They say that buying a house is part of the American dream, but anyone who has started the process knows how daunting it can be. There are several legal and financial steps to take, but in order to make any informed decisions, it all starts with knowledge and research. 

Buying a Home in the U.S.

The U.S. real estate market is enormous. According to Property Wire, the total household value in the United States grew $1.1 trillion in 2015 and is now worth around $28.5 trillion. Each state in the U.S. has its own unique set of rules, regulations and taxes. No matter what stage of the buying process you are in, this guide has aggregated research across every state and major city to give better context about whether or not you are getting a good deal on your mortgage. You can use Investopedia's mortgage calculator to estimate monthly payments.

The Importance of Property Taxes

Property taxes vary state by state, and generally are used to fund major state projects such as schools and parks. Knowing what kind of property taxes you can expect will paint a picture of the true cost of ownership, as well as the kind of public investment in the area you are planning to live. This is especially relevant for those who are looking to move out of state, or are hoping to find a more affordable place to settle down. (See also: Investing In Property Out Of State)

Know the Real Estate Market

Aside from researching the cost of owning property, for those who are more interested in renting either for the long-term or the short-term should know what drives house prices in the regional market. Volatility in house prices varies from state to state and knowing what influences prices is crucial for your own financial security. Our aim is to educate you on the macro and micro trends that are influencing the market so you can be the judge of the mortgage deals being offered to you. This is why researching the average closing costs in each state is an important step of your decision making. Make sure you know what kind of fees are a normal and expected part of the process so you know whether your real estate agent is giving you the best deal. Our list of top lenders also aims to give you a sense of who you are borrowing from, how long they have been around, and what their customers have been saying.

Average Closing Costs Explained

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Frequently Asked Questions
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    No – PMI is only required of those who can't make a 20% down payment on the home they're purchasing.
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