Buying a Home


Buying a Home

People buy homes for many reasons, whether it’s a fulfillment of a dream or a calculated investment. Whatever the motivation, buying a home is generally the largest single financial transaction most people ever conduct.

Because it’s such a big step, you really need to know what you’re getting into when you buy a house. In this section, explains the financial elements of purchasing a home and clarifies the entire process to facilitate each step along the way. To assist you in this giant financial undertaking, the Internet offers many financial tools and calculators, including the Buy vs. Rent Tool.

The Buying Process
While it’s easy to get overwhelmed, buying a house doesn’t have to be a painful ordeal. If you know all the details and understand what you’re getting into, the process can be both enjoyable and educational. will take you through the steps of preparing to buy a house, from figuring what’s motivating your decision to finding out what kind of home you can afford. Then we’ll take you step by step through the actual buying process, from getting pre-qualified to moving in.

What Can You Afford?
How much money can you spend on a home? That depends on several factors, including your income, credit rating, and the size of your down payment. But the length of the loan and the interest rate also have an effect. Use our home affordability tool to estimate realistically how much you can spend. Let show you what’s involved in the total cost of your home–not just the initial buying costs, but the mortgage payments, insurance, and maintenance that you’ll be paying for years down the road.

Buy vs. Rent
It’s usually smarter in the long run to buy a home than to rent one, but there are situations where the opposite is true. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of both buying and renting. You can also use Buy vs. Rent Tool to compare the cost and benefits of each over time.

Finding a Home
Although it’s getting easier to find a home online, it may be smarter to deal with an actual human being. Real estate agents have many advantages over their virtual counterparts, including experience and local knowledge. tells you what to look for in a real estate agent and how to find one in your area.

Getting Financing
The Web has made financing a home much easier than it used to be. But you still need to know the basics: how to check your credit, get pre-qualified, shop for loans, and get pre-approved. In this section, we’ll give you the names of the resources you need and show you how best to go about accomplishing these tasks.

Closing the Deal
Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, the home buying process may still only be half over. Inspecting and appraising the property and closing the deal can take a great deal of time and energy. guides you through each stage, giving you detailed information and names of Web sites that can help you complete the process and finally move into your new home.


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