Home buying 101

Free government guides to mortgages

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Although buying a home is usually the largest single purchase in a person’s life, many of us are clueless when real estate agents start using terms like “title search,” “closing cost,” “mortgage lock-in” and “settlement.” But don’t despair. The Federal Reserve System has several free publications that will keep you informed during the home-buying process. For starters, get A Consumer’s Guide to Mortgage Lock-Ins, A Consumer’s Guide to Mortgage Settlement Costs and A Consumer’s Guide to Mortgage Refinancing. To receive these guides or get information about others, contact the Federal Reserve System (202-452-3244; www.bog.frb.fed.us).