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Buying a Home


    • Get a copy of your credit reports four to six months before you start home shopping and pre-quaify for a mortgage before you start looking.

    • If you're buying a house strictly for financial reasons, look at each house you're considering as you would evaluate a purchase of stocks or bonds.

    • Don't buy one of the first houses in a subdivision. The developer may go bust and be unable to complete the development.

    • Make any offer on a home contingent on its passing an inspection. The purchase also should be contingent on your ability to get financing at or below a set interest rate.

    • Get an owner's title insurance policy that covers you, not the lender, if your ownership is successfully challenged.

    • Hire a real estate attorney to review the closing papers and, if you're buying a house still under construction, to draft or review the purchase contract.

    • Before you buy a house, try your commute to work during rush hour.

    • Learn about the area surrounding a potential purchase, including the potential for new roads or new development.

    • Look at a property while it's raining to see how water flows across it. Look for signs of poor drainage and danger of flooding.

    • Buy a house that's fundamentally sound in construction and materials, even if it doesn't have the latest, greatest design features.

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Georgia Natural Gas Guide

  Ready for a blast of winter, Georgia? It's still fall, but it's feeling like winter and natural gas rates are on everyone's mind. Which company has the best rate for you? My monthly update on natural gas rates in Georgia can help you decide... Here are the low-cost leaders ...

Do Real Estate Agents Really Matter Anymore?

With all the technology out there for home buyers and sellers, do real estate agents really matter anymore? For buyers, the research you can do online and with your phone is amazing. Apps like Redfin and HomeSnap will let you drive down a street, pull out your smartphone, aim it ...

10 Things To Know Before Buying a Home

If you've read my previous articles on ClarkHoward.com, you know that I paid off my $86,000 mortgage in 2 years. Now, I'm excited to be moving into a new home after recently becoming a third-time homebuyer. While the real estate process isn't new to me, there's always something to learn ...

The real way homes are bought and sold today

The real way homes are bought and sold today

The way real estate is bought and sold is changing. Here's how technology can help (and hurt ) you in today's market.

Save Thousands on a Mortgage or Refinance

You can save thousands of dollars on a mortgage or refinance with just one simple tip. Some time ago, The Los Angeles Times  reported more than half of all people stop at one lender when they're getting quotes for a mortgage or refi. Bad idea. In one example, the difference ...

Deals abound in this area of real estate

Deals abound in this area of real estate

Your chance to land a bargain in real estate hasn't ended yet. The screaming deals are still available in at least one segment of the housing market...

When to buy a home warranty

When to buy a home warranty

Home warranties, in general, aren't usually worth the money. But there are in fact times when it makes sense to buy one.

Home Warranties Not Worth The Paper They're Written On

Home warranties aren't worth the paper they're written on, but that hasn't stopped homeowners from buying them by the millions. Nor does it negate their effectiveness as a tool you can use to sweeten the pot if you have to sell your home in a tough market. The Chicago Tribune   ...

Credit Unions Offer Creative Mortgages To Save You Money

Years ago, credit unions weren't the best place to look for a mortgage. But that was then and this is now. Today, credit unions are a great source for mortgages, especially if you're looking for something more creative. Pentagon Federal Credit Union has some unusual loans that you typically won't ...

Why intown properties are a smart buy today

Why intown properties are a smart buy today

Looking to buy a home, or to sell and move to another one? Knowing about this population trend can help you buy where home values are likely to rise quickly...

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