NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Real estate is looking like a pretty good bet these days -- if not the only bet.
Average home prices are stuck in the stratosphere, while mortgage rates flirt with record lows. And with most stock portfolios on a slow road to recovery, investors have begun turning their attention to the relative safety of home sweet home.
Those who haven't yet bought are looking to get in, trying to decide if they can afford today's inflated prices and searching for signs on whether now is the time to make their move.
Those who already own, meanwhile, are tapping the equity appreciation in their homes, using their windfall to pay off loans and improve their properties for resale. If they haven't done so already, many, too, are weighing the merits of refinancing their mortgage loan.
The following stories explore everything from moving strategies to renovations to homeowner's insurance.
Buying real estate on a dime First-time homebuyers are getting priced out of the market. Here's how to fight back.
Buying at the top It's an awful feeling -- the idea that you're paying top-dollar just as values are about to crash. We show you how to cope.
10 biggest home-buying mistakes Many homebuyers get too much house, the wrong loan and fail to consider resale value.
How much house can you afford? Proceed with caution. The bank can't tell you how much to borrow.
To rent or buy With interest rates at historic lows, now's the time to weigh your options.
Shelter gains with a swap Learn how to defer gains on your second home, with help from Uncle Sam.
Refi junkies Some homeowners use any excuse to refinance their mortgage loans.
Milking the "bubble" Your home has soared in value. Here's how to capitalize.
Refi anyone? Mortgage refis can save you big bucks. But rates aren't everything.
Rev up your resale value If you're selling your home, basic landscaping, new paint and clean carpets are a must.
Renovate or move? Upgrading your kitchen and bath? Here's how to get your money's worth.
For cost cutters
Keep cool without losing your shirt An energy-efficient home is good for your wallet and the environment.
10 steps to lower home insurance Slash your bill without reducing your coverage.
Save big on your mortgage Bi-weekly payment plans yield big rewards.