Buying a Home: The Missing Manual

Buying a Home: The Missing Manual


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Buying a Home: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner

Home ownership is a cornerstone of the American dream, but it's a complex process that, without the right guidance, can seem like a nightmare. This Missing Manual takes you through the process of buying a home, from start to finish. Along the way, you'll use the book's expert advice and fill-in forms to identify the house you want, figure out what kind of neighborhood you want to live in, determine what a target home is really worth, make an offer, and close the deal. Throughout the process, this book helps you:

  • Realistically determine how much house you can afford
  • Assemble a real estate team that's looking after your interests and not the seller's
  • Understand the different ways to finance your house, and which is best for you
  • Create an attractive offer with the best chance of acceptance
  • Learn what lenders look for so you can get your mortgage approved
  • Inspect your new home to uncover potential problems
  • Prepare all the right paperwork for a smooth closing

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781449379773
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/10/2010
Series: Missing Manual Series
Pages: 341
Sales rank: 774,836
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Nancy Conner has a PhD in English from Brown University and has taught writing, including technical writing, to college students for more than a dozen years. She is currently a freelance copyeditor, specializing in technical books covering topics ranging from the MS Office suite to programming languages to advanced network security.

Table of Contents

The Missing Credits vii

Introduction 1

Part 1 Preparing for Home Ownership 11

Chapter 1 The Benefits and Drawbacks of Home Ownership 11

The Pluses of Owning a Home 12

The Minuses of Owning a Home 18

Chapter 2 How Much Home Can You Afford? 25

How Much Can You Invest in a Home? 26

Get Prequalified or Preapproved 34

What Lenders Look For 36

Improve Your Chances of Getting a Loan 48

Part 2 Finding Your Home

Chapter 3 Choose Your Style of Home and Neighborhood 51

Your Lifestyle—Now and Down the Road 52

Your Style of Home 52

The Condition of Your Home 65

Find Your Neighborhood 72

Create a Wish List 77

Chapter 4 Assemble Your Real Estate Team 79

Real Estate Agents 80

Your Mortgage Provider 96

Your Real Estate Attorney 99

Your Home Inspector 102

Other Real Estate Professionals 104

Chapter 5 Shop for Your Home 107

Select Homes to Tour 108

Bargain Hunting 121

What to Look for on the Tour 132

Evaluate the Neighborhood 141

Compare Homes 142

Part 3 Financing Your Home

Chapter 6 Finance Your Down Payment 143

Why a Down Payment? 144

Calculate Your Down Payment 144

Alternatives to Paying 20 Percent Down 148

Chapter 7 Compare Mortgages and Other Financing Options 151

Mortgage Basics 152

The Mortgage Process 161

Types of Mortgages 163

Choose the Term of Your Mortgage 176

Government Financing Programs 180

Creative Financing Options 186

Chapter 8 Choose and Apply for a Mortgage 193

Find the Right Lender 194

Get the Best Mortgage 197

Gather Documents and Information 206

Do the Paperwork 207

Chapter 9 Know Your Closing Costs 225

Kinds of Closing Costs 226

Add It All Up 233

How Much Will You Pay? 234

Reduce Your Closing Costs 236

Part 4 Negotiating and Closing the Deal

Chapter 10 Make an Offer 239

Figure Out What the Home Is Worth 240

What Goes Into an Offer 49

Negotiating: The Art of the Deal 256

Chapter 11 Prepare for the Closing 261

Check Off Contingencies 262

All About Titles and Deeds 267

Survey the Property 273

Homeowner's Insurance 273

Get a Home Warranty 279

Prepare to Move 282

Take the Final Walkthrough 286

Chapter 12 Inspect the Property 291

What a Home Inspector Does 292

Find a Good Home Inspector 292

What Happens at an Inspection 293

Understand Your Home Inspection Report 302

Specialized Inspections 304

If Problems Turn Up 310

Chapter 13 Close the Deal 313

Countdown to Closing: 24 Hours to Go 314

What If the Closing Gets Delayed? 317

What Happens at a Closing 319

A Mountain of Paperwork: What It All Means 322

Your HUD-1 Form 325

What If Something Goes Wrong? 330

After the Closing 331

Index 335

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

This is one of the best buyer's markets in quite some time. It's tempting to buy a house right now. But before you rush off to buy, it might be a good idea to read this great book, Buying a Home: The Missing Manual, by Nancy Conner.

— Miranda Marquit,

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Buying a Home: The Missing Manual 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the basics on buying a home, good for first time buyers
jazzijaz More than 1 year ago
a good book for first-time home buying. very easy to navigate. Highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago