Homebuying 101: What You Should Be Reading

    Before you buy a home, it’s helpful to prepare yourself by familiarizing yourself with the process. There are many valuable resources available to homebuyers, including guidebooks written by real estate professionals. Thinking about buying a home? Here are some books that will educate you on the steps in searching, finding, and buying your dream home.

    1. 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask by Ilyce R Glink

    Ilyce R. Glink has established herself as America’s most trusted real estate expert. In this new, fully revised and updated edition of the book that made her a household name, Glink offers more than 100 pages of new material addressing all of the current trends home buyers need to stay on top of, including:

    • The new construction housing boom and how home buyers can make the most of it
    • Mortgage lending innovations, such as interest-only financing and the ability to finance 103 percent of the purchase price
    • The changing habits of first-time home buyers (purchasing without a broker, using discount Internet-based services, and buying first homes as investments)
    • The latest information on asbestos, mold, radon, and other bio-environmental hazards and new, inexpensive testing methods any home buyer can use

    2. Home Buying For Dummies by Eric Tyson

    Are you looking to buy a house, but don’t quite know where to begin? Have no fear! This new edition of Home Buying Kit For Dummies arms you with Eric Tyson and Ray Brown’s time-tested advice and strategies for buying a home in current market conditions. Packed with valuable tips for getting the best deal on your new home and navigating an ever-changing housing market, it shows you how to find the right property, make smart financial decisions, and understand the latest lending requirements and tax implications.

    This book provides step-by-step guidance for buying the home of your dreams, from inspecting a property to evaluating a location to making sense of loan applications, tax documents, and counter offer forms.

    • Negotiate your best deal and obtain a lower down payment mortgage
    • Improve your credit score
    • Make sense of changing lending standards
    • Take the confusion out of lending laws, mortgage rates, and marketplace conditions

    Whether you’re a renter, investor, or current homeowner, everything you need to plant roots in a new home sweet home is just a page away.

    3. Buying a Home: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner

    Home ownership is a cornerstone of the American dream, but it’s a complex process that, without the right guidance, can seem like a nightmare. This Missing Manual takes you through the process of buying a home, from start to finish. Along the way, you’ll use the book’s expert advice and fill-in forms to identify the house you want, figure out what kind of neighborhood you want to live in, determine what a target home is really worth, make an offer, and close the deal. Throughout the process, this book helps you:

    • Realistically determine how much house you can afford
    • Assemble a real estate team that’s looking after your interests and not the seller’s
    • Understand the different ways to finance your house, and which is best for you
    • Create an attractive offer with the best chance of acceptance
    • Learn what lenders look for so you can get your mortgage approved
    • Inspect your new home to uncover potential problems
    • Prepare all the right paperwork for a smooth closing

    4. The 106 Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make by Gary W. Eldred

    Written especially for first-timers, this eye-opening guide turns you into an educated consumer, ensuring that the home or condo you buy is both a comfortable place to live and a great investment for the future. Compiled from the experience of hundreds of homebuyers, real estate agents, home builders, and mortgage lenders, it shows you the most common mistakes buyers make and illustrates them in practice so you don’t fall into the same traps.

    • Researching selling prices and still overpaying
    • Believing everything your agent tells you
    • Buying into an upscale neighborhood that’s moving downscale
    • Underestimating utilities and other costs
    • Allowing your agent to negotiate for you
    • Letting fear get the better of you and not buying at all

    5. Mortgages for Dummies by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown

    This easy-to-understand, objective, and jargon-free guide helps you fine-tune your finances, figure out what you can afford, and improve your credit score before you go mortgage shopping. You’ll get familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, 15- and 30-year loans, and conforming and jumbo packages. You also get help finding and working with reputable professionals, comparing programs, and securing terms you can live with. Discover how to:

    • Match your mortgage to your financial goals
    • Qualify for a mortgage even when money is tight
    • Find the right loan for you
    • Choose the best lender/broker
    • Negotiate the best terms
    • Calculate your costs and payments
    • Understand and complete all paperwork
    • Refinance an existing mortgage
    • Understand and consider special situation loans
    • Explore reverse mortgages and other options
    • Decipher amortization tables and comparison worksheets
    • Use the Internet wisely when mortgage shopping

    6. Nolo’s Essential guide to Buying Your First Home by Ilona Bray

    Filled with interesting facts, real-life stories and insights, and common pitfalls to avoid, this book provides everything you need to select the right type of home for your family, the right mortgage, the right agent, the right inspections — and much more. Get the inside scoop on:

    • Deciding between a house, condo, co-op or townhouse
    • Exploring your local market for the best value
    • Creating and managing a realistic homebuying budget
    • Qualifying for and securing financing
    • Getting the right inspections and insurance
    • Negotiating with sellers or new home builders
    • Successfully closing the deal

    What’s your favorite book about real estate and home-buying? Share with us below!

    *Note: these synopses are taken directly from these books.

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