Pub. Date:
A Survival Guide for Buying a Home / Edition 2

A Survival Guide for Buying a Home / Edition 2

by Sid DavisSid Davis


Current price is , Original price is $17.95. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.

9 New & Used Starting at $1.99


If you’re looking for a home in today’s real estate market, you know that the rules have changed. Despite all the challenges that come with the current housing climate, there is glut of houses on the market, making it an ideal time to buy the home you really want. Inventories are high, interest rates are low, and sellers are flexible. With the right guidance, you can find your dream home at a price you can afford.

In the second edition of A Survival Guide for Buying a Home, you will find answers that will help you face the new realities of the real estate market. In this revised and updated edition, veteran real estate broker Sid Davis includes the latest information on:

• Time-saving techniques that will help buyers narrow their choices effectively

• Mortgage and loan rules

• Buying foreclosures and short sales

• Lease options

• Cleaning up, increasing, and maintaining your credit score

• Twenty costly mistakes that are made by home buyers and how those mistakes can be avoided

You also learn all the ins and outs of finding the right agent, evaluating neighborhoods, buying homeowners insurance and warranties, arranging for appraisals and inspections, preparing your purchase for resale, and more. With this helpful guide in hand, you will be ready to find the home you’ve always imagined without breaking the bank.

Sid Davis, owner of Sid Davis & Associates, has more than 25 years of experience as a real estate broker and home renovator. He is the author of several books, including Home Makeovers That Sell, The First-Time Homeowner’s Survival Guide, and Your Eco-Friendly Home, as well as countless articles for national publications. He lives in Farmington, Utah, and can be reached at

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814414255
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 06/03/2009
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 688,957
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sid Davis (Farmington, UT), owner of Sid Davis & Associates, has over 25 years of experience as a real estate broker and home renovator. He is the author of Adding Value to Your Home and has written numerous articles for national real estate and finance publications.

Read an Excerpt

Introduction to the Second Edition

When the first edition of A Survival Guide for Buying a Home was published in 2004, the housing market was well on its way to suborbit prices. The mind-set of buyers at that time was not how to buy a home they could afford and get the best deal, but how they could buy the biggest home possible with the lowest down payment.

Real estate agents grew skilled at finding lenders that would give buyers the biggest loans and be willing to ignore any egregious credit problems. And they learned how to handle multiple offers on homes that sometimes resulted in intense bidding frenzies. Each new round of homes built in a subdivision sported price tags higher than those listed previously. It was a one-way ticket up the economic ladder and no one thought about an eventual reentry, or even whether such a thing would ever happen. We now have our answer.

The first edition of this book covered subprime loans, high debt-to-income loans, buying conservatively or going for the max, and other concerns involved in buying a home. Those days, of course, are gone. There's now a new reality to home buying, the landscape has changed, and new home-buying skills are necessary in today's rapidly changing market.

This second edition of A Survival Guide for Buying a Home focuses on the new home-buying landscape that's still undergoing fast-paced changes. Gone are the sections on getting a loan with zero down and adjustable rate loans with interest-only payments. Instead, the emphasis is on how to build and maintain good credit and buy a home within your income.

Also covered is how to evaluate and compare good faith estimates from different mortgage lenders to find out which one is offering you the best deal. There should be no wondering at closing whether you got the best and cheapest loan possible. And coupled with the new information in Chapter 5 on how to make offers and negotiate the best deals, you're practically guaranteed to get the most house for your money.

Throughout the book, I've endeavored to explain in each chapter how that particular real estate topic affects your pocketbook and what you can do to save money. For easier navigation, each chapter begins with a list of the important concepts covered. Each chapter also concludes with a list of suggestions on how you can implement what you've learned in your efforts to buy and own a home.

Throughout the book you'll also find valuable up-to-date information on:

How mortgage lenders now qualify you for a mortgage

How to increase and maintain your credit score

Why it's important to nail down a mortgage commitment before you start shopping

How to shop for a mortgage lender and get the best deal

How to streamline your home-shopping strategy to find your dream home fast

How to present your offer and get it accepted

How to find a competent home inspector, then how to use an inspection report to protect yourself and to negotiate with the sellers

How to avoid common mistakes condo, co-op, and townhouse buyers make that cost money and happiness

How to buy a manufactured home, whether modular, panel, precut, or mobile

The insurance you need to protect yourself from floods, earthquakes, and other concerns

In addition, Chapter 10 distills over twenty-five years of real estate experience into a list of twenty common mistakes home buyers make and how to avoid making them yourself. Updated and expanded from the previous edition, this book is chockfull of tips on buying the best house at the best deal.

A new feature of this Second Edition is its wealth of "Survival Tips" that highlight critical points in the home-buying effort. Also, because single home buyers now account for nearly a fifth of all home sales, there's a new appendix for home-buying singles, with even more shopping and buying tips.

It's a great time to buy a home. Interest rates are down, sellers are flexible, and inventories are high. After reading this book, you'll have all the tools you need to go out and make it happen.


Excerpted from A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR BUYING A HOME by Sid Davis. Copyright © 2009 by Sid Davis. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission.

