Home Sweet HomeUnless you're a venture capitalist, your home will probably be your single biggest financial investment -- and hanging your hat in the first one you own is a huge turning point in your life. Fortunately, there are resources out there that can help you move into the best first home you're money can buy. The key is actually making use of them.
Where are you going to buy?In real estate, there are three important things to consider:
You've heard it before, but that doesn't mean it's not true. And the best locations aren't necessarily the most expensive; they may be the ones that are growing most in value or are within a good school system; or are the safest. The "best" in the "best location" refers to whatever is important to you at your stage in life. Use our checklists before being swayed by curb appeal.
We know you're such a smartie, that you probably know about all the up and coming areas. Connecting with a realtor is a good first step in learning about a neighborhood. You'll want to make sure you're not dealing with someone who's clueless consult our checklist of qualities that are desirable in a real estate agent.
Scout it out
If you are moving to another town, we can help you find your best place to live. Once you've narrowed that down, you can sift through info on thousands of neighborhoods. And hey, if you've got kids and value their growing up with the ability to, oh, say, read and write, now's your chance to see how every school district in the country rates in academics. Just ask your realtor.
How are you going to pay for it?Show me the money!
When it comes to paying for that home, more can be more creative than you imagined. Mortgage companies, banks and other lending institutions have come up with plenty of innovative ways to help you afford your first home – everything from gradually increasing payments each year to larger payments over shorter periods of time. Our inventory of Financing Options will give you a sense of the financial packages that are out there. If you need help in understanding money jargon spoken by the guy in the suit, we can help you that, too with a quick search of our glossary.