Buy Your Dream Home

Whether you're buying a home on the market, or building a brand new house, learn how to finance a new home, find the perfect place, and make a competitive offer.

Your guide to buying a house in Arizona
Preparing to Buy
Your guide to buying a house in Arizona

Buying a house in Arizona can be competitive, but the state offers programs to help first-time buyers.

What are ‘power buyers’ in real estate?
Preparing to Buy
What are ‘power buyers’ in real estate?

Power buyers are companies that help prospective homebuyers make competitive offers and stand out in a crowded real estate market.

Should you buy a house without a real estate agent?
Buying Your First Home
Should you buy a house without a real estate agent?

Technically you don’t need a real estate agent to buy a house, but it’s probably for the best. An local Realtor has insight into the neighborhood and market.

Want to back out after the home inspection? Here's what you need to know
Home Inspections & Appraisals
Want to back out after the home inspection? Here's what you need to know

When it comes to bad inspections, you have to decide how much risk, negotiation, and additional investment you’re comfortable with for a house you love.

8 common mortgage scams — and how to spot them
Mortgage & Financing
8 common mortgage scams — and how to spot them

If you're choosing a home loan or considering a refinance, there's a lot of money at stake, so it's very important to be on your guard against mortgage scams.

How to buy a home through a probate sale
Preparing to Buy
How to buy a home through a probate sale

Everyone likes a good deal, and probate sales can offer an opportunity to save money on a home that isn’t going through the traditional sales process. 

Refinancing a VA loan: What are your options?
Mortgage & Financing
Refinancing a VA loan: What are your options?

Buying a house with a government-backed VA loan is a smart decision if you qualify, but what happens if you want to refinance? Here are your best options.

 Buying a House As a Non-U.S. Citizen: What You Should Know
Preparing to Buy
Buying a House As a Non-U.S. Citizen: What You Should Know

Buying a house in the States as a non-U.S. citizen is complex, but it's possible. We break down this multifaceted issue and point you to the resources you need.

How Soon Can You Refinance After Buying a House?
Mortgage & Financing
How Soon Can You Refinance After Buying a House?

Depending on the type of loan you have, you may be eligible to refinance as soon as you close on your home.

What to Look for During the Final Walkthrough of Your New Home
Closing on a Home
What to Look for During the Final Walkthrough of Your New Home

As tempting as it is to rush the final walkthrough, it’s important to be methodical, as this is your last chance to catch any issues in the home before closing.

How to Appeal a Home Appraisal If It Comes in Low
Home Inspections & Appraisals
How to Appeal a Home Appraisal If It Comes in Low

Low home appraisals aren’t a common occurrence, but they do happen. Don't panic: You may have some recourse. Learn how to review and appeal your appraisal.

At What Point Do You Buy Homeowners Insurance When Buying a Home?
Closing on a Home
At What Point Do You Buy Homeowners Insurance When Buying a Home?

You can purchase a homeowners insurance policy at any time during the closing process. But you should have it in place at least a few days prior to closing.

How Long Is a Home Appraisal Good For?
Home Inspections & Appraisals
How Long Is a Home Appraisal Good For?

Home appraisals don't technically expire. But if you wait too long, your lender might not accept it. Read on to learn how long your appraisal is valid.

Can You Buy a Home Using a Personal Loan?
Mortgage & Financing
Can You Buy a Home Using a Personal Loan?

While personal loans are much flexible, they usually come with higher interest rates, shorter repayment terms, and smaller loan amounts than mortgage loans.

What Is a Desktop Appraisal — and Should You Be Comfortable Using One?
Home Inspections & Appraisals
What Is a Desktop Appraisal — and Should You Be Comfortable Using One?

A new method for home appraisals uses technology to make this part of the process faster, cheaper, and more efficient.

Is There an Age Minimum When Buying a Home?
Buying Your First Home
Is There an Age Minimum When Buying a Home?

If you’re young and want to buy your first home, let's look at how age can impact the process, even if it isn’t legally standing in your way.

