Steps savvy borrowers take before stepping out to buy that dream home.

Couple home shoppingFew things compare to the excitement of buying a beautiful new home. Here are some helpful tips on how to create a “happily ever after” experience.

Review your credit. The most important key to getting a great home loan is having good credit. Get a copy of your credit report and examine it carefully before applying for a loan. If you find any inaccuracies, report them immediately to the appropriate credit bureaus. You can obtain a free credit report from the three major credit-reporting agencies once a year at annualcreditreport.com.

Get preapproved for your loan. A preapproval indicates precisely how much you can borrow, so you can search for properties you can actually afford. In considering a preapproval, the lender will extensively review your credit history. If you’re approved, you’ll receive a conditional commitment for a specified loan amount in writing. A preapproval can help you in negotiating when the potential seller knows you’ve already qualified for a loan.

Research homes and neighborhoods. Many factors go into determining which home is ultimately best for you. Consider the neighborhood’s location, the amount of living space, the home’s architectural style, along with the potential cost of improvements. School districts and proximity to work may also be important. Create a priority list of your needs and wants, and compare each home against your desired attributes.

Make a well-informed offer. A good real estate agent offers valuable experience in helping you negotiate a fair price with the seller. Armed with knowledge about the recent sales prices of comparable homes in the area, market trends, and perhaps even how motivated a seller might be, your agent can provide helpful insight about the best strategy to take, and the best offer to make. As always, the lending specialists at Allsteel Credit Union are always ready to help answer your questions and familiarize you with the many financing options that are available.

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