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Preparation: Buying

Shopping for a home can be overwhelming, but if you use these tips, finding a home can be less stressful.

Starting Points

  • Research homes and neighborhoods.
  • Find a reputable real estate agent.
  • Stay within your budget.
  • Remember no house is perfect.
  • Do your own inspection.

Personal Inspection

While you're shopping for a home, you can do a personal inspection on the homes you see.

  • Plumbing: Test for water pressure and leaks.
  • Outside: Look for broken windows and siding; foundation cracks; sagging porches/decks, roofs, and gutters.
  • Inside: Check for water spots on walls and ceilings, cracks and holes in walls, mold and mildew.

Ask your real estate agent for suggestions on a professional inspector.

Costs of Home Ownership

When you own a home, costs can add up. Keep these costs in mind when you're shopping for a home.

  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • HOA or condominium dues
  • Maintenance/Repairs
  • Moving expenses
  • Appliances (if not included)
  • Furnishings


You’ll also have to pay property taxes each year. If you are buying from someone who has had taxes frozen, but you don’t qualify for that, you will see a change in taxes in the following year. Check with your local county tax assessor’s office for more information.



Find home buying resources.

Credit Score

Know what your score is and how to improve it.

Homeowners Insurance

Insure your home now.


Get answers to your questions.


Learn what escrow is.

Private Mortgage Insurance

Learn what it is and how to request cancellation.