You have never bought a home before, or perhaps you have bought a home but not for a number of years. Buying a home is a wonderful, and sometimes nerve-wracking experience. I can help you make it a little easier. Here are some things you should absolutely do before you set out to buy a home.

1. Sit down with your checkbook, or your online bank statements and figure out what you spend your money on. And be honest. It’s better to overestimate your spending than it is to come up short every month.

2. Go online and check your credit score. Most credit card companies also offer you the ability to check it for free. Run a free credit report at Credit Karma just to make sure there are no mysterious credit accounts or charges on your credit report.

3. Save, Save, Save. Some financial sites will advise you to pay off all of your debts, and while that’s always a good idea, when you are trying to purchase a home, you need down payment, closing costs, moving money and a little left over for a rainy day. So my advice, pay off the smallest debts first. Then take any discretionary income and divide and conquer. Use half towards paying down debt and the other half towards beefing up your savings account.

4. Stop Shopping!!! Loan underwriters will give you some leeway when they see you have a habit of saving money and not overspending. Forget about having the latest shoe styles and fancy cars. And don’t start stocking up for new things to furnish the new home you haven’t yet purchased. Remember I said save, save ,save!!

5. Once you have put yourself on a path towards saving and understanding what kind of payment you can

afford, then

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