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The Home Buying Process – Important First Steps

The home buying process is something that most of the population experiences only a few times within the course of a lifetime – with good reason. Not only is this a time full of anticipation it is also, in many cases, filled with angst. Worries about credit history, job security, savings, budgeting, down payments, closing costs, and so many other things all bring stress into a sometimes already stressful situation. There are things you can do that will greatly reduce the amount of stress involved throughout the entire home buying process if you are of a mind to do so.

There are certain actions you can take that will make the entire home buying process far less stressful and much more enjoyable to you as the buyer of a new home. One of the first things you should do, before you even begin looking at homes is get a grip on your credit situation. The state of your credit will ultimately determine how much you will pay for your home. The better your credit, the less interest you will have to pay over the course of your loan. Also realize that while many lenders will take a risk on those with less than stellar credit, they still have certain standards that they must maintain.

Before you begin the home buying process, order a copy of your credit report from all the major reporting agencies. Go over your report with a fine-toothed comb and check for any errors or anything that might not be one hundred percent accurate. If you find discrepancies, be sure to take the appropriate steps to report the errors. Also be on guard for instances of possible identity theft. Identity theft is a growing crime and can have a profound impact on your ability to receive credit as well as the interest rates that are available to you, which will also impact you throughout your home buying process.

Once you have your credit situation well in hand and have a pretty good idea of what the major reporting agencies have to say about your credit worthiness, you can begin with the nuts and bolts of the home buying process. One of the first things you should do at this point is start checking around for loan pre-approval. Be aware that the interest rate is the one thing that will most profoundly impact how much you will ultimately pay for your home. The lower the interest rate the better. Don’t get sucked in by offers for free vacations, toasters, or luggage, go with the lowest interest rates and buy those things for yourself with your savings.

Once you’ve found the perfect financing and have a decent idea of how much money the lending institutions that be have decided to entrust you with, you may begin the home buying process in earnest. One of the greatest things about having pre approval for your loan is that those selling homes will take your offer far more seriously because they know you essentially have ‘money in hand’. This actually gives you an edge over other bidders in a competitive market and many bank owned properties will not even entertain a bid without a letter of credit or some sort of proof of funds.

There are many steps involved throughout the process of purchasing a home. Many feel that the steps before purchasing are unnecessary the truth however is that they are often the most important. It would be devastating to find out that your identity has been stolen and your credit ruined only after placing a bid on the home of your dreams. Taking the necessary steps at the beginning of the home buying process can save you not only time but also money later in the process.

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