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Home Buying for Dummies

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  657 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Though fun and exciting, buying a home can also be complicated and confusing--and most people learn the hard way that a wrong move can cost dearly. In order to find the perfect home at the best price, you must have skill, foresight, and a little guidance from experienced professionals. Home Buying for Dummies, Third Edition provides just that! Packed with invaluable advice ...more
Paperback, Third Edition, 387 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by For Dummies (first published 1996)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  657 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, reference
Homebuying really depends on your particular market. Some markets are unique (New York City, for example). Buying a condo is fairly different from buying a single family house. Obtaining a mortgage, I hear, is quite a bit different today than it was before the financial meltdown. Real estate laws differ by state. So whatever general, all-purpose book you read, if you're a first time buyer, is never going to tell you everything you need to know. But if you are buying for the first time, or buying ...more
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very useful tips for the first-time homebuyer!
Oct 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Since we've bought a house, I guess I'm finished reading this book.

I learned some good things from this book, but I think it was aimed at someone looking to buy their dream home that they plan to live in forever. Paul and I were looking to buy our first home, and we would have been happy with any number of different homes as long as they met our price, space, and functional requirements; we weren't planning on spending months and months looking at every house on the market.

One thing in particula
May 17, 2009 rated it liked it
A good resource if you are a first time homebuyer, and some good tips and things to remember even if you aren't.

Top take aways:

Take the emotions out of it. There are plenty of other homes to choose from.

Find a good agent that knows what they are doing and is not just looking for a quick sale. Sometimes they will show you 3 houses they know you won't like, and they 4th one they want to steer you into (it will look much better buy comparision). It is the 5th one that they don't show you that maybe
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2015
I think this book deserves 4 stars. It explains big and small aspects of purchasing a home in language I could understand. We'll see how well it prepared me once I put the knowledge to the test! ...more
Bryan Whitehead
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1999
Normally I avoid books with titles that insult readers. However, I’m forced to admit that when it comes to this particular topic I really do qualify as a dummy. I can’t feature that anyone who wasn’t buying a house for the first time would have much interest in this book, but for those of us at that point in our lives it really is a valuable resource. If nothing else, the authors at least manage to take some mystery out of the whole process, spelling out the stages of home buying in easy to unde ...more
Filippo Pacifici
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good parts:
- a ton of useful information. The book covers everything from finding a house, hiring an agent, finding a loan, etc.
- language. The book exposes technical subject in a simple and understandable way
- pragmatic. The book focuses on practical elements and provides useful pointers to go deeper in each subject

