Buying a home for the first time can be overwhelming, but we've got you covered with our simple, easy to understand advice.
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.
Most lenders require an appraisal, but you can waive the appraisal in select circumstances
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.
Unsure of whether to rent or buy a house? Use this rent vs. buy calculator to make an informed decision about which option makes the most financial sense.
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.
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.
Disabled homeowners can qualify for grants and home loans by getting a mortgage backed by a government agency like a USDA or VA loan.
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.
Certain fees that you pay as part of closing costs are tax deductible (like mortgage points and mortgage insurance), but you can't deduct everything.
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.
The states with the least natural disasters include Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The state with the most natural disasters is Washington.
As long as you meet all the requirements and your house qualifies, you can deduct mortgage interest on your taxes but there are limits.
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.
These cities offer LGBTQ+ homebuyers the most buying power relative to income, as well as equal protection under the law.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MLS stands for multiple listing service. This database provides information about real estate properties for sale and only licensed agents have access.
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.
The Marriage or Mortgage Report explores the evolving homebuying attitudes of 2,000 Americans in various stages of relationships and family planning.
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.
When you're moving out of a house, make sure everything is squared away in your current one. Here are eight things to do before you leave.
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.
Legally, a transaction broker has to act as a neutral party — unlike a real estate agent who represents the buyer or seller and their best interests.
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.
In a buyer’s market, prospective homebuyers have an advantage over sellers, while a seller’s market give sellers the upper hand.
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.
To help narrow your focus before you hit the shops, keep reading for our list of things to buy for a new house.
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.
Instead of rejecting a bid, sellers can suggest new terms in a counter offer. If they do, the purchase price isn’t the only their only bargaining chip.
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.
Except in community property states, a married couple can apply for mortgages, pay for a house, and title a house under the name of just one spouse.
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.
Mortgage rates change daily based on many factors, some of which you can control but many of which you can’t.
LTV is the ratio of your loan compared to the value of the asset it is used to purchase, and it's just as important for borrowers as it is for lenders.
As of July 1, 2022 medical debt will begin to impact consumers’ credit scores in fewer ways.
Home prices are starting to come down in some markets, but home values are unlikely to drop significantly. Here's how to make the most out of the market.
You may need to offer above asking price in a seller's market, especially if there are multiple offers — but you can make your offer stand out in other ways.
Self-employed workers, including contractors and freelancers, may have less predictable incomes but that doesn't mean they can't qualify for a good mortgage.
Buying a house with a lien may not be the best option for all homeowners, since they may then need to pay off the debts in addition to their own mortgage loan.
If you’re looking to relocate, here’s a closer look at states that pay you to move there and how much you can earn.
Buying a fire-damaged house can be worthwhile if the damage is not extensive, and you can afford the cost of restoration to make the home livable.
When it comes to buying a home with termites, consider the extent of the damage, the costs of repairs, and how major those repairs need to be.
Some lenders include a prepayment penalty clause in your loan agreement, which is applied if you pay off your mortgage debt in full within the first few years.
Yes, you can buy a house after bankruptcy. You’ll get your house, but it might just take a little longer than you hoped.
Buying a house with tenants can be convenient, but it can also lead to problems. Understand tenants rights, and yours when the landlord sells the property.
Underwriting is the last step of the mortgage approval process where the lender determines whether to extend the borrower a loan.
Under the right circumstances you can save money by building a house instead of buying an existing home, but only if you don’t go overboard.
Learn more about the pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper or a move-in ready house to make an informed decision about your home purchase.
Unlike traditional homes, modular and manufactured homes are both built in a factory offsite — to an extent.
Despite rising home prices and interest rates, buying a house continues to be one of the smartest financial investments for those looking to build their wealth.
When you buy a house on contract, you make a real estate transaction directly with the seller and pay them back in installments until you own the property.
Both cities and suburbs have key advantages and disadvantages to consider, but chances are one will meet your needs better than the other.
Buying a house with mold may not be worth your health, time, or money depending on how extensive the contamination is.
While you can change jobs when buying a house, you may not want to. Changing jobs can affect your mortgage eligibility and not always in a good way.
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