Being a first time home buyer can be exciting and immensely rewarding, but sometimes the journey to getting the keys to your dream home is more frustrating than you expected. Here are a few tips for first time home buyers to make the process a little bit smoother. Owning a home can be an expensive accomplishment because of your responsibility to the maintenance costs, utilities, upkeeping, and not to mention surprise problems. All of these costs can add up quickly, so it is recommended that home buyers be up-to-date with their bills and have as less debt as possible. Another tip that could help, especially for those pop-up expenses, is to save an emergency fund that could keep you afloat in the case of an unplanned situation. When searching for a home, to begin with, many first time home buyers can be easily sidetracked with properties that may not be within their budget. Before getting attached to a house that is out of your comfort zone, you should look into getting pre-approved by a lender or bank to establish the range of what you can afford. This saves your time and expectations of the kind of house you should be searching for. Another prime method of searching for a home is by narrowing down the neighborhoods that interest you and attending open houses in the area. Although it may not be realistic to have to ask you to pay the total price of your home upfront, it is wise to save the amount you would require for the down payment of a home. You should be aiming for a minimum of 20% of the total home value, if not more. This allows you to save money in the long run because you would not have to pay for private mortgage insurance, which protects mortgage company you used in the case you cannot afford to continue your mortgage payments. Another cost you should be saving for is your closing costs once you are ready to sign, which includes payments for the appraisal, home inspection, credit report, attorney fees, and homeowner’s insurance.