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I want to buy a home - now what?
I want to buy a home - Now What?

Over the past week or so I have been following a couple of threads on Zillow and Trulia posted by potential home buyers who want to know where to start on the home buying process.  The answers from Realtors is almost universally the same .... talk to a lender and get pre qualified for your purchase.  I must respectfully disagree!  Getting pre qualified is important but it is not he first step.

Making a down payment and qualifying for a mortgage is very different from making sure that you are really financially ready to buy a home.  As a buyers agent my over riding premise for my clients is that I want their home ownership experience to be a blessing and not a burden.  

So before you even talk to a lender ask yourself these questions. Be honest with yourself, you are the only one will hear the answers :-)

Do you have money in the bank?  In almost all situations you will need a down payment.  FHA loans require 3.5%.  Beyond the down payment you need to have cash reserves.  The lender might only require 1-3 ... more

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