By Melinda Fulmer of MSN Real Estate

The real-estate recovery is now in full effect in most areas, and that means more of you are hopping off the fence to buy or list a home.  Do you know what you’re in for?

The housing market is a different place than it was just six months ago, with new issues, rules and opportunities — even for those who are planning on staying in their house for a while. In this slide show, MSN Real Estate will fill you in on eight ways the housing market has shifted since last spring’s peak selling season and what these changes mean for you: the buyer or seller.

1. Homes are more expensive — but not much more.

An improving economy and low interest rates have boosted buyer demand in most markets, decreasing supply and raising prices. Indeed, the national median home price increased 10.1% in November to $180,600 from the same period a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors. November marked the ninth consecutive month of home-price increases.

This year, the gains should be more restrained, says Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “2013 should be interesting for the housing market, where national gains should continue to see upward growth, but likely at a more modest growth,” he says.

Clear Capital expects prices to rise just 2.1% nationally this year. That’s good news for buyers in many Western markets, including Phoenix, where prices have surged in the past year, pricing some buyers out.

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8 Ways the Housing Market Has Changed for 2013