With mortgage interest rates hovering just over 3%, there has not been a better time to consider purchasing a home. If you do the math, you will find you are likely paying more towards renting than you would if you purchased your own property. Here are some things to consider while preparing to buy your first home.

Step 1. Prepare, plan, and look ahead.

Many first time home buyers fail to prepare. They don’t have buying a home in mind so their spending, choices, and lifestyle were not set up to support purchasing a home. They may have an opportunity to buy but quickly realize that the new car they bought last month with a $650 monthly payment is what stands between them and their own home. They likely would not have purchased that car had they planned to buy a house. Make a commitment to prepare, plan, and create new habits to set yourself up for success. This is the key that will lead to opening the front door of your own home.

Step 2. Sit down with a mortgage broker and see where you are now.

Many first-time homebuyers fear meeting with a mortgage loan officer. Please understand that there is no fee involved to do this. Even you are not ready now, they can help you set up a plan so, in the future, you can be. It is essential to know what steps are needed so that you can prepare and focus on the areas that matter. A mortgage broker will take the guesswork out of it.

Step 3. Consider that you deserve homeownership and that your home could lead to financial freedom.

The most common mistake a potential first-time home buyer makes is thinking they can not obtain homeownership yet. They believe it’s something you do when you have lots of money and when you are older. They fail to realize that there are $0 down payment loan programs, sellers may be happy to pay for the buyer’s closing costs, and they may just need 2 months of their monthly payment saved for a rainy day to qualify for a home purchase.

Its never too early to sit down with a mortgage loan officer to learn what is needed, where you are and what needs to be done in order for you to purchase your first property.

Kellie Pali is the owner of Creative Financial, Maui’s most creative mortgage company (NMLS #328053). For more information, visit CreativeFinancialHawaii.com.