It pays to get organized. Put your finances in order, get pre-approved for a loan, and you'll know what you can afford to buy.
If you keep your records in one place, you can get organized in a few hours. Start a file for papers, sales brochures and other information you'll accumulate, including:
> Credit data
Check your credit and correct any credit problems you may have before the lender gets your credit report.
> Loan documents
Gather financial information the lender will request.
> Real estate listings
Search for home listings online.
> Inspection reports
See a sample inspection report.
> Insurance information
Choose insurance wisely and cut your insurance costs.
Getting pre-approved gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow and puts you in a better position to buy. To get pre-approved for a loan, you need to know your:
. Cash available for a down payment
. Cash available for closing costs
. Current income
. Job status
. Estimated assets
. Estimated debts