6 Things to Be Careful of When Buying a Home With an Unmarried Partner
Preparing to Buy
6 Things to Be Careful of When Buying a Home With an Unmarried Partner

From credit issues to cohabitation agreements, there are many potential pitfalls to avoid when buying a house with a girlfriend, boyfriend, or other partner.

Using an LLC to Buy a Home: What You Need to Know
Preparing to Buy
Using an LLC to Buy a Home: What You Need to Know

Forming an LLC essentially keeps your business life separate from your personal life, which has different perks for different people when buying property.

What’s The Ideal Credit Score to Have When Buying a Home?
Preparing to Buy
What’s The Ideal Credit Score to Have When Buying a Home?

While this question boils down to “high credit score is good, low credit score is bad,” you can still qualify for a mortgage even if your credit isn't great.

How to Build Equity in Your Home
Mortgage & Financing
How to Build Equity in Your Home

In this article, we'll cover what home equity is and how to calculate it. We'll also talk about the reasons home equity can go up or down.

Lender Credits and Discount Points: How Do They Work?
Mortgage & Financing
Lender Credits and Discount Points: How Do They Work?

Let's cover how discount points and lender credits for your mortgage work, as well as explore situations where it makes sense to choose one over the other.

How to Calculate Buying Someone Out of a House
Offers & Negotiation
How to Calculate Buying Someone Out of a House

Deciding what to do with a major asset like a house when a personal relationship breaks down is a challenge. These are your options for if that day comes.

15 Smart Questions to Ask the Seller When Buying a House
Offers & Negotiation
15 Smart Questions to Ask the Seller When Buying a House

If you have burning questions that come to mind when buying a home, don’t be afraid to ask the property's seller directly. Here are some good ones.

Title and Deed: What’s the Difference?
Preparing to Buy
Title and Deed: What’s the Difference?

A title is a legal term that refers to ownership of something. The deed is the actual legal document that transfers a property title from one person to another.

The Best Places to Live in Seattle, Washington
Seattle
The Best Places to Live in Seattle, Washington

This list of the best neighborhoods in and suburbs near Seattle, Washington is useful for young professionals, families, and older folks alike.

What to Do If Your Mortgage Becomes Unaffordable
Mortgage & Financing
What to Do If Your Mortgage Becomes Unaffordable

An unaffordable mortgage puts you in a vulnerable position, but there are ways forward if you stay in touch with your mortgage servicer.

Can You Get a Home Loan If You Owe Taxes?
Mortgage & Financing
Can You Get a Home Loan If You Owe Taxes?

While tax debt doesn’t make buying a home impossible, it does make the process more difficult. Let’s examine your options for buying when you have back taxes.

What Is a Down Payment — And What Should Yours Be?
Mortgage & Financing
What Is a Down Payment — And What Should Yours Be?

Before you start a mortgage application, you should understand how a down payment works and know what amount of money would be reasonable to put down.

What Is a Starter Home, and Should You Buy One?
Buying Before Selling
What Is a Starter Home, and Should You Buy One?

First-time home buyers often ask themselves if they want to begin their homeownership journey with a starter home or if they should hold out for a forever home.

The Best Places To Live in Portland, Oregon
Portland
The Best Places To Live in Portland, Oregon

These are some of the best places to buy a house and start building your home in Portland, Oregon, one of the gems of America's Pacific Northwest.

What to Consider When Buying a Retirement Home
Preparing to Buy
What to Consider When Buying a Retirement Home

It’s hard to buy a home when you’re young, working, and raising a family that meets both your current needs and the needs of your future, retired self. 

8 Signs Your House Is Too Small — And It’s Time to Upsize
Preparing to Buy
8 Signs Your House Is Too Small — And It’s Time to Upsize

From market conditions to reaching your decluttering limits, keep an eye out for these signs that it's time for you to find a new, larger place to call home.

How to Buy a Home for Sale by Owner
Preparing to Buy
How to Buy a Home for Sale by Owner

When you plan to buy a house, you probably expect to work with a real estate agent. However, in your search, you may find some homes that are for sale by owner.

