Everything you ever wanted to know about how to buy a 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.
Off-market homes provide a potential investment opportunity but can be tricky to navigate if you don’t have experience. Here's a guide on where to start.
The process of transferring utilities when moving is simple and straightforward, and if you plan ahead everything can be ready by the time you step foot inside.
One of the best ways to meet your new neighbors is to taking the initiative and introduce yourself. Here are 14 more creative and effective ways.
The house-price-to-income ratio is a rule-of-thumb measure of housing affordability. It compares the median price of homes to the median household income.
Buying an apartment building is similar to buying a house, but you'll need to your due dilligence to make sure it's a profitable and safe property.
Most lenders require an appraisal, but you can waive the appraisal in select circumstances
Orchard analyzed 50 Colorado cities and built a list of places where the quality of life is high, prices are relatively low, and it's easier to buy a home.
The 1% rule in real estate can help determine whether you'll make a profit on an investment property. Here's how to use it help inform your purchase.
Buying an as-is home usually come with a lower purchase price, but may need extensive repairs. It's still a viable option if you're willing to take on the risk.
Thinking about buying a home in 2023? Understanding the qualifications for getting a mortgage can help you prepare for the preapproval and lending process.
Purchase and sale agreements are important documents that outline the details of a real estate transaction between buyer and seller.
Walk Score is a metric that helps homebuyers find walkable places to live. Properties are rated from 0-100 based on their walkability.
You can’t deduct homeowners insurance premiums on your federal taxes, with two key exceptions: your home is your primary workplace or you rent out your home.
The average HOA fee is $170 a month, but you could pay anywhere from $50 to $1,000 depending on where you live and what amenities your HOA community offers.
Buying a lake house comes with many costs, challenges, and potential regrets so you’ll need to consider whether these negatives outweigh the benefits.
There are a number of tax deductions available to homeowners, but most of these deductions are only available if you itemize deductions.
Mortgage credit certificates provide eligible homebuyers with a tax credit for a portion of the mortgage interest they pay annually.
You can cancel PMI early if your home value increases, but you’ll need to get an official appraisal showing what your home is worth.
Learn how much it costs to move on average by geography, size of the move, services, and more. These numbers are current for 2023.
A quitclaim deed allows a seller to quickly transfer property to a buyer. Learn how it works, when to use this deed, and more.
After closing on a home you're not off the hook. There are various costs of homeownership you need to prepare for.
Putting your house in a trust entails retitling it in the trust's name and it can help avoid probate, gettin the property to your heirs faster than a will.
House poor is term used to describe someone who is overspending on their housing budget, usually with 30% or more of their income dedicated to housing costs.
Land value tax levies a tax on the value of unimproved land itself, regardless of what lies on the land, and is only asssessed in a few U.S. Cities.
Homeowners can write off state and local property taxes on their federal income tax return. Married couples can deduct up to $10,000; singles up to $5,000.
You're never too old to buy a house. Senior citizens can qualify for a mortgage so long as they can demonstrate their financial ability to repay the loan.
The simplest definition for a primary residence is that it’s your home where you live, and it can affect your mortgage rates, tax benefits, and more.
When weighing whether to pay off a mortgage early or invest, usually some combination of both would likely yield greater financial stability.
To qualify for the home office tax deduction, you must use a space in your home exclusively for your self-employed business.
Disabled homeowners can qualify for grants and home loans by getting a mortgage backed by a government agency like a USDA or VA loan.
Also known as a promissory note, mortgage notes are legally binding contracts that compels you to repay your mortgage loan within an agreed period of time.
The residential energy tax credits help you save up to 30% of the costs of energey-efficient improvements, but there are certain limits and restrictions.
A no-closing cost mortgage is a type of mortgage where the borrower is not required to pay the traditional closing costs associated with purchasing the house
The homestead exemption shields a certain amount or percentage of your home’s assessed value from taxes, but it isn't available in every state.
Yes, the interest paid on a home equity loan or HELOC is deductible if you used the loan to buy, build or improve the home used to get the loan.
Second homes and investment properties are defined differently by the IRS, and both come with different tax benefits and applicable deductions.
The VA funding fee is a one-time fee that is charged to borrowers who use their VA home-loan benefits to finance the purchase of a home.
Moving into a new home is already a stressful process filled with change and excitement. If you’re moving with kids, there is an added layer of pressure.
VA loan entitlement is the maximum amount the VA will repay a lender in the event that a borrower defaults on their loan.
For most people, VA loan limits are not an issue. But if you have impacted entitlement, then you're subjected to conforming loan limits set by the FHFA.
As long as you meet all the requirements and your house qualifies, you can deduct mortgage interest on your taxes but there are limits.
A condemned house is one that the government deems unfit for anyone to live in or use, due to health and safety concerns.
You’ll recognize a Victorian house (or a Victorian-inspired home) by its ornate wood exterior, steep roof, and large bay windows.
Buying down your interest rate can lower your monthly mortgage payment, and it's most beneficial when rates aren't expected to go down in the future.
Mother-in-law suites are living areas with a private entrance separate from the main home. While meant for in-laws, they can serve a variety of other functions.
VA loans don't require a down payment, but there are benefits to putting some money down even if it's not mandatory.
Duplexes are more affordable than single-family homes, and if you rent out half you'll have passive income, but you'll have to contend with being a landlord.
Your first mortgage payment is usually due on the first of the month 30 days after closing, and the due date is affected by your closing date.
To make buying a house with a friend work, you need to agree on a co-ownership arrangement and understand your financial duties as a borrower.
