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 ... read more »
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 after you agree on a price, you'll need to have the home inspected by a licensed contractor, and you’ll need homeowner's insurance. The Web can answer questions about both of these steps.
- Home inspections may be performed by someone who carries an "inspector" title or someone who is, for example, a structural engineer. This article from the National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc., explains what you should do to ensure that your potential new home receives a thorough home inspection, and how to know whether you need an inspector or an engineer to look at your home.
- Most people who perform home inspections can tell you if there’s obvious termite damage, but it’s a good idea (and often required to obtain homeowners insurance) to get an official termite inspection. Most licensed exterminators can perform termite inspections.
- To find an engineer or exterminator near you, try an online directory like YellowPages.com. (And don’t forget to check out their reputations with the Better Business Bureau before hiring anyone.)
- Homeowner’s insurance isn’t just a good idea: it’s required by most mortgage lenders. Make sure to get any home you’re buying insured early enough so that you can bring proof of insurance with you to the closing.
For tips on home inspections …
The Federal Consumer Information Center
explains why you need to have an inspection completed on any home you purchase. This article also provides important contact information if you want to learn more about radon testing, or have your home inspected for lead-based paint and other lead hazards.
The American Society of Home Inspectors
takes you on a virtual home inspection with this interactive tour. Click "Launch the tour now" and then select the various areas of the home that you want to learn about.
For tips on termite inspections …
is the Web site of one of the leading home inspection companies in the United States. Learn what a termite inspection entails, how long an inspection takes, and a few other helpful things you should know about termites when you purchase your new home.
For information on homeowner's insurance …
Homeowner's Insurance Guide
introduces you to the basics and gives you helpful tips on how to choose the best provider. Reading through this site will convince you of the seriousness of homeowner's insurance.
Insurance Information Institute
demonstrates what you will find in a typical homeowner's insurance policy. The main features are explained in layman's terms, which is something you won't find on the official documents. Make sure you understand your policy before you sign it, however. With this site's help, you’ll be an expert.
J.D. Power and Associates
offers a comparison chart of major insurance companies. If you are in the market for homeowner's insurance, consulting this list can point you in the right direction.
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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