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Suggestions for a good book/web site for Home buying (First time) guide

edited March 2013 in Off-Topic
I am planning to start the research on home buying as I am looking for a place to settle down. Could you please suggest me a good book or a web site that would guide me step by step on home buying.

I am more interested in the house, what to look for (incase buying a pre-owned home), etc., than about the buying procedure (obtaining loan, hiring a broker, etc.). I need the latter too but that is entirely a different topic.



  • edited March 2013
    probably best to befriend w' a realestate agent
    you can find bunch of junk on the net

    foreclosures -

    many listings in your city newspaper or craiglist [including foreclosures]

    I've bought my first home about 4-5 yrs ago, I still have some saved up papers at work, I'll try to post it tomorrow
  • edited March 2013
    Buy the worse house in the best neighborhood. Preferably by the golf course, river, lake, beach, good schools, etc. Or.. one with lots of property. You should always think about resale value because you may want to move again. Also, your home with serve two purposes - place to live & investment. Just buy right and you'll be fine
  • I've been a builder, remodeler and home inspector for over 35 years. There's different advice for purchasing new vs. older homes but you can get a lot of good, general preliminary information here:

    Spend some time going through the various links in the "What's next" section. Without knowing 'what' you are looking for and 'where' you're looking there are a few things I would strongly suggest no matter what.

    1) Assuming you are going to use a realtor, find one that will be working for "you." Realtors have a vested interest in selling you homes that they have listed (i.e. they get more or all of the commission upon sale rather than having to split it with the listing agent) but that doesn't mean that they won't settle for half by showing you homes listed by other realtors/companies. Find one that you are comfortable with, that seems to understand what you are looking for and where you want to be. You may end up looking at dozens of homes but that's OK. Let them know the reasons you're rejecting a home so that they don't waste yours or their time showing you similar properties. Soon it will become a team effort. Take your time and don't let anyone rush you.

    2) Depending on where you are looking home inspections or structural pest control inspections may be mandatory for the sale of previously occupied homes. Even if they are not I believe it's worth the money for newbies at least to have one done. The inspection reports should list the things that may need replacing, repair or updating and the costs of those becomes a negotiating point when arriving at a bid or sale price for the home. While many buyers focus on fabulous views, spacious kitchen and bath, or master bedroom with a jacuzzi none of that will matter if your home is infested with termites or wood decay and the HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems are faulty or out of date.

    3) Get pre-approved for a loan if you're not paying with cash. Know what you can reasonably afford and don't stretch.

    Just so you know, I can almost guarantee that if you are like 99% of other first time home buyers you will wish you had bought something else within the first year of your purchase.
    Nevertheless, good luck.
  • Thank you all.

    Thanks a lot, Mark. I will go thru' the link and get back if I have any specific questions.
  • edited April 2013
    Am helping out/going along for the process with a cousin who is purchasing their first place - helping to help and to get a sense of the process if I want to do it at some point over the next couple of years.

    So far, my sense is that it's an overwhelming and sometimes daunting process. It's clear (and I've been told as much) that as easy as it was a few years ago, it has completely swung the other way. Once you get going in the process, there's a level of urgency especially in the first half of the process - "going up the mountain" - that gets tiring. Those who I've talked to say the process has been intentionally made as difficult as it was easy a few years ago and I can believe it. Lotta paperwork.

    As your realtor to give you a general calendar of what to expect and when during the process. Constant surprises during the process ("Hi, I need that form/check/whatever today, tomorrow at the latest") are something you do not need. Knowing what to expect and when is very helpful.

    Definitely get a good inspection - an inspection is a must. There's little things that are not initially apparent when giving a place a surface look. Your realtor may have some inspectors that they work with commonly. When you go in a place that you're interested in, turn the faucets on, flush the toilets, etc - look for small leaks and other issues. That's something that will be found in an inspection, but when you go into a place you're really interested in, turn stuff on, take a real look.

    I think one thing I'd recommend is to have someone there to help with decisions and help be a second eye when going through paperwork. The whole thing is a lot for someone to handle on their own.

    It's a process that ya gotta do if you're going to do it, but after seeing a lot of the process, it's become clear to me why a lot of people doing the buying lately are apparently buying with cash and bypassing a lot of the process. For the first time buyer, it's an overwhelming and rather tense (I'm tense and overwhelmed from it and it's not even mine) process that drags on in various stages over a month or more.

    You have been also given some excellent advice above. Personally, after watching what the process is like, I just say be willing to devote a lot (it's more of a major process than all of those HGTV shows - "My First Place", etc - make it look, especially now after what happened a few years back) of time and effort to the process over the entire length of the process.

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