First-Time Home Buyer Steps: A Guide on How to Buy a House

The steps to buy a house might seem complicated—particularly if you’re a first-time home buyer trying to purchase real estate for the very first time. Between down payments, credit scores, mortgage rates (both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate), property taxes, interest rates, and closing the deal, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There’s so much at stake with a first home!

Still, if you familiarize yourself with what it takes to buy your first home beforehand, it can help you navigate the real estate market with ease. So let’s get started!

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn what it takes to buy your first home, from beginning to end. Whether it’s your first time in the real estate market or you’re an experienced homeowner who wants to brush up on your skills, this list has you covered.

Step 1: Start gathering a down payment

The very first step every first-time home buyer should

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How to Buy a House With No Money Down in 2020

Borrowers curious about how to buy a house with no money down should know that no-down-payment home loans exist. There are low-down-payment options, too. You can even use first-time homebuyer down payment assistance programs to help cover your loan expenses.

What is a zero-down mortgage?

A zero-down mortgage is the same as buying a house with no money down, meaning the lender provides 100% of the financing. No-down-payment home loans are difficult to find because lenders generally prefer borrowers to put some money down to offset the risk of default. Homebuyers — especially first-time homebuyers — may be able to take advantage of local assistance programs to cover their down payment. Combining assistance programs with low-down-payment mortgages can result in little to no down payment if you qualify.

No-down-payment home loans

We’ll take a look at your options for buying a house with no money down, as well as what

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Is Buying a House Worth It? 9 Reasons Why the Answer Is: ‘100% Yes!’

Buying your first house takes gumption. You resist splurging on Insta-worthy vacations to save for a down payment. Then hold off on converting those savings into stocks for the latest plant-based start-up your cousin raves about. You fight every temptation in hopes of joining that glorious homebuyers’ circle, and just before you pull the trigger, you stumble upon an infographic telling you renting is actually cheaper — is this struggle even worth it?

The short answer is: yes. We’ve got a long answer for you, too (it even touches on the perennial own vs. rent debate). Here are nine benefits to homeownership that make buying a house totally worth it:

1. Grow with a local community

When you buy a house, you’re not just another tenant swinging through a rental’s revolving door. You’re tethered to a location, tied to a community.

“Buying a home gives you roots. You meet a

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How to Prepare to Buy a Home: First, Use This Checklist

Even a first-time home buyer knows that a new home is not an impulse purchase. You can’t just waltz in and declare, “I’ll take it!”

Long before you get to making that offer (on paper, through your real estate agent)—and even before going to your first open house—there are a ton of things to do and to prepare.

Overwhelmed? Here’s a checklist of everything you need to do to get ready to buy a new home.

1. Check your credit score

Do not pass “Go,” and do not start looking at real estate until you have checked your credit score. This is the number that mortgage lenders will look at to determine whether you are creditworthy, and will dictate the rate you will be charged by the bank.

The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate—and that’s what you’re going for. Get a free copy of yours at

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Wait Or Do It Now?

America has long been known as a mobile society, starting from the days of the pioneers. The pandemic and the gathering recession make buying a new house problematical. What if now, for whatever reason, you need to pull up stakes and find a new dwelling? And you have to sell your old home? To answer that question, we turn to the sage Rick Kahler, the founder of Kahler Financial Group, in Rapid City, S.D.

Larry Light: Why, amid these bad times, would someone want to move?

Rick Kahler: Suppose that you retired last year, you’re ready to downsize or move to a warmer climate, and you have been getting your house ready to sell. Or suppose you recently made a career move that includes relocating to a different part of the country.

Light: Given the economic and emotional uncertainties around the COVID-19

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How To Buy A House Without A Realtor

Buying a home without a real estate agent can save you money on commissions and allow you to shop on your own timeline. Here’s the process you’ll go through to buy a home without a buyer’s agent.

Step 1: Get Preapproved For A Mortgage

When you buy a home without a real estate agent, the first thing you’ll need to do is get preapproved. A preapproval is a way to find out what you can afford so you don’t shop for homes outside your budget. It’s also a way to show sellers you’re serious when you’re making an offer; preapproval shows that your financing won’t fall through.


You can use Rocket Mortgage® to get approved online and see how much you can afford. Just answer some questions about your income, assets and the home you want to buy. Then, we’ll check your credit to give

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6 Critical Things to Look for When Buying a House

While everybody knows that buyers shop based on price range, there are many additional considerations to make when looking for a home. And, most buyers end up refining their criteria once they start touring homes. Ultimately, your home criteria should depend on your personal lifestyle and needs. Regardless of what you’re looking for, here are some general rules you should follow to make sure you’ll be happy with the home you buy for the foreseeable future.

What are the top features buyers look for in a home?

Today’s buyers are juggling many different priorities when it comes to buying a home, but according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2019, here are the features that rank as very important or extremely important to most buyers.

Neighborhood wants and needs for buyers

  • Safety: 82% say a neighborhood that feels safe is very or extremely important
  • Walkability: 60% say it’s
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Best Time to Buy a House: Best Month, Season and Why?

In general, there are three ways to evaluate the best time to buy a home:

  1. Best month: In every real estate market, there’s always a best month to buy a house or best season to buy — even in a down market.
  2. Best year for market and economy: Broader market trends, the state of the economy and your local job market can also dictate a better or worse time to buy.
  3. Best time for you: Market characteristics aside, you should plan to buy when it makes sense for your personal finances and moving timeline.

When is the best month to buy a house?

Late summer is the best season to buy a house if you want a shopping experience with enough inventory to find a home you love, while benefiting from sellers lowering prices before the fall. Therefore, the best month to buy a house is August.

Generally speaking, buyers

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9 Options to Choose From

Your house was perfect for you and your family when you bought it — years ago. But you’ve all grown, and now it’s time to find something that’s a better fit.

In short, you need to buy a new house while selling your current one. How do you do this? What are your options?

First: Do your research

Before you begin the process of choosing the best way to buy a house while selling your own, talk to a real estate agent who can explain your options to you. “The most important thing is to make sure you are partnered with someone who knows and understands all of your options,” says Beth Nordaune, a top real estate agent in Rochester, Minnesota.

Before you decide how you’ll buy a house while your current house is on the market, a real estate agent can give you a sense for what your house

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