How to buy an affordable home

With today’s rising home prices, it can seem almost impossible to find an affordable home. However, by being resourceful and using the right tools, you should be able to find the home you’re looking for.

Step 1: Find a good real estate agent
One of the most valuable resources to use when searching for an affordable home is a good real estate agent. It’s important to find an agent you can trust to look out for your best interests. Look for someone who has a thorough knowledge of the area you are interested in. He or she should have the inside scoop on what homes are likely to sell below market value and can alert you when any new homes come up for sale. Sometimes a great home will sit on the market for a long time simply because it lacks curb appeal. Your agent can help you look beyond aesthetics to recognize a good deal.

Step 2: Check online listings
A great way of expanding your house-hunting capabilities is by searching online., a service of LendingTree, lists nearly 2 million homes for sale from coast to coast so there’s a good chance it will have something available in your price range. It is also aligned with nearly 500 real estate companies and 3000 offices covering all 50 states. And it’s Find a REALTOR® service can match you with one of over 9,000 real estate professionals to help you through the process.

Step 3: Get pre-approved for a mortgage
Sometimes, creative financing can make a home more affordable. Ask lenders what products they recommend for someone in your situation. There are certain loans that can help reduce your monthly payment. For example, you may want to consider an adjustable rate mortgage that typically provides a lower interest rate for a certain time period. Or you could apply for an interest-only loan or a 40- or 50-year loan. With an interest-only loan, you only have to make interest payments for a particular time period. A 40- or 50-year mortgage provides a lower monthly payment because the term is stretched out over a longer time period. Check with a lender to find the product that’s best for you. Then, get pre-approved for the loan before you go house hunting so you will know exactly how much you can afford to pay.

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