The First Time Buyer's Reading List

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So you want to buy your first home, but you have no idea where to start.
If you want to understand the basics of finding your dream home as well as the key steps to financing and closing, take heart. There's a wealth of information out there for first-time buyers, and we've compiled a list of helpful resources here.
Complete Guides
According to the 2006 National Association of Realtors®

So you want to buy your first home, but you have no idea where to start.

If you want to understand the basics of finding your dream home as well as the key steps to financing and closing, take heart. There's a wealth of information out there for first-time buyers, and we've compiled a list of helpful resources here.

Complete Guides

According to the 2006 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers the number of first-time buyers dropped to 36 percent of respondents, compared with 40 percent in the previous three annual surveys. Still, that number isn't bad. If you want to be in this first-time buyers group, it's a good idea to read up on general information about the home buying process before jumping into your real estate search.

  • The First-Time Homeowner's Handbook: A Complete Guide and Workbook for the First-Time Home Buyer by Joe Adamaitis is a good resource. As you're dealing with a host of new players such as realtors, attorneys and bankers, it's helpful to know key vocabulary terms so that you can talk business with the best of them.
  • This publication not only lets you in on the meaning of home buying terms, but it also gives you important information and strategies that can help you find your dream home and feel comfortable during the process. It uses plain language to explain concepts, including a description of why the financial benefits of home ownership outweigh those of renting. Readers will learn lots of tips, from how to enhance their credit ratings within six months to how to acquire a no-down-payment mortgage.

  • How To Buy Your First Home (second edition) by attorney Diana Brodman Summers can help you with the entire process of purchasing a home for the first time.
  • You won't have to feel intimidated by the home buying process if you take the time to read up on the steps that you'll need to take. This book covers the basics, starting with the preliminary decisions you'll need to make. Providing advice for deciding how much you can afford to deciding where to live, this book moves into the territory of how to search for your new home and how to hire a realtor.

    But that's not all. If you're still hungry for information, this publication includes appendices that contain a glossary of important terms, contact information for state offices of real estate regulation and sample worksheets.

  • The always dependable For Dummies series offers its own take on what you need to know as a first-time homebuyer. If you're in the market for a home and want a light-hearted, clear guide to the home-buying process, try Home Buying For Dummies (third edition) by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown.
  • This book gives you the lowdown on everything from financing, mortgages and credit scores to the all-important step of closing the deal.

    With this updated edition, you'll learn how to work with agents, brokers, lenders and lawyers. You'll get tips for how to research neighborhoods and home values, select the right type of mortgage for your needs and use the Internet as a powerful agent in your search.

    In the opening chapter, the authors say that they want to help you to be happy with the home you buy and get the best deal you can. If this echoes your own personal goals, this book could help with your journey.

    Just for Women

    Women have a special stake in the real estate market. According to the 2006 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, a record 22 percent of buyers were single women, with the remaining buyers made up of married couples (61 percent), single men (9 percent), unmarried couples (7 percent) and the rest listed as "other" (1 percent).

    With that kind of record-breaking buying power, women may find that they need a resource that's tailored to their own experiences.

    In Buying Solo: 'The Single Woman's Guide to Buying a First Home,' money coach and author Vanessa Summers takes readers from this demographic on a clear journey toward home ownership.

    The author writes that owning a home is about putting yourself first and thinking proactively about your future. Urging single women not to wait for a partner to take this step, this book helps women learn how much mortgage they can afford with their salaries, how to find a great real estate agents and the best deals as well as the art of closing the deal.

    Potential first time buyers with credit challenges will also find tips, as the author explains how they also can buy homes. The book also analyzes and debunks the reasons why many women think they can't purchase homes and offers advice for moving into the real estate market.

    See more Tips for First Time Home Buyers

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