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Making a Checklist—What Do You Want In A Home?
Finding a Home
Choosing a Realtor® to Sell Your Home
What is the Difference in an Agent, Broker and Realtor®
Evaluating a Real Estate Agency to Sell Your Home
Evaluating a Real Estate Agency When Buying a Home
Determining a List Price for Your Home
The Home Tour and Making an Offer
Selling Your House On Your Own
Best Marketing Tips—How to Market Your Home
The Process of Buying a Home
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The Process of Buying a Home - BUYERS

  • Clarify your reasons to buy. Because it is such a weighty commitment, buying a home shouldn't come with regret or second thoughts. Before you buy or even begin the process, make sure that your reasons and resolve to buy a home are clear and firm.
  • Get your financial house in order. It's hard to have any idea about how much home you can afford if you don't know how much of your money you want to devote toward housing. If you haven't done so already, thinking about buying a home is a perfect reason to get your finances in order.
  • Check your credit history. Even if you aren't going to buy a house, this is a good idea. If your credit report has mistakes or other blemishes, your credit rating will suffer. As a result, you will hurt your chances of securing financing and will probably pay higher interest rates or possibly not be able to secure financing.
  • Figure out how much home you can afford. Getting an accurate estimate of what priced home you can afford will make your search more realistic and efficient. It may even give you cause to reconsider buying altogether.
  • Get pre-qualified. When preparing to buy a home, you estimate how much home you can afford. Now it's the lender's turn. Using financial information that you provide, pre-qualification is a lender's analysis of your general position as a borrower, or in other words, an estimate of what you can afford. Getting pre-qualified gives you an even clearer understanding of what home you will be able to afford, and a pre-qualification letter from your lender helps strengthen your position with sellers in the early stages of negotiation.
  • Shop for loans. Finding a good loan is probably the most confusing part of the process (and definitely the dullest), but since it will dictate how much your monthly payment will be, it deserves your full attention. To simplify, your job is to decide what kind of loan you want, whom you want to get it from and how long you want the term to be (most are either for 15 or 30 years).
  • Get pre-approved. When you get pre-approved, a lender gives a firm commitment to loan you up to a set amount without knowing the specific property. It's particularly useful because when you make an offer on a home, waiting for financing won't jeopardize your offer. Once you are pre-approved, closing the loan is quick, depending only on a satisfactory appraisal and title report of the home. To get pre-approved you apply for a certain purchase price, loan amount and loan program, but these assumptions can change after you're pre-approved.

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