Buying a Home
Thanks to the Internet, being an informed home buyer has never been easier. No longer are buyers completely dependent upon real estate agents and mortgage lenders when it comes to gathering information. House listings are readily available online, as are interactive tools that can estimate mortgage payments and percentage rates. If you have never bought a home before, you can find step-by-step guides to the process online. Even seasoned real estate investors can turn to the Web for news and advice, as the market is constantly evolving. Whatever your needs, the Internet is an invaluable source of information for buying a house.
The purchase of a home is likely the single largest transaction you will ever make. If you're ... read more »
Finding the right neighborhood can be just as important as finding the right home. Maybe you’re looking for a city of a certain size, or with a particular climate, or a low crime rate, or good schools. No matter which factors are most important to you, we’ve found Web sites that can give you all the details you need.
- Most cities have their own Web sites that provide basic statistics and news. It may seem intuitive to add “.gov” to the name of your city to find its official Web site but that won’t work for most cities, as many of them have somewhat complicated Web addresses that include their state abbreviation as well. If you don’t know the Web address, you’re usually better off using a search engine.
- Read a local paper to see what’s going on in the town or neighborhood where you are interested in moving. Most papers are available online (even the low-budget weeklies). If you're not sure of a newspaper’s Web address, the U.S. Newspaper List is a good place to look.
To research specific neighborhoods …
compiles statistics on neighborhoods throughout the country, including crime, weather, population, and median household income.
offers information on almost every city or zip code in the United States—even those with populations under 1,000. The site is visually unimpressive but it contains a wealth of information. If you don’t see your city listed on a state list, check the top of the list and you'll be linked to lists of smaller cities and towns.
helps you research and compare American school districts. The award-winning site is easy to navigate and can tell you a school district’s history with test scores, finances, and statistics concerning both teachers and students. Don’t miss the parent-written reviews, which give you an insider’s view that can’t always be found in the stats.
is an important site to consult before moving to a new neighborhood. Enter any address and the site will locate every registered sex offender in the neighborhood and display the results using a map with markers representing the offenders. Details provided include the registrant’s name, residence, and specific crime.
For "best places to live" …
has several "best places to live" listings, with America’s towns and cities divided into categories such as the "top earners" for salaries, best places for singles, and best places for affordable homes. Search for your “best place” by city or by state.
comes from The Wall Street Journal
network. This section of the site factors more than 40 variables (all from personal preferences you submit) to find a “best place” for you to live.
features an article that pokes a little fun at the worst cities to live in if you’re a sports fan. The rankings here go “from bad to worse.”
contains a massive list of U.S. cities and their various nicknames. Most of the list will be worthless to you, but you might want to know before you move in that, for example, Camden, New Jersey, is nicknamed "Murder City," or that McCloud, California, is the "Blackberry Capital of the World."
As your hunting begins, you will soon find that there is no shortage of properties for sale. While ... read more »
There was a time when the only way to find homes for sale was through newspapers or signs in ... read more »
Whether you hire a broker to help you purchase a home is a personal decision. Some people feel ... read more »
Now that you've found a home you like, it's time to do a little more sleuthing. As soon as possible ... read more »
Negotiating the price of a home requires the same level of research and preparation you've put into ... read more »
The process of obtaining a home loan can be arduous and confusing if you're not prepared before you ... read more »
The day you close on your new home can be a very exciting one but if you want it to go smoothly ... read more »
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