If you really want to be a homeowner, instead of paying the mortgage for your landlord, there are likely a few things you've been doing already.
Hopefully you've been stashing some cash. Yes, there are lots of loan programs that require little down, but the more cash you have the better. Better for your down payment and interest rate. Better for any work your possible new home may need after close of escrow.
Best set home buyers have really looked through their budget. Decided what they can cut out, what they still have to keep in. Therefore they can determine what they are comfortable spending every month towards housing expenses. A lender can frequently qualify your for a large mortgage, but you still need to be comfortable paying it every month. Don't forget about your tax benefits of home ownership. Ask your tax person what kind of annual savings you can expect.
You've probably been stalking neighborhoods that you find attractive. Ones that you are pretty sure you can afford and that offer the amenities you feel important for your way of living. Keep stalking!
Smart home buyers pay special attention to what they must have to fulfill their needs. Not their wants, their needs. Do you really need granite counters? Or do you really need 3 bedrooms and a yard instead? Always put together a list of wants, but the needs really should be top priority. Those wants can usually be added later.
So, if you've been dreaming about buying a home,
consider this information and see if you're ready!