Pub. Date:
Before You Buy!: The Homebuyer's Handbook for Today's Market

Before You Buy!: The Homebuyer's Handbook for Today's Market


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Monday, October 25


The bestselling author of Find It, Fix It, Flip It! returns with a new book specifically tailored for today's market.

After a period of dramatic flux, the real estate market is rebounding- but the playing field is tougher than ever. Michael Corbett, bestselling author and the host of NBC's Extra!'s Mansions and Millionaires, teaches today's prospective homebuyers everything they need to know, including:

•Why Now is the Time to Buy
•The 10 Most Costly Buyers' Blunders
•Five Before-You-Buy Checklists for Each Type of Property
•How to Navigate Foreclosures and Short Sales
•Inspections, Mortgages, Closings, and Beyond

Corbett is a household name, and real estate novices and seasoned buyers alike will want to benefit from his expertise.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780452296800
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/22/2011
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,122,737
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

MICHAEL CORBETT has been a household name to television viewers for nearly twenty years, starring as “Daytime’s Most Lovable Cad” (People) on The Young and the Restless. Having personally flipped over thirty homes, this home expert is regularly featured on CNN and HGTV, where he has an eponymous line. As host/producer of Extra’s Mansions and Millionaires, Corbett is watched by 17.5 million viewers a week.

Table of Contents

Foreword Jim Gillespie xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction xix

Part 1 Why Buy, Why Now, and Why You!

Chapter 1 Why Buy and Why Now 3

The Good News

Why Buy a Home?

The Seven Financial Benefits

The Seven Lifestyle Benefits

Know What Went Wrong to Know What's Right Now

The Nine Nasty Sins of the Market Crash

Understanding Today's New Market

The New Rules for Today's New Market

It's Only on Paper Till You Sell

Why Buy Now

The Top Five Reasons to Buy Now

Part 2 Preparing to Buy

Chapter 2 How Much 27

Rent vs. Buy

How Much Money Will You Need?

The Ongoing Costs

Chapter 3 How Much House Can You Afford-with the Money You've Got? 40

Your Financial Snapshot-Take a Picture

Count Up Your Cash and Other Liquid Funds

What Will Your Money Buy You?

Where Do I Get the Down Payment?

Grab a Deal When the Market Is Down

Chapter 4 Getting Your Credit in Order 49

What Your Credit Report Says about You

Clean Up Your Credit Score

Become the Perfect Buyer-Get Preapproved

Chapter 5 The Home You Want 57

The House of Your Dreams-Literally

The Dream House Checklist-What Needs to Be on Your List?


Type of Property

Condition of Property

Must-Haves and Should-Haves


Getting More House for Your Money-Neighborhoods on the Rise

Factoring in the Commute-a Major Location Consideration

Lifestyle Dictates Location

Single Homebuyers

Part 3 Smart Shopping

Chapter 6 Older vs. New-Houses vs. Condos-How to Shop Smart for Each 73

Older/Existing/Fixer Homes

Four Categories of Older/Existing/Fixer Homes

Estimate Repair Costs before You Make an Offer

New and Preconstruction Houses and Condos

Condos and Co-ops

Multiunit Properties

Chapter 7 Work with a Realtor or Go It Alone? 111

What a Realtor Can Do That You Can't

Brokers, Realtors, and Agents

How to Find the Perfect Realtor

Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent

How to Work with Your Realtor

Understanding Commissions

Chapter 8 Three Steps to House Shopping 120

Shopping Reality Check

The Three Steps

House Shopping Step 1: The Internet

House Shopping Step 2: Open Houses-Look, Don't Touch!

House Shopping Step 3: Serious Shopping with Your Realtor

The Buyer's Preparation Package

How Many Houses Do You Need to See?

How to Shop-Keeping Track

The Market Temperature Affects Your Shopping Price Range

Chapter 9 Foreclosures and Short Sales...Oh, My! 139

Don't Focus Only on Foreclosures and Short Sales

What Is a Foreclosure?

What Is a Short Sale?

More Stressed-Out Options

Wow, That's Really a Deal...Or Is It?

The Six Roadblocks

Never Go It Alone-Work with the Pros

Part 4 Buying

Chapter 10 How Much Is This House Really Worth? 155

Go Back and Really Look

The Inside Scoop-What's Not in the Listing

Who Is the Seller-Are They Motivated?

Find Out the House's Market History

Ten Questions Home Sellers Don't Want You to Ask

Uncover the Financials-Condos and Co-ops

Get the Neighborhood Scoop

How Much Is That House Really Worth?

Evaluating the Comps-the Elements of the Comps

What's This House Worth Today, Not Tomorrow?

Chapter 11 Writing the House-Winning Offer 171

Creating the Win- Win Deal-It's All about Integrity

Don't Buy Emotionally

Three Steps to the Offer Process

Offer Step 1 Putting the Offer Together

Offer Step 2 Presenting the Offer

Offer Step 3 The Counteroffer

Eleventh-Hour Deal Savers

Four Backup Offer Must-Haves

Don't Buy the New House before You Sell the Old House

Part 5 Closing

Chapter 12 You Have an Accepted Offer! Now What? 195

What Have I Done? The Big Freak-out!

Walking through the Closing Land Mines

What Is Closing?

Who Are the Players?

The Closing Three-Ring Circus

Keeping Both Yon and Your Seller on Schedule

Chapter 13 The House Inspection 209

Hiring the Inspector

Seller's Disclosures-Demand Them before Inspection Day

Let the Inspection Begin

What to Inspect

How to Negotiate after the Inspection

Chapter 14 Shopping for a Mortgage 226

Getting a Mortgage Today-What to Expect

The New Rules of Borrowing

The Best Mortgages for Today's New Market

The Next Best Mortgages for Today's New Market

Mortgages to Avoid in Today's New Market

Conforming vs. Jumbo Loans-Terms to Know

Banks vs. Mortgage Brokers

It's a Crazy Process Today-What to Expect

Fees to Look Out For and Compare

Beware the Last-Minute Loan Bait and Switch

Waiting for the Bottom Will Cost You

Chapter 15 The Closing Paperwork and How to Save Thousands! 243

How to Save Thousands in Closing Fees

Buyer's Estimated Closing Costs Statement

Junk Fees: Ones to Look For-and Get Rid Of

More Closing Paperwork-Title, Appraisal, Insurance

Chapter 16 Closing Day-Congratulations! 260

Ten Last-Minute Tips for a Smooth Closing

Final Walk-Through

What to Expect on Closing Day

Taking Possession of Your New Home

Delivering the Property

Congratulations! It's All Yours!

Appendix: Internet Resource Guide 267

Index 269

Customer Reviews