first-time buyers - Articles

Shut Out By a Seller's Market? A Letter Goes a Long Way

#fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-561475{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-561475, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-561475{width:570px;height:411px;display:block;} They had great credit, a pre-approved mortgage and a baby on the way. But when Ian and Cindy... Continue Reading »

It's April Fools Day, But Don't Fall for These 3 Real Estate Myths

By Brendon Desimone As the real estate market significantly rebounds, some buyers and sellers are dipping their toes in the waters for the first time. Inevitably, they come into the market with assumptions about how it works. Their assumptions may come from TV reality shows or watching their parents' house-hunting... Continue Reading »

10 Best Housing Markets for First-Time Homebuyers

By Andrea V. Brambila As a group, first-time homebuyers are a bellwether of the real estate industry and the economy as a whole. "What helps a first-time homebuyer is having a job and a good income to buy a home -- having hope for the future," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for data aggregator CoreLogic. In order to... Continue Reading »

Is That House Worth the Asking Price?

With home values all over the map and local markets faring very differently in the wake of the housing bust, how do you know if the seller's list price is on the money? For most buyers, it starts with what's known as comparable properties, or comps. In theory, a seller could price their home however they please -- but... Continue Reading »

Home Improvements for First Home Buyers

To improve or not to improve--that's the big question when you're about to move into a new home, and especially challenging if it's your first home. You want to make the right choices for your wallet, your comfort and your return on your home improvement investment dollar. Before you hire a contractor or take a... Continue Reading »

Home Maintenance for the First-Time Buyer

First-time buyer Anna Daugherty learned the hard way that home maintenance is a new owner's responsibility. "One thing we completely forgot about was actually very simple. We forgot to get a shovel," says the Lansing, MI, resident. "This weekend, we had seven inches of snow fall in a short amount of time, burying us in... Continue Reading »

Homebuyer Tax Credit: How to Claim It

The first-time homebuyer tax credit encouraged many buyers to take the leap in 2010. Though the deadline to close on a qualifying home purchase was Sept. 30, 2010, those buyers who did qualify now have to figure out how to collect. Kelly Phillips Erb of our sister site,, did the hard work, so you don't have... Continue Reading »

Home Sales Jump 10 Percent, Still Lag 2009

The real estate market has some life after all. Existing home sales, a figure that includes single-family homes, townhouses, co-ops and condos, rose 10 percent in September as compared to August, according to the National Association of Realtors. Some cite this as evidence that the housing market is well on its way to... Continue Reading »

Home Price vs. Loan Rate: Best-Deal Secrets

Trying to determine the best time to jump into the housing market is always a bit of a gamble. But in this market, with the news see-sawing between stalled housing prices and falling interest rates, it's even harder to gauge whether today is the right day to buy a house. "There are all kinds of ways to look at it," says... Continue Reading »

First-Time Homebuyers Leap at Good Deals

Suni and Ashwin Raghu are under contract on a four-bedroom, 2.5-bath home in Long Hill, N.J.. The expectant parents, who looked at close to 70 homes in the course of their search over the past three months, were a bit surprised to find themselves at this juncture. Six months ago, says Ashwin, they didn't think they were... Continue Reading »

Buy a Home at a $100,000 Discount

Source: SmartMoney Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac need to shrink their inventories of foreclosed homes, so the two government-controlled companies are offering some amazing deals, often with down payments as low as 3 percent plus other incentives. Many of the homes are lesser properties in less-than-desirable neighborhoods,... Continue Reading »

Homebuyer's Remorse: How to Avoid and Cure

You've just bought a house. Friends and family are congratulating you and sending housewarming gifts. Everyone else is popping champagne corks, but you just feel queasy. What's going on? You could be suffering from buyer's remorse, that nagging feeling that perhaps you made a mistake, got in over your head, or for some... Continue Reading »

Don't Be Surprised by Expenses of Homeownership

When Katie Cody bought her first home, she thought she knew everything there was about taking care of one. As a spokesperson for Lowe's, the national home and hardware chain, she was steeped in the ins and outs of home maintenance. But even she wasn't prepared for everything that comes along with a first home--the work or... Continue Reading »

Should you buy that first home or remain a renter? It's a classic question made much more complicated by the housing market's recent crash. How do you know if you're ready? Will you be able to afford a mortgage, and all the fees associated with securing a loan and closing? And how can you tell if the local market has... Continue Reading »

Homeownership Dream in Decline, Says Survey

Despite still-low interest rates and home prices as a result of a market glut, there are many Americans who believe they will never be homeowners. A survey of visitors to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling's website reveals just how difficult people believe owning a home has become. Of the more than 2,000... Continue Reading »

Credit-Literacy Lessons for Young Home-Buyers

We already know many first-time home buyers are young and broke. Turns out they've got a lot to learn about credit, as well. Four out of 10 credit-card holders ages 18 to 29 made only the minimum required payment on their cards in the past year, says a survey by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, a nonprofit... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Insurance Returns: Is It Right for You?

Private mortgage insurance was all the rage when housing prices were high and down payments were tiny. But ever since the housing bubble burst, people seeking to buy a home with less than 20 percent down -- especially in declining markets such as Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada -- had nowhere to turn for... Continue Reading »

Home Tax Credit: All Smoke and Mirrors?

The conventional wisdom has it that the soon-to-expire government tax credit for home purchases was a success. After all, it drove people back into the real estate market and helped to ignite a fire under a still-nascent recovery. But suppose the conventional wisdom is wrong? Suppose it was all really smoke and mirrors?... Continue Reading »

The Bling Bubble: Cash buyers outbidding rivals

For a while, home buyers had it good: Nose-diving prices, tax credits for repeat and first-time buyers extended into 2010, incentives from builders and concessions from sellers. But with many markets bottoming out around the U.S., property virgins and pros alike are bumping up against a growing wave of formidable rivals:... Continue Reading »

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