How Buying a House Works

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Author's Note: How Buying a House Works

After a decade and a half of renting crummy apartments and moving every two years, my wife and I decided to buy our first house in the summer of 2011. Thanks to the real estate collapse, prices had bottomed out and interest rates were at historic lows. Still, we wanted to make sure we didn't end up like the millions of Americans who were swept up in the housing boom and now faced foreclosure. The fear of a bad mortgage forced us to sit down and draw up our first 100 percent honest and realistic family budget. It was a humbling experience, but it enabled us to house hunt with confidence, knowing that we could actually afford these bedrooms and basements and backyards. After a whirlwind of forms and signatures and very large checks, we had a house. Even better, we had a home.

Related Articles


  • Jacobe, Dennis. Gallup. "U.S. Homeownership Hits Decade Low." April 26, 2012 (Accessed Sept. 14, 2012)
  • RealtyTrac. "National Real Estate Trends" (Accessed Sept. 14, 2012)