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Are you in the market for a new home? Whether you're a first-time buyer or a seasoned pro, there are some essential things to get in order before buying a house. Here are four of the most crucial aspects!

1) Get pre-approved for a mortgage

The first step in the home-buying process is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you an idea of how much house you can afford and put you in a better position to negotiate with sellers. You may also want to consider researching conforming loans to see if it would be a good option for you.

Getting pre-approved is relatively easy these days – you can do it online in minutes. But, make sure you're working with a reputable lender who will give you an accurate picture of your borrowing power. If you're not sure where to start, ask your real estate agent for recommendations. They should be able to point you in the right direction. Once you've been pre-approved, it's time to start looking for your dream home!

2) Figure out how much you can afford to spend

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's important to have a clear idea of your budget before you start looking at homes. Keep in mind that there is more than just the purchase price to consider when budgeting for a home. There are also closing costs, moving expenses, and ongoing costs like property taxes and insurance. So when you're drawing up your budget, make sure to factor all of these things in.

If you're not sure where to start, try using an online mortgage calculator. This will give you a good idea of what your monthly payments might look like. Once you've got a ballpark number, you can start looking at properties in your price range.

3) Save up for a down payment

In most cases, you'll need to put down at least 20% of the purchase price to get a mortgage. So, if you're looking at a $200,000 home, that means you'll need to come up with at least $40,000 for the down payment.

Saving up for a down payment can take time, so it's crucial to start as soon as possible. If you're not sure how much you need to save, talk to your lender. They should be able to give you an idea of how much you'll need based on the type of loan you're applying for.

4) Make sure your credit score is in good shape

Your credit score is one of the most important factors in getting approved for a mortgage. So, if you're not already doing so, now is the time to start working on boosting your score. There are a few things you can do to improve your credit score, including paying your bills on time and keeping your credit card balances low. 

If you're not sure where your credit stands, you can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Once you have your reports, check them for accuracy and dispute any errors you find.

By following these four steps, you'll be well on your way to buying the home of your dreams! Just remember to take your time and do your research at each stage of the process. And, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask a professional for help. They should be able to guide you through the home-buying process from start to finish.