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5 Home Buying Tips

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced homeowner, buying a new home can be an exciting—but sometimes overwhelming—process.

Here are five tips from our website to help you make the right “moves.”

  1. Review your credit report. This is the time to clean up any past issues and make sure there are no inaccuracies or mistakes on your credit report ( is the official site to obtain a free credit report). To qualify for a mortgage, you’ll need to meet the lender’s credit qualifications. These may vary by lender but you typically need a minimum credit score of 620. If you’re not in that range, you may need to spend time rebuilding your credit or come up with a larger down payment. Find more information about how important your credit is, how to repair credit issues and how to understand your credit score.
  2. Define your parameters. There are many quality and affordable homes—from townhomes and condominiums to single-family or multi-family homes—so make sure you conduct a thorough search. You may not be able to get everything on your wish list, but knowing what your requirements are before you get started will make your search easier.
  3. Choose your geography. Narrow your search to the key neighborhoods where you want to live. Keep in mind, you may need to expand your search (based on what’s affordable for the area), but it helps to have a starting point. If you have children, check the available school options in your area.
  4. Know what you can afford. Keep in mind, there are some upfront costs when buying a home—down payment, closing costs—and you’ll need to be prepared for these expenses. You can use our Mortgage Calculator to help estimate what you can afford.
  5. Get organized. You’ll want to find a real estate agent and get your financing in order. It’s a good idea to start gathering your financial records (pay stubs, W2s, bank statements, etc.) and have them ready. Have a co-borrower? Their information will be required, too.

Finally, when you’re ready to shop, don’t forget to peruse online websites like, which lists Fannie Mae-owned properties for sale complete with photos and descriptions. By entering or choosing simple parameters (like price range and number of bedrooms) you’ll find HomePath properties in your area that may jumpstart your search.

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