How to Buy a House in California


Buy a home in California using these effective strategies.

A thorough, practical guide, How to Buy a House in California will help you make informed decisions that can save you thousands of dollars. With this bestseller in hand, you'll learn how to:

  • research the ...
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How to Buy a House in California

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Buy a home in California using these effective strategies.

A thorough, practical guide, How to Buy a House in California will help you make informed decisions that can save you thousands of dollars. With this bestseller in hand, you'll learn how to:

  • research the neighborhood and local real estate market
  • find the right agent
  • get the most up-to-date information on mortgage options and rates
  • take advantage of creative financing strategies – from seller financing to government loans
  • figure out how much down payment you can afford
  • choose the right home; whether an existing one or a new one in a development
  • make an offer and negotiate with confidence
  • understand the seller disclosures about the property’s condition
  • inspect the house for physical problems and environmental hazards
  • juggle buying and selling houses simultaneously
  • successfully go through escrow

This edition is completely updated to reflect the ups and downs in California’s housing market. Whether you can bid low or will need to enter a bidding war, you'll learn to develop a strategy based on local conditions.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A valuable resource for California homebuyers and real estate professionals.” San Francisco Chronicle
“The most complete book for California homebuyers.” The Los Angeles Times
“Brimming with information on buying a house in California.” Oakland Tribune
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413321081
  • Publisher: NOLO
  • Publication date: 1/26/2015
  • Edition description: Fifteenth Edition
  • Edition number: 15
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 485,085
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ralph Warner, a pioneer of the do-it-yourself law movement, founded Nolo with Ed Sherman in 1971. He began publishing do-it-yourself law books after numerous publishers rejected them. Warner holds a law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley and an undergraduate degree from Princeton.

Ira Serkes is a local Realtor with RE/MAX Real Estate ( and a Certified Residential Specialist. He and his wife, Carol, specialize in helping home buyers and sellers throughout the east bay. He is a founding member of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing and author of Nolo's How to Buy a House in California and Get the Best Deal When Selling Your Home — San Francisco Bay Area Edition from Gabriel Publications. Serkes is also a graduate of Realtors Institute (GRI), a Certified Internet Real Estate Professional (e-Pro), a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and one of only 4,000 U.S. an Accredited Buyer Representatives (ABR).

George Devine is a licensed real estate broker and a widely respected educator in the real estate field. He holds a B.A. from the University of San Francisco, and an M.A. from Marquette University, and has pursued additional studies at San Francisco State University, Seton Hall University, Fordham University, New York University, the University of California at Berkeley and other academic institutions. Currently, he teaches real estate at the McLaren School of Business at the University of San Francisco, where he was named the Outstanding Adjunct Professor. For several years, George wrote the popular "Real Estate Handbook" column in the weekly Real Estate Guide section of the San Francisco Progress. He is the author of For Sale By Owner in California and coauthor of How to Buy a House in California.

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Table of Contents

How to Buy a House in California

Your Legal Companion to Buying a Home in California

1. Describe Your Dream Home

2. How Much House Can You Afford?

3. Narrowing the Affordability Gap:How to Afford Buying a House

4. Raising Money for Your Down Payment

5. Working With Real Estate Professionals

6. How to Find a House

7. New Houses, Developments, and Condominiums

8. Financing Your House: An Overview

9. Fixed Rate Mortgages

10. Adjustable Rate Mortgages

11. Government-Assisted Loans

12. Private Mortgages

13. Obtaining a Mortgage

14. Buying a House When You Already Own One

15. What Will You Offer?

16. Putting Your Offer in Writing

17. Presenting Your Offer and Negotiating

18. After the Contract Is Signed: Escrow, Contingencies,and Insurance

19. Check Out a House’s Condition

20. Legal Ownership: How to Take Title

21. If Something Goes Wrong During Escrow

A. Welcome to California

B. Real Estate Websites

C. Planning Your Move

D. Worksheets


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