Buying a home is a huge undertaking. It is not a decision you should make lightly or without preparation.
CNN explains you need to take time, sometimes years, to get yourself in the right position to buy a home. There are many things you need to get into place financially prior to starting your hunt for a house.
While your credit score only impacts your ability to buy a home slightly, it will help determine your interest rate. You want to have the lowest rate possible, so you should try to increase your credit score as much as possible before buying.
While there are some loans you can get that do not require a down payment or only require a small one, it is in your best interest to have a nice down payment. The money you put down decreases the amount you must borrow for the mortgage. Ideally, you want to put as much down as possible, which will require you to prepare years ahead of time so that you can save back the money.
You should never deplete your finances to buy a home. It is essential you have all the money you need for the down payment, closing costs and other expenses plus a cushion in your bank account for after the purchase. If you will be at a zero balance, then it is not the right time to buy.
Getting your finances in order is the best way to ensure you get a good deal on your mortgage and that you can have financial stability after the purchase.