You're not alone. Now is a great time to think about buying. There are outstanding programs still available for first time buyers and rates are still at an all time low!
First of all, learn the financing basics. You will need to sit down with a lender to go over all your finances and they will write up a pre-approval letter for you to present to sellers with an offer.
Since you probably have been paying someone else's mortgage in the form of rent, you know the value of keeping up the monthly payments and you budget is probably equipped to handle monthly payments. BUT there are some more costs involved with a mortgage. You have property Taxes and insurance that you won't have with renting. These can be included in your monthly payment or you can pay
Programs for first-time buyers. There are several local or federal government programs that help first time buyers get into the housing market. I can direct you to a lender to discuss these options with you and feel free to shop around to get the best rates and fees.
Your lender. Your bank or credit union may help as well. Are you debt free and own something free and clear, like a car? Your lender may lend you the down-payment by securing it against this asset. Start by becoming pre-approved. This is not just pre-qualified, this is a letter from the lender stating you actually can afford to buy a home; a valuable resource when presenting and offer to the seller.
Private contracts. Look for a seller to help you buy and finance your home. Some sellers are willing to carry the contract themselves and will waive the down payment. You may only have to pay the monthly mortgage installments.
Need financial solutions?
Credit or tax problems. Do you have problems with your credit rating or owe money in taxes? Buying your first home is still a possibility. Check with your lending institution about options, such as paying a higher down- payment.