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!

More about buying a home Less about buying a home

toolmortgage calculator

Mortgage Amount $
Mortgage Term years
Interest Rate % per year
Monthly Payments $

Hot Topics -- Join the Discussion!

"How do you deal with pushy in-laws."

"Do you have a cleaning schedule?"

"Has marriage changed your relationship?"
Married Life

“What are your financial goals?"
Money Matters

Real Estate Q&A: Renting vs. Buying

Q.

The Nest Q&A

Are we better off buying or renting if we’re only planning on living in a house for a few years?

A.

In almost all cases, buying a house only makes sense if you’re going to be there long enough for the value of the home to exceed not just what you paid for it, but the taxes and maintenance costs too. This can take 5, 10, even 20 years (read: a lot more than a few). Also, renting doesn’t mean you’re a financial failure. Somewhere along the line, we got this idea that renting is “throwing money away,” when in reality, you can use what you save on property taxes and maintenance and invest that money into your long-term savings plan. In the end, you might be able to accumulate more by investing in retirement accounts and other investment plans than what you would have earned selling a home.

Nestpert Ramit Sethi, author of the new book I Will Teach You to Be Rich and personal finance guru for companies like Deloitte, KPMG, and Intel

-- The Nest Editors

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