home buying - decide to buy  DECIDE TO BUY
 home buyers get organized  GET ORGANIZED
 shop for a home  SHOP FOR A HOME
 prepare an offer to buy  PREPARE AN OFFER
 get a home loan  GET A LOAN
 closing on home buying deal  CLOSE THE DEAL
 home buying roadmap  BACK TO ROADMAP

Get Organized

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.

Start a Home-Buying File
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.

Get Pre-Approved
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

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