10 Tips for Home Buying and Selling
Buyers: Edge Out the Competition
Establish a price range. Use Redfin’s home-affordability calculator. This home buying tool considers not only your income and down payment but also total recurring monthly payments such as car payments, student loans, and credit card minimum payments.
Clean up your credit. If your credit reports are accurate, the home buying process is likely to go more smoothly. Read “Are Mortgages Now Harder or Easier to Get?" for more for information.
Get preapproved. Usually, that means a mortgage lender has checked your credit reports and determined how much it could lend you. It’s one step better than prequalification, in which a lender just gives you an idea of what you can afford. Lenders use different terminology, though, so make sure you ask for clarification. For instance, EverBank, based in Jacksonville, Fla., uses the term “preapproval” for what other banks define as prequalification. And what most banks call a “preapproval,” EverBank terms a “credit only approval.”