The 106 Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make (and How to Avoid Them)


Everything first-timers need to know to avoid the most common mistakes homebuyers make

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 ...

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Everything first-timers need to know to avoid the most common mistakes homebuyers make

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.

Now revised and updated for today's hot real estate market, this invaluable resource covers everything from negotiating with sellers and making the down payment to shopping for the best mortgage and handling the closing. The new Fourth Edition also includes totally up-to-date guidance on using the Internet to find properties, secure financing, and collect important data. If you're thinking about buying a home in this overheated market, don't make these mistakes:

  • 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

Written by one of the nation's leading real estate experts and packed with hundreds of valuable tips and suggestions, The 106 Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make, Fourth Edition will give you the confidence—and the wisdom—to buy the right home at the right price.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471751236
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/30/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 324
  • Sales rank: 683,944
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 10.94 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

GARY W. ELDRED, PhD, has been involved in hundreds of real estate transactions as a buyer, seller, and consultant during the past two decades. Nationally known for his Stop Renting Now seminars, Dr. Eldred currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Initiative for Home Ownership. He has also held faculty positions in real estate at Stanford University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Virginia. He is also the author of the Wiley titles Yes! You Can Own the Home You Want, 106 Mortgage Secrets All Homebuyers Must Learn—But Lenders Don't Tell, and The Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing, as well as coauthor of Investing in Real Estate.

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Read an Excerpt

The 106 Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make (and How to Avoid Them)

By Gary W. Eldred

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-471-75123-5

Chapter One

Profit from the Mistakes of Others

Thinking about buying a home? Good for you. You're about to make one of the best personal and financial decisions of your life-if you do it right. And that's just what this book will help you do.

As you read through the eye-opening stories-sometimes funny, sometimes sad-you will see how to steer clear of potential pitfalls. Even better, you will learn to profit from the opportunities that you discover (or create) along the way. You will gain not only from the knowledge I've accumulated from dozens of my own property transactions, but also from the experiences of hundreds of homebuyers, real estate agents, mortgage loan officers, and home inspectors.

Here are some of the fears, mistakes, and pitfalls you'll learn how to handle:

1. Getting turned down for a mortgage

2. Paying too much for mortgage interest, fees, and costs

3. Overpaying for your house

4. Discovering that a house or neighborhood comes with hidden and unwelcome surprises

5. Being taken advantage of by a real estate agent, loan officer, or lawyer

6. Buying too little, too much, or the wrong kind of insurance

7. Suffering discrimination

8. Buying a house whose value doesn't appreciate much

9. Running into problems at (or on the way to) closing

10. Buying a house that doesn't meet your needs, wants, or budget

Unlike other books on homebuying, the discussions here don't merely present general principles, simplistic questions, or a "homebuy-ing process." Instead, 106 Mistakes illustrates what you need to know through dozens of real-life examples. Through these examples, you'll see how to conquer your confusion, become more confident, and make the right homebuying decision.

The Origin of This Book

Throughout the past 20 years I've taught graduate and undergraduate college courses in real estate; professional education programs for Real-tors(r), home builders, and mortgage loan officers; and Stop Renting Now!(tm) seminars that are directed especially toward first-time home- buyers. In these courses, one of the most favored classroom topics has been "How to prevent mistakes in homebuying."

Although just about everyone knows that real estate, particularly home ownership, stands out as one of the best ways to build personal wealth, a growing number of people also realize that successful home-buying doesn't occur easily. It requires education. Shopping for a home, negotiating, arranging financing, and qualifying to buy have become much more complex. There are many ways to get bamboozled. Natu-rally, then, learning about the mistakes of others has proved to be a good prescription for a happy and profitable homebuying experience.

When I first began to discuss mistakes in homebuying with my classes, I relied on many of my own experiences (and mistakes). Over time, though, students were eager to broaden their knowledge and learn firsthand about the mishaps, misfortunes, and mistakes suffered by oth-ers. As a result, I incorporated "interview papers" into class assignments. To carry out these assignments, students interviewed Realtors, home builders, loan officers, recent homebuyers, and other people involved in homebuying and financing.

The students asked their interviewees to describe in concrete detail the homebuying mistakes that the interviewees had made themselves or had seen others make. Next, the students wrote up their conversations and we scheduled a class session or two to discuss what they had learned.

These classroom discussions became quite popular. As a result, many students suggested that they would like to see the most common (and costly) mistakes I've collected brought together in a book. Fortunately, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and senior editor Michael Hamilton agreed. In this book we've aimed to help you benefit from the experiences of hun-dreds of people who have been involved in homebuying. Read through these stories and apply the lessons to your own situation. You'll enjoy a more profitable and more satisfying homebuying adventure.


Excerpted from The 106 Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make (and How to Avoid Them) by Gary W. Eldred Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Preface to 4th Edition.

1. Profit from the Mistakes of Others.

2. Explore Possibilities, Set Priorities.

3. Home Ownership: How to Make It Your Best Investment.

4. How to Find a Good Buy.

5. Locate a Great Neighborhood.

6. Is This Home for You?

7. Negotiate Win-Win.

8. The Best Loan at the Lowest Cost.

9. Become a Satisfied Homeowner.

10. The Biggest Mistakes of All.

11. How to Afford the Home You Want.

12. Writing Your Offer.

Internet Appendix.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2005

    A neccessity for a 1st time homebuyer!

    This is a must have! I flipped through several books on the topic and this is the one that left the bookstore with me. This book will help you be a more informed 1st time homebuyer and help you from not being taken advantage of. It explains the different types of agents, how to negotiate, what a good contract should look like, how to look through the house to see what is wrong with it, etc...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2001

    Wins our vote

    Our homebuyers club voted this the best overall book on homebuying among all the ones we read and discussed for three reasons:(1) It was the most interesting and enjoyable to read,(2) it covers mortgage shopping (especially tricks of the trade better than other guides, and (3) nearly everyone in the class knew (or knew of ) someone who had committed mistakes similar to those told about in the book--so we judged the book the most real-world helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2001

    Don't waste your money

    While this book is filled with interesting stories of problems and disasters the author has encountered, it is of little help when actually buying a home yourself. The information is scattered through out the book, forcing you to read the whole thing to get the few pieces out of it. If you know NOTHING about personal finance: can't balance a checkbook, don't know what insurance is for, trust every 'expert' you meet, are a true novice at life, you might get more out of this book than I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2000

    Don't buy until you read this book

    One of the best books I've ever read. We didn't have a clue about homebuying. But after going through the dozens of examples in this book, we knew more than our realtor- and we were able to spot when our lender tried to jack us around. Don't get me wrong, though. The book is written in an upbeat tone. It just gives you the real advice you need to deal with all the people and decisions that homebuying requires. Much better than either Dummies or 100 Questions in answering practical everyday kinds of concerns.

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