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PACKAGE: Buying or selling a home during a recession

Frightening headlines aside, people are still buying and selling their homes. This package of Kiplinger, MCT and TMS content will help current and prospective home owners make the most out of today's difficult housing environment.


There are 19 items in this package.

Buying a home: Getting started; Reasons for buying a home determine steps, strategies you should follow

It's no wonder that psychologists rank buying a home high on the list of stress-producing events. People buy homes for lots of different reasons, and the steps and strategies they should follow will vary accordingly. First-time buyer: If you're starting from ground zero, there's a lot to think about. Moving up: Your family and income have grown and its time to trade up.

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Buying a home: First-time buyers; Consider the risks and rewards of homeownership

In the short run, renting can make more financial sense than buying, in terms of how much shelter you can afford for a given price. But the long-range view is different. Until the "long run" arrives, however, you may have to make some sacrifices as a homeowner. You may have to put up with less space if you have to pay more to own a small home than to rent a larger one.

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Buying a home: Moving up; Buy first or sell first?

If you already own a home, both strategies have their pluses and minuses. Financially, move-up home buyers have a much easier time than first-timers, who are trying to scrape up enough cash to cover a 5 percent down payment and closing costs. Buy first: This strategy makes the most sense if you're in a hot market where you're likely to encounter a bidding war over prime real estate.

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Buying a home: Downsizing; Make the most of trading down

Should you pay cash for your new house? The kids are safely out on their own and retirement is at hand. Most downsizers no longer need to worry about taxes. Let's compare the Smiths and the Joneses. Since they bank in the same town they were able to bag 15-year fixed-rate mortgages at 5 percent interest.

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Pick the right mortgage

Finding the right mortgage involves some digging. Mortgage lending is mechanical, impersonal and competitive. There are two basic ways mortgage lenders charge you for using their money: through the interest charges you pay each month over the life of the loan, and through points.

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Tax breaks for buying a home; From mortgage interest deductions to closing cost write-offs, find out tax relief benefits

Buying your first home is a huge step. The deductions now available to you as a homeowner will reduce your tax bill substantially. Mortgage interest. Points. When you buy a house, you usually have to pay "points" to the lender to get your mortgage. Real-estate taxes.

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The smart buyer's purchase contract; Be sure your offer includes these key points

A written and signed purchase offer can bind both you and the seller. -The date and amount of deposit. -Your name as buyer and the property owner's name as seller. -The total purchase price. -Full legal description and street address of the property. -The lawyers, brokers and others involved in the sale, as well as the terms and conditions of their compensation.

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The fragile state of home prices

Home prices across the country. are still falling. But in a sign that the worst may soon be over, sales of homes are ticking up in many areas. The question is, will the housing recovery be derailed by tight credit and the struggling economy?

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Mortgage rates dropping: Time to refinance?

MINNEAPOLIS _ This year's holiday season is likely to be a little cheerier at Kevin Coughlin's home. "It takes the pressure off the cash flow," he said, speculating about how he and his family might benefit from the savings.

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Buyers losing interest in home foreclosures in U.S.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. The November survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for real estate tracking firms Trulia.com and RealtyTrac, showed that 47 percent of U.S. adults would consider buying a home in foreclosure.

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photo: Green and grand 1

Steve and Jenny Davis use a mixture of natural light and energy efficient lighting in their newly remodeled kitchen.

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photo: Green and grand 2

Recycled glass back splash is found in the home of Steve and Jenny Davis in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Foreclosures illustration

300 dpi Michael Hogue color illustration of man reading the real-estate section of newspaper that has a house-shaped hole in the middle.

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forsale.jpg

real estate; sold; selling; house; home; realtor; married; African American; handshake; agreement; moving; lifting; suit; fragile; for sale by owner; sign.

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welcome.jpg

real estate; sold; selling; house; home; chair; realtor; agreement; moving; welcome; thumbs up.

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realtor.jpg

real estate; sold; selling; house; home; realtor; married; African American; agreement; moving; lifting; suit; fragile; green; model.

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realtor.jpg

real estate; sold; selling; house; home; realtor; married; handshake; agreement; moving; suit; fragile; keys; replace; hand over.

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ARM mortgages illustration

300 dpi Theresa Doffing color illustration of an adjustable rate mortgage numbers ready to reset from within a wind-up bank with moving gears.

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Woman standing in front of new house with for sale sign

Woman standing in front of new house with for sale sign Caucasian; Charlotte; Hispanic; Native American; North Carolina; Royalty Free; USA; United States; adult; affluent; agent; alone; brunette; building; buyer; construction; day; development; ex...

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