So, I’ve been bitten by the house buying bug and my husband and I are starting the search for buying our very own piece of America. Naturally, I want to learn everything I can about the most expensive purchase I will ever make. Home buying is confusing and mortgages are complicated, and even more so since the market crashed in 2008, so I turned to Ilyce Glink’s book Buy, Close, Move In!: How to Navigate the New World of Real Estate- Safely and Profitably- and End Up with the Home of Your Dreams.
Reading this book was the best decision I made to learn about the home buying process. So much has changed with mortgages and eligibility, and I needed sane and logical advice about how to buy a safe and sound home that I could comfortably afford and figure out how to finance it. So I read through this book in a couple weeks. It explained in plain language the world of mortgage finance, what has changed since the housing bubble burst in 2008 and what hasn’t changed, how your credit score affects your mortgage rate and how to get it as high as you can, how to figure out how much I can afford to spend on a home, how much of a down payment I should have and why I need skin in the game, the difference between a short sale and a foreclosure, and there is even a chapter on real estate investing which I skimmed over since I am not buying for investing but it still offered good advice.
In short, this book gives a thorough overview and answered my basic questions so that I could have a conversation with a realtor and a mortgage broker and not feel lost and at their mercy. I want us to be in control of our home buying process and so arming myself with information is the best way to know how not to get in over our heads. I read through the book and regularly noted important points to my husband which caused us to discuss the points and figure out what we wanted to spend and how we wanted to go about purchasing a home.
Boy was I glad I read this before I got on the phone with a mortgage broker because he just offered me a sales pitch and didn’t teach me anything. I stumped him with a few of my questions and I realized that I didn’t want to work with that guy because he was only interested in the sale and not in making sure I understood this major investment I was undertaking. Good thing I knew good questions to ask and I said how much I wanted to spend on a mortgage payment, not asking them how much they would loan me, which just spells trouble when they think I want to spend 50% of my income on a mortgage because I can “afford it”. I call shenanigans.
Now that we know some real estate basics and are prepared with the right questions to ask and knowing what the answers mean, we can dive headfirst into the world of home buying without drowning. Next stop, Zillow.