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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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Q&A: How Much to Bid?

Q.

We’re serious about buying a place, but how much do we bid on it?

A.

The Nest Q&AThe most important thing you can do when it comes to real estate is be informed. Do your research -- ask your real estate agent, look at county records, or go to Zillow.com, RealEstateABC.com, EAppraisal.com, and Cyberhomes.com to look at “comps,” which are the sales prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood where you want to buy. Make sure they’re recent (six months or less) to reflect the current trends in the market. Once you’ve done your homework, you’ll have a good idea of what the home’s really worth. Have any real estate tips of your own? Share them in the comments!

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

-- The Nest Editors

See More: Buying a Home , Budgeting , Real Estate