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When the going gets tough -- And you thought finding the right house at the right price was the hard part. You ain't seen nuthin' yet! Understanding the closing process, closing costs, escrow accounts, title insurance and hazard insurance is just the beginning. You have decisions to make -- about attorneys, home inspectors, appraisers and closing agents. This is the time when the tough really need to get going. Gaining a basic understanding and an awareness of potential pitfalls can save you big bucks and serious stress.

Home Buyer's Guide
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15 yr fixed mtg 3.10%
5/1 jumbo ARM 3.51%
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Paving the way to a smooth closing
Make sure you get a good inspector -- Three out of four home buyers hire an inspector to examine the house. They are wise to do so -- but an inspector won't check everything.

Do you need an attorney? -- Yes, when buying a for-sale-by-owner home.

Ins and outs of title insurance -- Title insurance can protect you from disaster.

Get insurance in place ahead of time -- After a disaster is a little late to find out what is and what is not covered by your policy.

Everything you need to know about closing
Understanding the closing process -- Everything you need to know about the big day -- the day you close on your new home.

Everything you should know about escrow accounts -- These accounts frequently protect both you and the lender from . . . you.

Getting to the bottom of those closing costs -- Understanding the four categories of closing costs and how to make sure you don't pay them twice.

What happens at closing? -- What you can expect at a real estate closing, from setting the date to signing papers and potential last-minute hurdles.

It ain't over until it's over
Tips to avoid last-minute snafus -- Caught in a mortgage-closing trap? We show you how you can step away from it.

When good appraisals go bad -- What do you do when the appraisal doesn't meet the sales price? It can happen, and it can foul up a deal.

Caught between two houses -- There are ways to handle either a gap in homeownership or an overlap in ownership.

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