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Here’s the Salary You Need to Buy a Modest Home in New York City, San Francisco & 25 Other Places — Reality Check

It’s funny how buying a home became known as “The American Dream,” because for decades, it wasn’t a dream at all. Just a few generations ago (basically: your grandparents), buying a house in your 20’s was just reality.

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Posted on Nov 20, 2017

We’re Breaking it Down: When Waiting for 20% Down Is The Wrong Choice

A 20 percent down payment is the gold standard held up by every real estate resource ever. With less than 20 percent down, you’re on the line to pay PMI — private mortgage insurance — a fee that’s tacked on to your mortgage every month for no other reason than to protect the bank (not you) if you ever default on your loan.

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Posted on Nov 16, 2017

Here’s How Long You Have to Own a House Before Buying is Better Than Renting — In NYC, L.A. & 48 Other Cities

You’ve probably heard it a million times, especially if you’re a long-time renter: buying a home will save you so much money in the long run.

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Posted on Nov 10, 2017

All About First-Time Homebuyer Grants

Buying a home can be crazy expensive, and for most first-time buyers, the hardest part is saving up a sizable down payment. You’ve no doubt heard that the traditional down payment should be 20% of the purchase price — any less, and you’ll likely have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) or get stuck with a higher long-term interest rate. And who’s got 20% of, say, $300,000 just kicking around in their bank account?

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Posted on Oct 18, 2017

What Tax Breaks Can I Get as a First-Time Homebuyer?

In 2008, the U.S. housing market was already cratering as the Great Recession took hold. To try and stop the bleeding, Congress passed a series of first-time homebuyer tax credits, each more generous than the last. First came a $7,500 tax rebate, to be repaid over 15 years with no interest. By early 2009, it had grown to $8,000, and required no payback whatsoever. And for most of 2010, even some repeat home buyers were eligible for a tax credit worth up to $6,500.

While those juicy homebuyer tax credits have long since expired as the economy and housing market have heated back up, Uncle Sam is still pretty keen to help you get into your first home. Here are some other tax breaks homebuyers can take advantage of.

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Posted on Oct 12, 2017

Do I Have To Move to Buy a Home?

(Image credit: Hannah Puechmarin )

If you’ve been living in a major city the past few years, you’ve probably seen your rent go up – and up, and up – and thought about buying a home to escape the rent hikes. Problem is, you’ve likely watched helplessly as the prices of nearby condos and houses climbed out of your reach even faster. If you’re feeling priced out in the city you call home, should you consider moving to make your dream of homeownership come true?

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Posted on Oct 10, 2017

Why “You Need 20% Down” is a Myth: The Pros and Cons of a Buying a Home with a Low Down Payment

We’ve all heard it before: Before you can take the leap into the housing market, you need to start saving up to make a sizable down payment. For years, putting down 20% of a home’s purchase price was held up as the gold standard. While many still consider this figure to be their goal, rising housing prices are causing others to look for alternatives.

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Posted on Oct 3, 2017

Make It Happen: Everything You Need to Know To Get a Mortgage

Unless you have a fairy godmother or a cool half million sitting around, you’re probably going to need a mortgage if you want to buy a home. Here’s how to qualify for and choose a mortgage, and what to expect throughout the process.

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Posted on Oct 2, 2017

How To Buy Your First Home: A No Nonsense Step-by-Step Guide

(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom )

You know want to buy a home — you’re just not sure where to begin. And no wonder: Buying your first home can be a long, intimidating process, full of gross stuff like math, legal documents, and cutthroat competition. But have no fear: First-time buyers just like you do it all the time, and we’ll walk you through the process.

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Posted on Sep 27, 2017

What Real (Not-Rich) Buyers Can Do to Compete in All-Cash Markets

More than ever, we hear about people buying homes in “all cash.” But what do you do when your last name isn’t “Bezos” and you’re trying to buy a home? While you may not be popping open a cash-filled briefcase any day soon, your goal of homeownership isn’t impossible. Here’s how to compete with those all-cash buyers who seem to be taking over the market.

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Posted on Sep 21, 2017

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