Hesitant home hunter seeks insight about expensive surprises

Q: In 1989, my parents were overjoyed to buy a single-family home after years of saving up for a down payment. The joy was short-lived. According to my father, the property lost $1,000 a month in value for 60 months. That was a lot of money at the time. Their Bay Area house appraised for $240,000 at purchase. Years later, the home sold in a bank-approved short sale. They lost their 20% down payment. It was devastating. My parents eventually received an IRS 1099 Form for $20,000 as mortgage debt relief.

As rates rise, my in-laws are nudging my husband and me to buy a home. I’m not thrilled. The

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