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Before You Buy

      When you are contemplating the purchase of a new home, there are a few things that you should consider before you put a lot of time into looking for your ideal house. Three things are primary:

1.   Identify what you want and what you need in a house.
2.   Consult a mortgage lender and get pre approved.
3.   Calculate what you can afford to pay and what you can spend on an day to day basis

What You Want/Need in a House
      What you want in a house may be different than what you actually need and what you can afford. Be realistic. Be honest with yourself. NUDIGS has provided a Wants/Needs Worksheet to help you identify these items.

Get Pre-approved
      Talk to a mortgage lender, bank, credit union or mortgage broker. Ensure you get pre-approved for a mortgage. This accomplishes a number of things for you:
1.   You will establish what you can spend on a house.
2.   You will know what your payments will be on a monthly basis.
3.   Pre-approval may also give you a 'locked in' interest rate. This can always be adjusted down if interest rates fall, but will protect you from rising interest rates.
4.   You will be able to get a copy of your credit rating. Your lender will request this in order to pre-approve you. Be sure to get a copy of that credit file from them. You can use it later when you may want to get other quotes. Note that you don't necessarily have to get other quotes now.

What Can You Really Afford
      Knowing what you can afford in mortgage payments is a good thing but you may also need to take a look at your total monthly spending patterns as well. Although you may have been approved for a mortgage of $250,000, you may find that you really don't want monthly payments that high. These payments can affect your enjoyment of life and the ability to pay for clothes, education, vacations, etc. Take this into account and consider houses at a lower price point if you want to keep your mortgage lower.
We can help you calculate these items with some simple and easy spreadsheets.

      Mortgage CalculatorProvides mortgage payments and income required.

      Budget FormHelps you calculate what your monthly budget should be.

Now you’re ready to start the house hunting!
      As a buyer, you can get a real estate agent who can help you. In fact, you might want to work with more than one agent while you are initially house hunting. As a buyer it costs you nothing, because it is the seller of a property that pays for the real estate agent's services.
      Every weekend the newspaper will list 'open houses', which will allow you to tour a property. It's worthwhile to attend a few of these in order to see how the prices in your local housing market match up to what you get. You can also visit new housing developments to see what a builder would offer you for the same price.
      The more information you have about the housing market, the options and prices of homes, as well as your own purchasing power, the better you will be able to shop for your new house and find the home of your dreams.

Current Mortgage Rates
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