Five secrets to a successful real estate purchase

Take advantage now of slow year-end market

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If your resolutions for 2005 include buying a house or condominium, whether it will be your first home or a move-up residence, today is a great time to plan for your purchase. Home mortgage interest rates remain remarkably low and affordable. During this slowest time of the year for home sales in most communities, between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, this is a great time to start your quest for the near-perfect place to live. Here are five secrets to make your purchase easy and profitable: 1. BEFORE LOOKING AT HOMES, GET WRITTEN MORTGAGE PRE-APPROVAL BY AN ACTUAL LENDER. Contrary to popular myth, the first step to buying a home is not to start inspecting residences that interest you. Instead, your first step to a successful home purchase should be to get pre-approved in writing by an actual mortgage lender. Then you will know the maximum mortgage you can obtain. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. But don't be misled. Some mortgage brokers advertise "mortgage pre-qualification....