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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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Real Estate Q&A: Is Buying A Home Better Than Renting?

Q.

Everyone says owning is better than renting, but is it worth it to buy a house if we only want to live there for a few years?

A.

If you are committed to staying in an area for three or more years, buying is almost always a good option. Even if it’s not your dream house or an ideal area, owning enables you to build equity for a down payment on a more fabulous home in the future.

However, if you’re only going to stay in the area for a year or two, you’re probably better off renting. Why? The in and out transaction costs of buying- closing and broker fees, mortgage costs- can really add up (easily more than 10 percent!) If you sell one home and buy another in a short amount of time, you might find yourself paying more in transaction costs than a whole year’s worth of rent. If that could be the case, hold off on buying until you find a place where you see yourself being happy for at least a few years.

-- The Nest Editors

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