Bad parts:
- Chronology. The structure is not very consistent. By the end it is not clear what which things have to happen in which order, which I would expect from such a book.
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I closed on my house yesterday so I think I can recommend this one. :) The Dummies series has always been a lot better than the stupid name would seem to indicate and this is no exception. It's a lot of common sense (and experience of course) but it's wrapped up in a good package that will guide you through the process and reassure that you know what you're doing. ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great introductory overview for apt dwellers who are looking to buy a home. The book does a good job of walking you through the emotional rollercoaster a first time buyer would feel, while also explaining the boring world of real estate in simple and jargon free terms.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-other
Really good for an amateur home buyer like me to understand the overall real estate ecosystem. It provides good tips around managing personal finances, home buying research and how to make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing our first home.
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
If the entire home buying process is new to you, this is a good place to start. It's a great introduction to some key ideas and a nice compass for helping you find more information. If nothing else, I have a much better understanding of what questions to ask. ...more
Sunil Patil
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Extremely helpful book; especially if you are buying a home for the first time.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Learned a lot, great book, very practical and useful, gave many numbers and specifics where needed and general information in other parts, not too long overall
- very nice, enjoyed it!
Johnathan Alexander
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Mostly filled with extremely simple and obvious advice with some worthwhile nuggets of information here or there.
Karen Mateus
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great book for those who need a simple and concise book on how to tackle home buying. A long read but worth it.
Paulina Parzych
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Very useful but for us market.
Chelsea Honnens
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Slightly outdated, but really informative with good examples.
Jan 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a very clear, understandable, and readable book on buying a home. I keep returning to it to look up things I don't understand, and it's always explained clearly. This book complements "10 Steps to Buying a Home for First-Time Buyers" very well; "HBFD" focuses mostly on the practical while "10 Steps" discusses the emotional issues of buying a home and goes into far greater detail on how to identify what you want. "10 Steps" reads a little bit like having your mother's voice in your ear ca ...more
Dec 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book that takes you through the homebuying process from the decision to buy through your first steps after taking ownership. I would have liked to see more about the differences in negotiating the prices of existing homes versus new construction in a subdivision -- can I even negotiate in these situations? I'm still not sure, but that wasn't an option I was considering when I purchased the book, so I'm not sure I can fault the book for not including that information. Overall, the best ...more
Jan 05, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Paula
I listened to this book on CD--a great way to let all the previously confusing notions of home buying simply wash over "one." I've also listened to TIPS & TRAPS WHEN BUYING A HOME/Irwin (really good) and THE AUTOMATIC MILLIONAIRE HOMEOWNER/Bach (the first disc is prattle, but there are some decent tips in the next few). Also trying to make it through GUERRILLA NEGOTIATING/Levinson (pretty boring). And, now, I'm listening faithfully to MORTGAGES FOR DUMMIES/Tyson (very similar to HOME BUYING F.D. ...more
Jul 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i bought this years ago when i first considered buying a house, and while the info is a bit outdated for the current house buying climate (i.e. entire sections about arms and 0% down mortgages can be skipped because they don't exist anymore), i felt it really gave me a firm handle on the life decision i was about to make. in my case it pushed me off the fence and let me know i really was ready, but for some folks it may be a needed reality check that they still have a good deal of preparation to ...more
Jan 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008, books-i-own
Phew! The book must have worked, because we got through the home buying process without any major hang-ups, worked with good people, and got a wonderful house. I think it's really important to read a book about buying a house before you make such a big purchase. This one is a good choice. The authors did a good job explaining everything you need to do, and watch out for, and they do it in language that no one should have problems comprehending. ...more
Feb 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
I had to move this from my "reading" shelf to my "read" shelf simply because it was due to go back to the library. I read more than half of it, and it's really a reference book anyway. I thought it was okay. It's easy to read and there is a lot of nice basic/common knowledge information in it. I don't know if I "learned" anything, but there were some helpful lists. It's not bad, but I probably won't ever reference it. ...more
Sep 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did NOT finish this book.

I grabbed it off a shelf a couple of years ago because ONE DAY, I would like to buy a house. After reading the first two chapters, I realized that I am not financially ready to buy a house. :) First I need to finish paying off my school loans and random debt. That is my goal for the year----once I finish that, then I will continue reading this book.

Well-written, easy to understand.....and inspiration to put my budget in order.
Pamela Hubbard
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is meant for people who know little or nothing about the home buying process. It is extremely thorough, covering everything from mortgages to escrow, insurance to how to shop for an agent and inspector. Terms are defined simply so that the book is not overwhelming. I took a lot of notes and learned a lot. Some sections I skimmed because I had already done some research and talked to a lot of people who have purchased houses. I do recommend that first time homebuyers read this!
Christopher Petrillo
Good but a bit outdated (understandable for an older edition book). While the book addressed buying a home for homeowners, I got the feeling the authors are speculative real estate investors and that type of strategy permeated their writing. Not in a bad way, if you can take their advice with a grain of salt, but it definitely seemed to be catered a bit towards the investor instead of the future homeowner.
Oct 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book puts the whole process into very plain language, as you'd expect from the "Dummies" line. I went into the home-buying process with no knowledge and this book got me up to speed. It was informative, easy to read, and interesting. From deciding on renting vs. purchasing, condo vs. house, to signing on the dotted line, you'll have almost every question answered. ...more
Feb 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A very practical & informative book if you're looking to buy a home. Easy to read, easy to understand. Even if you read only a few chapters, it may end up saving you thousands of dollars. Even our realtor was impressed with the knowledge we'd gained & said it was spot-on.
If you're buying a home, READ THIS BOOK!
Apr 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: um, prospective homebuyers
Shelves: 2008-reads
Very helpful book, written plainly enough to be understood by those of us not overly familiar with "fixed vs. adjustable rate" and the like, but not dumbed down to the point of being insulting. I feel better prepared to face the real estate market head on, and I now know never to close escrow on a Monday. Thanks, Dummies authors. ...more
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
We've been renting for nearly 8 years, and I read this to feel like I sort of know what I'm doing if we take the leap and buy a house in the next year or two (?). The info was so good I took notes, and I feel much more confident with the whole process now. I highly recommend the book to any potential buyers. ...more
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