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This following article was provided courtesy of Lending Tree, one of the Internet's leading online lending and realty services exchange. Be sure to check out their website for more great home buying information

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------Buying a home can be complicated, but not if you follow our tips.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you make an offer.

When you are trying to buy a house in a competitive market, your offer to purchase should contain as few conditions as possible. An offer that is conditional on obtaining financing is often a deal killer. The seller may accept a competing offer for less money rather than take the risk that you won't be able to raise mortgage money. A pre-approval letter from your lender tells the seller you are ready and able to commit.

Set enough money aside to cover closing costs.

You've put together a down payment. Be aware that there is also a long list of expenses you may have to pay at closing, depending on where you live and who your lender is. Closing costs can add up to between two and six percent of your loan, so ask your lender to give you a Good Faith Estimate of the loan-related fees you'll have to pay. Get your real estate agent to compile a list of other expenses.

Insist on a home inspection.

The first really cold day you spend in your new house is too late in finding out that the furnace doesn't work. The one condition you should always include in an offer to purchase is a home inspection. Find out how much it will cost to fix any defects and have the seller fix them before you agree to buy or deduct the estimated cost from the final price you offer.

For more home buying tips, visit http://www.lendingtree.com/cec/yourhome/buying/five-tips-for-home-buyers.asp

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About the author - LendingTree Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at LendingTree is committed to helping consumers become smarter borrowers. Visit http://www.lendingtree.com/cec for more information and tips on buying, selling, and financing a home. Copyright 1998-2006, LendingTree, LLC.
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