Cover image for Home buying kit for dummies
Title:
Home buying kit for dummies
ISBN:
9781119674795
Edition:
7th ed.
Physical Description:
xi, 428 pages : charts ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Include index.

Negotiate a great price, find your best mortgage, discover applications and checklists online! -- Cover.
Contents:
Introduction -- Getting started with buying a home -- Financing 101 -- Property, players and prices -- Making the deal -- The part of tens -- Appendixes.
Added Author:
Summary:
Negotiate a great price Find your best mortgage Discover applications and checklists online Get the Best Deal on Your New Home! When it comes to buying a home, it's hard to know where to begin. You want to buy at a fair price at the right time--not always easy in a fast-changing market. The updated Home Buying Kit has all you need: strategies to secure the optimal deal, the ins and outs of home financing, how to evaluate rent vs. buy, and the latest on regulations around mortgage interest and property tax. Whether a first-time buyer or veteran homeowner, this book will help you make the smart decisions that move you into your dream home in no time!
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Summary

Summary

Negotiate a great price Find your best mortgage Discover applications and checklists online

Get the Best Deal on Your New Home!

When it comes to buying a home, it's hard to know where to begin. You want to buy at a fair price at the right time--not always easy in a fast-changing market. The updated Home Buying Kit has all you need: strategies to secure the optimal deal, the ins and outs of home financing, how to evaluate rent vs. buy, and the latest on regulations around mortgage interest and property tax. Whether a first-time buyer or veteran homeowner, this book will help you make the smart decisions that move you into your dream home in no time!

Inside...

Get your finances in order Improve your credit score Choose the right mortgage Build your real estate team Maximize your financial health Inspect and protect your home Understand and minimize closing costs


