The Smart Consumer's Guide to Home Buying

The Smart Consumer's Guide to Home Buying


$15.29 $16.99 Save 10% Current price is $15.29, Original price is $16.99. You Save 10%.


Buying a home is, in the authors' words, both a romantic journey and a business venture. For most families, it's the largest single investment they will ever make. The purpose of this book is to transform home buyers—especially first-time buyers—into smart consumers who can evaluate a property objectively as step number one in deciding whether or not to buy. The authors take their readers by the hand through the maze of mortgage shopping, dealing with real estate agents, and hunting down that perfect dream house. Some of the many questions they help prospective buyers answer are:

  • Consideration of family needs: how many rooms, what kind of neighborhood, access to schools, shopping, and the like
  • Is the home affordable? Considerations include the size of the down payment, the size and type of mortgage, projecting monthly payments, and allowing for unforeseen expenses
  • Making an offer and negotiating with sellers and real estate agents
  • The close, settlement, and escrow
  • Remodeling: adding to a home and making improvements
  • Investment Property: understanding market values
  • Selling a home . . . and much, much more

    Because this book addresses a national audience, it is necessarily general when making reference to local situations. However, the authors offer practical advice on how readers can find reliable local professional assistance in their quest to purchase a home.
  • Product Details

    ISBN-13: 9780764135712
    Publisher: Barron's Educational Series, Incorporated
    Publication date: 03/01/2008
    Series: Barron's Smart Consumer Guides Series
    Pages: 528
    Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

    About the Author

    Jack C. Harris is a research economist who has also written and co-authored several books on real estate.

    Table of Contents

    Introduction     v
    Am I Ready to Buy a Home?     1
    What Are My Needs?     21
    Can I Afford to Buy a Home?     52
    What Should I Know About Mortgages?     76
    How Do I Choose a Mortgage?     101
    Where Do I Get Help?     128
    What Am I Looking For in a Home?     155
    What Should I Know About Condo Ownership?     188
    How Do I Find the Home for Me?     207
    Making the Offer: How Much Should I Pay?     233
    Home Inspection-The Physical Exam     258
    How Do I Negotiate?     291
    The Close, Settlement, and Escrow     318
    Insurance     333
    Utilities, Setting Up the Home, Maintenance Planning     346
    Refinancing     377
    Remodeling: Adding to Your Home     392
    Vacation Home     422
    Investment Property: Understanding Market Value     439
    Selling Your Home     457
    Glossary     477
    Monthly Mortgage Payment per {dollar}1,000 Initial Principal     510
    HUD-1 Form     511
    Web Sites     513
    Index     519

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    See All Customer Reviews

    The Smart Consumer's Guide to Home Buying 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    This book is very effective in providing excellent down to earth information about purchasing a home. In today's buyer's real estate market, there is too much 'quantity buying' and not enough 'quality buying.' This book lays out in practical layman's terms a road map for effective home purchasing. Details are important and this book helps the reader assess potential pitfalls in the process and lays out critically important considerations for all buyers. In addition, this book provides good information about living in and improving your recent purchase. Well written and perfect for those who strive to be educated consumers.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    I bought my first home in 1963. I have bought and sold homes four times since, so I have gone through the exercise five times. I thought I had a pretty good comprehension of the process, but reading this book tells me that I was probably aware of less than 50% of important details that are not apparent to the average consumer. This book is crammed with ideas, scenarios, guidance, and caveats, some of them expressed in extreme detail. The financial guidance and calculation worksheets alone are worth the price of the book. This book should be in the hands of every homebuyer, including first timers and experienced ones such as I. My next move will likely be to a downsized residence. I will definitely use some of the planning techniques to allow my wife and me to prioritize our true needs.