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: First Time Home Buyers Program

Q.

What’s the deal with first-time homebuyer programs?

A.

FHA loan programs are meant to help people buy homes by offering grants, subsidizing interest costs, capping lender fees and more. To qualify, you can’t have owned a home in the past three years, and your annual household income can’t exceed a set amount. Other terms vary by state, so contact your local HUD office (HUD.gov). Even if you qualify, make sure the total housing costs (mortgage, property tax, etc.) account for no more than 30 percent of your take-home pay before you consider buying.

-- The Nest Editors

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