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If you're a first-time home buyer, you've probably discovered that you have a lot to learn - and unfortunately, it's all too easy to get burned. But don't be discouraged. By doing some research, you can avoid common first-time buyer mistakes.

condosBefore you make an offer on that condo or town-home, there are a few things you should check into besides the obvious bylaws and association notes. Here's a list of five not-so-obvious things to look into before submitting the offer.

Recently buyers who were in contract to purchase a home in Oakland, Calif., asked the seller to credit them money in escrow. The money was to be applied toward repairs that were recommended in the course of the buyers' inspections.

closing

Closing is the point at which a contract between a buyer and a seller is executed, and the title to the property changes hands. This process has a variety of associated costs, most of which are paid at closing.

Lofts are springing up in many nifty urban neighborhoods. Although trendier than condos, most lofts are created with a condominium form of ownership.

A unique set of considerations come into play when you buy a condo or loft. With a single-family residence, you are the sole property owner. As a condo owner, you are the sole owner of the interior of your dwelling unit, but ownership is shared for the common area: the grounds, walkways, hallways, staircases, elevators, recreation room, pool, etc.

couple

If you have a move in your future, there are definite ways to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Plan ahead and you'll avoid these 8 costly moving mistakes.