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how to: buy a home

Ready for a new nest? Whether you’re looking for your very first place, or it’s time for an upgrade, we’ve got guides on renting or buying a home that will help ease you through the process. Start with the basics -- condo, co-op, or house? Our home buying help will give you the pros and cons of every option. After deciding what you want, you’ll need to settle on where to live. Our tips on how to find a home will help you pick the right neighborhood and even tell you how to give it a test drive! If you’ve already narrowed in on a neighborhood, you’ll want a real estate agent, and we’ve got the questions you must ask before you hire one. Once you’re on the house hunt, our Q&A can help you through every step of buying a home. From dealing with agent fees, how much to bid, managing mortgages -- even when it’s smarter to rent. You’ll find home buying help for every sticky situation. In addition to tips on buying a house, we’ve also got advice on selling your old one. Take a peek at our advice on organizing an open house, the dos and don’ts of selling it yourself, and our handy selling your home checklist. Our tips on buying a house will take you right through to the end, from dealing with inspections to making an offer. Once you’re ready to make your move, check out our moving checklist and the first things you should do in your new space. Welcome home!

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Real Estate Q&A: Adding Value to Your Yard?

Q.

The Nest Q&A

How can we add value to our yard?

A.

Well, the good news is you don't have to add a waterfall pool to increase the value of your yard. It's all about making small changes with big impact:

Maintain it. A yard with a patchy yellow grass and weeds screams, "These owners don't give a crap!" Mow your lawn regularly and talk to a pro at your local nursery about products that will make your grass and other greenery look brighter and healthier.

Landscape it well. Beautiful trees and shrubs will enhance your terrace, roof garden, balcony, or yard and have been proven to add dollars to your overall home value. Plant perennials (start with the front of your house, since that's what people see first).

Do some visual editing. Sure, you have a historic 20-foot-tall yew bush, but that doesn't mean it should stay. Think of it like your decor -- you've got to clear out the clutter to make your new additions (read: flowers and shrubs) stand out.

Add fun accessories. Always wanted a chic lounge set? Look at your budget and assess what upgrades you can make that won't just be eye-catching, but will increase your quality of life too.

-- The Nest Editors

See More: Renovating , Buying a Home , Real Estate , Real Estate Q&A