Home Buying for Dummies

Kiplinger Bookshelf

Home Buying for Dummies

  • Author: Eric Tyson and Ray Brown
  • Publisher: Wiley, 384 pages

This book was a big help to me as a first-time home buyer in my early 30s a few years ago. A complete novice to the home buying process, I learned the importance of preparation, from budgeting for essential costs (i.e., "good faith" deposit, home inspection and closing costs), to learning about the types of mortgage loans available, to assessing the pros and cons of buying vs. renting.

I decided to purchase my first home with my boyfriend, now my husband, who was already a homeowner (I wrote about my experience here). Although he was well-versed in the buying process, it was important to me that I educate myself (since much was at stake financially) so I wasn't relying solely on him or our real estate agent to tell me what I needed to know before signing the dotted line.

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As the title suggests, you don't have to be a home buying pro to understand this book. It’s easy to follow and full of practical strategies for improving your credit score, building up your savings to cover fees, and preparing for the financial responsibility that comes with being a homeowner (Hint: It's YOU on the hook when stuff breaks down, not a landlord anymore, so have an emergency fund). The guide even includes a glossary that explains real estate terms you'll hear again and again throughout the home buying process, such as contingencies, down-payment, escrow, private mortgage insurance, and property tax.

This isn’t a book you’ll use once, either. There’s a section on financial to-dos after you buy, such as refinancing, as well as advice on things to consider when you’re ready to sell.

I’ll be flipping through my copy for a while.


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