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Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home Paperback – January 11, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: NOLO; 3 edition (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413313221
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413313222
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Coming from a gal that knows tools, this book is a must-have tool for any home buyer. (Norma Vally, Host of Toolbelt Diva, Discovery Home Channel 20090101)

The authors managed to keep the reading light, using lots of examples and sidebars, to avoid reader boredom. On my scale of one to 10, this superb new book rates an off-the-chart 12. (Robert Bruss, Nationally Syndicated Real Estate Columnist 20080508)

If you are looking for authoritative information about virtually every important home-purchase topic, you won't find a better easy-to-read resource than this up-to-date book. (The Boston Globe 20080608)

Nolo's excellent guide for novice home buyers provides fresh, updated information about the whole process that even those in the know will find useful. (Library Journal 20080205)

Takes the guesswork out of home buying... two thumbs up! (Elizabeth Weintraub About.com, Home Buying & Selling Guide 20090101)

Like having over a dozen real estate experts over for dinner. (Steve Kropper, President, Founder Bank on Real Estate, Domania.com 20090101)

A must-have for any new homebuyer. Empower yourself by informing yourself! (Heidi Baker BeJane.com 20090101)

A must-have for any new homebuyer. Empower yourself by informing yourself! (Eden Jarrin BeJane.com 20090101)

If you are looking for authoritative information about virtually every important home-purchase topic, you won't find a better easy-to-read resource than this up-to-date book. (The Boston Globe 20090101) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Stewart writes and edits books on landlord-tenant law, real estate, and other consumer issues. She is the co-author of First-Time Landlord, Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, Every Landlord's Legal Guide, Every Tenant's Legal Guide, Leases and Rental Agreements, and Renters' Rights.

Schroeder specializes in employment law and real estate and is co-author of Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home. Before joining Nolo, she worked as an associate in a large San Francisco law firm where she represented employers in litigation, drafted employee handbooks and policies and counseled employers on sound employment practices. Schroeder also has experience in employment consulting and human resources. She holds a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.

Bray is an author and legal editor at Nolo, specializing in real estate, immigration law, and nonprofit fundraising. She is co-author of Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home and also edits a number of Nolo's small business books. Bray's working background includes solo practice, nonprofit, and corporate stints, as well as long periods of volunteering, including an internship at Amnesty International's main legal office in London. She received her law degree and a Masters degree in East Asian (Chinese) Studies from the University of Washington.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
45
4 star
22
3 star
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See all 73 customer reviews
Easy to read, concise and well organized.
Kerry O. Burns
I feel that it will help us make a well informed decision about buying a house.
purplstarfsh
If you are buying your first house, this book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Michael Olshansky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on October 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am just starting to research what's involved in purchasing a first home. I found this book to be very helpful in providing a landscape of what is involved, but you should supplement it with more specific books, particularly around mortgages.

The book starts out by having you evaluate what you want in a home, and prioritizing the features. It tells you how to research neighborhoods, ok this is pretty city-centric but they are trying to reach a wide audience. It explains the various professionals involved in each stage of the process, provides forms for interviewing them, and explains what they should provide. It continues to walk you through the inspections, negotiations and closings.

The book is easy to read, but let's face it, the purchase process is complex, and I found myself re-reading some sections discussing the many forms and insurance options. There are some quirky sidebars that are of questionable value (songs about houses, a cookie recipe) but they do add some levity.

Where the book fell a little short was the mortgage discussion. The first book I read "Mortgage Ripoffs and Money Savers: An Industry Insider Explains How to Save Thousands on Your Mortgage or Re-Finance" covers this in great detail, and I highly recommend it as supplemental reading. It will explain in detail the junk fees that are mentioned in this book.

The forms included in the book have varying degrees of usefulness, but the interview and inspection forms are gold. A number of websites are listed throughout the book, and will save you from having to Google for the information.

Overall I'm happy with this book, and plan to reference it throughout the purchase process.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Michael Olshansky on April 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
I started looking at buying my first house many months ago and realized that the conflicting and often spotty advise I would get from friends and family wasn't enough. I needed a book to guide me and fill in the gaps (of which there were many).

I figured a "Home Buying for Dummies" type book was what I needed, but I didn't stop there and thumbed through almost a dozen home buying books at the local store before finding this gem by Nolo.

This was the ONLY book that guides you through the process, taking logical, simple steps while interjecting real-world experiences from different people.

It's written in a manner that appeals to just about everyone, explaining how to find a good agent (or save yourself on closing costs by using an online broker), what you should REALLY look for when finding the house that's right for you, all the way through closing, and even what's involved afterwards!

Buying a home can be stressful and overwhelming, but this book really made things quite easy. I can't think of a single home buying related subject that it doesn't cover. If you are buying your first house, this book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Gadgester HALL OF FAME on March 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
For me, because this is the only first-time buyer's guide that discusses in detail issues around getting a personal gift or personal loan towards purchasing a home, it already deserves 5 stars.

But it's more than just that. This is a very comprehensive guide with a helpful accompanying CD-ROM. The materials are organized clearly and presented in an easy-to-understand manner. I had read other guides such as the Dummies one which tended to be really verbose and confusing. This book stands out as a highly useable companion as you search and purchase your first home (and as you deal with real estate agents and lawyers).

Very highly recommended.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By amarkist on November 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great read for a first time homebuyer because it explains things clearly and thoroughly without making many assumptions about what you know. I liked the section on alternative forms of financing, especially useful in this day of ever more restrictive bank lending.

However, it basically assumes you are going to be using a real estate agent/broker/realtor, so I was disappointed because I want to work without one and I hoped this book would make me independent.

The forms are weak; I was hoping for some sample Offers or Contracts, but instead it has a dream house worksheet and some random other forms which are so small and basic that they could easily be offered for free as a download instead of necessitating the enclosed CD.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Doug on June 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
I am an attorney who recently purchased my first home. Further complicating the situation was the fact that I was purchasing this home from across the country. Nolo's first time home buyer's guide was indispensable to navigating the scary process of the biggest purchase of your life. Even as an attorney, it was incredibly helpful to have Nolo's straight forward plain English explanation of the process, what to expect and what to do to prepare for each step. Thanks Nolo and keep up the great work.

Doug
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Format: Paperback
Ilona Bray, Alayna Schroeder and Marcia Stewart's NOLO'S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO BUYING YOUR FIRST HOME is also a standard reference which combines the savvy of buying a first home with legal tips designed to clarify common obstacles to the process. From deciding between a house, condo or coop to getting inspections, insurance, and negotiating with sellers, this is a top pick blending the real-world stories of over twenty first-time home buyer with insights from a team of real estate pros including attorneys, a home inspector, a neighborhood researcher, a mortgage specialist and more. This team approach sets the Nolo guide far above most authored by real estate agents alone.
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