Buying a house or condo is probably the biggest financial transaction you'll ever make. This course will teach you all the basics and help you avoid expensive mistakes. The instructor is an independent personal finance expert from outside the real estate industry. You'll learn how to decide if house or condo ownership is right for you and choose the right type of property in the best location for you, given the current market. Learn how to estimate the real costs of ownership, calculate how much you can afford, hire the help you need, read an inspection report and understand its limitations. We'll also cover important details of financing, down payments, mortgages and the purchasing process. Learn about the special issues involved in buying a condo, vacation home or investment property. Most importantly, learn how to avoid the common pitfalls of rookie buyers and survive that first year of ownership.