Selling Stock to Buy a Home: Is it a Good Move?
Preparing to Buy
Selling Stock to Buy a Home: Is it a Good Move?

If you’re considering selling stock to fund your home purchase, learn how and when to liquidate your holdings, and what you need to consider going forward.

Can You Buy a Home Without a Job?
Preparing to Buy
Can You Buy a Home Without a Job?

To buy a home, most of us need a mortgage to bridge the gap between the down payment and sale price of the home. Without W-2 income, you may face challenges.

Why Home Inspections Are So Important When You’re Buying
Home Inspections & Appraisals
Why Home Inspections Are So Important When You’re Buying

Home inspections are crucial to identifying potential problems with the home and laying out what you might spend on maintenance after moving in.

Getting Your Mortgage From Preapproved to 'Clear to Close'
Mortgage & Financing
Getting Your Mortgage From Preapproved to 'Clear to Close'

Applying for and closing on a mortgage is a lengthy process, and there are many hurdles to keep an eye out for on your way to finalizing a home purchase.

What Types of Mortgages Are There — And Which Is Best for You?
Mortgage & Financing
What Types of Mortgages Are There — And Which Is Best for You?

Before shopping for a mortgage, you'll want to think about which kind of home loan you want. You'll likely have a choice between a few different types.

Is Using Your 401K to Buy a Home a Good Move?
Preparing to Buy
Is Using Your 401K to Buy a Home a Good Move?

To secure a lower monthly payment, some people consider using a 401(k) to buy a home. While you can use your retirement funds here, it’s often not advisable.

Buying a New Construction Home With a Contingent Offer: What to Know
Buying a New Construction Home
Buying a New Construction Home With a Contingent Offer: What to Know

What is the biggest determining factor of whether a new home builder will or will not accept a contingent offer? How much you’re customizing your home.

Can You Buy a Second Home Without Putting Money Down?
Buying Before Selling
Can You Buy a Second Home Without Putting Money Down?

Explore your financing options for buying your next home without a second down payment — or at least a significantly smaller one than your first.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Foreclosed Home
Preparing to Buy
The Pros and Cons of Buying a Foreclosed Home

You find a home you like that works for your budget — but it’s foreclosed. Did you just strike gold or is buying a foreclosed home more trouble than it’s worth?

Buying a Historic Home: What You Need to Know
Preparing to Buy
Buying a Historic Home: What You Need to Know

The main differences between the purchase of a historic home and a new home are your financing options and the appraisal. What else should you consider?

How to Qualify for a Mortgage Before Selling Your Old Home
Buying Before Selling
How to Qualify for a Mortgage Before Selling Your Old Home

If a second mortgage is a must while you balance buying a new home and selling your current one, there are steps you can take to secure financing help.

How to Buy a Home With Bad Credit: Your Best Options
Mortgage & Financing
How to Buy a Home With Bad Credit: Your Best Options

Prospective home buyers with bad credit can still qualify for mortgages, although the process may play out differently than for buyers with good credit.

14 Hidden Costs to Factor in When Buying a Home
Buying Your First Home
14 Hidden Costs to Factor in When Buying a Home

The costs of homeownership are often worth it, but it’s important to know what expenses and fees are coming your way so you can plan, save, and avoid stress.

What Tax Credits Do First-Time Home Buyers Get?
Buying Your First Home
What Tax Credits Do First-Time Home Buyers Get?

While there are relatively few tax credits specific to first-time home buyers, all homeowners have access to a litany of tax credits and tools to save money.

Buying a House With Student Loans: What You Need to Know
Preparing to Buy
Buying a House With Student Loans: What You Need to Know

This guide will help you understand how to take on a mortgage responsibly, without falling behind on student loan payments or crippling your financial health.

The Basics of Home Loans and Mortgages: A Guide for Beginners
Mortgage & Financing
The Basics of Home Loans and Mortgages: A Guide for Beginners

Taking out a home loan, or mortgage, is a long-term financial commitment. Before you apply, learn how different mortgages work, and the process of getting one.

