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Preparing Your Finances for Homeownership

Are you considering buying a new home? Now is the perfect time to get organized. Buying a home is one of the largest investments you will make, so it's important to be well prepared before taking the leap. Follow these tips to prepare your finances for home ownership.
Get your credit in order. Your credit is a large factor in determining whether or not you qualify for a mortgage, so find out your credit score at least three months before buying. The higher the score, the easier it will be to qualify for a mortgage. Prepare for Expenses Before you Buy. Understand and plan for what you will need to spend before the actual purchase. You'll need enough cash for a down payment, closing costs, and a few months worth of mortgage payments. Go ahead and figure out other expenses like moving costs, furniture, and repairs. Know how much you can afford. Before you jump into a contract, make sure it's something you can actually afford. List and total your monthly expenses, then subtract that from your monthly net income. Here's a good rule to keep in mind: your total housing costs should be no more than 30% of your net pay. Also, remember that ... more

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