Buy a house now? Buy later? How do I find a good real estate agent? How can I qualify for a mortgage? What does escrow mean? The questions involved in buying a home can be overwhelming and that is why doing some homework is very important before you even look. Why not start with the terrific information supplied by the State of California on its Bureau of Real Estate website that has a whole section devoted to Homebuyers/Borrowers.
The next step is to visit the Monrovia Public Library to check out what books are on the shelves. Buying a Home by The Better Business Bureau is a useful overview that takes the mystery out of home buying and includes excellent worksheets and checklists. One of the topnotch publishers of books for California consumers is Nolo. Nolo’s Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home is a detailed look at choosing and financing a home and includes information, anecdotal stories and ways to solve problems. A more basic book is Dana Summer’s How to Buy Your First Home, which walks buyers through the process of deciding what is affordable, selecting a home, having it inspected and finding finances.
The mortgage process can be quite daunting. Two books highlight this experience. Mortgages Made Easy in 8 Steps by financial advisor Bruce Brammall clarifies the process in easy-to-understand language and shows how buyers can assess how much debt they can afford. And, what if you already have a home, but are having difficulties with the mortgage? Take a look at ABA Consumer Guide to Mortgage Modification by Dan Kackley. This book will help those who owe more than their house is worth or are facing foreclosure and want to refinance their mortgages. The book explains how the Federal Home Affordable Modification Program works.