Author Notes

Eric Tyson is a personal finance writer, lecturer, and former management consultant to Fortune 500 financial service firms.
Ray Brown is a real estate professional with over four decades of hands-on experience and a public speaker on residential real estate topics.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
About This Book: The Eric Tyson/Ray Brown Differencep. 2
Icons Used in This Bookp. 2
Beyond the Bookp. 3
Where to Go from Herep. 4
Part 1 Getting Started with Buying a Homep. 5
Chapter 1 Deciding Whether to Buyp. 7
Weighing the Advantages of Owning versus Rentingp. 8
Ownership advantagesp. 9
Renting advantagesp. 14
The Pitfalls of the Rent-versus-Buy Decisionp. 16
Renting because it seems cheaperp. 16
Fretting too much over job securityp. 16
Buying when you expect to move soonp. 17
Succumbing to pushy salespeoplep. 17
Ignoring logisticsp. 17
Overbuyingp. 18
Underbuyingp. 18
Buying because ifs a grown-up thing to dop. 19
Buying because you're afraid that escalating prices will lock you outp. 19
Misunderstanding what you can affordp. 20
Chapter 2 Getting Your Financial House in Orderp. 21
Surveying Your Spendingp. 22
Gathering the datap. 22
Analyzing your spending numbersp. 27
Reckoning Your Savings Requirementsp. 28
Setting some goalsp. 28
Retirement-savings accounts and a dilemmap. 29
Other reasons to savep. 31
Protecting Yourself, Your Dependents, and Your Assetsp. 32
Insuring yourselfp. 33
Insuring your assetsp. 34
Invest in Yourselfp. 36
Chapter 3 What Can You Afford to Buy?p. 37
Lenders Can't Tell You What You Can Affordp. 38
The Cost of Buying and Owning a Homep. 39
Mortgage paymentsp. 39
Property taxesp. 48
Insurancep. 49
Maintenance and other costsp. 50
The tax benefits of homeownershipp. 51
Closing Costsp. 54
Accumulating the Down Paymentp. 57
The 20 percent solutionp. 57
Ways to buy with less money downp. 58
Where to invest the down paymentp. 60
Chapter 4 Why Home Prices Rise and Fallp. 67
What Drives Real Estate Markets and Prices?p. 68
Jobs, glorious jobsp. 70
Available housingp. 71
Inventory of homes for sale and actual salesp. 72
The rental marketp. 74
Tax rules and changesp. 75
How to Get a Good Buy in Any Marketp. 76
Seek hidden opportunities to add valuep. 77
Buy when others are scared to buyp. 78
Find a motivated sellerp. 78
Buy during slow periodsp. 79
Become a great negotiatorp. 80
Buy in a good neighborhoodp. 80
Part 2 Financing 101p. 81
Chapter 5 Understanding and Improving Your Credit Scorep. 83
The Record You Can't Ignore: Your Credit Reportp. 84
What your credit history comprisesp. 84
What goes into your credit reportp. 85
Why you should check your credit reportp. 85
The Most Popular Kid on the Block: FICO Scoresp. 86
How scores work - the short versionp. 87
How a FICO score assesses your credit history - the long versionp. 88
What FICO scores ignorep. 95
Why your score is what it isp. 96
Getting Hold of Your Report and Scorep. 96
Chapter 6 Selecting a Mortgagep. 99
Getting a Grasp on Mortgage Basicsp. 99
Fixed or Adjustable? That Is the Interest(ing) Questionp. 100
Distinguishing fixed-rate mortgages from adjustablesp. 100
Looking at hybrid loansp. 102
Starting out risky: Interest-only mortgagesp. 102
Making the fixed/adjustable decisionp. 104
Deciding on your loan's life: 15 years or 30?p. 109
Finding a Fixed-Rate Mortgagep. 111
The all-important interest ratep. 111
The finer points of pointsp. 112
Other lender feesp. 114
Arriving at the Absolute Best Adjustablep. 115
Where an ARM'S interest rate comes fromp. 116
How often does the interest rate adjust?p. 118
Limits on interest-rate adjustmentsp. 118
Locating the Best, Lowest-Cost Lendersp. 120
Shopping on your ownp. 120
Working with a mortgage brokerp. 123
Chapter 7 Mortgage Quandaries, Conundrums, and Formsp. 129
Overcoming Common Mortgage Problemsp. 129
Insufficient incomep. 130
Debt and credit problemsp. 130
Dealing with Appraisal Problemsp. 133
You've overpaidp. 134
The appraiser doesn't know your areap. 134
The appraiser/lender is sandbagging youp. 135
Those Darn Mortgage Formsp. 135
The laundry list of required documentsp. 136
Permissions to inspect your financesp. 139
The Uniform Residential Loan Applicationp. 140
I Borrower informationp. 142
II Financial information - Assets and liabilitiesp. 145
III Financial information - Real estatep. 147
IV Loan and property informationp. 148
V Declarationsp. 149
VI Acknowledgments and agreementsp. 150
VII Demographic informationp. 152
Other typical documentsp. 152
Part 3 Property, Players, and Pricesp. 155
Chapter 8 Where and What to Buyp. 157
Location, Location, Valuep. 159
Characteristics of good neighborhoodsp. 160
Selecting your best neighborhoodp. 161
Fundamental Principles for Selecting Your Homep. 163
The principle of progression: Why to buy one of the cheaper homes on the blockp. 163
The principle of regression: Why not to buy the most expensive house on the blockp. 165
The principle of conformity: Why unusual is usually costlyp. 166
Defining Home Sweet Homep. 167
Detached residencesp. 167
Attached residencesp. 173
Finding a Great Dealp. 183
Finding a fixer-upperp. 183
Taking over a foreclosurep. 187
Seeking a short salep. 190
Pooling Your Resources: Ad Hoc Partnershipsp. 193
