Shopping for a Home
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Shopping for a Home

Hello, I’m Thom Fox and welcome to Personal
Finance 120 – information for managing your financial life in less than 2 minutes. There has been a lot of good news lately out
of the housing market. Homebuilding projects are on the rise, foreclosures
are decreasing, and home prices are slowly increasing. All signs indicate a much-needed recovery
in the market. If you’ve been on the sidelines you may
be thinking about getting in the game and purchasing a home. But before you do, you should prepare yourself
for the process. Here are a few things to keep in mind before
shopping for a house. One of the first things you should do as you
get started is check your credit score. Unless you’re independently wealthy, you’ll
need a mortgage, and mortgages are based on the risk you represent. Sure, you might be able to get a home loan
with spotty credit, but you’ll pay for it in the long run. Visit to get a
free copy of your credit report. Check it for accurate information, and to
see what it tells lenders about you. If you need help reading your credit report,
schedule an appointment with a housing counselor from a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. They’ll help you understand your report,
and what you can do to improve your credit profile. While you’re speaking with your HUD counselor,
ask about homebuyer education courses. These classes provide you with a wealth of
information, and can save you a tremendous amount of grief. One of the biggest challenges with buying
a home is making informed decisions. A recent homebuyer survey by Zillow showed
that most people don’t understand their mortgage options. 34% of first-time home buyers weren’t aware
they could get a mortgage with less than a 5% down payment. Also, 24% of would-be shoppers believe their
current bank offers the best interest rates and lowest fees. This is not always the case. When you’re in the market for a mortgage,
it pays to shop around! Homebuyer education courses help you understand
how to go about the process and navigate the various financial decisions you’ll have
to make. Until next time, I’m Thom Fox for Cambridge
Credit Counseling.

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