Housing - Consumer Information

Housing - Consumer Information

Consumer Information Center
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Featured Consumer Guides and Resources: Housing

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Financing & Sales

100 Questions and Answers About Buying a New Home. This great guide focuses on finances--from how much home you can afford, to various mortgage loan programs, insurance, taxes, and more. 40 pp.

Borrower's Guide to Home Loans. Here's how to find the best loan when shopping for home equity loans and reverse mortgages. 16 pp.

Don't Be A Victim of Loan Fraud. Be a smart consumer when buying or refinancing your home. Use these 11 tips to learn more about predatory lending, recognize tactics that predators use, identify warning signs of fraud, and more. 5 pp.

Financing an Energy-Efficient Home. Find mortgages and home improvement loans to make your home more energy efficient. 8 pp.

Guide to Single-Family Home Mortgage Insurance. Explains FHA mortgage insurance programs, including types available, how to qualify, how to apply, restrictions, and more. 14 pp.

How To Avoid Foreclosure. Explains how homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages can avoid losing their homes and ruining their credit because of missed payments. 5 pp.

How to Buy a Home With a Low Down Payment. Describes how to qualify for a low down payment mortgage, determine what you can afford, and how mortgage insurance works. 9 pp.

How to Buy a Manufactured (Mobile) Home. Tips on selection and placement, warranties, site preparation, transportation, installation, and more. 14 pp.

HUD Home Buying Guide. Step-by-step instructions for finding and financing a HUD home. Includes charts to help you estimate mortgage payments. 14 pp.

Looking for the Best Mortgage--Shop, Compare, Negotiate. Use these 3 steps to save money on a mortgage or home loan. Includes a mortgage shopping worksheet. 7 pp.

Putting Your Home on the Loan Line is Risky Business. Before getting a home equity loan, explore your options, comparison shop, be aware of questionable lender practices, and know your rights. Use the worksheet to compare loan offers from various lenders. 4 pp.

Tips for a Successful Interstate Move (graphic only). Helpful information when you move across state lines. Includes what you should know before choosing a mover, as well as tips on what to do if there is a problem. 7 pp.

Twelve Ways to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Costs. Practical tips and phone numbers of state insurance departments for more information. 4 pp.

Home Maintenance

Am I Covered?. Answers 15 common questions regarding homeowners insurance and explains what is covered in a standard policy. 9 pp.

Cooling Your Home Naturally. Ways to save electricity and keep your home cool with landscaping, roof treatments, shading, and windows. 8 pp.

Drinking Water From Household Wells. Families with their own wells are responsible for maintaining them and making sure that the water is safe to drink. Here are the facts on sources of pollution and how to keep your water safe. 16 pp.

Elements of an Energy-Efficient House. Learn the benefits of having energy-efficient elements in your home, such as energy-efficient doors, windows, and appliances. 8 pp.

Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home . Reduce your home energy use with tips on insulation, weatherization, heating, and more. 36 pp.

Energy-Efficient Air Conditioning. Explains how air conditioners work, what different types are available, and how to troubleshoot and maintain your air conditioners. 8 pp.

Great American Home Safety Check. Gives important tips to help stop slips/falls, poisoning, and fire/burns--the leading causes of home safety issues in the U.S. 4 pp.

Healthy Lawn, Healthy Environment. Tips on lawn care, including soil preparation, watering, mowing, pesticides, and choosing a lawn care service. 17 pp.

Home Sweet Home Improvement. Check for the warning signs of a shady contractor; ask questions to protect yourself from fraud; complete the post- job checklist; and get tips on how to resolve complaints. 12 pp.

How to Prune Trees (graphic only). Illustrated guide shows what to do, what not to do, tools to use, and when to trim to produce healthy, strong trees. 30 pp.

Indoor Electrical Safety Check. Quick and easy tips to make your home safe from electrical hazards. 21 pp.

National Flood Insurance Guide. Property owners can purchase insurance against flooding losses. Learn the requirements, questions to ask, and more. 20 pp.

Outdoor Electrical Safety Check. Detailed guide to preventing outdoor electrical hazards that can cause fires and dangerous shocks. 33 pp.

Propane Prices. Explains what propane is, where it comes from, and how the season and geographic region affect prices. 7 pp.

Residential Heating Oil Prices . Sources of heating oil, reasons for fluctuations in oil prices, and tips to lower your monthly bill. 7 pp.

Residential Natural Gas Prices. Where natural gas comes from, what gas bills cover, and factors that affect prices during the winter. 7 pp.

Selecting a New Water Heater. Describes how different types of water heaters work and important features to consider when buying. 6 pp.

Surges Happen! How to Protect the Appliances in Your Home. Find out what power surges are, what appliances need protection, and what devices work best. 20 pp.

Water on Tap: What You Need to Know. Explains where it comes from and how it's treated, what contaminants are, and what to do in case of a problem with either your public or private water supply. 27 pp.

Weatherize Your Home. Explains the various types of caulking and weather stripping to help you choose the best method to fix air leaks in your home. 8 pp.

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This information is provided by the Consumer Information Center of the U.S. General Services Administration.