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Buying a Home
If you are in the market, planning to buy a home, then you need to determine what you can and cannot afford. This step will save you a lot of wasted effort and time and help you move forward to becoming a homeowner. Typically, lenders will want to keep your monthly mortgage payment so that it does not total more than 29% of your total monthly gross income. Another important factor in determining how much home you can afford is the current interest rate. The key is to secure the lowest interest rate possible since the lower the rate, the more mortgage, or home, you can afford. You can work with a qualified lender that can guide you through the process so your dreams of being a homeowner become a reality.

Once you know you are ready for a home, you want to start putting your “wish list” together. This list would be everything you want in a home. Now keep in mind that as you look at various homes, chances are you will have to modify your list somewhat but this will at least serve as a foundation on which to build. For instance, if you have two children, a boy and a girl, then you know you need a three-bedroom home. For this size family, one bathroom would work but two would be better. In other words, list the things you really want and need so you have a starting point.

Working with a real estate agent with whom you are comfortable is also imperative. This person will show you various homes that match your criteria, help you make good offers, answer questions, hook you up with a reputable lender, and close the deal. If you are not sure where to find a realtor, you can always ask family members or friends for recommendations but if they do not know of one, then you can check your local yellow pages or check out www.realtors.com.

Together with the real estate agent and lender, you will find out the various programs available as well as the one of which you would qualify. For instance, there are FHA, Conventional, and VA loans, with each offering special programs. Additionally, you will learn about various programs that can help individuals get into a home where otherwise, they would not qualify.

When you do find the home of your dreams, one of the most important things you need to do is work with a good home inspector. This person is a licensed and authorized inspector that will go through every inch of the home you want to buy and look for problems. When problems are found, they are logged and then you and your realtor will talk about them.

Depending on the type of loan you qualify for, some of the problems will have to be fixed to complete the loan process. However, other problems might be minor and something you can take care of yourself after closing on the house. Typically, the seller will be responsible for making most, if not all of the issues found, which is why an inspector for you is so crucial.

 
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