Tips for people on the housing hunt

If you are house hunting, Money Magazine has some things you can do that can save you time and money on a mortgage.

The No. 1 thing: make sure those low rates are not the main reason you are looking to buy a home.

The decision needs to be based on your goals and whether you can manage the purchase financially.

But if you are in the market, try to get pre-approved for a loan before you start looking. This will give you a figure to work with and allow you to move quickly to bid on a property.

Also, consider a shorter-term 15-year fixed-rate loan. If you can afford the higher payments, you may get a lower interest rate and be able to outright own your home in less time.

Next, do not feel as though you have to put 20% down on a home. The average buyer this year put just 12% of the price down.

First-time buyers put down an even lower amount — just 7% for a down payment.

If your credit score is not great, you do have options. Look into loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. Your down payment can be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price.

Read also:

Existing home sales, median price edged up in November

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