How to Buy a Home: Step One is to get your credit report in order.

For most Americans the single largest purchase they will ever make is a home.

For most Americans the single largest purchase they will ever make is a home. Perhaps this is why the decision is so emotionally charged. Remember when you found your car? And you really, really wanted it. Well, take that sentiment, multiply it by one hundred, and you begin to approach the longing you may feel for that dream house. Calm yourself and take your time.

Ideally, you will have lived in the area where you wish to purchase the house for a while as a renter. You will know what traffic patterns are like at all times of the day and night. You will have an idea of where you will get your groceries, who your neighbors will be, and which schools your children may eventually attend. You will have money set aside toward the down payment and a good credit report to present to lenders.

You can look up your own credit report from the website: Know what is in your credit report before you allow lenders to access it. If information is wrong, contact the credit reporting agency about correcting it. It may take several months to get information corrected. Be persistent.  

If you have a couple of delinquencies on your accounts and this information is actually correct, just be ready to explain it to a lender. Nobody’s perfect. Bills go awry in the mail, or we inadvertently overlook them in our email. Unless you have a pattern of delinquencies you will probably be ready to begin mortgage shopping. You will want to get pre-approved for a mortgage BEFORE you start looking at houses.

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