Well done! You have decided you want to become a first-time homebuyer! In order to start this process you want to begin with some financial planning. I like breaking any process into smaller steps and this one is no different. Let’s take a three-step approach to financially planning to buy your first home. I like the ABCs of preparing for a home. This is an approach that a lot of professional financial planners like to take with their clients and I have applied it to my real estate clients as well. A is assets; making sure that you're saving enough money for the purchase of the home and all the additional costs that come along with becoming a homeowner. Assets is also in line with having an emergency fund. Depending on the complexity of your family dynamic you will determine what feels like a healthy emergency fund, as a rule of thumb you want to be able to cover about three to six months of expenses. B is budget. Budgets do not have to be complicated color coded excel sheets while these can be lots of fun and keep you quite organized adjust them to your personality. I personally love writing mine out monthly, I feel more connected to my finances when I write them out. Keep track of how much your expenses are, how much your income is and what the difference between those two things is. This step will really help you determine how much you can pay monthly for a home and still have money left over to pay your bills, other debt, and contribute to your savings account. And C is credit. Paying attention to your credit score is a very important part of securing a home loan, ensure that you're paying off your debt, or at least paying it down consistently, and making sure that you're utilizing your credit very wisely. There are many options for all kinds of financials and lifestyle preferences. Lenders like to use a range of 36%-41% DTI (debt to income) ratios but you will have to ultimately make the decision of what works best for your lifestyle! Try the below calculator it will help you determine what you can pay monthly. Email me back if you need additional help with budgeting and determining what a comfortable monthly mortgage payment would be for your situation.