If you've found yourself unable to afford your mortgage payments, you're not alone. In fact, 3.2 million households find themselves in that position, according to Black Knight Financial Services. In the real estate world, many people refer to this as an underwater mortgage. So what does that all-too-common euphemism actually mean and what are your options?

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While most home buyers spend their time at an open house passively observing the layout of the rooms and the name brands on the kitchen appliances, smart buyers know the things that are really important to look for when buying a home.

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