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HomeHomes
Published: Friday, 11/23/2007

Be an Informed Homebuyer

(NewsUSA) - If you've been watching the real estate market recently, you know many homeowners are in a state of peril.

With interest rates on the rise and home prices on the decline, many homeowners are facing foreclosure.

The first six months of 2007 were marked by a 58 percent increase in home foreclosures, which means, one in every 134 U.S. households is headed toward foreclosure. And while these numbers don't bode well for homeowners, homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers, should consider taking advantage of this market.

Sellers are reducing their prices, making the environment ideal for aspiring owners, but buyers need to be educated.

The experts at Market Street Mortgage are putting prospective homebuyers on the right path to home ownership with these tips:

* Detail your finances. Look at your current income and your monthly expenses to determine what you have leftover. Examine your expenses to see if there are any cutbacks you can make.

* Determine a price range. Based on your budget, decide how much you can comfortably spend on a mortgage payment each month. Once you have that number, use a mortgage calculator online or talk to a mortgage consultant to help you determine your price.

* Check out the Federal Housing Administration loan options. This is a type of loan that has been around for more than 70 years and is even backed by the federal government. These loans give you the ability to have a very low down payment -- as low as 3 percent -- if you qualify. It also allows for financing assistance from certain programs that may be in your area.

* Consider your future. Think about your future in order to better determine what mortgage option will work best. Do you see yourself in the home for just three years, or are you and your spouse thinking of starting a family and wanting this to be your family home? All of these considerations are important in determining what mortgage will work best for you.

* Shop around. Have your mortgage consultant compare different loan products for you. An adjustable-rate mortgage may have a great rate, but have you compared that to a fixed-rate mortgage? If the rates are similar, the fixed-rate mortgage might be a smart move.

* Enlist an expert. Work with a real estate agent who will be patient and provide the expertise to help you through the process.



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