Preparing to Buy

Feel empowered to buy your dream home with advice and tips from our top local real estate agents.

How to choose the right location when buying a house
Preparing to Buy
How to choose the right location when buying a house

Homebuyers often wonder if it’s better to buy a fixer-upper in a good neighborhood or a turnkey home in a bad one. There’s no obvious answer to that question.

What is a home warranty — and is having one worth it?
Preparing to Buy
What is a home warranty — and is having one worth it?

While a home warranty can be a good safety net against expensive, unforeseen repairs, getting one is not always the most financially sound decision.

Cash wins every home around me: In some cities, cash bids win 1/4 of home sales
Preparing to Buy
Cash wins every home around me: In some cities, cash bids win 1/4 of home sales

In an analysis of winning bids on homes, Orchard found that the percentage of homes sold for cash has risen significantly in the country's hottest markets.

Can you buy a house on Amazon?
Preparing to Buy
Can you buy a house on Amazon?

Everyone knows that one site where you can buy everything. Does that include your next home? Not unless you like living small.

Your guide to buying a house with a pool
Preparing to Buy
Your guide to buying a house with a pool

Pools are work. Our guide breaks down everything you need to know about pool ownership, so you don't end up wishing that you never bought a house with a pool.

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.

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. 

 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.

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.

The 10 Best Cities For New Families to Buy a Home
Preparing to Buy
The 10 Best Cities For New Families to Buy a Home

We’ve put together a ranked list of the 10 best cities for young families to buy a home to help inform your next move.

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.

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.

What Will The Real Estate Market Look Like in 2022?
Preparing to Buy
What Will The Real Estate Market Look Like in 2022?

While 2021 saw historically high prices and competition, 2022 may see both rise again. Savvy buyers may still find some good deals if they plan well.

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.

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?

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.

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.

The 15 Best Cities to Move to for a Remote Career
Preparing to Buy
The 15 Best Cities to Move to for a Remote Career

If you’re one of the many Americans starting a new life as a remote worker, we’ve compiled a list of the best cities to move to for a remote career.

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.

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.

How Much the Typical Home Cost in Your State in 1950
Preparing to Buy
How Much the Typical Home Cost in Your State in 1950

Orchard analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data to find the 1950 median home values for every state plus Washington D.C.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

What Do People Want In a Home? Here’s What Our Home Match Quiz Says
Preparing to Buy
What Do People Want In a Home? Here’s What Our Home Match Quiz Says

What do people really want when searching for a home? The results of our Home Match quiz breaks down people's preferences across markets.

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.

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.

Can You Refuse to Join an HOA?
Preparing to Buy
Can You Refuse to Join an HOA?

It's possible to avoid an HOA, though those situations are rare and hard-fought. Plus, the fight might not be worth it. Learn more about refusing to join HOAs.

The Complete House Hunting Checklist for Buyers
Preparing to Buy
The Complete House Hunting Checklist for Buyers

We’ve made a house hunting checklist to help you remember all the important details you need to look out for while home shopping.

Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Home?
Preparing to Buy
Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Home?

Let's talk about how to decide if now is a good time to buy a house.

7 Tips For Buying a House in a Different State
Preparing to Buy
7 Tips For Buying a House in a Different State

Looking to buy a house in a different state before you move? Follow these tips and make moving to a new state or city easier.

How long does it take to buy a house?
Preparing to Buy
How long does it take to buy a house?

It typically takes around six months from start to finish to buy a house — but the exact timeline is different for everyone and depends on a few key factors.

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a House in 2021
Preparing to Buy
The Ultimate Guide to Buying a House in 2021

Read on to learn the nine steps to buying a home in 2021, including financial requirements and tips for making a competitive offer.

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a House in Texas
Texas
The Ultimate Guide to Buying a House in Texas

Read on to learn the nine steps to buying a home in Texas, including financial requirements and tips for making a competitive offer.

2021 Guide to the Best Places to Live in the Triangle
Raleigh-Durham
2021 Guide to the Best Places to Live in the Triangle

We ranked the top neighborhoods and suburbs in Raleigh-Durham based on housing, quality of schools, and commute times to help you find the best place to live.

2021 Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Charlotte
Charlotte
2021 Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Charlotte

We ranked the top neighborhoods and suburbs in Charlotte based on housing, quality of schools, and commute times to help you find the best place to live.

How long does a home appraisal take?
Offers & Negotiation
How long does a home appraisal take?

A home appraisal happens after you make an offer on a home and typically takes two days to a week to complete.

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Buying A New Construction Home
Buying a New Construction Home
Your Step-by-Step Guide to Buying A New Construction Home

Buying a new home is very different than buying an existing one. We explain the 8 major steps of the new construction buying process and what questions to ask.

2021 Insider's Guide to the Best Places to Live in Houston
Houston
2021 Insider's Guide to the Best Places to Live in Houston

We ranked the top neighborhoods and suburbs in Houston based on housing, quality of schools, and commute times to help you find the best place to live.

How to Buy and Sell a Home During the Coronavirus
Preparing to Buy
How to Buy and Sell a Home During the Coronavirus

Find information and answers to common questions on how to buy or sell a home during the coronavirus.

Should I Buy or Sell a House During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Preparing to Sell
Should I Buy or Sell a House During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

If you were hoping to buy or sell a home this year, you might be second-guessing things now. Here's why this could still be a good time to buy or sell a house.

Tips for Buying a House in Texas
Texas
Tips for Buying a House in Texas

Whether you are ready to buy a house now or in the early stages of consideration, here are some tips and tricks for buying a home in Texas.

What is an Open House? Everything Buyers and Sellers Need to Know
Glossary
What is an Open House? Everything Buyers and Sellers Need to Know

Wondering exactly what an open house in real estate is? This post walks buyers and sellers through everything they need to know to make the most of open houses.

What is a Proof of Funds Letter?
Mortgage & Financing
What is a Proof of Funds Letter?

It’s no secret that buying a home requires quite a bit of paperwork. Here is a break down of what a Proof of Funds Letter is and what counts as Proof of Funds.

5 Essential Questions to Ask When Buying a House
Preparing to Buy
5 Essential Questions to Ask When Buying a House

Here are 5 essential questions to ask when buying a house. Make sure to get all of the home buying questions answered before you sign on the dotted line!

Renting vs Buying a Home
Preparing to Buy
Renting vs Buying a Home

The decision of renting a home vs buying a home involves everything from your finances to lifestyle to career plans. Here are some reasons you should consider.

How to Buy a House in 7 Steps
Preparing to Buy
How to Buy a House in 7 Steps

Ready to become a homeowner but not sure where to start? Here's an overview of how to buy a house so you can approach the home buying journey with confidence.