8 Tips For Dealing With Home Buying Stress
Preparing to Buy
8 Tips For Dealing With Home Buying Stress

Let’s look at some logistical and emotional ways to manage your stress while buying a home, and where you can turn to for help when the process goes awry.

Here's What Happens When a Home Appraisal Doesn't Match the Sale Price
Home Inspections & Appraisals
Here's What Happens When a Home Appraisal Doesn't Match the Sale Price

Homebuyers use appraisals to help secure a mortgage loan. So what happens if the home appraises for more than what a lender is willing to give you?

The Best Places to Live in Atlanta
Atlanta
The Best Places to Live in Atlanta

This roundup of the best places to live in Atlanta, GA breaks down the nicest neighborhoods and suburbs in and around the Georgia capital city.

Getting Access to the Home Before Closing: What Can the Buyer Do?
Closing on a Home
Getting Access to the Home Before Closing: What Can the Buyer Do?

There are major legal and financial factors to consider when a buyer wants, and gets, access to the home before they officially close on it.

How Much Does a Title Search Cost?
Buying Your First Home
How Much Does a Title Search Cost?

Most title searches cost between $100 and $250 for residential properties. Here's why you'll want to get one even though it's not legally required.

Should You Work With a 'Dual Agent'?
Finding an Agent
Should You Work With a 'Dual Agent'?

Dual agents may not be legal in your state, but if they are, does it make sense to work with one when buying or selling a home?

What Is Title Insurance, and Do You Need It?
Closing on a Home
What Is Title Insurance, and Do You Need It?

Title insurance protects both lenders and homebuyers from financial loss if somebody contests the title to a property or other issues with the title.

Do You Need a Real Estate Attorney When Home Buying?
Buying Your First Home
Do You Need a Real Estate Attorney When Home Buying?

Buying property can be complicated, and a real estate attorney can help by providing legal advice, offering mediation in disputes, and navigating complications.

How Does the Rent-to-Own Process Work?
Preparing to Buy
How Does the Rent-to-Own Process Work?

Rent-to-own or lease-to-own is an agreement that allows a renter to buy a home after years of renting. You’ll come across two main types of rent-to-own options.

How to Find a Good, Reputable Home Inspector
Home Inspections & Appraisals
How to Find a Good, Reputable Home Inspector

While all home inspectors should provide nearly identical services, some are much more thorough and communicative than others.

How Does Buying a Home Affect Your Credit?
Mortgage & Financing
How Does Buying a Home Affect Your Credit?

Since most of us need a mortgage to help finance the purchase of a home, it’s important to understand how a mortgage affects your credit score.

What Are Real Estate Relocation Companies?
Preparing to Buy
What Are Real Estate Relocation Companies?

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or moving to the opposite coast, real estate location companies can help with your home purchasing and moving needs.

The Best Places to Live in Maryland for Families, Professionals, and More
DMV
The Best Places to Live in Maryland for Families, Professionals, and More

Maryland's proximity to Washington, D.C. means that jobs are plentiful, but the state has many perks: fantastic education, gorgeous parks, and great seafood.

How to Buy Your First Home: A Guide for Beginners
Buying Your First Home
How to Buy Your First Home: A Guide for Beginners

This complete guide walks through how to buy your first home — including saving, obtaining financing, finding an agent, and negotiating and closing the deal.

Buying a House with Cash: What Does That Mean?
Buying Your First Home
Buying a House with Cash: What Does That Mean?

If a cash offer on a home doesn't literally mean showing up with dollar bills to a sale, what does it mean? Let's explain how cash offers work.

Do New Construction Homes Need an Inspection?
Home Inspections & Appraisals
Do New Construction Homes Need an Inspection?

Most new construction sale contracts include a final walkthrough, but it may not include an inspection. Here's why you should invest in an inspection too.

The Pros and Cons of Using a VA Home Loan
Mortgage & Financing
The Pros and Cons of Using a VA Home Loan

Recently, home sellers have shied away from accepting offers from buyers using VA loans. Why is that? Let's examine the pros and cons of using a VA home loan.

