Buying your first home will be one of the most intimidating purchases you’ll make. While the purchase itself is a large sum to handle, the intricate details of the home buying process don’t make it any easier. Between home loans, mortgages, refinancing, and the attached variability these things carry, home ownership can seem like more of a hassle than it’s worth.

We’re here to help guide you through the process, but we’ll start small. Buying your first home requires a little preparation work that’ll ensure you have all your financial ducks in a row. Before you waltz up to the first house you see and start throwing cash at it, let’s look at some things that’ll make sure you know what you’re doing and keep you away from haphazard homeownership.

Credit kerfuffles

We don’t want to sound like your parents, and it may seem like beating a dead horse, but staying on top of your credit is imperative to being able to qualify for a mortgage. Analyze your credit history well before entering the home buying process. Look for inconsistencies, mistakes, ways to improve. After all, a mortgage is a large sum of borrowed money that you’ll need to repay over time. Your credit score, history, and proficiency are all determinants that make or break your ability to qualify and the trust a lender has in you.

Get to know yourself

Applying for mortgages and pursuing homeownership bring all sorts of personal details that we don’t regularly pay attention to. It’s not every day that we scour our entire foundation of assets, but now is the time. How much are you really worth? What are your personal risk factors that might play into a mortgage? Do you have any loose ends financially? Brushing up on economics and learning the details of home buying is important to staying fiscally responsible through the buying process. Plus, you’ll learn a great deal about your financial reaches and limits.

The down payment doozy

Depending on the cost of the home you’re looking at, the down payment is one of the most financially worrisome parts of buying. Plainly put, it’s a lot of money all at once. In a 2017 survey, 13% of all home buyers said that saving for the initial down payment was the hardest part of the home buying process. A down payment is something you should have solidified or saved for prior to the process. You’re not alone here, so shop around, do research, ask advice, and don’t forget that this is your process, so planning it the way that best suits your financial situation is essential to paving your own path.

We know it’s not easy, but you aren’t alone out there. Multitudes of people are buying homes for the first time and they’re just as intimidated. Talk to new homeowners, hire professionals, and never fear to ask questions. Entering this process for the first time with eyes wide open will make sure that you aren’t a blindsided buyer and that your first home purchase is handled without a hiccup.