One of the first stops in your search for a home is with a loan officer. Get pre-qualified (estimate of how much monthly payment you can afford) and that way you can avoid problems later. Be sure to determine how much loan you can borrow.

Add that loan amount to the amount of cash you have for your down payment, and you get a starting idea what home price you can afford. Then remember just because you know your top-end limit, doesn’t mean you need to shop for homes in that range. You may want scale back and consider homes that don’t stretch your budget to the limit. You’ll not only gain peace of mind, you’ll also be more flexible when it comes time to negotiate.

Mortgage Calculator to approximate payment

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