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What are some things to do before you buy a house?

Buying a house is an exciting venture for anyone. You may be purchasing one to use as an investment property, or perhaps you're buying your first home where you will start a family. Whatever your situation is, finding the right house is important.

Before you sign any mortgage or contract, there are a few things you should do. Here are three necessary steps to take before you buy.

Save your money

First, you need to save up. While there are some zero-down-payment homes for a select few cases, it's more likely that you'll need between 3 and 10 percent of the home's value to put down as a deposit. You'll also need money for closing costs.

Get a preapproval letter

Next, get preapproved for a mortgage. When you have a preapproval, you can look at homes more effectively. You'll know what you can afford and be able to make an offer faster than if you didn't have a preapproval letter.

Know your budget and be flexible

Finally, look for a house you love within your budget. If you can't find something that you like in your current budget, save up some more. Strengthen your credit profile and work to boost your income. Houses are a major investment, so a short-term pause on buying could be beneficial to obtain a better mortgage or for saving more money ahead of time.

Our site has more on real-estate transactions and what you need to know to protect yourself and your future. A good transaction could be a financial gain that lasts a lifetime.

Source: Bankrate, "6 things you must do before buying a home," Dana Dratch, accessed Dec. 22, 2017

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