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100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask:
Buying a home requires skill in a variety of areas. There's negotiating, financing, inspecting a home, and understanding legal contracts. It's really too much for most people to do by themselves, which, as you know by now, is why most of us pay good money to hire real estate agents, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, and other professionals to help with the process. But that doesn't remove the buyer from the role of project manager, whose job is to understand what each specialist is meant to do and recognize when one of those key players is not doing his or her job right. Books such as 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask help the novice gain a solid understanding of the basics involved in this often complex process. The questions in this second edition of author Ilyce R. Glink's book also make buyers think about their decisions. If you want to buy an older home, for example, do you understand that older windows may need caulking or new sashes, that bathroom tiles may need regrouting, and that an older home may need rewiring, a new hot water heater, or a new furnace right away? Other questions range from the routine (How much can I afford? How do I make an offer?) to some that are hard to anticipate (What if the seller wants to stay in the house after the closing? Who should attend the closing?). Chapters are devoted to key topics, including figuring out what kind of house you want (this effort starts with a "wish list" and improves with a "reality check"), knowing what you can afford, putting together and negotiating a deal, financing your home, closing on the deal, and then doing what it takes to live happily ever after. Of course, living happily ever after requires understanding when it's time to move on to your next home, a process that may find you dusting off this book in the coming years. --John Russell [via]