The Step-By-Step Guide to Buying Your First Home

key in hand with real estate

Buying your first home is exciting — but also intimidating.

So much money. So many questions. So many options.

Take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone, which is why Real Estate by Joe Manausa has assembled this guide to help you shop, sign, and settle in happily.

Ready to get moving? Then get reading.


Many first-time-home-buyers are eager to begin viewing properties.

All too often, they fall in love with the pristine bungalow or modern condo, only to learn too late that they can’t afford it.

Save yourself from such heartbreak by setting up a meeting with a mortgage lender.

Find out how much house you can afford. Generally speaking, this should be a house that’s about three times your annual income, but your down payment, debt and credit history will factor into your pre-approval as well.

Also, don’t forget that you’ll also need to cover closing costs, which are usually around 2 percent of the purchase price.

House Hunting

Once you have a price range to narrow your search, it’s a good idea to do a little soul searching.

Where do you want to live? What kind of house do you see yourself making a home in?

If you have children, you’ll need to consider school zones. How far away from work are you willing to live? Do you want a single-family home with a yard for Fido, or would you be happier in a low-maintenance condo? Don’t forget that with a home comes monthly costs that should also weigh in your decision.

After formulating an idea of the house that would be right for you, connect with a realtor, who will be able to help you locate properties that check all your boxes.

Make an Offer

When you’ve found a house that’s just right for you, it will be time for perhaps the most nerve-wracking portion of the home buying process: making an offer.

This is when you’ll be thankful you have a knowledgeable, savvy realtor on your side.

Your offer will in large part be determined by supply and demand. The seller may be asking $250,000, but what his or her property is really worth will depend on the current market conditions.

Your Realtor will help you study comparable properties and the competition you’re facing for the property of your choice, and help you make an offer that is both competitive and in your best interest.

While it’s natural to be excited at this point in the process, and to begin dreaming of where you’ll place your furniture, don’t uncork the champagne just yet. Your offer will usually be contingent on a successful home inspection.

What your inspector finds may impact your offer, or in the worst case, make you change your mind altogether.


Your first home buying experience will surely be an adventure.

You may find yourself loving neighborhoods you’d never before considered. You may have your heart set on building a house from scratch, but end up putting money down on a fixer-upper you can customize.

There will be ups and downs — but, sooner or later, there will also be a moving day!

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