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Field Guide to Due Diligence for Home Buyers

(Updated February 2014)

Purchasing a home is a huge endeavor, and buyers need to be more educated than ever—before they begin the process. This field guide provides links to practical resources on most every aspect of home buying, from establishing credit to negotiating the final contract.


Considerations and Step-by-Step ​Guides

Home Buying Process Resources, (CreditLoan.com)

First-time Home Buying, (Money Under 30).

The Millennial Home Buying Guide, (SmartAsset blog, May 22, 2013).

Considering a Home, (Freddie Mac)

A Short Guide to real Estate Lingo and Acronyms, (realtor.com®).

Money 101: Buying a Home, (CNN Money).

10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership, (REALTOR® Magazine).


Establishing Or Cleaning Up Credit

Credit Score Needed to Buy a House in 2013, (Home Buying Institute, 2014).

How Credit Scores Affect the Price of Credit and Insurance, (Federal Trade Commission).

Credit Bureaus and Credit Scoring, (USA.gov).

FHA Requirements: Credit Guidelines, (FHA.com).

The Importance of Good Credit, (Freddie Mac)

5 Factors that Decide Your Credit Score, (REALTOR® Magazine)


Determining Budget

How much house can you afford? (Interest.com, Jan. 17, 2014)

How Much You Should Spend on a Home, (Wall Street Journal)

Preparing for Homeownership: Calculators, (Freddie Mac)

How Much Do I Have to Save to Buy a Home?, (realtor.com®)

Calculate Your Income vs. Debt, (realtor.com®)

Mortgage Calculator: How Much House Can You Afford?  (Bankrate)


Hiring a Real Estate Agent and Lawyer

Why You Need a Lawyer When You Buy or Sell a House, (FindLaw.com)

Home Buying Agent vs. Real Estate Attorney  (FindLaw.com)

The Art of Home Buying: Hiring Professional Help During the Home Buying Process, (New Home Buyers Network, Inc., 2011).

Questions to Ask When Choosing a REALTOR®, (REALTOR® Magazine)

Why You Should Work With a REALTOR®, (REALTOR® Magazine)

Why Use a REALTOR®? (realtor.com®)


Home Inspections

Frequently Asked Questions on Home Inspections, (American Society of Home Inspectors).

Ten Important Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector, (HUD).

Hiring a Home Inspector, (realtor.com®).

Goodbye Inspection, Hello Trouble, (realtor.com®).

10 Questions to Ask Home Inspectors, (REALTOR® Magazine)


Making an Offer and Negotiating

The Bottom Line on Contract Negotiation, (realtor.com®).

The Basics of Making an Offer, (realtor.com®).

Negotiating to Yes, (realtor.com®).

Closing Documents You Should Keep, (REALTOR® Magazine)


eBooks & Other Resources

eBooks.realtor.org

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The 106 Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make (and How to Avoid Them), (Adobe eBook)

The Complete Book of Home Inspection, (Adobe eBook)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buying a Home, (Adobe eBook)

Financing Your Condo, Co-Op, or Townhouse, (Adobe eBook)

Home Buyer's Checklist, (Adobe eBook)

Home Buying for Dummies, (Adobe eBook)

Home Buying without the BS!, (Adobe eBook)

How to Get the Best Home Loan, (Adobe eBook)

The Mortgage Answer Book, (Adobe eBook)

Mortgage Myths, (Adobe eBook)

The Real Estate Process, (Adobe eBook)

A Survival Guide for Buying a Home, (Adobe eBook)

Tips & Traps When Buying a Home, (Adobe eBook)

The Unofficial Guide to Buying a Home, (Adobe eBook)

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Buying vs. Renting

Field Guide to Credit Scoring

Field Guide to Getting a Mortgage

Field Guide to Home Inspections

Field Guide to Working with First-Time Homebuyers

InfoCentral Blog 


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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.