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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J.C. Penney’s debt holders prepare a last-minute rival bid for its real estate

J.C. Penney’s lenders are battling over the company’s real estate and their potential payback while the department store retailer needs an end in sight to its bankruptcy as the holiday shopping season looms.

a sign above a store: The J.C. Penney store at Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, Texas.

© Louis DeLuca/Dallas Morning News/TNS
The J.C. Penney store at Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, Texas.

Penney is close to having a solution that keeps alive the 118-year-old business and saves 70,000 jobs, but there’s no firm plan yet filed with the court.


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Deadlines continue to be missed, casting doubt with the retailer’s vendors who in some cases are holding back shipments of merchandise that Penney would need if it’s going to have a productive holiday season.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge David Jones set some firm dates at a hearing on Wednesday to force everyone’s hand and calm suppliers that Penney will survive.

Debt holders led by Aurelius Capital Management plan to file a bid for

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State of Texas: TWC contractor reveals call center problems; Senate candidates prepare for debate

AUSTIN (Nexstar) – Imagine showing up to a job where you know that almost 75% of what you do will fail someone. What if a fireman failed to help someone in three out of four fire calls? What if a police officer failed to help clear three out of four 911 calls?

Day, after day.

That’s what a contractor helping field calls for the Texas Workforce Commission told us was going on inside some of the agency’s call centers. The contractor, who asked to not be identified in this report, told KXAN the problem facing nearly every caller is that their call may be answered by people who have no way to help Texans calling for help with their unemployment problems.

This worker said they’re unable to help about three-quarters of the people who call with unemployment problems.

Since the pandemic hit in mid-March, hundreds of unemployed Texans wrote to

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Nursing homes prepare for indoor visits during coronavirus pandemic

Maryland nursing homes and assisted living facilities are gearing up for indoor family visits after Gov. Larry Hogan lifted the ban on indoor visitors on Thursday.

a bedroom with a bed and a chair in a room: Bedroom in a nursing home, bed, walker

© Provided by WBAL TV Baltimore
Bedroom in a nursing home, bed, walker

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Saint Elizabeth Rehabilitation and Nursing is planning to open its doors to family members next week.

That will happen following strict guidelines set up by the federal government and the state of Maryland. The staff and families seem excited for the reopening.

With messages like “spreading kindness not germs,” Saint Elizabeth’s nursing center is preparing for indoor family visits.

“For us, our visits will be in our neighborhoods, our units,” Aileen McShea Tinney, of Catholic Charities senior services, said.

Hogan announced the restart.

“Indoor visitation can begin again in nursing homes not

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