Buying a Home with Solar Panels: What You Should Know
Preparing to Buy
Buying a Home with Solar Panels: What You Should Know

Looking at a house with solar panels? You should know what it means to buy a home with them, whether they're leased or paid in full.

What Exactly Is The Escrow Process?
Buying Your First Home
What Exactly Is The Escrow Process?

If you’re a first-time buyer, you may not have a clear picture of what the escrow process actually looks like. Let’s break down everything you need to know

What Is a Septic Inspection — And Should You Get One?
Home Inspections & Appraisals
What Is a Septic Inspection — And Should You Get One?

Septic inspections usually are not included in a typical home inspection, so you’ll have to get one separately. They're often worth it.

The Best Places to Live in Northern Virginia: Families, Professionals, and More
DMV
The Best Places to Live in Northern Virginia: Families, Professionals, and More

Considering a move to Northern Virginia? Check out these top towns and neighborhoods in NoVa, whether you have a family, a new career, or are retiring.

Is There A Housing Bubble — And Is It About to Burst?
Preparing to Buy
Is There A Housing Bubble — And Is It About to Burst?

The answer to this question depends on your situation and your local market. But generally speaking, don’t expect things to change drastically anytime soon.

How to Win a Bidding War When Buying a Home
Offers & Negotiation
How to Win a Bidding War When Buying a Home

Is there anything worse than the feeling of going above your budget for a home, only to lose out anyway? Here's how to win a bidding war.

Can You Buy a House With a Credit Card — And Should You?
Buying Your First Home
Can You Buy a House With a Credit Card — And Should You?

While you can technically buy a home with a credit card, there will be some hurdles, and the cost may be prohibitive.

How Long Will You Wait After Making an Offer on a Home?
Buying Your First Home
How Long Will You Wait After Making an Offer on a Home?

You've made your offer on a home you love. What happens next? Here's how long you'll wait to hear back from the seller.

Your Guide to Offering Below Asking Price on a House
Offers & Negotiation
Your Guide to Offering Below Asking Price on a House

What to offer on a house depends on the market, what shape the home is in, and the seller’s needs. Here's how to make a low offer, and by how much.

6 Things to Avoid Doing When Working With a Real Estate Agent
Buying Your First Home
6 Things to Avoid Doing When Working With a Real Estate Agent

Collaboration with your agent is key in any real estate transaction, as they could be your greatest asset. So don't annoy them by doing any of these things.

Can You Find a Home Before It Hits the Market?
Preparing to Buy
Can You Find a Home Before It Hits the Market?

Homes that don’t hit the market — known as “pocket listings” — can be a good option for buyers and sellers for many reasons.

Is It Worth Breaking a Lease to Buy a House?
Buying Your First Home
Is It Worth Breaking a Lease to Buy a House?

Even if you have to pay penalties, you may find that breaking your lease is worth it. Here are pros and cons to consider when you make this critical decision.

How Do Evictions Affect Your Credit Report?
Preparing to Buy
How Do Evictions Affect Your Credit Report?

If you've been evicted, your credit report has likely taken a hit. Here's how to approach fixing your credit before you make a big purchase like buying a house.

Is The Housing Market Cooling Off? Fall 2021 Update
Preparing to Buy
Is The Housing Market Cooling Off? Fall 2021 Update

Many real estate experts expect the record-setting housing market of the past year to slow down this fall, but it's still expected to be highly competitive.

You Bought a House and Then Found a Problem. Now What?
Preparing to Buy
You Bought a House and Then Found a Problem. Now What?

Who’s responsible for the necessary repairs if you find problems with a house after buying it?

What You Need to Know About Buying a House From, or For, Family
Preparing to Buy
What You Need to Know About Buying a House From, or For, Family

Learn about buying a home from your family or for them, or how doing so can help you avoid competition and make closing easier.

