Countrywide Home Loans Shares 6 Home Buying Secrets Most First Time Buyers Don't Know

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Helpful home buying tips may reduce confusion about mortgage payments and cost of buying a house.

Consumers are becoming more educated and prepared when making major purchases

Buying a home is perceived as one of the most complicated transactions a person can make. That is why Countrywide Home Loans, is offering six home buying secrets that most first time buyers don't know. These helpful home buying tips may reduce confusion about mortgage payments and the cost of buying a house.

Countrywide Home Loans understands that home buying can be a difficult and confusing process, from deciding whether homeownership is right for you to finally making the move into your new home. As a result, many people are hesitant to ever start the process, despite their desire to own a home. So, the company also offers personalized, no obligation, free home loan consultation. First time buyers can call 1-800-768-9382 or apply online.

"Consumers are becoming more educated and prepared when making major purchases," said Dan Hanson, managing director, Countrywide Home Loans. "However, buying a home is still an area that is confusing and intimidating to most people. Prospective buyers should take advantage of the wealth of information and programs out there and be aware of some common misperceptions that could deter them from becoming a homeowner."

Here are six home buying tips and facts that can help you decide to buy a house, negotiate your home purchase and determine which home loan is best for your personal situation:

1.    Your mortgage payments might be the same or less than rent payments - The (principal and interest) monthly payment on a $200,000, 30-year, fixed rate mortgage with an interest rate of six percent (6.25%) is $1,231 -- less than what some people pay for rent (taxes, insurance and any other fees, including closing costs, are extra).

2.    Buyers don't have to put 20 percent down to buy a home anymore - Many low down payment loans are available. For instance, three and five percent down payments are common, and can help buyers purchase a home without a hefty down payment. This all adds up to less money out-of-pocket to buy a home.

3.    Buyers may ask sellers to pay for closing costs - As part of the negotiating process when buying a house, the buyer may ask the seller to pay for a percentage of the non-recurring closing costs, sometimes saving thousands of dollars for the buyer.

4.    Buyers can receive gifts or grants from relatives or nonprofit organizations - Many loan programs will allow a portion of the downpayment to come from a relative. Buyers can also investigate downpayment assistance programs and grants available through various nonprofit organizations and employers, as well as from many federal, state, and local governments. Many of these programs are designed for low-, moderate- and middle-income borrowers.

5.    You should always get preapproved before you begin house hunting - Buyers should get a written preapproval from a reputable mortgage lender before they start shopping for a home. Preapproved buyers will not only know in advance how much home they can afford, but their preapproved status gives them clout with sellers and real estate agents when the time comes to negotiate a sale price. Lastly, preapproval speeds up the loan process after a purchase contract is signed and can help avoid last minute heartbreaks after a home is found.

6.    You can protect your interest rate while you shop for your home - Some lenders, like Countrywide, offer home buyers the ability to lock in a rate, at no cost, before they select a home.

For more home buying information, visit our website at http://www.countrywide.com or call 1-800-768-9382.

About Countrywide Home Loans

Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. -- a member of the Countrywide family: America's #1 home loan lender as ranked for 2006 by Inside Mortgage Finance (Feb. 2, 2007), Copyright 2007 -- originates, purchases, securitizes, sells and services home loans and is the primary subsidiary of Countrywide Financial Corporation (NYSE: CFC). Countrywide Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides mortgage banking and diversified financial services in domestic and international markets. Founded in 1969 and a member of the S&P 500 and Fortune 500, Countrywide Financial Corporation is headquartered in Calabasas, California and its family of companies has a workforce of more than 50,000 in over 900 offices across the country.

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