Buying your first home can be one of the most rewarding yet stressful experiences of your life. There are several factors that come into play when starting the search. It is paramount to have your affairs in order before moving alone in the process.

First and foremost: Your finances. If you don’t have a very colorful credit score, you may want to way a little while before you’re thinking of purchasing a home. With a score below 750 and especially 700, you may not get a very intriguing rate with your mortgage. Take time to build your credit if it isn’t already established.

Once your credit is in line, you should have at least 10% down payment on hand—meaning 10% of the value of the home, in cash. With FHA, VA and USDA loans becoming…

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