Buying a Home: The Missing Manual
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: April 2010
Pages: 354

Home ownership is a cornerstone of the American dream, but it's a complex process that, without the right guidance, can seem like a nightmare. This Missing Manual takes you through the process of buying a home, from start to finish. Along the way, you'll use the book's expert advice and fill-in forms to identify the house you want, figure out what kind of neighborhood you want to live in, determine what a target home is really worth, make an offer, and close the deal. Throughout the process, this book helps you:

  • Realistically determine how much house you can afford
  • Assemble a real estate team that's looking after your interests and not the seller's
  • Understand the different ways to finance your house, and which is best for you
  • Create an attractive offer with the best chance of acceptance
  • Learn what lenders look for so you can get your mortgage approved
  • Inspect your new home to uncover potential problems
  • Prepare all the right paperwork for a smooth closing
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About the Author
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O'Reilly MediaBuying a Home: The Missing Manual
 
3.3

(based on 3 reviews)

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67%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Reviewed by 3 customers

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1.0

Are you intending on learning anything?

By Jim the Runner

from San Jose, CA

About Me Engineer

Pros

    Cons

    • Not comprehensive enough
    • Too basic

    Best Uses

    • Monkey

    Comments about O'Reilly Media Buying a Home: The Missing Manual:

    I have read books in the past, I have read books on real estate in the past, I have read good books on real estate in the past. Never in my life have a read a worse book than this. I couldn't bring myself to write a review of a book I hadn't completed, but upon completion of this book I realized I hadn't read anything at all!

    Let me break down why this book wasted my time:
    1.) The author uses only feminine pronouns. This might be nice for some people, but this is assuming your real estate agent, your home inspector, your attorney, etc.. are all females.
    2.) The author refers to a, "Missing CD," whenever she speaks about examples of important documentation or paper work. This means that if you want to look up any of the charts she references, you must sign onto a computer and go to her website.
    3.) The author tells you time and time again to simply go to a professional. If I wanted to go to a professional and pay them to answer all my questions, I would not have bought this book.
    4.) The author simply writes, "Missing Manuals," on various topics. She is, in no way, a real estate agent or a professional home-buyer.
    5.) The author uses an unprofessional and hard to read san-serif font, which makes reading this book tedious and laborious.

    In the end:
    If you're simply looking for a book full of real estate definitions copied and pasted off of Dictionary.com, this is the book for you. If you're intending on learning something useful, and figuring out how to actually buy a home--look elsewhere.

    This book was written for someone who wants their eyes to follow words, not for someone intending to learn.

    I would not recommend this book to a friend, but surely to an enemy.

     
    5.0

    Informative, Accurate, and Well Written

    By William

    from Aurora, CO

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Novice

      Comments about O'Reilly Media Buying a Home: The Missing Manual:

      I'm never owned a home, but I'd like to. From renting, I've gotten a pretty good idea of what I want and don't want in a home, but there are a number of things I hadn't considered until reading this book. I also didn't realize just how complicated the financial aspects are, and how many people need to be involved to make sure everything goes right!

      Buying a Home: the Missing Manual covers all aspects of the process, from deciding if buying a home is the right decision for you, to finding the right home, figuring out financing, negotiating with the seller, and taking possession. It's not a book I'd read for fun, but it's one that I'll be keeping to refer back to when the situation arises. There are a lot of specifics that I expect will come in handy, from listing sites where you can browse homes to explanations of each of the various types of loans available.

      If you're planning to buy a home soon and haven't been through the process before (or even if you have), I recommend this book.

      Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book.

       
      4.0

      Must read for home buyers

      By Manju

      from Germantown, MD

      About Me Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Novice

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Buying a Home: The Missing Manual:

        Caveat Emptor: Let the buyer beware. For no one is this adage more true than for those of us in the market for a new home! And for anyone new to the game, or maybe who landed in a money pit in their previous purchase, this book deserves a prominent place on your reading list ASAP. Nancy Connor covers every step of the often daunting real estate purchase, beginning with the often overlooked question, "Is home ownership right for you now?" Like many in the Missing Manual series, this book is written in clear, concise prose that is easy for the real estate novice to understand, while never speaking down to the reader. We have the e-book version which in the Stanza reader can be annotated, as well as shared via email. Perhaps the one thing that may be missing in this Missing Manual is mention of the one website that provides most of the information (past sales, taxes, assessments, time on the market, whether it has been delisted, relisted, price changes, etc.) Ms. Connor recommends buyers have in hand when evaluating their home options: [@]. We hope it will be included in future editions. We happened upon "Buying A Home: The Missing Manual" when we were already half way through the process -- we had budgeted our closing costs, interviewed buyers' agents, gotten pre-approved by our lender, and were 2 months into home tours. After reading this Manual, we are far better armed with checklists and questions for the most crucial steps to come: making and negotiating offers, home inspections, dealing with contingencies, and closing. While we wish we had had this Manual before we began our odyssey on the the stormy sea of real estate negotiations, we are grateful now to have a another guide to see us past the sirens and reefs ahead.

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