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

Overview

From the most trusted name in real estate, here is the latest edition of the indispensable guide that helps first-time buyers land the home of their dreams.
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 ...
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Overview

From the most trusted name in real estate, here is the latest edition of the indispensable guide that helps first-time buyers land the home of their dreams.
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
In this third edition of 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask, Glink presents new stories of real people who have gone through the home-buying process for the first time and once again offers her trademark friendly advice on how to avoid common home-buyer mistakes.
Also available as an eBook

A book that deciphers the jargon, matches desires with means, keeps an eye on the details and helps first-timers land the home of their dreams. Glink gives tips for dealing step-by-step with the intricacies of negotiating a mortgage, checking to see that the dishwasher works, and everything in-between.

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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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812922837
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/1/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 451
  • Product dimensions: 5.27 (w) x 7.91 (h) x 1.24 (d)

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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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, well you just might find you get what you need. —Rolling Stones
The difference between being a wannabe 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, our ability to compromise is often lost between two spouses or partners who forget that they can’t afford to satisfy their every whim.
SHOULD I MAKE A WISH LIST?
WHAT ABOUT A REALITY CHECK?
First, let’s talk about what exactly 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, three-car garage, 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 wish list detailing everything they’d love to have in a home, including:
1.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.
2.Size. Think about the number of bedrooms you want, the size garden, the extra room you may need forexpansion or family flexibility, where you’ll do the laundry, what kind of storage space you need, and if you need a home office.
3.Amenities. Think about the garage, kitchen and bathroom appliances, swimming pool, fireplace, air-conditioning, electrical wiring, furnace, and hardwood floors.
4.Condition. Do you want a home in move-in condition? Or are you willing to put in some “sweat equity,” to borrow a This Old House phrase, to build in value?
At first glance, many of these items may seem to be in conflict with each other: 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 home to be silent and secure. You want a wide variety of shopping, and yet you also 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.
But that’s what a wish list is all about. If you’re honest about what you want, the inconsistencies and conflicts will come out. Most first-time buyers are confused by all their choices. First-time buyers take on that “kid in a candy store” mentality: Many have difficulty choosing between different styles of homes. One broker says she always has a few first-time buyers each year 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.
Some agents and brokers also use a tool to help their clients define their needs as well as their wants. They call this a reality check.
Joanne, a real estate sales associate in New Jersey, says she asks her first-time buyers very specific questions about what they need to survive 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 are you planning to have while you live in this home?
•Is a garage absolutely necessary?
•Why do you need a home with a basement or an 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?
By asking specific questions about your daily lifestyle, Joanne and other brokers can center in on the best location, home size, and amenities for your budget. They can read between the lines on your wish list.
Wish lists and reality checks have another use. By prioritizing the items on these lists, a good real estate agent can tell which items you might be willing to trade off. For example, if the first wish on your list is to have a four-bedroom, two-bath house, and the 38th item is a wood-burning fireplace, then the broker knows you’d probably prefer a four-bedroom, two-bath house without a fireplace to a three-bedroom, two-bath home with a fireplace.
The bottom line is this: Unless you win the lottery or are independently wealthy, you’re probably going to have to make some trade-offs when buying your first home.
And sometimes you’re going to make a mistake.
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Table of Contents

Preface xvii
Introduction 3
How Do I Know What I Want? 13
How Do I Look for a Home? 43
How Do I Identify What I Need Versus What I Like in a Home? 87
How Do I Know What I Can Afford to Spend? 102
Putting Together the Deal 121
Negotiating the Deal 143
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