If you are a thoughtful home buyer who wants to avoid costly mistakes, first read “The 106 Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make (and How to Avoid Them), Fourth Edition,” by Gary W. Eldred. This updated version includes the latest information for home buyers, with special emphasis on Internet Web sites that are extremely popular with home buyers.

Not only should prospective home buyers study this unique ultra-complete book, but real estate agents should also read it to learn the concerns on the minds of home buyers and how to satisfy those worries.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

Although the book’s title has a negative implication, it really has a very positive approach because it has 106 mistakes and the recommended methods to avoid each error. For example, Mistake 29 is, “We thought we got a real bargain. We paid $20,000 less than the appraised value.” The “lesson” is “never put blind faith in an appraisal,” which is followed by a detailed explanation.

The author has included lots of examples based on his many years of teaching college real estate courses and investing in real estate.

One of my favorites is Mistake 40: “We never saw the railroad tracks.” The example from Amy Lee says, “When we bought our house, all we saw in the backyard was an 8-foot-high wooden fence with tall bamboo growing in front of it. We liked the fence and the bamboo because it gave us so much privacy. We never thought to ask what was on the other side. After we moved in, we soon found out. Twice a night, every night, a loud house-shaking freight train comes roaring through at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. The railroad tracks, we now know, lie just on the other side of our backyard fence.”

Eldred also shares many of his personal home-purchase mistakes, hopefully to be avoided by readers. To illustrate, he shares his error of buying a house on what he thought was a quiet road. Later, he learned teenagers used the street as a shortcut route to the nearby high school. He says, “During the early morning and afternoon hours, it often sounded like race trials for the Daytona 500 were being held outside my door.”

The book is filled with practical advice to home buyers, particularly first-timers. Especially valuable is the chapter about negotiation tactics. The mistakes to avoid include the negotiation pitfalls home buyers and their agents often make if they don’t know how to avoid negotiation errors.

Renters who are considering a home purchase, but who are reluctant to leave the secure world of renting, will especially benefit from this new book. The reason is Eldred places heavy emphasis on explaining why renting is a losing proposition, even for renters who expect to stay in the community only a few years.

Chapter topics include, “Explore Possibilities, Set Priorities”; “Home Ownership: How to Make It Your Best Investment”; “How to Find a Good Buy”; “Locate a Great Neighborhood”; “Is This Home for You?” “Negotiate Win-Win”; “The Best Loan at the Lowest Cost”; “Become a Satisfied Homeowner”; “The Biggest Mistakes of All”; “How to Afford the Home You Want”; and “Draft Your Offer.”

There is so much valuable content for home buyers to absorb from this valuable book, only a chapter or two should be read at one time. The reader should then come back the next day to learn more. This book provides lots of sage advice with plenty of practical examples from an experienced real estate writer and investor. On my scale of one to 10, this outstanding book rates a solid 10.

“The 106 Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make (and How to Avoid Them), Fourth Edition,” by Gary W. Eldred (John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ), 2006, $16.95, 300 pages; available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, public libraries, and www.amazon.com.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center
).

***

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