Property Virgin's Sandra Rinomato shares her to-do list for every first-time home buyer.By:Annalisa Burgos First-time homebuyers embody the excitement of achieving the ultimate American dream:
Money Stuff You Need To Do Before Buying A Home
You know how to look for a house. But the money part is trickier. You need to start working on the financial details of buying a home three to four months before you want to move into your new digs. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:
1. Gather the financial documents you’ll need to get a mortgage:
statements from banks, brokerages and retirement accounts
income tax returns
records of debts such as auto loans, mortgages, student loans and credit cards
2. Find out your credit score.
You can go to MyFICO.com and see your credit score and a get a copy of a credit report for $12.95. Your credit score is a distillation of your bill-paying history expressed as a three-digit number between about 300 and 850, the higher the better. A score above 720 is most desirable, the equivalent of a getting an A. These credit scores are calculated using a secret mathematical formula devised by the data management company Fair, Isaac & Co.- hence the name "FICO."
3. Fix any errors on your credit report.
Errors appear regularly on credit reports, and they can lower your credit score and keep you from getting loans with lower interest rates. Clerical or computer errors cause most mistakes on credit reports. You can correct them by sending a letter to the credit bureau describing the mistake and requesting an investigation. Getting that incorrect report off your credit report will take at least a month. mistake and requesting an investigation. Getting that incorrect report off your credit report will take at least a month.
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