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: Finding a Good Neighborhood?

Q.

How do we find a good neighborhood?

A.

Delve deeper than your prospective town's chamber of commerce by going on the town website or on a local newspaper’s website. It’ll tell you what people really think as opposed to town-approved content. Also check out Walkscore.com, which rates towns on a scale of one to 100 and points you to the major grocery stores, restaurants, and parks around town. Once you've narrowed down a few choices, nothing can beat actually investingating the area in person. See what the downtown vibe is like and ask locals questions (a bustling coffee shop in the heart of town is a good place to start). Also check out what things look like at night (it can be drastically different during the day) and be sure to do it on a weekend, when the majority of people (your future neighbors) will be out and about.

-- The Nest Editors

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