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Seeking Approval — The ISBA Responds to Mortgage Concerns and New Home Buyers

Question: I’m planning to buy a new home in 2014. What steps can I take to help ensure that I qualify for a mortgage? Answer: Some home buyers may find it harder to get loans because of new rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. To increase your probability of success, know in advance how much you can afford by getting pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin house hunting, and be willing to make a larger down payment, at least 20 percent if possible. Also, know your closing costs in advance to avoid any surprises on the day of the property transfer. Be sure to consult your lawyer prior to signing the agreement of purchase and sale, and for other matters related to the purchase.       For more information about Illinois law, visit If you have a legal question, send it to   Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit