No matter your age, saving up for a home can feel overwhelming, especially if you’ve never gone through the process before. There are a lot of details that go into saving up and actually purchasing a house. The first step you need to take is actually saving up for the home; while you can talk to realtors and look at houses, there’s not much of a point to doing so if you’re far away from being able to afford it. Here are some steps to more successfully save for the home you want.

Decide on location

As you start saving for purchasing a home, you need to have an idea of the type of costs you’ll need to cover. One of the biggest influences on how much money you’ll need to save and budget for is the location of your future home. Houses will cost significantly more depending on where they’re located; you need to decide if you value the area or if you’d be alright living further away in a more affordable location. You also need to take into account annual property taxes and if you can afford them in addition to your new home. Once you decide on a location for a house, you have a clearer idea of how much it’ll cost.

Choose the type of house

Next, decide on the type of home you wish to buy. Do you want a smaller starter home? Do you need a certain amount of bedrooms? Are there additional details you want your home to have, such as hardwood floors or a lot of land? The type of house and property you want to purchase heavily influences what the cost will be.

Create a budget

If you do not already have a budget, create one now. You can always adjust it as the details become clearer on the type of home you want, but the sooner you can cut back on expenses and begin saving, the better. A budget makes it clear how much money you can spend each month and how much you should be saving. This information becomes even more important once you have a mortgage to cover each month.

Meet with a professional

At some point, speaking with a financial and real estate professional would be beneficial. They can work with you on the realistic costs of the type of home you’re looking to purchase and help you determine if your budget is the best it can be.

Pay off debt

If you’re planning on taking out a mortgage, aim to pay off nearly all of your other debt before doing so, particularly credit card debt. Anything that has a high interest rate, aim to pay it off before you purchase your home.

Create aggressive goals

As you begin saving for your house, create aggressive goals. You have your budget to help guide you and you can pay more attention to how you’re spending money. If you can cut back spending in some areas, do it. The more aggressive your savings goals, the better.