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: Home Depreciation?

Q.

We bought our home a year ago and have watched it depreciate. How long will we have to hang on before the value goes back to where it was?

A.

Are you sitting down? Experts say you may not recoup that value for a long time. Remember, you’re comparing your place’s value now to a housing bubble, when everything from your parents’ suburban compound to your best friend’s one-bedroom condo was inflated. And depending on where you live, even a year ago, many prices were on the decline.

Now that the bubble has popped, it’s time to be more realistic: Experts estimate that the housing market will take five to seven years to restabilize, which means your home’s value will readjust to its true value (not the inflated value it had a year or two ago). The key is being patient and riding it out if it makes sense for you financially.

Nestpert Joseph Russo, Executive Director of The National Council for Financial Literacy and Real Estate Expert at ITeachAboutMoney.com

-- The Nest Editors

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