Buying a home is more than a financial commitment, it is an emotional investment; more about lifestyle than almost anything else. For a first-time buyer, the home buying process can be one fraught with anxiety, stress and at times, doubt about whether or not you are making the "right" decision. These feelings are natural for anyone who is making a pivotal life decision. The home buying process is extremely challenging and each phase requires tremendous energy, flexibility and willingness to learn. Tackling the preliminary work that must be undertaken can be a giant hurdle in and of itself. Even though you may already have the location and the type of house you would like purchase in mind, you first need to get your financial house in order. This requires evaluating your income, living expenses, the amount of money that you have for a downpayment and closing costs (this money should be separate from other savings), investments and credit score. Having a clear assessment of your financial health is the first vital step. Next, you will want to get your financial paperwork organized for presentation to lenders. Getting pre-qualified is highly advantageous as a potential home buyer. Selecting the right realtor is another critical decision. As the home buying process moves along, there are other weighty subjects and more specifics that a prospective buyer has to contend with such as choosing a neighborhood, housing preference, features and amenities of the home itself, how to assess a home's value, how to make an offer, how to avoid potential pitfalls or mistakes, mortgages, home inspection and getting a firm grasp of relevant real estate concepts and terminology. Avid, prospective, first-time home buyers will find it to their immense benefit to learn as much as possible about the home buying process and real estate industry.
There are many excellent books geared towards prospective, first-time home buyers. However, some of these tend to be overly academic in their approach and make for tedious reading. In contrast, books that present the entire home buying process from start to finish in a practical, engaging, conversational manner are likely to retain the interest of readers in the subject matter and motivate them to deepen their knowledge of real estate by doing additional research and exploring more specialized topics such as building a new home, buying a condo, closing costs, financing and home inspection. The following is a short list of books that may appeal to the first-time home buyer who is simply looking for a broad overview of the home buying process:
1. Buy Your First Home!, Robert Irwin; Kaplan Publishing, 2005.
2. Home Buyer's Checklist: A Foolproof Guide To Finding The Perfect House, Richard M. Scutella; The McGraw-Hill Companies; 1993.
3. Keys To Buying And Owning A Home, Jack P. Friedman; Barron's Educational Series, Inc.; 1995.
4. Nolo's Essential Guide To Buying Your First Home, Ilona Bray, Alayna Schroeder and Marcia Stewart; NOLO; 2007.
For informational purposes only and not intended as advice. The writer is not affiliated with the aforementioned authors and publishers.