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AdobeStock 111863032One of the biggest challenges, if not the biggest challenge, is coming up with the money for a down payment on a home. Even if someone is taking advantage of the new conventional 3.0 percent down program or the FHA mortgage, most every loan requires some sort of a down payment. While 3.0 percent doesn’t sound like a whole lot, if you’re buying your first home it usually is. On a $250,000 home, that comes out to $7,500. That’s not even mentioning closing costs. But there are sources for down payment funds that might sometimes be overlooked.

Read more: Finding Down Payment Money

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AdobeStock 4070330Once you make an offer on a home and it's accepted, there's a process lasting a few weeks before you close the transaction. During this window of time, buyers are often told to "do their due diligence" on the home they soon hope to own. But just what is the definition of due diligence, anyway? In the world of investment transactions, due diligence is a legal term for “do your homework.”

Before buying a property, you should fully investigate it for potential problems that could cost major money to fix after you've moved in, and verify that you still want to buy the property. Think of this as your last opportunity to kick the tires, turn on and off all the lights, and generally make sure you're not getting a lemon.

Read more: Due Diligence? Find Out What to Do Before Buying a Home

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home selling costsSelling your house is not as simple as just putting it on the market and waiting for offers from eager buyers to roll in. (Ah, if only...) If you have any hope that your sale will go smoothly, you'll have to sit down, take a hard look at your house, and ask yourself a few questions. Though some steps of the home-selling process seem fairly straightforward—find a real estate agent, set a list price, hold a few open houses—there are a number of lesser-known factors that play a big role in whether your house gets sold, and how much you're going to fetch for it.

To help you enter the home-selling process fully prepared and with your eyes open, here's a list of five essential questions to ask yourself to get started.

Read more: 5 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your Home

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