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: Relocking Your Rate?

Q.

I've heard you can relock your rate before closing if the rates drop. Is this true?

A.

Yes. If you locked in your rate when rates were at 5.25 to 5.5 percent, and you’re about to close when rates have come down to 4.5 percent, you can go to your bank and say that you know rates have come down and you’d like yours relocked.

Can’t believe a bank would compromise on your rate? They want your business! The bank doesn’t want to lose your loan to a competitor, who would benefit from the origination fees and other income generated from your mortgage, so the bank will often split the difference or at least lower your locked rate by some degree.

It won’t be the lowest rate out there, and not every bank will do it, but you can certainly ask. Remember: This is all tied to your original lock, so you’ll still have to close on the house by the time you’re scheduled to under the original lock.

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

-- The Nest Editors

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