Craftsman homes emphasize natural materials and individualistic handmade touches. This style of house and was made famous by architects like Frank Lloyd Wright.
The primary difference between the two homes is that a bi-level home is a single level home, whereas a split-story home has multiple stories.
A VA construction loan is a short-term loan that can help cover the costs of new construction homes or home renovations. Here's your guide to this VA benefit.
If you love the idea of a flexible lifestyle and don’t mind living in a small home, a tiny home, which is less than 600 square feet, might be right for you.
Realtor fees and real estate agent commission are paid by sellers and not homebuyers, and there are ways for you to save money on fees when selling your house.
You can browse homes to buy online on real estate websites, some of which allow you to carry out whole homebuying process on the internet, too.
Recasting a mortgage can help lower your monthly mortgage payment, but it won't lower the interest rate or change the terms of your loan.
Barndominiums or barndos are barns adapted into a residence, or a house that relies on a typical barn structure, and they can be cheaper than most homes.
VA loan inspection requirements are often conflated with appraisals, but their aims are different. Here's your guide to understanding the requirements of each.
If you can afford it, buying a home during a recession isn't a bad idea since you'll face less competition and lower home prices, too.
Assuming a VA loan can be a great way to save on funding fees and other closing costs. Here's your guide to VA loan assumption.
Minimum credit scores for VA loans vary by lender. Our guide breaks down everything you need to know about VA loan credit score requirements.
A gift letter is a form signed by you and the person who's giving you money towards your mortgage loan. You can usually get a gift letter form from your lender.
While A-frame houses are cheaper to buy or build, usually with a kit, compared to other homes, they come with their own set of disadvantages.
Zillow isn't the only real estate site around. A number of competitors and alternatives exist to help you buy, sell, or browse available homes.
You can distinguish different types of homes by building structure, like condo or single-family, or by architecture style — like ranch or Colonial.
Property taxes are based on the assessed value of your home and the tax rate, both of which are set by your local government.
A home inspection contingency clause allows a potential homebuyer to back out of a purchase contract if a professional finds there are issues with the property.
Living in a gated community can bring security, but there are disadvantanges to living in this type of neighborhood, including extra costs.
The first step to save for a house while renting is to create a budget and get familiar with your finances. Here are 12 ways to get started.
An assumable mortgage is when a buyer takes on an existing mortgage, including its remaining balance and mortgage rate, from the person selling their home.
A joint mortgage allows you to borrow money with another person — or a few other people — and use it to buy a house together.
After your offer has been accepted you'll sign a purchase agreement, which is typically contingent upon a few things, laid out in the terms of the contract.
Private mortgage insurance or PMI protects the mortgage lender, and it's required if you put down less than 20% when you buy a home.
The average home tour lasts 15 to 30 minutes. Make the most of your time by looking for odors, signs of damage, and more.
A property survey is a professional evaluation that determines the boundaries of a property, and it's required by a mortgage lender before you close on a home.
You can get mortgage pre-approval from an online lender in minutes by filling out an application, providing financial documents, and undergoing a credit check.
A co-borrower takes out the loan with you and is equally responsible for it. A cosigner signs the loan with you but is only responsible if you neglect to pay.
Although it's costly to install, forced air is the preferable method of heating your home compared to baseboard heaters, which are less energy efficient.
FHA loans are backed by the government and have less strict requirements compared to conventional loans.
Turnkey real estate refers to move-in-ready homes and properties that don't require repairs or renovations. This makes them particularly desirable to investors.
Hypothecation is when one party agrees to use an asset as collateral in exchange for the loan, and it occurs commonly in mortgages.
Home inspections can identify any severe air quality issues, and if they persist you'll need to find a professional to conduct an indoor air quality inspection.
Here are the top 19 questions every homebuyer should ask themself, their agent, and the seller to ensure that they've covered all their bases.
A well inspection involves testing a home's water source for purity and quanity to ensure the water is safe to drink and that there's enough of it.
Mortgage applications require documents demonstrating your personal details, credit, income, and assets, as well as information about the house you're buying.
A house may collapse if you see signs of structural issues, like sagging walls, uneven floors, leaking roofs, or visible cracks.
Well water is a private form of water that comes an aquifer on your property, while city water is a public water source that is managed by the government.
A half bathroom is a bathroom that contains a toilet and a sink. Full bathrooms, on the other hand, include four elements: a toilet, sink, shower, and bathtub.
The presence of radon doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, especially if there’s a radon mitigation system in the home. It just helps to be prepared.
To help narrow your focus before you hit the shops, keep reading for our list of things to buy for a new house.
No matter where you are in the home buying or selling process, it’s important to educate yourself about what qualifies as unethical or illegal behavior.
There are a few different reasons why agents or brokers might refer a customer to another real estate professional instead of accepting them as a client.
A balloon payment is an extra-large payment due at the end of the loan term. Balloon mortgages have some benefits but aren't right for most homebuyers.
You can work with multiple real estate agents if you haven’t signed an exclusive contract. However, working with multiple agents is generally frowned upon.
Whether or not an appliance come with a house depends on the type of home, the homeowner's preferences, and if the appliance is considered a fixture.
Married couples can apply for mortgages, pay for a house, and title a house under the name of just one spouse — except in community property states.
Your offer is more than just your purchase price, it also dictates the terms and conditions for the transaction. Here's how to craft a winning offer.
Just because a house is in a flood zone doesn’t mean you should rule out buying, you just have to prepare your offer and consider the future accordingly.
What you do during and after closing can make your first year as a homeowner a pain or jeopardize your home sale. Here's what not to do after closing on a home.