your credit fixed first -- Making sure your credit score is
as high as it can possibly be gives you the best shot at the lowest
possible interest rate.
up your financing before you shop -- Many buyers incorrectly
wait until they've signed a contract before seeking financing. But
the terms of the loan can make a big difference in how much house
you can buy.
much house can you afford? -- Learn what to consider when deciding
how much to spend and use Bankrate's easy interactive tool for an
for home buyers -- Lots to do, but which comes first? Follow this timeline
to get your housing ducks in a row.
top benefits of owning a home -- The responsibilities that go with homeownership
can be pain, but the financial and 'feel good' rewards make it all worthwhile.
should NOT buy a house -- It's not for everyone, you know. Some
people in certain circumstances shouldn't even think about it.
better: New or existing home? -- Different strokes for different folks. Here's
a review of the pros and cons of each.
firms can help buyers, too -- Firms geared to help sellers can also be a big
boon to buyers going it alone.
a FSBO: who saves what? -- Some buyers target properties that
are "for sale by owner," thinking that owners will pass
along the savings they realize from avoiding an agent's commission.
Don't count on it.
your rights in any real estate purchase -- By learning your
rights as a home buyer, you can help yourself get the best deal
possible and stay in control of the transaction every step of the
truth about buying foreclosures -- Everyone wants to buy a foreclosure for
a song. But they're not that easy to find and there's no guarantee it's a good
breaks for homeowners -- Favorable tax treatment is one of the best reasons
for buying your own home. Here's how it can work for you.
I need an attorney for a home purchase? -- Many people rely
on real estate agents, title companies and escrow agents to close
the deal. Is that good enough?
does the contract mumbo-jumbo really mean? -- Bankrate's interactive
contract takes you through a typical sale and purchase contract
paragraph by paragraph.
faith estimates vary widely -- They're done in good faith, but
things change, so don't bet the farm on them.
and coolest housing markets -- A look at which areas of the country have volatile
markets and which are most stable.
to look for in a house -- As you shop for a house, it helps
to know the danger signs of serious problems and which are minor.
home inspection first -- Beat the buyer to the punch by getting
your home inspected before listing. That way you can price accordingly.
the offer/counteroffer game -- The seller sets an inflated asking
price and, as the buyer, you offer something less. Here's how to
win this cat-and-mouse game.
biggest mistakes home buyers make -- If you can avoid falling
into these traps, you're likely to get a much better deal.
a CLUE before making an offer -- This insurance-claim history
on the home you're about to buy can provide priceless information.
Posted: May 16, 2005