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10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership
10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership
Getting ready to buy a home? Here are 10 ways to prepare for homeownership:
1. Decide what you can afford. Generally, a home's sale price should not exceed 2.5 times your gross annual income or salary.
2. Develop your home wish list. Decide what you absolutely must have, and what you would like to have but can live without. Then, prioritize those features on your list.
3. Select where you want to live. Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in by taking into account items such as schools, proximity to family and friends, commute time and public transportation options, recreational facilities, health care facilities, real estate values, area expansion plans, and safety (crime rates and statistics).
4. Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. But, you can buy a home with as little as 3.5% or even no money down. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs such as appraisal, home inspections, attorney’s fee, recording fees, homeowner's insurance prepaid for 1 year, escrow for taxes and insurance. Closing costs usually average between 2 and 5 percent of the price of the home. 
5. Get your credit in order. Your credit score ... more

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