You’ve finally done it – decided it’s time to buy your first home. Now it’s time to figure out the best way to go about it. Here are some tips on things you need to know when buying a home.

Save Your Money

You likely know you need to have money for a down payment, but do you know how much or what other kinds of payments will be required? What about closing costs, realtor fees, inspection fees or paperwork? The bottom line is that you need to be saving money long before you even begin to think about buying a home.

Determine How Much House You Can Afford

Because you have to continue to pay for such things as automobiles, food, clothing and so forth, you need to figure out how large of a house payment you can afford. Remember that besides the actual amount the house costs, you are paying monthly interest plus an escrow amount for things like homeowner’s insurance, property taxes and private mortgage insurance, depending on the type of loan you get. All of this is rolled into one payment, and that payment needs to come in under 25% of your income.

Start Looking for a Good Area

Even before you have all your ducks in a row, you can start looking for the best area to live in. Check for things like school districts and access to shopping. It doesn’t hurt to make sure there are adequate fire hydrants in the neighborhood. If you see a leaky hydrant, be sure to alert your local fire or city utility department so they can use a valve turner to tighten the valve.

There are many things to do before you purchase your first home. Start by saving money and then get going on your research. Take the time to find just what you want.