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Owning a home

It seems that everyone wants to own a home, and in the past few years many have accomplished this goal. Low interest rates and a wide variety of mortgage type have allowed many their first opportunity to purchase a home with little or no money down. Others have seen their house values double and have chosen to use this equity along with the lower interest rate to move to a larger home. Some have refinanced their mortgages to lower their payments or have used their equity to consolidate their debt or make major purchases. Each of these actions requires knowing something about buying, selling or refinancing a home, and the more you know, the better off you will be during this often complex and potentially dangerous process.

This section addresses a wide variety of topics related to owning a home. This includes:

  • purchasing a home - whether you are planning on buying your first home, upgrading to a larger home, or even downsizing to a smaller home, the more you know about buying a home, the easier it will be.
  • obtaining a mortgage - after you have found the perfect home, you need to borrow money to buy that home, and this means finding the best mortgage rates and terms that you can, or you could find yourself paying a lot more than you need to.
  • properly insuring your home - If recent disasters have taught you anything, it should be that it is imperative to properly insure your home which can be an expensive proposition unless you understand something about homeowner's insurance.
  • refinancing your mortgage - refinancing your existing home loan can be a smart way to lower your monthly mortgage payments or get cash to consolidate debts or make large purchases.
  • borrowing against your home's value - for smart borrowing purposes, or in case of real emergency, it might be beneficial to obtain a home equity loan or line of credit
  • selling your home - there are many aspects to successfully selling your home, including how to make your house attractive, how to determine a selling price, whether or not to use an agent, negotiating with potential buyers, and preparing for closing.
  • other related home ownership topics

Each of these areas provides some basic information and outlines a process for accomplishing the respective action.

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