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Buying a Home

If I buy a home at a foreclosure sale in California, can its owners later "redeem" the house?

Question My husband and I live in California and have been having trouble finding a home to buy in the area we like.

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Handling a Tenant's Abandoned Property in Alaska

Every state has laws governing what happens when a tenant moves out and leaves personal property behind.

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How to Depreciate Investment Property to Reduce Taxable Income

Question I bought my first investment property last year and I am now preparing my taxes. Can I depreciate the property to reduce my taxable income...

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Oops, bought a timeshare in Mexico -- can I cancel the contract?

Question My wife and I recently fell for one of those “Spend a free weekend in the Mexico!” timeshare presentation pitches.

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How long should I hold my real estate investment property?

Question How long should I hold on to my investment property to maximize the return on my investment?

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Budgeting to Buy a Resort Home? Expenses Not to Overlook

Owning a home in a resort community (an area where tourism is the main economic activity) can be a dream come true.

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What's a Better Use of Money: Renting or Buying a Resort Home?

If you often vacation at a favorite resort area, you might wonder whether it might make sense to stop paying rent for your accommodations, and instead...

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How to Research Investment Properties Before You Buy

Before acquiring an investment property, you will need to do a lot of background research to make a wise decision.

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Life in a Development -- Which Costs More, a Condo, Townhome or Single-Family Home?

If you have ever lived in, or are considering purchasing a home in a development (or a “planned community” or “planned unit development” (PUD)...

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How Much Does Owning a Home Really Cost?

When people think of how much it will cost to buy a home, they tend to think of the purchase price. And no wonder: With median home prices in the U....

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Evaluating Inspection Reports on Investment Properties

Before you purchase an investment property, it is customary that you have it professionally inspected (just as buyers do before finalizing the purchas...

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What's in the Basic Governing Documents of a HOA

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a condominium or home in a planned development (PUD), you know they are popular places to live.

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Before Buying: How to Read the CC&Rs or Homeowners' Association (HOA) Documents

So, you’ve found a condominium or a home in a planned development you’d like to buy.

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Reviewing and Dealing With Title Commitment Exceptions Before Buying a Home

It’s an exciting time -- you’ve found a great property to buy, signed the purchase agreement, and will be attending the closing next month! Don’...

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Homebuyers: Reviewing the Title Commitment Now Prevents Unpleasant Surprises Later

So, you’ve recently signed a purchase and sale agreement for a new home -- congratulations!

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If You Inherit a Home Do You Qualify for the $250,000/$500,000 Home Sale Tax Exclusion?

If you inherit a home do you qualify for the $250,000/$500,000 home sale tax exclusion? The answer is no. However, you benefit from the stepped-up bas...

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Home Purchase Costs You Can't Deduct or Add to Tax Basis

There are many different types of fees and charges a home buyer must pay to get a loan and complete the purchase. For tax purposes, these expenses fal...

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Using an IRA to Make a House Down Payment

With the housing market rebounding, more and more people are looking to buy a home.

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Home Buyers: What Documents to Expect at Your Close of Escrow

At last, most likely several weeks after your offer to buy a home was accepted by the seller, you are preparing for the closing day.

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Getting Young Children Ready for a Move

Moving to a new house can be exciting for parents, but traumatic for kids, especially if they are moving far away from close friends and relatives.

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Hiring a Professional Mover

Arrange Your Move If you’re moving into a one-bedroom condo and you have very little furniture, you might do fine by enlisting the help of a few...

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How to Review Seller Real Estate Disclosures

Most—but not all—states require sellers to give prospective buyers a disclosure report.

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How to Remove an Inspection Contingency When You Buy a House

Most homebuyers include an inspection contingency in the purchase contract that gives you the option of backing out of the deal if you’re aren’t...

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Home Sales in Indiana: What the Listing Broker Must Disclose About the Property's Physical Condition

Christine, a real estate agent, is on her way to meet with a new set of clients. The clients want to list their home for sale.

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Residential Home Buyers in Washington: What Can You Learn From Seller Disclosures?

Washington’s seller disclosure laws require (with few exceptions) that a seller of residential real property provide you, the buyer of that property...

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What is the difference between an investment property and a second home?

People sometimes use the terms “investment property” and “second home” interchangeably to describe real property that is not their primary res...

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Community Fruit Tree Harvests

Anyone with a mature fruit tree is familiar with the annual quandaries: How do you get all that fruit out of the tree and what do you do with it?

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Casual Co-Housing

Casual cohousing (sometimes called "cohousing light," "cohousing cousins," or "cohousing-inspired") is sort of a scaled-down version of cohousing.

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Condominiums and Housing Cooperatives

In addition to buying a single-family house with others, you can share ownership in a condominium or housing cooperative. Here are the basics on the...

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Legal and Financial Issues to Consider When Co-Owning a Home

When you buy a home with others, you're not just entering into a living arrangement: You're entering a legal relationship as well.

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How to Set Priorities When You’re Co-Buying a House

Taking the leap from renting to owning can be expensive.

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Single-Woman Homebuyers: What to Consider

At last count, single women made up nearly one quarter of all homebuyers. But this group often has special concerns and fears about buying property. T...

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Online Fun for Home Buyers

After hours surfing the Web for the perfect home-sweet-home, your eyes are probably tired and your brain foggy. The antidote? More hours surfing the W...

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Researching the Best Places to Live

Whether you're planning to move across town or across the country, you probably want to know more about your new community. Where are the best local s...

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Homebuying Readiness Quiz

We've all heard about the benefits of home ownership and investment, and for the right person, buying a home can be a dream come true. But that doesn'...

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Real Estate Terminology for Home Buyers

Here are some common vocabulary terms to know when getting ready to buy a home. For more unusual verbiage, try searching Nolo's Legal Dictionary.

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Should You Hire a Real Estate Agent or Lawyer to Buy a House?

It's no secret that real estate agents earn high commissions (paid by the seller, but the cost may be indirectly passed on to you). And real estate la...

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Decoding Home Sale Marketing Lingo

Homebuyers are bombarded with all sorts of marketing lingo. Often, sellers and their agents use artfully crafted phrases to catch your eye, lure you i...

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Best Home Buying and Selling Research Websites

Whether you're looking for information on the real estate market, listings of homes for sale, or are ready to compare mortgage rates and terms, here a...

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Buying a Home: Overview

If you've decided to buy a house, you may be wondering where to begin -- find a real estate agent? Go to open houses? You'll have to juggle a number o...

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Rent or Buy a House?

The "rent or buy" decision is no longer the no-brainer it once was.

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Beginning Your Home Search

It's good to start your home-search process on your own, particularly if you haven't yet chosen an agent. Just going to open houses for a week or two ...

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