(3.5) Lots of the basics, helpful for first time buyers
Some of this I could have saved time if I'd read before buying our house. Wanted to see if ther(3.5) Lots of the basics, helpful for first time buyers
Some of this I could have saved time if I'd read before buying our house. Wanted to see if there was anything I missed (and there were a couple things). Seems a bit wordy and repetitive at times, but might be best used as a reference when you're at each stage of the process. Didn't look at the CD, but maybe there's something helpful in there for collecting comparable sales and guides you to the price home you're envisioning? There's some generally good financial advice in there too, but hope it's not the first place you see/hear/read those advice.
Some things that were good tips that I didn't think through during our buying process: * tips on how much to let yourself spend on improvements: don't make the place stick out (too well maintained, style out of sync with neighborhood, too big), be the most expensive house in neighborhood etc. * how to interview prospective agents (with specific--good--questions) - p. 204 * be sure to use a property inspection contingency (and duh use your own inspector that you hire, ASHI certified) - p. 262 * questions to interview property inspector - p. 283 * be AT the property inspection - p. 284 * insurance: get guaranteed replacement cost insurance - p. 289 * personal property replacement guarantee - p. 290 * ask for a refinance rate on the title insurance if you're refinancing (much cheaper) - p. 294 * joint tenancy with right of survivorship vs community property (as in the book, we made this decision last minute when we were asked in escrow officer's office) - pp. 307-8 * save all receipts for improvements to the property/house for cost basis purposes at sale - p. 322 - earlier in the book discussed what is maintenance vs improvements * if buying rental property, to assess cash flow, ask for current owner's Schedule E from tax return (expenses on the rental) - p.330 * rental losses may not be deductible (depending on income), so make sure it's cash flow positive! - p. 330 * selling: selling agent tips, e.g. 3 month max contract - p. 333 * do a practice walkthrough before selling (friends, prospective agents)...figure out what's wrong with the place before you list! * really helpful property inspection report example so you know what to look for. - appendix - above, reminded us to ask for sample report from prospective property inspectors to see if they're worth anything (or pure boilerplate)
So, overall, pretty good. Could be more concise. Again, I recommend for people heading into first home purchase!...more
I was really impressed by the creative writing of an engineer. :) I noticed that this was lighter on dialogue than most(4.0) Loved his narrative style
I was really impressed by the creative writing of an engineer. :) I noticed that this was lighter on dialogue than most literature I read, but the narrative was really well-written. I'm not sure how much of this is creative history (did McKay head West before making his shoe-making machine fortune?), but I enjoyed it more when I didn't concern myself with it.
I was surprised by the novel's prurient elements. There is frequent seemingly unnecessary mention of genitalia. Just seemed out of place at times, not offensive.
Also felt a bit like the novel wasn't finished. The adventure surely could've continued in Kansas, or as the Germans and Sewall returned to Boston? We kind of rush to the end and have a nice epilogue to hear how McKay does back in Boston.
Full disclosure: Tom was my academic/thesis advisor in college. He was a great guy....more