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Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 15, 2018 09:31PM
My family and I are interested in buying a home in the next year. I'm pretty good with finances and see a home as a series of systems that allow you to live a life and a series of risks to be managed - which is to say that I'm not afraid of cracked drywall nor will I assume new drywall means everything is okay.

Uh, I think that puts me ahead of most first time homebuyers but I'm sure there are still some things I should study.

Any books you recommend? There are a _million_ books out there on this sort of thing which only makes it difficult to figure out what to read.



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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 15, 2018 09:33PM
none. Good real estate agent, good home inspector. after that, MRF.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2018 09:34PM by space-time.
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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: December 15, 2018 11:09PM
Quote
space-time
none. Good real estate agent, good home inspector. after that, MRF.

This.



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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: Pam
Date: December 16, 2018 04:28AM
Don't buy a home warranty, instead, put money away for the unexpected repairs. Ask around for a good plumber and HVAC company. Pretty much everything can be answered here or online.

Congrats on the house!
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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: December 16, 2018 06:57AM
If not a new house, then undertake inspections by a frame structural engineer, and a mold specialist. Many so-called 'home inspectors' are not competent to diagnose serious problems.

My Number Two Son bought a 1970s house last year, which turned out to have serious mold and frame rot, which had been covered up by the previous owner (who perhaps did not understand the problems). Son is allergic to the mold, and ended up spending another 50% of purchase price in extensive mold remediation and repairs (all existing wallboard had to be replaced, plus some framing).

/Mr Lynn



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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: Bixby
Date: December 16, 2018 07:45AM
This seems not so common in the midwest, but out here in the MidAtlantic you don't do this sort transaction without using a real estate lawyer.
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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: GGD
Date: December 16, 2018 08:18AM
Quote
Bixby
This seems not so common in the midwest, but out here in the MidAtlantic you don't do this sort transaction without using a real estate lawyer.

I've been curious about that, using lawyers seem common in NY, but not in CA. What value does the lawyer add, and what sort of issues do they tend to catch?

I would think the most important issue is that the transfer of ownership is done correctly, and that's what the title company does and what title insurance is for. And if there's a mortgage, the bank (who is risking more money than the buyer) is another set of eyes on the entire transaction.
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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: December 16, 2018 10:07AM
GGD,

This:

[www.nolo.com]

And, yes, a competent attorney can make a _huge_ difference in a real estate transaction, especially if it falls through.

Robert
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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: December 16, 2018 10:26AM
....'Little House on the Prairie'......??



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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: lost in space
Date: December 16, 2018 10:30AM
A fat check book.



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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: December 16, 2018 11:34AM
If you know anything about woodworking or construction, read up on problems with home inspectors. As mrlynn comments, many are borderline useless and their only training might have been to learn the answers to pass the feeble local requirements. Their background should be relevant to issues with local building practices over the last 100 years (or however old the buildings you will be looking at).



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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 16, 2018 12:47PM
so how does a structural engineer inspect what is behind dry walls? I think he may see something in an unfininshed basement, but, if the house has a fully finished basement, what can they see?
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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: December 16, 2018 01:23PM
Quote
space-time
so how does a structural engineer inspect what is behind dry walls? I think he may see something in an unfininshed basement, but, if the house has a fully finished basement, what can they see?
He would know to sight along exterior walls and the roof looking for bows and dips that could indicate hidden structural problems.

A regular home inspector would see cracked plaster and want it repaired. A structural engineer would see cracked plaster and want to know what caused the plaster to crack in the first place.



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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: testcase
Date: December 16, 2018 03:18PM
Home Buying for Dummies


[www.amazon.com]
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Re: Buying a house - Any books that I should get?
Posted by: Bixby
Date: December 16, 2018 05:07PM
Quote
GGD
What value does the lawyer add, and what sort of issues do they tend to catch?

When we bought our place here in NJ, the previous seller held to none of the agreed-upon terms in the offer - timing-wise, what he was going to correct, etc. We thought he may have been trying to frustrate us enough such that we'd back out and he'd be able to re-list and get a higher price. Our attorney talked us through all the options and what the contractual obligations were.

The day we closed, the seller's attorney (the seller did not appear for closing) didn't even bring the pay off cash. So ultimately the seller was just, as my mom would say, a piece of work.

But an attorney helps you navigate when things don't go quite to plan.
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