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First Time Buyer

Art deco room (orange, red, blue) for guide topic on buying a house

How To Buy a House in 2022: A Step-by-Step Guide

Buying a home can be INTENSE.  If you bought a home in the past, you probably feel more confident in your home buying chops than if you’re new to the home buying market. But the more prepared you are for each step, the better you’ll feel. Knowing the basic steps of buying a house gives...

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African American family in new home

What Is a Realtist®?

Buying a home is challenging for anyone. For home buyers of color, there are often additional hurdles. These challenges can be based on both historic and current discriminatory practices in the real estate industry and less access to the financial and educational resources that minority and first-time home buyers may need to become homeowners. A...

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Handshake made of dollar bills

What Are Some First-Time Home Buyer Grants?

For most people, a home is the largest single purchase they’ll make in their lifetimes. It comes with upfront expenses like closing costs, down payments and potential repairs or upgrades. These additional expenses can easily add tens of thousands of dollars to the upfront costs of buying a new home. You may think that saving the...

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Red chain links.

What Is an Appraisal Contingency?

After a buyer puts in an offer or purchase contract and makes a good faith deposit (aka earnest money deposit), there are only a few boxes left to check before the sale goes through. But what happens when the home appraisal comes back low, essentially warning you that you’re about to overpay for the home...

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Afircan-American Family with two moms in kitchen.

Guide to Homeowners Insurance

When you become a homeowner, you hope that your home and its belongings are safe and protected for as long as you own the home. Unfortunately, no hope is guaranteed. Fire, theft, weather events, plumbing problems and the fickle finger of fate can strike your home at any time. That’s why you need homeowners insurance....

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How Long Does It Take to Close on a House: What To Expect?

So, you’ve found a house, and your offer has been accepted. Congrats! Now you’re probably wondering how soon until you can move in.  That’ll depend on when you’re scheduled to close on your new home. Closing is the date when everyone involved with the sale (including your lender) is satisfied and agrees that you and...

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Home foundation cracks

Should I Buy a House in Need of Foundation Repair?

There’s a lot that goes on during the home buying process, and one of those things is usually a home inspection. If foundation issues are uncovered, it can hamper your ability to get approved for a loan and might even hurt your home’s resale value. But you’ve got options. We’re here to help you figure...

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Two hands with fingers interlinked.

What Does ‘Pending’ Mean on a House?

Imagine your excitement as you’re house hunting in your favorite neighborhoods or scrolling through real estate websites for the perfect house in the great neighborhood that’s close to your work and your kids’ school. Now, imagine your surprise – and rising concern – as you walk past front yards with “Sale Pending” signs or see...

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Hands holding question marks and credit card

Can You Buy a House With No Credit History?

So, you’re thinking of buying a house.  Maybe you’ve been renting – and you’re sooo over it. Or you’ve been living in your childhood bedroom and feel like you’ve outgrown your band posters and middle school trophies. Or you’ve decided that it’s time to invest your hard-earned cash in something that will grow in value....

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Woman standing on front porch

How To Make an Offer on a House in 8 Steps

Making an offer on a house is an exciting step in the home buying process, but there are a few things that have to happen before you can make a serious offer.  All of your prep work will boil down to a well-crafted, attention-getting offer letter. The letter will describe how very, very interested you...

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wallet with phone and cash

How Much Money Should You Save To Buy a House?

Thinking of buying a home? You may be wondering how much money you’ll need to save up before you can confidently start making offers. And, depending on who you ask, you’ll probably get a bunch of different answers. We’ve put together this helpful guide to answer your home buying questions, including how much you’ll need...

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Young black woman with clipboard

How Do You Find a Real Estate Agent?

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, recruiting the right real estate agent is crucial. Before you begin your search for the right real estate agent, you should learn what they do.  The wrong agent might cost you that cozy property on the sunny side of the street, or sell your existing property well under...

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Stylized orange wall with arched doorway and stairs

What Is an Escalation Clause and When Should You Use One in Your Offer?

Let’s say you’re a home buyer in a hypercompetitive seller’s market and every home you want seems to have multiple offers on it. Stressed might be the right word to describe how you’re feeling – especially if every time you make an offer, there’s a bidding war and a buyer outbids you.  A few things...

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Pink piggy bank with coins falling around it.

Questions To Ask a Mortgage Lender

No lender is one-size-fits-all. By asking the right questions, you can try a mortgage lender on for size and see if they’ll fit your specific needs. The difference between the right lender and the wrong lender could save (or lose) you thousands of dollars.  You can seek out lenders on your own or go through...

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Young couple moving in

What Are Seller Concessions?

Homes can be expensive, and for some, it’s the most expensive purchase they’ll ever make. You need to save up enough funds to cover a down payment and pay for closing costs. That initial outlay of money can be a lot, especially for first-time home buyers. But many first-time home buyers may not realize that...

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Money in a paper cutter

The Mortgage Interest Deduction: A Guide to How It Works in 2022

If you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably looking for ways to get the most value out of your home. Fortunately, there’s a way to do that come April 18, 2023 (hint: the 2022 tax filing deadline) by using the mortgage interest deduction. Essentially, you alert the IRS to all the money you paid in interest...

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A young couple moves into a house they bought without a real estate agent

Buying a House Without a Real Estate Agent in 10 Steps

For many first-time home buyers, the home buying process can feel like a mysterious journey into murky, uncharted waters. REALTORS® and real estate agents can help home buyers keep their dreams of owning a home afloat.  According to the 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), 89%...

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Two women preparing food in a kitchen.

How Does Rent-To-Own Work?

There are few reasons why a rent-to-own option may be a good fit. Maybe you’re not financially ready to make a large down payment. Or maybe you aren’t ready to take out a mortgage. Rent-to-own agreements can help first-time home buyers, people getting their “financial act” together and anyone who is tired of the endless...

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Six people on steps infront of a home, throwing confetti

Are You Ready To Buy a House?

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could give you a yes or no answer? Oh, if only things could be that easy. Deciding you’re ready to buy a house might seem like a major step. And that would be correct because – spoiler alert – it is. But it doesn’t have to be “meeting your...

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a very artful cash roll of 20 dollars to represent common mortgage mistakes

Home Rules: How Much Income Is Required for a Mortgage?

Life is full of rules. Whether it’s the golden rule, the rules of the road or the life-changing rules in the latest trending self-help book, we are on a constant lookout for common-sense rules to help us navigate life’s complexities. And speaking of complexities, buying a home can feel more complicated than driving, dieting or...

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