What Works Now -- Smart Moves When Buying a Home

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One thing's for sure - today's housing market is confusing. Each day consumers are bombarded with new information and it can be difficult to get a sense of what's important. Mixed in with statistics about waning home sales, we hear sound bytes like "historically low interest rates," "it's a buyer's market", "home values are at bottom." But what does it all mean?

Some important questions still remain and consumers nowadays need to cut through the clutter to understand when it's really the right time to buy. How do they avoid the pitfalls that have plagued some home buyers in recent years? How do they know what works in this new real estate environment? How do they know they are making the right decisions for their unique situation?

We thought it was time to start providing some transparency around the process. After collecting questions from consumers around the country and hearing their desire for more clarity and guidance, we gathered together a couple of experts to help provide answers to some of the most common questions about buying a home.

The discussion outlines several key takeaways for buying a home in today's market:

Is it better to rent, or to buy?
What can you comfortably afford?
What impact does your credit have on mortgage rates and your overall ability to buy a home? How can you improve your standing?
How much savings do you really need?
What mortgage products are out there? How do you know which is best for you?
What can you expect during the closing process? How can you make sure you're prepared?

At the end of the day, only each individual can determine what's best for his or her unique situation – but we hope that today's discussion has provided additional insight and guidance for users who are thinking of jumping in and making some smart moves.

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