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Our Buying a Home Experts

Kelly S. Jones

Kelly S. Jones

Certified Feng Shui, Chinese Astrology and Akashic Record...

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Melanie Mannarino

Melanie Mannarino

Deputy executive editor of REDBOOK

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Brian Yui

Brian Yui

CEO and founder of HouseRebate.com

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Meet all of our House and Home Experts»

Buying the Right Home for You

Homebuyers should surround themselves with positive, smart people. You should create a network of friends and family, and listen to your gut when assembling their “team” of professionals—such as your agent, lawyer, and builder, if applicable—who will guide you through the process. It’s also important to develop a working relationship with the lender. Instead of just signing blindly, have them explain all the details and fees. Never be afraid to ask questions: The language associated with making an offer, financing, and closing can seem convoluted.

Discovering Your Dream Home

When it comes to buying a home, we all have a dream—or at least a general idea—of what our ideal domicile will be like. To help your real estate agent weed out properties that don’t fit your profile, write an inventory or checklist of what you want in your home. If you will share the house with a spouse or partner, discuss your ideas and come to a general compromise.

When Molly Meinhardt decided it was time to stop paying the rent and start making mortgage payments, she asked herself some basic questions: “I had to decide what part of town I wanted to live in, and I had to figure out if I wanted to buy a single-family house or a condo or even a two-family home,” she says. Ultimately, she decided to go with a condo because she didn’t want to have to worry about upkeep and repair.

When it comes to buying the perfect home, remember the old adage: Location, location, location. Choose your neighborhood carefully, says Dian Hymer, author of Starting Out: The Complete Homebuyer’s Guide. “The most desirable neighborhoods tend to hold their value over time, so it makes sense to buy in the best neighborhood you can afford,” she writes. If the price tags are too steep in the best neighborhoods—a common problem for first-timers—then the buyers should check out transitioning neighborhoods undergoing gentrification that have the potential for future demand.

Posted: 10/3/07
roughrider

I have found the home that I would like to purchase. It is a For Sale By Owner. I am working to pay off back taxes with the help of a tax attorney, but my credit score is around 550. The owners want to move quickly to help family out of town. They are asking a good price. Some lenders will not help me without the 3.5% to 5% down. Owners are giving equity along with some closing cost help. Any ideas to help me purchase?