Where Do I Start?

Your family is growing, you don’t want to rent or you just need a change of scenery — whatever your reason, you’re ready to find your new home and may be asking yourself several questions: How do I buy a house and where do I start? What to consider when buying a home? Don’t worry — we’re here to make the process as smooth and painless as possible. By creating a list of items to consider as you take this journey, we’ll help you get a jump-start on homebuying. Explore the steps below, and check off your progress along the way.

Familiarize yourself with your finances.

Before you start looking for a home, it’s important to know how much you can afford and how much you want to spend (as a general rule, you want to spend no more than 30 percent of your monthly gross income on housing). Review your existing expenses and income and calculate what your monthly budget should be. In addition, determine how much you want to save for a down payment  or how much you’re willing to contribute from your savings for a down payment. Get started with our finance calculators.

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Create your ideal home wish list.

Make a list of everything you’ve ever wanted in a dream home. Think about size, location and design options. Also, make note of what you absolutely don’t want in your new home, so that your dream house reflects your preferences. Here are some thought starters to get you going.

• Single-story or two-story home?
• Number of bedrooms? Bathrooms?
• How much square footage do you need?
• Is the school district important?
• Are community amenities such as a pool, walking trails, and playgrounds important?
• Consider some of the house features you'd like - from gas fireplaces, to tile backsplashes and mudrooms.
• Do you want space to relax on an outdoor oasis or patio?
• How soon would you like to move in? What's your timeline?

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Research homes and communities.

Consider important factors, like the quality of area schools, how well-kept the community is, area crime reports, nearby shopping and dining options, commute times and what area growth looks like.

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Determine if you're working with or without an agent.

Some buyers choose to work with a real estate agent, while others choose not to. It’s all a matter of preference. Working with a real estate agent may be beneficial for answering questions and submitting paperwork. If you currently own a home, an agent will also come in handy to help you put your home on the market and provide expert advice.


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Pictures and other images are representative and may depict or contain floor plans, square footages, elevations, options, upgrades, landscaping, furnishings, appliances, and designer/decorator features and amenities that are not included as part of the home and/or may not be available in all communities. All estimates and claims related to energy savings/performance are created exclusively by third party suppliers, rating services, utility companies, and/or certified auditors, based on DOE methodology and average energy use and scores. Actual energy savings/performance of any home or any of its features may vary widely, depending in part on location, occupant behavior and changes in energy provider rates and programs. Home, pricing, features, and community information is subject to change, and homes to prior sale, at any time without notice or obligation. Not an offer or solicitation to sell real property. Offers to sell real property may only be made and accepted at the sales center for individual Meritage Homes communities. Meritage Homes®, Meritage Active Adult, and Monterey Homes are trademarks of Meritage Homes Corporation. 

The foregoing information is provided solely for general information purposes and is not intended in any way as financial, securities, insurance, tax, or legal advice or services. Each potential homebuyer may have unique financial and other considerations that may be important to any home buying, financing or related decision. Accordingly, Meritage does not assume any duty or liability in providing the foregoing information and expressly disclaims all representations and warranties of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to such information. Potential homebuyers that desire additional information or guidance tailored to their specific situation should contact a relevant professional. Location information obtained from public sources and believed to be correct, but Meritage makes no representation or warranty with respect thereto.