Set Your Budget 

You may have a pretty good idea of how much monthly payment you can afford.  Say, for example, you've thought about your income and your debt/bills, and you believe you can afford a $3,000 payment per month.  That's great!  However, the lender may analyze your credit score, debt to income ratio, etc, and approve you for a purchase price in line with a $2,700 monthly payment.  This is so critical to know before you go out and start looking at homes.  It is absolutely heartbreaking to fall in love with a house, apply for the loan, and hear you are not qualified to purchase in that price range.  On the other hand, the lender may approve you for more than you thought you'd get approved for.  When this happens, you can spend some time…

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