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5 Tips for Finding Your New Home

House hunting is just like any other shopping expedition. If you identify exactly what you want and do some research, you’ll zoom in on the home you want at the best price. These eight tips will guide you through a smart homebuying process.
 
    Know yourself and what fits. Understand the type of home that suits your personality. Do you prefer a new or existing home? A ranch or a multi-story home? If you’re leaning toward a fixer-upper, are you truly handy, or will you need to budget for contractors?  
    Get your finances in order. Generally, lenders say you can afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. Create a budget so you know how much you’re comfortable spending each month on housing. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to investigate financing. Gather your financial records and meet with a lender to get a prequalification letter spelling out how much you’re eligible to borrow. The lender won’t necessarily consider the extra fees you’ll pay when you purchase or your plans to begin a family or purchase a new car, so shop in a price range you’re comfortable with. Also, presenting an offer ... more

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