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!

More about buying a home Less about buying a home

toolmortgage calculator

Mortgage Amount $
Mortgage Term years
Interest Rate % per year
Monthly Payments $

Hot Topics -- Join the Discussion!

"How do you deal with pushy in-laws."

"Do you have a cleaning schedule?"

"Has marriage changed your relationship?"
Married Life

“What are your financial goals?"
Money Matters

Real Estate Q&A: Our Parents as Cosigners?

Q.

My parents said they’d be our cosigners. What does this mean and how does it affect our chances of getting a home?

A.

When your parents -- or anyone -- agree to be your cosigners, it means they’re putting their financial reputation on the line with you. If you buy a house after getting a loan with cosigners, then your cosigners become responsible should you not be able to make the payments.

Having cosigners can be a smart idea for newlyweds with bad credit or not much credit history at all. If your parents have a good credit history and a strong financial standing, having them cosign a loan will make you stronger candidates, and the bank will be more likely to approve the loan.

If your parents don’t have good credit or have defaulted on loans themselves, then you have to say, “Thanks, Mom and Dad, but no thanks” should they offer to cosign a loan. You have to present yourselves as the strongest candidates to the bank. Explain this to your parents if they’re offended that you turned down their offer to cosign.

Nestpert Jeff D. Opdyke, author of Financially Ever After: The Couples’ Guide to Managing Money

-- The Nest Editors

See More: Buying a Home