4 Things to do BEFORE you buy a home

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All about the Benjamins. Know your credit score, and improve it if necessary. Know most lenders use a debt-to-income ratio that includes mortgage, property taxes and homeowners insurance representing roughly a third of your monthly gross income. Remember, most home loans are 30-year or 15-year terms.

Location, location, location. Narrow your search to particular areas or neighborhoods that interest you. Consider prices, school districts, work commutes and proximity to enjoyable activities.

We all have a type. After you’ve determined how much you can afford, figure out what type of home you want. Whether it’s a traditional home, a condo or a mobile home, make sure it’s what you want before you spend 30 years paying for it.

Smart moves for the savvy buyer. A few other things to keep in mind when looking for a home: consider getting a home inspection to uncover any home repairs or problems that will need to be addressed prior to your move. Also, adding a home warranty can be beneficial for first-time buyers who may be stretching themselves financially to afford the down payment, monthly payments and moving costs.