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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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Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

Are you ready to move beyond leases and landlords to the world of mortgages and equity? Your home-owner readiness is a combination of financial and emotional factors. See if you should be in the market or just park it. (Pick the answer that most closely describes your situation.)

How secure are your jobs?




In the next five years, you plan on:




In the next five years, your spouse plans on:




When a mortgage lender does a check on your credit history, he will find:




With your current savings, you have enough money to:




Do you have any plans for starting a family?




What's your banking experience most similar to?




Buying and closing a house could leave you financially strapped. You are willing to:




If the plumbing in your house breaks, you are prepared to: