Buying a home can be a scary process. There’s a lot to know, and there’s a lot of money at stake. Buying a home is likely the most significant purchase you’ll ever make, so it’s normal to be nervous and intimidated about what lies ahead.
Ilyce Glink has written a book that will leave you feeling prepared and confident as you begin your home buying adventure. 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask “is for anyone who feels even a little unsure about the process of buying a home.” In its fourth edition, it’s been updated to deal with the most current market issues.
There are three ways to read this book—read cover to cover, read only the Fast Pass section (9 must answer questions), or pick it up and use it as a reference tool when you encounter a specific problem.
The Fast Pass section is the first part of the book, and it’s nine questions that Glink says you really must answer before you jump into the buying process. These questions include: Should I rent or should I buy? How much should I spend vs. what the bank says I can afford?
You’ll benefit from these questions only if you are honest with yourself. Don’t try to convince yourself that you’ll be happy with a quiet house in the country if you love the weekend nightlife near your current home. Glink says, “Honesty…is crucial to help you find the right house, at the right price, and on the right terms.”
After the Fast Pass section, Chapter 2 starts with “How Do I Know What I Want to Buy?” This whole section deals with the beginning of the home-buying process. To help you discover what you want in a house, Glink has created two worksheets. Working through these worksheets and having them on hand will keep you focused so you’d don’t get distracted by shiny object syndrome. You don’t want to end up with a three-bedroom house that has a spectacular pool but only one bathroom if there are two adults and three teens in your family.
There are numerous topics covered in this book. But here is a small sampling of the questions included.
What’s the difference between an agent and a broker? Followed by:
17 Questions to Ask Before You Hire an Agent or Broker
How do I know what I can afford to spend?
There’s a worksheet to help you with that.
How much will it cost to own and maintain a home?
How do I apply for a loan?
What are lender’s fees?
What are junk fees?
What is earnest money?
What if the seller won’t give back the earnest money?
When we make an offer, what contingencies should we include?
What do we do in a bidding war?
How do I find a real estate attorney?
How do I find a reputable professional home inspector? Followed by:
Home Buyer’s Watch List—12 Things To Watch Out For When Visiting Homes
What Is title insurance? Followed by:
Top 20 Things Title Insurance Protects You From
What happens during the closing process?
What if we discover a problem after closing?
After 400 pages of all the questions you can think of, and many questions you didn’t know you had, there are three appendices.
Top 10 Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make
6 Simple Things You Can Do to Make the Home-Buying Process Easier
5 Mistakes People Make When Buying New Construction
There is also a glossary of Real Estate Terms Every Home Buyer Should Know.
It’s rare that I use the word “impressive” to describe a book. But 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask is an impressive book. Even if you are on your second or third home, there are 400+ pages of information to help you with almost every possible situation.
Armed with this comprehensive tool, you will be able to handle the home buying process with confidence and optimism. And at $12.85 for the most recent paperback edition, it’s a small price to pay for confidence when you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Do you have a favorite book or resource for buying a home? Please share it in the comments.