The holy grail of the American Dream is buying a home. Having a place to call your own is compelling for many of us. Being able to build equity, not having to get permission to paint the walls, and being able to tinker with improvements is a lot of fun ... and often expensive. There is a lot to learn and its easy to make mistakes. Our goal is to convey vital tips to understand the basics of real estate, mortgages, and help you avoid some of the most common mistakes and minimize the ones you are bound to make the first time around.