There are millions of homes sold in the United States each year.  Some are sold for top dollar and some are sold for big discounts.  So where is the best place to look for a house to buy?

First thing to do is learn the market in the area where you want to buy a house.  Understand the prices and inventory in that area.  Once you do, talk with several real- estate agents who are familiar with the area and tell them you are looking for a good deal and what you want – all cash deal?  a fixer upper? etc.   Also tell the agent if there are any specific requirements you have, such as a large yard, quiet street, good potential to turn it into a rental property, etc.

Search for for-sale by owner websites,, ebay, and tax-lien auctions.  It will take some effort to monitor these but if you do you could be rewarded with some great opportunities to buy.

Another option is to look for poorly cared-for homes or vacant ones, then do the research to track down the owner.  It may take a 100 phone calls, but you might find someone who  wants to get rid of the home with the least amount of hassle.  Quote them a price on the house as is, and you may just get yourself a great deal.

Use our cost calculator to see whether moving or remodeling is the best choice for you.