First-Time Home Buyer Guide

If you’re a first-time home buyer, purchasing a house can fulfill a dream. To make it come true, you’ll have to navigate a maze of procedures and work with agents, sellers and lenders, to name just a few of the players you’ll meet along the way. The good news: There’s a lot of information out there. The bad news: It’s hard to tell where the free advice ends and the sales pitch begins. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

Buying your first home, one simple step at a time

From finding the right neighborhood to choosing a mortgage and closing the loan, we’ll walk you through the process. We’ve spoken to experts who’ve done the deal, made the mistakes and want to share what they know.

Let’s get started.

If you’re just starting your home search, you’ll find links and tools higher up on this page. If you’re ready to find a lender, choose a mortgage or close on your loan, resources for you are farther down the page.

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Decide where to live

Deciding where to live can be a tough call. We have tools to help.

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Learn what you can afford

We’ll help you understand your price range based on your financial situation.

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Prepare your credit

The higher your credit score, the better interest rate and other terms you’ll get.

Save for a down

It’s often the biggest roadblock you face. See if you have enough saved.

How to Get Preapproved for a Car Loan — and What to Do Next

Get preapproved and shop homes

A mortgage preapproval letter can put you ahead of other buyers.

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Choose the best

First-time home buyer programs can help you save.

Choose the right lender

Don’t settle for the first lender’s offer; you’ll save by looking at more than one.

mortgage preapproval

How to apply

Avoid last-minute hiccups by preparing for the application process.

Buying a House, the First Steps

Get ready to close

You’re in the home stretch; close like a pro.