Trapdont Rely On Secondhand Information

You can only get the answer to how big a loan and monthly payment a lender will offer from a lender. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can fill out a quiz in a book, go through some formulas, and get that information. Neither I nor any other author can realistically tell you what you can afford without knowing your specific financial information and without submitting that to a lender.

Therefore your first step is an easy one. You find a lender and get "pre-approved." (This is something you will need to do in any event in order to get home financing, so it's not a wasted or extra step.)

Pre-approval takes perhaps a half an hour or so of your time. You contact a lender or mortgage broker (see where to find them in Chapter 4), fill out an application, provide some documentation, and that's it. It might cost you $35 for a credit report (or it might not, depending on how good your lender/mortgage broker is), but that's really a very small investment. You'll have your answer in a few days or less.

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