How to Prepare to Buy a Home: First, Use This Checklist

Even a first-time home buyer knows that a new home is not an impulse purchase. You can’t just waltz in and declare, “I’ll take it!”

Long before you get to making that offer (on paper, through your real estate agent)—and even before going to your first open house—there are a ton of things to do and to prepare.

Overwhelmed? Here’s a checklist of everything you need to do to get ready to buy a new home.

1. Check your credit score

Do not pass “Go,” and do not start looking at real estate until you have checked your credit score. This is the number that mortgage lenders will look at to determine whether you are creditworthy, and will dictate the rate you will be charged by the bank.

The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate—and that’s what you’re going for. Get a free copy of yours at

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