Buying a Home? Ask Yourself These Questions First

buying a home
buying a home

As the housing market continues to take a beating -- new data out this week shows home prices continuing to fall in nearly every major metro area -- homebuyers need to evaluate their decisions more carefully than ever. In such a soft market, you may be stuck with your choice for a long time, and mistakes can be more costly than ever. Our sister site DailyFinance offers some help for homebuyers in the form of three essential questions you need to ask before making a decision.

It's a brave new world in the U.S. housing market -- one in which many of the old familiar norms have come into question.

To say that the current housing market is likely to punish those who don't painstakingly evaluate their decision to buy a home would be an understatement. In most parts of the country, there's no strong tailwind of buyer demand to provide a safety net against home purchase mistakes. With all that in mind, here are three questions that prospective homebuyers would be wise to incorporate into their evaluation process.