buying a house - Articles

Fannie and Freddie's Mortgage Size Limits Won't Drop in 2014

Alamy By Margaret Chadbourn WASHINGTON -- The maximum size of U.S. home loans that taxpayer-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy will hold steady next year, their regulator said on Tuesday, deferring a decision on when to pull back government support for the housing market. The mortgage financiers will continue to... Continue Reading »

Scary Money Stories: When Houses Haunt Your Finances

Getty Images Many of the scariest money troubles have to do with real estate. A misstep managing home-related finances can mean having to move back in with Mom... or worse. Come hear some of our readers' most spine-tingling tales of financial woe -- and find out what you can do if it happens to you. The Money Pit In the... Continue Reading »

Homebuyer Contracts Plunge as Interest Rates and House Prices Rise

AFP, Getty Images By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy existing homes fell in September to the lowest level in nine months. The decline reflects higher mortgage rates and home prices that have made purchases more costly. The National Association of Realtors said... Continue Reading »

How to Save $20,000 for a Down Payment in Just 2 Years

Getty Images, Tetra images Making the move from renter to homeowner is challenging for nearly everyone, and the highest hurdle for most first-time buyers is saving enough money for a down payment. If your No. 1 priority in the next few years is to become a homeowner, financial experts say you'll likely need to make some... Continue Reading »

8 Home Inspection Red Flags

Getty Images Our gallery of home inspection nightmares (below) is good for a laugh, but a home inspection is serious business. It's the buyer's opportunity to make sure that the house they're about to purchase doesn't hold any expensive surprises. A typical home inspection includes a check of a house's structural and... Continue Reading »

Risky Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Are Starting to Make a Big Comeback

Getty Images The dramatic rise in interest rates that has occurred over the past two months has had a big impact on the mortgage-loan market. Rates on standard 30-year mortgages have gone from below 3.5 percent as recently as late April to well above 4.5 percent currently, according to Bankrate, significantly increasing... Continue Reading »

How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time

By Brendan Desimone Now that the real estate market is picking up again, many people are looking to sell their homes at last. But when you sell, you have to move somewhere -- which usually means buying another home. Buying and selling at the same time brings up a whole new set of challenges, but those who plan well in... Continue Reading »

Cash Gift for a Down Payment: Buying a House With Your Christmas Money

By Justin McHood It's not uncommon for first-time home buyers to ask: "Can my mom and dad give me money to help me buy this house?" The good news is, yes, you can receive a gift from your parents to buy a house, but the way that you actually receive the gift is very important. Mom and dad can't just leave money under your... Continue Reading »

Buying a House in Fall? Avoid These Pitfalls

By Jason Notte The real estate market supposedly shines in the spring and summer sun, but fall is where the deals are found. Existing home sales are up more than 10 percent since last year, while the price of those homes has risen 9.4% over the same span, according to the National Association of Realtors. Meanwhile, the... Continue Reading »

New iPad Tools Ease the House Hunter's Search

Looking to buy a home this spring? There are plenty of new real estate search tools designed to make your home search a whole lot easier. In the old days, house hunters relied on newspaper classified listings and brokers to hone in on properties that fit their criteria. These days, smartphones, tablets and PCs do all the... Continue Reading »

Groupon Offer a Good Deal for Home Buyers?

A Chicago broker leapt into the Groupon space this week by offering $1,000 cash back to any buyer or seller who lists or closes a deal with them in the next two years. All you have to do is fork over $25 to Groupon to qualify; the home must sell for $150,000 or more. "Our Groupon deal is a natural extension of the way we... Continue Reading »

Could New Mortgage Broker Rules Hurt Homebuyers?

Could new mortgage regulations created to protect homebuyers under the Truth in Lending Act actually hurt more than it helps? The debate rages on, as mortgage brokers brace for what some argue will lead to less competition in the market, and therefore less credit for consumers. Charles Hugh Smith at our sister site,... Continue Reading »

Buying a Home: Why Single Women Do It More Than Men

Is buying a home genetically programmed? According to the National Association of Realtors, almost twice as many single women (20 percent) are buying homes than single men (12 percent). Why would that be? Well, Century 21 thinks the reason is because women are outperforming men in the job market. According to the New York... Continue Reading »

First Time Home Buyers: Mortgage Tips for Right Now

First time home buyers usually have a huge learning curve to navigate when it comes to understanding mortgages. In the current housing market, mortgage literacy is even harder to come by, with new changes to the process emerging at a feverish pace. Tara-Nicholle Nelson of our sister site, Walletpop, has four new... Continue Reading »

Buying a House: Take Your Time This Spring

Spring is near, which means the official home-buying season is upon us. But buying a house this spring might be more complicated than most. Joseph Lazzaro of our sister site,, explains why you might want to postpone your buying decsion for a couple months. If you're in the market for a home this season,... Continue Reading »

Get Mortgage Online? Many Homebuyers Are Sold

Buying a home is the biggest transaction in most consumers' lives. So why are an increasing number of homebuyers trusting their life savings to online mortgage processing sites? A recent survey by shows that 21 percent of potential homebuyers use the internet to shop for their mortgage online. Could online... Continue Reading »

When to Get a New Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents come in all different stripes, but it takes a personal experience to hammer that home. As my bio says, I'm a management consultant for institutions in the real estate industry, and have been working in the real estate space for several years. But recently, my wife accepted a tremendous opportunity for... Continue Reading »

After the Homebuyer Tax Credit: Mortgage Tax Deductions

Are you ready to celebrate the return of the Federal Home Buyer Tax Credit? Unless you're one of the 180,000 Americans with a pending sales agreement in contract by April 30, 2010, a celebration is probably out of order. While Californians and military personnel can still get state and military tax... Continue Reading »

10 Tips for Renters Thinking of Buying a New Home

Ready to make the move from Renterdom to Home-ownership? Buying a home is one of the most important and expensive decisions you're likely to make. A little preparation can go long way to making the process run smoothly and minimize surprises that could undermine the transaction. Read on for our tips. Continue Reading »

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