Sunday, November 04, 2007

Five Tips For First-Time Buyers

  1. Check your credit before you apply for a loan. You can get a free credit report by contacting one of the big three credit reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian or Trans Union. Do what you can to improve your credit score if it isn’t in the excellent range. You may need to pay off credit cards, close some accounts or correct errors in your credit report.
  2. Plan your housing budget realistically. Figure out how much cash you have to put toward a down payment and closing costs. List all the expenses you’ll incur as a homeowner, including estimated property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, repairs and new furnishings. (We can supply estimates for you.) Add your other regular expenses for car payments and loans, transportation, clothing, food, recreation, medical care, college fees, retirement savings, etc. What’s left over will be the realistic monthly home payment you can afford—even if you are approved to borrow more.
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