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Finding a Home - Finding the Loan

Sep 16, 2008
When you're thinking about buying a home, there are two keys activities in which you have to engage. One is finding a house you want to buy. The other is finding the money with which to purchase that home once you have found it.

A smart first step to finding a home is choosing a good neighborhood. By entering the terms "neighborhood profile" or "city profile" into a search engine, you'll find a website on the Internet that can give you valuable information. For instance, you'll be able to find out about a city's median age and income, unemployment rate, population, percentage of the population that are Republicans or Democrats, air and water quality, sales and city income tax amounts, median home values, teacher-to-student ratios, demographic make up, information about the climate, overview of the crime in the area, and even information about religion.

Once you know the city where you'd like to live, it's important to know how much home you can afford to purchase. While how much debt you're comfortable with might be different than somebody else, there are also objective factors that determine the amount of money you might be able to borrow. These factors include your income, your credit score, and how much debt you have. There are free mortgage calculators on the Internet that can help you get an idea of the maximum loan amount you might receive, what your monthly payment might be (an important figure to know!), whether it's better to rent or buy, and how much you could save by making extra payments.

Once you know about how much you can spend on a home and the general area you want to move to, it's time to find houses that are in the price range and neighborhood you want. Certain websites on the Internet will show you an estimated value of a home just by typing in its address. You can also find estimated values by typing in a zip code or city. The site will then show you an aerial map of the area. You can move the map around, zoom in, and see an estimated value for each home on a street. You can then select a house and be shown a photo taken from the ground as well as information about the home. Provided details might include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, when the home was built, what type of roof it has (shake, asphalt, etc), how many square feet the house is, the size of the property, and more.

Searching for a home this way could mean you fall in love with a home that isn't currently for sale. In such a case, you could always approach the owners and make an offer, or you could search first for homes that are for sale, and once you have found one, use a valuation tool to see if the sale price is in line with the estimated value and with the value of neighboring homes. There are multiple websites that will allow you to search for homes for sale. These can be used in conjunction with a real estate agent.

If you're like most people, you'll need to obtain a mortgage loan in order to buy the home you decide on. While many loan programs are similar, lenders do differ. When choosing where to get a loan, you might consider the following questions. How quickly can this lender close your loan? What types of loan programs does the lender have, and which loan is best for you? How competitive are the lender's rates? How convenient is the lender? Will you be able to upload supporting documents over the lender's secure system or will you have to spend money to mail the documents? Will you have to drive somewhere to sign the final documents, or will the lender send the notary to your home or office?

The tools mentioned above will assist you in finding homes for sale, learning home values, researching cities, calculating how much you can afford, and finding the best mortgage lender. Much success to you in your move!
About the Author
If you're wanting a Utah mortgage or a Salt Lake City mortgage, go to www.directhouse.com.
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