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10 STEPS TO PREPARE FOR HOME OWNERSHIP

Get Pre-Approved for a mortgage. Do this before you start looking for a home so you know what price range you can afford. When you are ready to make an offer, you will need a written pre approval. Once you have your letter you will be ready to make an offer when you find a house.


Develop your home wish list. Prioritize the features and be willing to compromise.


Decide where you would like to live. Take into account school district, work commute and any other things that will affect the location of your home.


Start Saving. Depending on the type of mortgage you are getting you will need enough money for your down payment and closing costs. You may also want money to pay for inspections, attorney fees etc which are not figured in to basic closing costs. Donít forget moving expenses, utility deposits and insurance. Make sure you have enough cash available to cover these costs plus a little extra cushion for emergencies.


Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report and make sure it is accurate. Most mortgages now require a minimum credit score of 640 to qualify. If yours is less than that you may want to get some credit counseling to raise your score high enough to qualify.


Explore your mortgage options. Talk with your lender about the different types of loans you may qualify for and what the requirements will be so you can make an educated decision.


Organize your documentation. In order to get approved for a mortgage your lender will require W2 forms, recent pay stubs, tax returns, account numbers of credit cards , installment loans and bank accounts. Gathering this together now will save you scrambling for paperwork at the last minute.


Check out other forms of assistance you may qualify for. There may be grant programs and down payment assistance that you can qualify for. Most of these require you to take some sort of class before you can qualify for the program. Do your homework early so you know what the requirements will be.


Calculate the cost of homeownership. Besides your mortgage payment donít forget to include taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance costs. When you own a home if the furnace goes out, you have to buy a new one. Don’t forget to budget for these possibilities.


Contact a Realtor. Find an experienced Realtor to partner with you and guide you through the home buying process.

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