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This Super-Common Real Estate Tip is Actually Terrible Advice

We’ve all heard it. If you’re looking to buy, you should always go for the worst house in the best neighborhood. But have many of us ever stopped to question that conventional wisdom? I thought I was bucking convention when I bought one of the lowest priced houses in a neighborhood that many locals steer clear of (and to my eternal frustration that Uber drivers tell my Airbnb guests they should avoid) — but is it true?

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Posted on Feb 22, 2018

Is 2018 the Right Year to Buy a Home?

If buying your first home is among your New Year’s resolutions for 2018, you might be viewing the current real estate landscape with equal parts hopeful wonder and anxious dread.

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Posted on Jan 8, 2018

Why You Should (Always) Have a Separate Savings Account for Your Down Payment

Saving up money is no easy feat, and a down payment on a home is not exactly a small amount to tally up, especially if you’re looking to buy a home in an expensive city. You could keep all your savings in one account, but having a separate savings account that’s dedicated solely to your home-buying journey can be a big help.

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Posted on Jan 3, 2018

The Biggest Misconception First-Time Buyers Have About Making an Offer on a Home

Making an offer on a home isn’t like sliding a sticky note across the table. Your offer as a buyer is so much more than just a dollar amount.

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Posted on Nov 28, 2017

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Getting A Pre-Approval

Before you can even start looking at homes, you need to know how much money you have to spend. Obtaining a pre-approval letter — a verification from a mortgage company that they’re willing to give you a loan — is both a great way to set your budget and to show sellers that you’re serious about making an offer.

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Posted on Nov 25, 2017

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

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