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Not a good choice for your first purchase of a house. By Flickr user wolfrage.

Ah, Spring: the time of year when flowers bloom, bunnies hop, and the sound of dozens of "For Sale" signs being hammered into the ground echoes throughout every neighborhood. While you can go house-hunting at any time of year, Spring is the season traditionally associated with buying or selling a house.

But home purchasing is full of potential pitfalls: what should you look for? How do you protect yourself and your family from shady sellers and predatory lenders? Who's the best inspector for the job? Do you even like the neighborhood? And what does a Realtor mean when they say "cozy," anyway?

All these questions (except maybe that last one), and many more, are addressed in a fantastic Ask Metafilter thread: Chunks of homebuying wisdom from The Hive Mind. Dozens of people weighed in with what they know -- and what they wish they had known -- about buying a house for the first time. It's invaluable reading for anyone who is in the market for a new residence, or just thinking about it.

[via Not Martha, a little while ago.]



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