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5 Things You Should Do Before House Hunting

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or not, the decision to buy a home is an exciting milestone.  Before you start house hunting, make sure you prepare yourself with as much information as possible. You’ll be more confident in negotiations and the mortgage process in general.

1. Establish your budget

Decide how much you can afford for monthly payments. Our financial calculators will help you figure out what kinds of payments you can expect, as well as whether you should continue to rent or buy now.

2. Check your credit report

You are entitled to three free credit reports a year, one from each of the three credit bureaus. Go to to access yours and purchase your credit score. Make sure the reports are accurate. This is your “report card” on your credit, and any lender will look at your credit report to check your creditworthiness.

3. Get pre-approved

Pre-approval through your credit union provides bargaining power during your negotiations. For example, if you’re competing on an offer and the other home buyer is not pre-approved, you have a better chance of winning the offer.

4. Interview a realtor

Your realtor is your guide in the home buying process. You’ll share financial details with them, and you’ll trust them to find the house that fits your needs. Make sure the chemistry is right.

5. Know your terms

While a 30-year mortgage is typical, we offer other terms that may fit your needs better, including FHA loans and 5/5 ARM options. We offer flexible, money-saving first mortgage options with no prepayment penalties and competitive closing costs. Talk about your options with our mortgage specialists.

Buying a house is one of the biggest investments of your life. It can certainly be intimidating, but we’re here to help. And researching before you start attending open houses will minimize your stress and uncertainty.