Home Buying and Selling

Saving for a Down Payment

If you are financially ready to be a home owner, now the most critical piece of the puzzle is the down payment. Coming up with enough cash for it is the biggest challenge of home buying. So once your finances are in order, it’s time to focus on saving.

Ready to Buy First Home?

Owning your home is fantastic — if you are financially ready. Here’s a quick checklist to help you determine if you can afford to be a home owner.

The first home purchase is not only a major life milestone, but it’s also a big financial commitment, a decision you should not take lightly. There’s a lot more to buying a house than just the price of it. Other items to factor in include mortgage origination fees, closing costs, interest, homeowner’s insurance and property taxes, which can fluctuate depending on the yearly assessed value of your property.

Make Your Money Last (Pt. 2)

Our first article looked at various ways to attack one of life’s biggest worries: running out of money in retirement. Here are some additional tactics.

Consider an annuity. Annuities can be very confusing; quite a few shady advisors also sell them just to make a commission. Annuities work well, though, in the right situation and can guarantee attractive income benefits.

U.S. Housing Bulwark: Abroad

Foreign buyers are increasing their purchases of U.S. real estate. That may cause some unease, but it's a good development. While our housing markets are improving, the boost from elsewhere is vital.

Mechanics of 401(k)s (Pt. 3)

Yes, you can tap your 401(k) for a loan even before your legal withdrawal age, although turning elsewhere to borrow is usually a better idea. You should know the rules and pitfalls built into 401(k) lending. They are many.

Assessing Real Estate Agents

Selling or buying a home can come with a lot of confusion. If you’re in the market for a real estate agent, ask these questions to find the best fit.

The Recovery No One Noticed

This is, and will likely continue to be, the recovery that no one noticed. It is a recovery in name only. For most Americans, the recovery doesn’t feel much different than a recession. 

The average recovery since the end of World War II was 58 months.  The current “recovery” has just reached that milestone. So maybe we should be celebrating. But what’s to celebrate?

Housing, Energy and Investing

A roof over your head and gas in your tank cost more than ever. But prices for these essentials color your view of investing.

What do your nest egg, retirement planning and personal finances share with the overall American economy? Plenty, especially when it comes to the bite from energy and home prices.

In recent years rising gasoline and heating or cooling costs gobbled up family income, even as a depressed housing market erased personal wealth and left Americans feeling uncertain about their economic prospects.

Homeowning for the Young

Your time has come to grow beyond renting a home. What now?

Gen Y, those born in the 1980s and early 1990s, look today to build equity and save on rent by researching the benefits of owning versus renting. Whether married or single, when it comes to renting and owning, you must consider these questions:

Do Your Homebuying Math

The biggest purchase you likely ever make comes with many potential pitfalls. Here’s how to dodge some.

Home sales do remain sluggish. The number of contracts Americans signed to buy previously owned homes unexpectedly fell in October for the fifth consecutive month. The gauge of pending home sales decreased 0.6% after a 4.6% drop in September, according to the National Association of Realtors.


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