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Buying a home is one of the most exciting and most stressful situations you’ll experience, but it’s worth every moment. If you’re buying a home for the first time or even if you’ve purchased a home in the past, you should know there’s a right way to make a home purchase. There are numerous alternative ways to buy a home, but doing it right involves knowing how to get the best mortgage, how to afford a home, and how to make sure the process is as seamless as possible. These tips can help you do just that.

Compare Mortgage Rates

Buying a home is expensive, which is why it’s best to compare rates. Even if you’ve been banking with the same bank your entire adult life, you can search for better rates. Your bank might have the best rates, and it might not. The point is that you can’t get the best rate if you don’t do a comparison and find out which bank is offering you the lowest interest so you can minimize your mortgage payment and afford more house.

Check Your Credit Report

You might know you’ve never made a late payment or have debt, but you don’t know what’s on your credit report. Mistakes are made all the time, and your report might be the subject of a serious mistake. Someone else’s information might mistakenly be on your report. There could be information that’s old that never fell off, or information that’s not accurate. Your job is to find the mistakes and have them fixed before you apply for a mortgage. They can affect your rates, your approval, and the buying process.

Save for A Down Payment

There are numerous financial assistance programs that allows buyers with a low down payment or no down payment to secure a mortgage. These mortgages require buyers to pay Private Mortgage Insurance until the loan is less than 80% of the value of their home. It’s expensive, and it’s not always worth it for buyers.

Buying a home is done well when you are able to make a down payment. The traditional amount is 20% of the total value of the home. You should never finance more than 80% of the home’s value, because banks won’t allow you to finance that much without assistance. When you make a down payment, you go into your mortgage with instant equity in your home.

Know What You Can Afford

You can do the math, but you might not do it correctly. There’s more expense to buying a home than just paying a mortgage. Did you include taxes and insurance? You’ll also consider any fees for a homeowner’s association, lawn maintenance, utilities, water, cable, and any other expenses you might incur as a homeowner. It’s easy to forget you’re buying a home that requires electricity if you’ve never bought a home before, and sometimes these features take up a bit of your budget. Perhaps you can afford to spend $2,500 per month on a house, but that must include all the other expenses that go along with homeownership.

Get Pre-Approved

One of the most important things buyers do when searching for a home is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. This is not a mortgage, but it’s going to make the entire buying process simpler. Many sellers refuse to work with buyers if they haven’t a pre-approval. Many agents won’t show specific homes to buyers without a pre-approval. There are numerous reasons you need a pre-approval, and one of the most important is knowing what you can afford.

Many buyers assume they can afford so much home, but they can’t actually afford that in terms of a mortgage if their credit isn’t perfect or their income high enough. It’s far easier to seek pre-approval and know what you’re working with in terms of a mortgage than assume.

Buying a home is a delicate process, and these tips make it simpler. Each one is designed to allow buyers the chance to buy the best home for the best rates, and to make the best financial decisions. Don’t let the process be a difficult one to face. Follow these tips and enjoy the process of buying a home.