100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask: With Answers from Top Brokers from Around the Country

100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask: With Answers from Top Brokers from Around the Country

by Ilyce R. Glink, Alyce R. Glink
     
 

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From the most trusted name in real estate: the indispensable guide that helps first-time buyers land the home of their dreams. Now revised and updated for today's marketplace.
 ¸  How do I know if my broker is doing a good job? (See question #18.)
 ¸  How should I decide how much to offer for a home? (See question #29.)

Overview


From the most trusted name in real estate: the indispensable guide that helps first-time buyers land the home of their dreams. Now revised and updated for today's marketplace.
 ¸  How do I know if my broker is doing a good job? (See question #18.)
 ¸  How should I decide how much to offer for a home? (See question #29.)
 ¸  How does the negotiation process work? (See question #37.)
 ¸  How much of a down payment will I need to buy my home? (See question #61.)
 ¸  What are the different types of mortgages available? (See question #75.)
 ¸  What if I'm rejected for my loan? (See question #86.)
 ¸  What exactly is the closing? And where is it held? (See question #89.)
 ¸  Will I need homeowner's insurance? What should it cover? (See question #93.)
What's new in this edition?
Internet resources for home buyers: Where to shop for a loan on the web, how to apply online for a mortgage, and how to contact the agency that regulates real estate brokers and mortgage lenders in your state
Tax laws and what they mean to you: Why the Taxpayer Relief Act is a windfall for homeowners, and how you can take full advantage of it
Buying new construction: How to compare developers and negotiate the best deal
The competitive mortgage market: How to find a reputable lender, how to find a true zero-down loan, and what service premiums tell you about your loan

Editorial Reviews

WomanSource Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women
Discrimination is still a factor in the marketplace and women home buyers, especially single women, can be susceptible to being taken advantage of by sellers who think they can pull one over on you because you're a woman. Additionally, real estate brokers and lenders are sometimes weary of women purchasing homes buy themselves. Your best defense is to know what you're talking about and this book covers everything a first-time home buyer should know: what to look for in a home, how to prequalify for a mortgage, financing, house inspections, closing procedures–all presented in a question and answer format. Owning a home does take a certain amount of responsibilty, but it's fun and it's a good investment. The stuff you need to know isn't difficult, and if you know what to expect and what questions to ask, it will remove a lot of anxiety from your first purchase.
—FGP

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812932355
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/01/1900
Edition description:
2ND
Pages:
528
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.82(h) x 1.32(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: How Do I Know What I Want?

"You can't always get what you want. But if you try, sometimes you just might find you get what you need."
—Rolling Stones

The difference between being a wanna-be and a successful home buyer may boil down to nothing more than knowing the difference between what you want in a home, and what you can't live without. It sounds simple, but that difference requires an ability to recognize what's really important to you and compromise on the rest. Unfortunately, the ability to compromise is often lost between two spouses or partners who forget that they can't afford to satisfy their every whim.

First, let's talk about what constitutes a wish list. A wish list is nothing more than a list of everything you've ever dreamed of having in your house: granite or slate kitchen countertops (or perhaps inlaid, stained concrete), a wood-burning fireplace, a three-car garage, a four-person whirlpool, the best school district in your state, a five- minute walk to work, four bedrooms, a master suite with his and her closets, and vaulted ceilings. You get the picture.

The best real estate agents and brokers will ask their first-time buyers to create a detailed wish list of everything they'd love to have in a home, grouped in these four categories: Location. Think about where you like to shop, where your children will attend school, where you work, where you worship, and where your friends and family live.

Size. Think about the number of bedrooms you want, the size of the garden, the extra room you may need for expansion or family flexibility, where you'll do the laundry, and whatkind of storage space you need. Amenities. Think about the garage, the kitchen and bathroom appliances, a swimming pool, a fireplace, air-conditioning, electrical wiring, a heating system, and hardwood floors.

Condition. Do you want a home in move-in condition? Or are you willing to contribute some "sweat equity," to borrow a This Old House phrase, to build in value?

At first glance, many of these items may seem to conflict with others on the list. You want to be close to a transportation network so it's easy to get around, and yet you want a quiet and peaceful neighborhood. You might want to walk to work, but when you come home, you want your neighborhood to be silent and secure. You want a wide variety of shopping, and yet you need to be close enough to your health club to use it on a regular basis. You want to take advantage of the city, and yet live in the suburbs.

That's what a wish list is all about. If you're honest about what you want, the inconsistencies and conflicts will be easy to spot. Most first-time buyers get confused by all their choices and take on a "kid in a candy store" mentality.

Choosing between different styles of homes is difficult. One broker has, each year, a few first-time buyers who need to see at least one of everything in the area: a California ranch, an old Victorian, an in-town condo, and several new subdivisions. It takes a tremendous amount of time, which is wasted if the buyer decides ultimately to go with a loft.

To help their clients define their needs as well as their wants, some agents and brokers also use a tool called a reality check.

Joanne, a real estate sales associate in New Jersey, asks her first-time buyers very specific questions about what they need for survival in their first home. "I just know their pocketbook will not allow them to have everything they want. I tell them they'll begin to get what they want with their second home, not the first."

  • Here are some of the questions Joanne might ask:
  • How many bedrooms do you need?
  • How many children do you have, or do you plan to have others while you are living in this home?
  • Is a garage absolutely necessary?
  • Why do you need a home with a basement or attic?
  • Do you use public transportation on a daily basis?
  • How close to work do you need to be?
  • Does driving on a major expressway, or in traffic, make you crazy?
  • Do you want to care for a garden, or would you prefer a maintenance-free home?...

Meet the Author

Ilyce R. Glink’s newspaper column, “Real Estate Matters,” appears in more than 160 newspapers and websites nationwide. She is the financial reporter for WGN-TV in Chicago, a radio talk-show host for WSB-AM in Atlanta, and has appeared on Oprah, the Today Show, CNN, and CNBC. Glink’s website, thinkglink.com, gets thousands of visitors per day. She lives just outside Chicago.

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