All rights reserved.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1. First Steps to Becoming a Homeowner3

Renting vs. Home-Buying3

Owning Your Own Home, an American Norm5

Financial Advantages of Buying a Home6

All About Leverage, Appreciation, and Equity7

Tax Advantages of Buying a Home8

The Difference Between a Buyer's Market and a Seller's Market8

Home-Buying Step One: Talk to a Mortgage Lender10

How Credit Scoring Affects Your Credit11

Working with Credit Reporting Agencies13

How Much Home Can You Afford?16

Chapter 2. Mortgage Loans 10121

How the System Works21

FHA Guaranteed Programs25

Department of Agriculture Loans26

VA Guaranteed Loans27

State and Local Housing Programs28

Seller Financing29

Understanding Points and Buy-Downs31

All About Annual Percentage Rate (APR)34

All About Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)35

Loan Payment Options38

Locking In an Interest Rate42

Sources of Down Payment42

Shopping Mortgages on the Internet45

Chapter 3. Finding and Working with a Mortgage Lender47

Avoiding Predatory Lenders47

Prequalified vs. Preapproved49

Paperwork Lenders Need to Get Started50

How to Find a Good Lender51

All About Garbage Fees and Closing Costs53

Negotiating Lender Fees59

Working with a Lender on the Internet61

Chapter 4. Once You're Prequalified, It's Shopping Time64

Buy Conservative or Go for the Max64

Importance of Location66

How to Find and Work with an Agent70

Narrowing Down Your List71

Develop Your Dream House Shopping List74

Pros and Cons of a Fixer-Upper78

Buying New Construction80

Ten Things You Should Know Before You Buy a New Home80

How to Shop for a Home on Your Own83

Narrowing Down Your Choices85

Chapter 5. Getting the Best Deal87

Emotional Factors Are Important87

How to Determine What to Offer88

What to Do When a House You Want is Overpriced92

Sellers Are Emotional, Too93

Getting the Sellers to Pay Concessions94

Combining Grants and Seller Concessions95

Filling Out the Paperwork97

Buying Bank Foreclosures and Short Sales98

Home Warranties Can Save You Money101

Home Inspections: Don't Buy Without One103

Appraisals: They're Not Inspections106

The Unique Challenges of a Co-op or Condo108

Chapter 6. Buying Condos, Co-ops, and Other Options109

Condos 101109

Condos and Co-ops in Urban Areas112

Town Houses116

PUDs (Planned Unit Developments)117

Twin Homes119

Financing Condos and Town Houses120

Homeowners Associations121

Chapter 7. Insurance Matters for Homeowners126

Homeowner's Insurance 101127

Three Components of a Homeowner's Policy133

Condo and Co-op Insurance134

Importance of a Home Inventory135

How to Pick an Insurance Company137

Narrowing Down Your Choices138

Title Insurance 101143

Chapter 8. Tax Aspects of Buying and Owning a Home147

How Tax Deductions Work147

Tax Advantages of Working at Home148

Turning Extra Space into Tax Breaks and Income150

Property Taxes and Your Monthly Payment152

Property Taxes 101153

Buying a Home Using Your 401(k) or IRA159

1031 Tax Deferred Exchange159

Chapter 9. Selling Your Home and Moving164

Shaping Up Your Home to Sell for the Most Money164

Positioning Your Home to Get the Most Money168

How to Determine Asking Price170

How to Handle an Offer171

How to Find and Work with Movers174

Moving-Related Tax Deductions176

Moneymaking Garage Sales177

Chapter 10. Buying a Manufactured, Modular, or Mobile Home183

The Different Kinds of Manufactured Homes184

Owning vs. Renting the Lot187

Manufactured Home Money Matters188

How to Shop for a Manufactured Home189

Tips on Buying a Building Lot191

Building Permit and Site Fees193

Resale Value of Manufactured Homes194

The Bottom Line on Buying Modular and Manufactured Homes199

Chapter 11. How to Avoid the Fifteen Costliest Mistakes Homebuyers Make200

#1. Not Planning Your Move200

#2. Buying a Home Before You've Sold Your Current One201

#3. Not Getting a Preapproval Letter202

#4. Not Having an Exit Strategy203

#5. Not Checking Out the Neighborhood204

#6. Buying the Wrong Type of House205

#7. Buying a Home on Impulse206

#8. Buying a Property That's Hard to Sell207

#9. Overextending Your Budget208

#10. Not Protecting Yourself When You Make an Offer209

#11. Getting Family, Relatives, and Friends Too Involved210

#12. Not Being Able to Make a Decision211

#13. Not Getting a Buyer's Broker Early On212

#14. Not Getting a Professional Home Inspection214

#15. Not Checking Out the Homeowners Association First215

Appendix A. Shopping Comparison Checklist219

Appendix B. Step-by-Step Checklist to Owning Your Dream Home221

Appendix C. Step-by-Step Checklist to Buying a Condo ordCo-op224

Appendix D: Checklist of What Your Mortgage Lender Needs to Get Started227


List of Additional Resources237


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

A Survival Guide for Buying a Home 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago