It's no wonder that psychologists rank buying a home high on the list of stress-producing events. Not only is it the biggest purchase most people make in a lifetime, but also it forces a wholesale examination of goals, commitments and lifestyle. It doesn't help when overheated markets and scarce listings make you wonder if you'll ever find the right house at the right price.
People buy homes for lots of different reasons, and the steps and strategies they should follow will vary accordingly. To get started in this buyer's guide, select the option that best describes your situation:
- First-time buyer
If you're starting from ground zero, there's a lot to think about. Are you really ready to buy? Here are the risks and rewards to consider.
- Moving up
Your family and income have grown and its time to trade up. If you fall into this category, the big question is: Should you buy first or sell first?
The kids are gone and its time to exchange your large family home for something smaller. Expecting to profit big, should you pay cash for the new house or take out another mortgage?