If you are buying your first home, you might have a hard time scraping up a down payment, winning approval for a mortgage loan or finding an affordable home.

But if you are looking to upgrade or move to another area, the financial logistics of selling and buying at the same time may be even more difficult.

Barbara Marquand has tips on how to lay the groundwork for your home selling and buying, to make sure both go smoothly.

More on home buying and home ownership:

I’m a single, high-earning 52-year-old looking for a more stable lifestyle. Am I too old to buy a home?

Check out these generous tax credits for energy- saving at home — and there are no income limits

How to avoid being shocked by medical bills

The title of Marshall Allen’s “Never Pay the First Bill” says it all — don’t panic when surprised by a bill; you can also take action beforehand to limit nasty medical-billing shocks. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

When you are sick or injured, your primary-care physician and any specialists helping you will want to have as much information as possible. And when they recommend treatment, they might not explain all possible ways forward, preferring to discuss only what they believe to be the best course of treatment.

But doctors might want testing done that isn’t necessary, as if it is their luxury to obtain all possible information, regardless of expense. They may also not be interested in helping you have the tests done at the lowest cost.

Marshall Allen, the author of “Never Pay the First Bill: And Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win,” explains how you can get the right conversation started with your doctor and possibly save a lot of money while still getting the best treatment, by asking one simple question.

Where should you retire? Think about location risk

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MarketWatch’s “Where Should I Retire Tool” enables you to make a detailed, custom search of possible locations in all U.S. counties, selecting cost parameters, population size and demographics, weather and proximity to various amenities. The tool has now been updated to include county-by-county data on six types of natural disasters you can choose to avoid in your search.

Making use of the retirement tool: We want to retire to a fun lake house, but we also want city amenities. Our budget is $450,000. Where should we go?

With investing, one size doesn’t fit all

Your “perfect” portfolio should incorporate your tolerance for risk, financial habits and outlook for the economy and the markets, according to Andrew W. Lo and Stephen R. Foerster, co-authors of “In Pursuit of the Perfect Portfolio: The Stories, Voices, and Key Insights of the Pioneers Who Shaped the Way We Invest.”

Your needs and opinions will change over time, and so should your investments. Lo and Foerster round up advice from 10 of the best investors and share a short quiz you can take to get you started on your own portfolio makeover.

A pandemic travel story

MarketWatch reporter Jacob Passy at Park Guell in Barcelona. (Photo courtesy of Justin McCallum)

MarketWatch’s Jacob Passy decided to visit Europe even as the Delta variant of the coronavirus was spreading quickly. He had a great time, but learned some lessons.

Read on: Do you need your vaccine card to travel in the U.S.? It depends.

What to do if your mate asks for a prenuptial agreement

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If your significant other said they wanted to marry you, but also wanted a prenuptial agreement, how would you react? Quentin Fottrell — MarketWatch’s Moneyist — tackles this question, helping a reader who is in law school, whose boyfriend has already started to earn a high salary.

Tough love from the Moneyist: ‘Who knows if I’ll live until retirement?’ I have $10,000 in credit-card debt and $4,000 in student loans. Should I tap my 401(k)?

The economic recovery’s good and bad sides

There was good economic news Friday. The U.S. economy added 943,000 jobs in July — the best monthly number in almost a year. The unemployment rate declined to 5.4% from 5.9% the previous month. But the unemployment rate doesn’t tell the whole story — the labor participation rate remains way below that of the pre-pandemic economy. Jeffry Bartash explains how the ‘missing millions’ are holding back the recovery and how long it might take for them to get back to work.

Summer time is grillin’ time

Meat master. (Getty Images)

Weber Inc. and Traeger Inc. make grills and have both completed initial public offerings at the height of the summer grilling season. Here’s the result of an analysis of the competitors’ financial health by RapidRatings.

Market reaction: Weber stock debuts with a big gain after disappointing IPO pricing

Albertsons’ CEO says shoppers will remain focused on better quality

Tonya Garcia interviews Albertsons Cos. CEO Vivek Sankaran, who explains how the company’s business climate has improved during the pandemic and how shoppers’ habits have changed.

More: Albertsons raises full-year guidance

Arguing about Robinhood

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Robinhood Markets Inc. completed an initial public offering at $38 on July 29. The shares fell 8% that day, but were up 34% through Aug. 5, when they closed at $50.97. Robinhood has already filed to begin selling more shares — diluting early investors’ ownership.

Andrew Keshner rounds up arguments in favor and against the stock.

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