Headed to an Open House? Here's What You Need to Know
Buying Your First Home
Headed to an Open House? Here's What You Need to Know

You’ve started house hunting and want to attend some open houses. How do you get the most out of the experience?

Condo, Townhouse, Single-Family Home, Mansion: What's the Difference?
Preparing to Buy
Condo, Townhouse, Single-Family Home, Mansion: What's the Difference?

Not all houses are the same: Let's look at some of the most common home types you’ll come across when you search for a new property to buy.

What to Consider When Buying a House With a Partner, a Friend, or Family
Preparing to Buy
What to Consider When Buying a House With a Partner, a Friend, or Family

Want to buy a house with a friend, partner, or members of your family? Make sure you consider all the financial and legal responsibilities.

How Much Money Should You Save Before Buying a House?
Preparing to Buy
How Much Money Should You Save Before Buying a House?

“As much as you can” isn’t really an answer, but it’s not bad advice either.

What is an Easement in Real Estate?
Preparing to Buy
What is an Easement in Real Estate?

An easement gives someone access to your property. In some cases, they can be a nuisance, but overall, easements shouldn’t give you much cause for concern.

5 Expert Negotiation Tactics for Home Buyers
Offers & Negotiation
5 Expert Negotiation Tactics for Home Buyers

If you want to negotiate the best price, upgrades (such as a new roof), or concessions when buying a house, take it from the experts.

How Much Debt Can You Have If You Want to Buy a House?
Buying Your First Home
How Much Debt Can You Have If You Want to Buy a House?

If you’re saddled with debts, the monthly payments you owe may make it difficult to meet a mortgage payment each month.

What Does It Mean When a House Is Under Contract? Pending? Contingent?
Buying Your First Home
What Does It Mean When a House Is Under Contract? Pending? Contingent?

You see a house you love, or see the listing online. But a sign says “Under Contract” or “Pending.” What do these these terms mean, and is it too late to buy?

Why a Cash Offer Is (Often) Better When Buying a House
Buying Before Selling
Why a Cash Offer Is (Often) Better When Buying a House

Let’s examine how cash offers will help you make a more competitive offer on a home, as well as what some of the disadvantages of cash offers are.

How to Write An Excellent Offer Letter for a House
Buying Before Selling
How to Write An Excellent Offer Letter for a House

Trying to buy a house in a hot market? Here's how to write an excellent home offer letter that appeals to sellers and makes your offer stand out.

Did Someone Die In Your House? Here's How to Find Out
Preparing to Buy
Did Someone Die In Your House? Here's How to Find Out

While hunting for a new home, you may be curious whether recent previous residents met an untimely end. Here's how to find out whether that's the case.

Living In Texas: Comparing Houston vs Dallas vs Austin vs San Antonio
Texas
Living In Texas: Comparing Houston vs Dallas vs Austin vs San Antonio

Which of Texas' biggest, most popular cities is best? Compare life, food, housing, and more in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.

What Is a Spec Home?
Buying a New Construction Home
What Is a Spec Home?

A spec home, also known as a move-in ready home, is a type of new construction house that could be a great fit for a new family.

Power Lines and Property Value: What You Need to Know
Preparing to Sell
Power Lines and Property Value: What You Need to Know

Breaking down the pros and cons of living in, and selling, a home near power lines.

7 Tips for Buying a Home in a Hot Market
Preparing to Buy
7 Tips for Buying a Home in a Hot Market

Real estate agents across the country share their tips for winning the home of your dreams.

Bridge Loan vs. Home Equity Loan: Are Either Right for You?
Buying Before Selling
Bridge Loan vs. Home Equity Loan: Are Either Right for You?

Comparing two short-term home financing options that may or may not make sense for you.

How Much Does an Acre of Land Cost?
Preparing to Buy
How Much Does an Acre of Land Cost?

Not surprisingly, land in rural, suburban, and urban areas will have different price points. Here's what you need to know.

The Difference Between a Listing Agent and Selling Agent
Buying Your First Home
The Difference Between a Listing Agent and Selling Agent

You hear these titles thrown around a lot in the home buying process. What do they mean?