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      10 Steps to Prepare for Home Ownership

      1. Decide how much home you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between 2 and 3 times your gross income.

      2. Develop a prioritized wish list of what you’d like your home to have.

      3. Select three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, considering education systems, recreational facilities, safety, and more.

      4. Determine if you have enough saved to cover your downpayment and closing costs. Closing costs, including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees average between 2 and 7 percent of the home price.  

      5. Get your credit in order and obtain a credit report

      6. Determine how large a mortgage you can qualify for. Also explore different loans options.

      7. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan.

      8. Do research to determine if you qualify for any special mortgage or downpayment assistance programs.

      9. Calculate the costs of homeownership, including property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and association fees, if applicable.

      10. Find an experienced Lake Champlain Islands Realtor who can help you through the process of becoming an owner of Vermont Real Estate.