Purchasing your first home is a big step in life, and you will have to do plenty of preparing.  There is a lot of paperwork and “red tape” to be put in place before you can enjoy the weight of your new home’s keys in your hands.

If you’re not sure where to begin, but you want to own your own home, dig into some new information.  Learn about the steps you’ll need to take to prepare yourself for purchasing a new home.  Here is a brief overview of a few of the most important steps with which you’ll need to familiarize yourself.

Get up close and personal with your credit report

Before you ever try to go forward with purchasing a home, you should become super familiar with your complete credit history.  You’ll need a rating of at least 650 to comfortably acquire a home, but there are other ways.  It’s just much easier if your credit history is fairly clean.

If your credit history is less than flawless, like most people, then you’ll need some time to clean it up.  Check for any charges that aren’t something you did, and refute the unnecessary stain on your credit.  Consolidate other debts for a streamlined path to being debt free.

Start saving for a down payment

When you purchase a home, you’ll get a loan from one source or another.  To secure that loan, you will need a loft down payment.  Twenty percent is a good number to keep in mind, unless you have a stellar financial history.

It’s much easier to secure a home loan if you already have $20,000 save up for a starter.  Reformulate your regular budget for extra savings, cut out some of your entertainment, and find other ways to dig up extra funds.

Get a preapproval letter from the bank

Before a seller will take your bid on their home seriously, you will need to acquire proof of preapproval for the home loan.  They want to know you can produce the money before they move any further with the selling process.

Find a good real estate agent

A good real estate agent will do all of the hard work of finding a home for you.  Your agent will know crucial information about the local market, and have the ability to find you a property that meets your ideal specifications.  It’s like taking the guesswork out of house shopping.

Start throwing out offers on prospective homes

Once you’ve got an idea of your options, the only thing left to do is throw an offer out there.  Haggling with sellers can take a little while sometimes, but don’t give up hope.  Haggle back, and counteroffer if you’re not happy with their standards.