I lived in Los Angeles for 12 years paying over $150,000 in rent. That was money that I was never going to get back. Had I owned a home, I would have been able to roll that $150,000 of equity into a new purchase. My fiancee and finally realized that renting was the worse thing that we could to do ourselves financially, so we committed ourselves to purchasing a new home. In order to determine how much we could afford to spend, where we could afford to spend it and how much we would need as a down payment, we had to scour the web to educate ourselves about the entire home buying process from mortgage basics to appraisal estimates.