Do you spend hours on Zillow or Trulia, endlessly bookmarking homes you never actually go and see? Does the thought of discussing your finances make you want to reach for a bag of chips and the remote? Is the down payment monster hiding under your bed? Yet you know, deep down, that you are tired of writing a rent check and would rather be paying your own mortgage instead of the landlord’s?

Welcome to First-Time Home Buyers, the Prequel.

When you’re new to the idea of home ownership, any one of the admittedly many steps can seem like a roadblock. But getting into a home is actually easier than you might think. It’s a process. And like all processes, it’s actually just a series of teeny, tiny steps. Like these:

1) Talk with a lender

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to the financial side of buying a house, then you’re totally…normal! This is what loan officers (aka mortgage bankers) are for. In fact, their job is to help you determine whether you’re financially ready to buy a home, and if so, how much you can afford – and if you’re not, steps you can take to get there, including cleaning up your credit. Also, they’re great at explaining things.

2) Talk with a Realtor

Once you have a clear financial picture it’s time to find a Realtor – that person who knows the housing market, is skilled in the processes of buying and selling properties, and who seems to “get” you and yours. The road to the right house may have a bump or two, and you’re going to want a knowledgeable and trusted ally by your side.

There are more steps, of course, but these are your first priorities – because once you have your “home” team of lender and real estate agent, you have guides who will bring all their expertise to bear on your behalf. Making each teeny, tiny step easy and even fun.

So what are you waiting for? Make your move!