Home Buying For Dummies (Eric Tyson)

Item added by Automatt. Added on 05/14/2009
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Home Buying For Dummies (Eric Tyson) 5

New home buyers might be tempted by the 2009 combination of low home prices, low interest rates, and federal incentives to start searching for a home. If you do, and especially if you live in a heavily regulated state like California, books like this one are extremely valuable. Much of the advice might seem "obvious" when you think about it (why do you "need" title insurance anyway?) but no one thinks about all aspects of purchasing a home when they first enter the market. This book spells out all the steps you need to take from deciding whether you really need to buy a home at all (if you are planning to move soon, don't) to saving for a down payment all the way through escrow. Mortgage options (15 v. 30 year, adjustable or fixed) are also covered in some detail so potential homebuyers can make sound choices. It is, on the whole, a very useful book.

This For Dummies guide also includes quite a bit of valuable information most people would not think of when buying a home. Sandbagging by mortgage companies is moderately more common than you might expect in a down market and this guide tells you how to recognize it. The authors also explain why sellers, in general, are not very realistic about what their property is worth and how to effectively use the internet when searching for a home. Hint, mortgage calculators are not nearly as useful as they are convenient. You should know from your own budget (including contributions for retirement savings) what you can afford, and not be pushed into a house beyond your means by a calculator that only considers your income and debt ratios. Finally, the book covers the psychology of home purchases, including buyers remorse and negotiations.

There is simply too much in this book to cover it all. Suffice to say, this is not a guide to getting rich in real estate. The authors (wrongly, in my opinion) do view real estate as an investment but first time home buyers, the target audience for this book, should not. Homes can in fact be something of a liability. But the 4th edition of 'Home Buying for Dummies' can help you limit the costs associated with buying your home and for this reason alone the book is invaluable. And if, in the future, you should actually make money on your purchase, more power to you. Besides, the authors have another title for you on how to sell your home. If it is even close to as comprehensive as this book, you should buy it too when the time comes.

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