The Top 5 Must-Know Tips for Homebuyers

Buying a new home is a major decision, but it doesn't have to be intimidating. Follow these five tips to gain key knowledge and confidence so you feel at home while buying one.

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Photo Credit: Tim Hale

Courtesy of Chase

Top Homebuying Tip #1: Take Advice From the Pros
Your real estate agent is your partner and a valuable asset. He or she knows the neighborhoods and schools, and will help negotiate a fair price for the house you want. Your mortgage banker can answer questions about how much you can comfortably afford and provide guidance at every step. Get recommendations from those you trust, such as your family and friends.

Top Homebuying Tip #2: Understand ALL Your Costs
In addition to your monthly mortgage principal and interest payment, you'll also pay taxes and insurance (e.g., hazard, flood) and several one-time closing fees. These closing costs typically range from two to six percent of the total amount of the mortgage loan. You may also need to pay private mortgage insurance if your down payment is less than 20 percent on a conventional loan. Make sure you know the total cost of your new home so you can plan accordingly.

Top Homebuying Tip #3: Know Your Credit Score
A good credit score increases your chances of being approved for a mortgage and may lower your interest rate
(less than 580 is very poor and above 720 is excellent). If your score is low, try to improve it by making your payments on time, paying the monthly minimum (or more) and keeping your existing credit card accounts with zero balances open.

Top Homebuying Tip #4: Find Your Price Range
Your monthly mortgage payment should be no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income. You can get an estimate of how much you'll be able to borrow by being prequalified for a mortgage. You will need to provide some basic financial information and a lender determines how much you may borrow. Prequalification is simple and usually can be done in one conversation. You may choose to prequalify online or speak with your local Chase mortgage banker. You can also check Chase mortgage rates today.

Top Homebuying Tip #5: Organize the Necessary Paperwork
In order to buy a new home, you'll need to provide various documents such as pay stubs, bank statements and tax forms. Make sure you know what papers you need and have them readily accessible. A mortgage banker can help you determine what documents are needed.

To learn more about the homebuying process, visit My New HomeSM.

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