Types of residential co-ownershipp. 193
Structuring a successful co-ownershipp. 195
Chapter 9 Assembling an All-Star Real Estate Teamp. 197
The Team Conceptp. 198
Lining up the playersp. 198
Avoiding gratuitous advicep. 199
Reeling in a Real Estate Agentp. 200
Types of agent relationshipsp. 201
How agents get paidp. 204
Characteristics of good agentsp. 205
Selecting your agentp. 207
Getting the most from your agentp. 215
Bagging a Brokerp. 217
Landing a Lenderp. 219
Procuring Property Inspectorsp. 219
Electing an Escrow Officerp. 220
Finding (or Forgoing) Financial and Tax Advisorsp. 221
Looking for Lawyersp. 223
Selecting your lawyerp. 224
Getting the most out of a lawyerp. 225
Chapter 10 What's It Worth?p. 227
Preparing to Tour an Endless Parade of Homesp. 227
The Three Elusive Components of Worthp. 228
Value is a moving targetp. 229
Cost is yesterdayp. 229
Price is what it's worth todayp. 231
Fair Market Valuep. 232
When fair market value isn't fair - need-based pricingp. 232
Median home prices versus fair market valuep. 234
Determining Fair Market Value: Comparable Market Analysisp. 235
The basics of a helpful CMAp. 236
The flaws of CMAsp. 240
Getting a Second Opinion: Appraisals versus CMAsp. 242
Why Buyers and Sellers Often Start Far Apartp. 243
Inept agentsp. 245
Unrealistic sellersp. 246
Chapter 11 Tapping the Internet's Best Resourcesp. 247
Finding Useful Informationp. 248
Get your feet wet at Realtor.comp. 248
Discover more at these sitesp. 248
Doing Some Preliminary Shoppingp. 249
Surveying homes for salep. 250
Watching out for sites promoting foreclosuresp. 250
Sifting through school informationp. 252
Perusing "best places" to livep. 252
Familiarizing yourself with financing optionsp. 253
The Drawbacks of Searching for Houses in Cyberspacep. 254
Conflicts of interestp. 254
Bankruptciesp. 254
Misleading home-valuation toolsp. 255
Untrustworthy mortgage calculatorsp. 255
Part 4 Making the Dealp. 257
Chapter 12 Negotiating Your Best Dealp. 259
Understanding and Coping with Your Emotionsp. 260
Examining the violent forces at workp. 260
Controlling yourselfp. 261
The Art of Negotiatingp. 263
Being realisticp. 264
Examining your negotiating stylep. 265
Negotiating with finessep. 267
The Negotiating Processp. 269
Making an offer to purchasep. 269
Leaving an escape hatch: Contingenciesp. 271
Getting a counterofferp. 272
The Finer Points of Negotiatingp. 275
Negotiating when the playing field isn't levelp. 275
Spotting fake sellersp. 277
Lowballingp. 280
Negotiating credits in escrowp. 283
Chapter 13 Inspecting and Protecting Your Homep. 287
Conducting Thorough Inspectionsp. 288
All properties should be inspectedp. 288
The two types of defects: Patent and latentp. 290
Patent defect red flagsp. 290
Types of property inspectionsp. 291
Inspecting inspectorsp. 293
Insuring Your Homep. 299
Homeowners insurancep. 300
Title insurancep. 302
Chapter 14 It Ain't Over till the Weight-Challenged Escrow Officer Singsp. 309
An Escrow Is a Good Thingp. 310
Know thy escrow officerp. 310
Cover all the basesp. 311
Tis the season: December escrowsp. 315
Follow throughp. 317
How You Take Title is Vitalp. 318
Joint tenancyp. 318
Community propertyp. 319
Tenants-in-commonp. 319
Getting help drafting an agreementp. 319
Getting Possessivep. 320
Moving dayp. 320
Final verification of conditionp. 322
Coping with Buyer's Remorsep. 322
Part 5 The Part of Tensp. 325
Chapter 15 Ten Financial "To Do's" After You Buyp. 327
Stay on Top of Your Spending and Savingp. 328
Consider Electronic Mortgage Paymentsp. 328
Rebuild Your Emergency Reservep. 329
Ignore Solicitations for Mortgage Insurancep. 329
Ignore Solicitations for Faster Payoffp. 330
Consider Protesting Your Tax Assessmentp. 331
Refinance if Interest Rates Fallp. 331
Keep Receipts for All Improvementsp. 332
Ignore Solicitations to Homesteadp. 333
Take Time to Smell the Rosesp. 333
Chapter 16 Ten Things to Know When Investing in Real Estatep. 335
Real Estate Is a Solid Long-Term Investmentp. 336
Real Estate Investing Isn't for Everyonep. 336
REITs Are Good if You Loathe Being a Landlordp. 337
Don't Invest in Limited Partnershipsp. 337
Avoid Timeshare Condos and Vacation Homesp. 338
Residential Properties Are Your Best Investment Optionp. 339
Consider Fixer-Upper Income Propertyp. 339
Consider Converting Small Apartment Buildings to Condosp. 340
Consider the Property's Cash Flowp. 340
Your Rental Losses Are Limited for Tax Purposesp. 341
Chapter 17 Ten Things to Consider When Selling Your Housep. 343
Why Are You Selling?p. 344
Can You Afford to Buy the Next Home?p. 344
What's it Worth?p. 345
Have You Done Your Homework to Find a Good Real Estate Agent?p. 345
Do You Have the Skills to Sell the House Yourself?p. 346
Have You Properly Prepared the House for Sale?p. 347
Do You Understand the House's Hot Buttons?p. 348
What Are the Financial Ramifications of Selling?p. 348
Do You Know the Rules for Capital-Gains Taxes on the Sale of a House?p. 348
Part 6 Appendixp. 351
Appendix A Sample Real Estate Purchase Contractp. 353
Appendix B Sample Short-Sale Addendum plus Short-Sale information and Advisoryp. 365
Appendix C Example of a Good Inspection Reportp. 373
Appendix D Glossaryp. 393
Indexp. 411