you’re thinking about buying a home soon, here are some ideas on how to start.You don’t necessarily need a buyer’s agent, but hiring one can help you save time. First you will need to figure out what you’re looking for in a house – what size, how many stories, how many bedrooms, and so on. Once you give them this information, they can send you listings matching what you want, sometimes including homes that aren’t yet on the market. Many agents will also drive you around, so you don’t have to use your own gas. They can also be helpful in advising you on overpriced listings and other good or bad aspects of a home, which is definitely great if you and your family and friends all have little to no experience!
Save up for a down payment – start as early as possible! Even if you’re not thinking of getting a house in the next few years, now’s a good time to begin setting aside funds anyway. A down payment of 20% is common, but there are many lenders and first-time home buyer programs that allow you to put down less. But a small down payment can still be a lot – 5% down on a $250,000 house is $12,500. Plus, things like the mortgage insurance might end up costing more. So start saving now!Remember, you don’t necessarily need to start out with an all-or-nothing mentality, thinking you’ll get your dream home or nothing at all. You could get a home that will be good enough for 5 years, and cheaper than where you currently stay, so that you have more time to save up for a place you like even more. Or, if you like where you’re at, and the price is right, then continue to save up and maybe check out listings on the internet every so often, until you feel ready to start looking more seriously. Check out these articles for more ideas.