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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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New Mortgage Requirements for First-Time Homebuyers

Good news for first-time homebuyers or those who don't own a home today and want to. The strict regulations that forced so many of you out of the market are easing up. Downpayments and credit score requirements are changing It's been difficult during the last 8 years for first-time homebuyers ...

Find the Best Interest Rates for a Mortgage or Refinance

It is a terrible fact of life that getting a mortgage is the biggest pain in the rear just about of any financial thing you will ever have to do. Just when you think you've given them every last document, then the lenders come up with something else you need ...

Georgia Natural Gas Guide

  Ready for a blast of winter, Georgia? The calendar has finally turned 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 for fixed rate ...

Housing trend returns: Multi-generation homes

Housing trend returns: Multi-generation homes

A new study shows that home buyers are once again looking for homes that can fit multiple generations under one roof.

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.

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