If you are considering purchasing a home, whether it is your first or your fourth, the process can seem daunting at the outset. While the home buying process can be a bit complex, taking it one step at a time will help you make the right decisions.

HUD outlines nine steps to first time home buyers to follow. Even if you are an experienced buyer, these steps are a good place to start to determine whether or not it is time to make a new purchase.

Step 1: How Much Can You Afford?

Before you even begin looking, determine how much you can afford to borrow. Use mortgage calculators to figure the monthly payment on particular house values. Be sure to consider the cost of insurance and taxes for the home. Lenders are also a good source of information about the cost of a mortgage.

Step 2: Learn Your Rights

Choose a lender that is licensed and registered with the Better Business Bureau to protect your borrowing rights.

Step 3: Find a Loan

By taking some time to shop around, you will save money on your mortgage. Choose a lender with competitive costs and interest rates. Do not be afraid to negotiate for a better loan. Get pre-approved so you can make bids on a home with confidence.

Step 4: Research Home Buying Programs

No matter what your home buying situation, you may find that home buying programs, like the FHA loan, USDA home loan, or a jumbo loan, fit your home buying needs. Take the time to research your options.

Step 5: Find Your Home

Consider using a real estate agent to help you find a home. Spend some time touring homes and learning about neighborhoods. Review any Home Owners Association rules before making an offer on a home that has an HOA.

Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have chosen a home, make an offer with your real estate agent’s help. Be prepared to counter offer until you and the home’s seller reach an agreement.

Step 7: Get the Home Inspected

Even if your state does not require a home inspection, you should have it done. Make the offer contingent on passing an inspection. The inspector will be able to point out any costly repairs the home may need.

Step 8: Choose insurance

Your mortgage provider will require you to have homeowners insurance on your property. Take some time to shop for the right insurance product while you wait for the closing on your home.

Step 9: Close on the Property

Attend the settlement or closing, where you will sign the papers that make your home ownership and mortgage official. Read and understand everything before you sign.