To Buy or Not To Buy A Home?

June 15, 2012 10:00:00 PM PDT
Average rates on fixed mortgages just rose from 3.67 percent to 3.71 percent for 30-year loans.

The average rate on the 15-year mortgage rose from 2.94 percent to 2.98 percent. This was the first increase in seven weeks, but those mortgage rates are still near historic lows.

So with the low rates, low housing prices and a lot of homes on the market, should you buy? Joan Jensen, president and CEO of the Central Credit Union of Illinois (link: ) joined us in our ABC7 studio to share her tips to create your personal home buying game plan.

Joan's 3 Steps To Creating A Home Buying Game Plan

1. Financial Self Assessment
a. Invest in your future. Pick up a free copy of your credit report from, and spend $20 to retrieve your FICO score from
b. Assess your current income and expenses to determine if you can cover anticipated and unexpected expenses.
Don't forget healthcare expenses, insurance expenses, car repairs, and home maintenance.
Visit to calculate monthly mortgage payments.

2. Assemble Your Team: Mortgage Professional, Real Estate Agent, Home Inspector
a. Comparison shop locally-based mortgage lending professionals. Make an appointment to discuss the process for getting a mortgage and the expected interest rates and closing costs.
b. Find a good local real estate agent. Visit for tips on selecting a real estate agent.
c. Line up a home inspector.

3. Understand the Property
a. Use the knowledge of your real estate professional to learn about the current trends in a specific neighborhood.
Ask your agent about the history of substandard construction or flooding.
Find out about planned new development and reassessments.
b. If you are considering a foreclosure or short sale, find out where the seller is in the process, the parties involved with the negotiation, and the expected timeline. For tips on buying a foreclosed property visit

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