10 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

By RACHEL CRUZE Ramsey Personality | June 6, 2020


Being a first-time home buyer is exciting! But I know it can also feel overwhelming—especially when you see homes being purchased at a median of $250,000 and available homes flying off the market in just three weeks.

With real estate trends like those, you might be tempted to make an impulsive purchase that could hurt your financial goals and keep you paying a mortgage well into retirement.

No one wants that! Trust me, you guys, it’s worth doing this the right way. And that means buying a home that you love and doesn’t hurt your future money goals.

You may be thinking, Yeah, that would be great, Rachel. But where do I even start?

I’m so glad you asked! I’ve put together 10 tips for first-time home buyers as they tackle the home-buying process. Put these into practice today so your first home is a blessing, not a burden.

First-Time Home Buyer Tips

  1. Pay Off All Debt and Build an Emergency Fund

  2. Determine How Much House You Can Afford

  3. Save a Down Payment

  4. Save for Closing Costs

  5. Get Preapproved for a Loan

  6. Find a Home for Sale in Your Price Range

  7. Research Neighborhoods for Best Fit

  8. Attend Open Houses and Think Long Term

  9. Make a Competitive Offer (That’s Within Your Budget!)

  10. Prepare for Closing

1. Pay Off All Debt and Build an Emergency Fund

Owning a home is expensive—much more expensive than renting, even if your monthly house payment will be similar or cheaper than your current rent amount. That’s because when you own a home, you’re responsible for all the maintenance and upkeep costs. And those can add up fast! So, before you even think about buying your first home, make sure you’re debt-free and have an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses in place.