There are several things a first time home buyer needs to know, and it is very important that you not only understand the process, but feel comfortable while you are going through it. From selecting a Realtor, to moving in, there are a lot of steps and each one is very important.
Lending - As a first time home buyer, you may qualify for programs that assist you in the purchase of your home. Many of them have reduced closing costs, or assistance with the interest rate you will pay. A good Lender will be able to clearly explain your options, and what each one means to you. It is very important that you feel comfortable with your lender, so talk to several before you choose the one for you.
Prequalification - Once you have chosen your Lender, he or she will gather your credit information and let you know how much house you can afford. This information is then given to your Realtor to help select the best properties. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to go out looking at property, fall in love with a house, and not be able to afford it. From that point on, no other house will 'measure up', and it will make the process much more difficult.
Payment - Once you know how much you qualify for, you need to sit down and decide if the payment will work with your budget. If you qualify for more payment than you are comfortable with, then you need to look at a house that has a smaller payment. It is not fun being "married" to your house - so lets choose one you can afford.
House hunting - This is the fun part. Sit down with your Realtor and let them know the most important things you are looking for. Whether it is a house that faces west, or a mandatory doggie door, you list of needs will be as individual as you are, and it will help your Realtor find you your next HOME!