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How to prepare yourself to buy a first home

When Logan Hall, a 26-year-old fireman, decided to move from Corpus Christi to College Station, Texas, to live with his girlfriend Chelsi Pensy, he was determined not to waste money on rent.

“Chelsi is at Texas A & M and is going to be a veterinarian, so she’ll be in school a long time,” says Hall, who purchased a three-bedroom, two-bathroom single-family home for about $160,000. “The best thing I did was to talk to my friends and co-workers who told me about a homebuyer grant for first responders.”

Hall’s only regret is that he didn’t save more money before the purchase.

“I needed about $8,500 for the down payment and closing costs even with the homeownership grant,” he says.

His best resource, he adds, was real estate agent named Raylene Lewis, who he found when looking at houses on

“Raylene showed us a lot of places, so we could choose a neighborhood that works for us and she convinced the seller to come down a bit in price so we could afford it,” Hall says.

Here are tips for first-time homebuyers:

Prepare a budget

First-time purchasers need to be financially and emotionally ready to buy.

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