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5 Home Buying Essentials

Purchasing a home involves certain important, even essential, steps that every buyer should take before closing on a purchase. Let's examine these "essentials" which, if properly implemented, can help you save valuable time and aggravation.

1. Determine What You Can Borrow. Sure, if you know your interest rate and the length of the loan you can pretty much determine your monthly payments, right? No! You must include your property taxes, homeowners insurance, and association or maintenance fees, if applicable. These "added" costs can significantly contribute to higher monthly payments. No lender will give you a loan without figuring these costs in.

2. Know Your Fees. Closing costs can add up to the tune of several thousand dollars. Title searches, realtor fees, loan applications, attorney fees, and legal fees must be taken into consideration. Many states require lenders to give to borrowers a ballpark figure of what these costs will be.

3. Shop For A Loan. The longer you plan on staying in your home, the more likely you will want a fixed rate mortgage. If you are planning on a short stay, a variable rate mortgage may work best for you. Consider an interest free mortgage if you basically plan on "flipping" the home in one or two years. Of course, you had better hope that your home appreciates significantly in that time otherwise you may find yourself owing more than what you originally paid for the house!

4. Get Pre Approved. Realtors and sellers will take you seriously if you are pre-approved for a loan. In some cases the pre-approval will not only swing a deal your way, but you could find the sellers are more receptive to lowering their price if they believe you are a serious shopper.

5. Negotiate. You may not be able to get the seller to drop the price of their home, but you may be able to get them to sweeten the deal by including certain extras. Air conditioners, refrigerators, washers, dryers, ceiling fixtures, and window treatments are some of the things that add value to your purchase. If extra items are included in the sale, then your later pay out for these items will disappear.

In all, if you are a thoughtful and savvy shopper you should be able to save money on the purchase of your home by following these five essentials.

Matthew Keegan is The Article Writer who covers topics from business to health to mortgages. You can view samples of his work at


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