The name of the game is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.  I know it's a cheesy stereotype -- but it's true.  You can change almost anything about the home you buy -- Flooring, kitchen, baths, yard, paint.  But you can't change the neighborhood.  The more you know about your potential home's location the better choice you can make to ensure that you live a happy life.  Use this report tool, drive around, talk to neighbors etc.   The more you know, the more you know!

 

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Shopping for a home before getting preapproved for a mortgage is the equivalent of walking into a grocery store without a wallet. Yet, the vast majority of homebuyers don't get a loan preapproval for the house hunt. So, what is a preapproval? (For one, a preapproval is different from a prequalification.)

Prequalification: The lender relies on information provided by the buyer to estimate how much the borrower could qualify for.

Preapproval: The lender verifies the borrower's information and documentation to determine exactly how much it would be willing to lend to that borrower.