Chapter 1: Should you buy or rent?
There's no easy answer. Emotions, family and personal reasons all come into play in any home-buying decision.Chapter 2: How mortgages work
You can get a mortgage in many places, but they all share the same characteristics. We explain.Chapter 3: Your mortgage payment
Your monthly payment is determined by the rate and the amount of the loan, but there's much more to it.Chapter 4: Paperwork and fees
Prepare to gather a lot of paperwork, negotiate your loan terms and make sense of all the fees.Chapter 5: Underwriting
Prepare to gather a lot of paperwork, negotiate your loan terms and make sense of all the fees.Chapter 6: Closinga
It's your last chance to alter the deal, and the last chance for someone to sneak something past you.Chapter 7: Ownership, after closing
You have the keys, but you're not done. Your mortgage needs periodic maintenance, too. advertisementRelated Links:Mortgage or credit card debt? Which to pay firstUsing an IRA for a down payment, tax-freeWorried worker: Spend savings on mortgage?Related Articles:Mortgage vs. card debt?Time to re-refi mortgage?Interest Rate Roundup
Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages thoughtful and constructive comments. We ask that you stay focused on the story topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, illegal contents and advertisement posts. Comments are not reviewed before they are posted. Bankrate reserves the right (but is not obligated) to edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused. We do not permit the inclusion of hyperlinks in comments and may remove any comment that includes a hyperlink.
Timely market news and advice for consumers ready to buy, sell or invest in real estate. Delivered weekly.
The homeownership rate fell to its lowest point in more than 20 years in the final quarter of 2014.
... Read more