If you’re looking to become a homeowner in 2019 or the next year, then it helps to gather the knowledge now that you’ll need for it. The decision to buy a home is a huge one to make. It will likely be the single most expensive thing you’ll buy, be the biggest loan you’ll ever take out and be one of the biggest responsibilities you’ll ever take on. But with homeownership, you’ll be getting both financial and personal stability, a valuable addition to your assets and a plan for the future. There will be a lot to learn and understand the home buying process and ownership. Before you dive in, it’s better to learn what you can so you know what you’re getting yourself into. So here are our picks on the essential books every potential homeowner should read.
1. Buying a Home: The Missing Manual by Nancy Connor
First-time buyers will have a lot to consider, and Connor’s book will take you through the most pressing issues. The Missing Manual guides you through the whole buying process from start to finish. How to figure out what kind of home you want, how to choose the right neighborhood, how to assemble a real estate team, how mortgages work and everything else up until closing day. For those new to the home buying process, this will serve as a great introduction to the lingo and steps along the way.
2. Keep Calm….It’s Just Real Estate by Egypt Sherrod
Connor’s book goes through all the nuts and bolts of the buying process. But it’s a process that can still seem intimidating. That’s where Sherrod’s book comes to the rescue by providing a down to earth approach that makes it easier to get your head around it all. Sherrod, the host of HGTV’s Property Virgins, offers a balanced mix of facts, advice, and humor to show that buying a home needn’t be the brain-inducing tumor that many fear it is. Each chapter is devoted to one aspect of the process, making it easy to go back for guidance when needed. The glossary at the back also provides an invaluable reference on the many terms you’ll encounter down the road.
3. The Mortgage Encyclopedia by Jack Guttentag
For most people, the mortgage will be the biggest part of the home buying process. There will be a lot of fancy terms to understand and make sense of. Even if you do manage to break down all the steps and intricacies of a mortgage application, the process is so inherently complex that it will take some time to fully comprehend. This comprehensive reference book makes it a little easy by breaking it all down for you. It’s very far from being a riveting read, but if you apply yourself to it, you’ll be fully armed for when it comes time to apply for a mortgage.
4. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo has become quite the household name in the last few years, and now she has her own Netflix show to boot. Since publication in 2014, her runaway bestseller has sparked a cult-like following of the “KonMari Method.” If you want your future home to stay clean and organized this book can put you in the perfect mindset. Her advice is to gather everything you own, organized by category, and keep only those things that “spark joy.” New homeowners will discover soon enough how important it is to keep things organized and maximize the space you have. Kondo’s book will help lay the seeds to ensure you do it as a lifestyle habit.
5. Black & Decker the Book of How-To
Unless you’re planning to buy a co-op or condo apartment, you will undoubtedly have to do a bit of home repair at some point. Home repair and maintenance is a vital part of protecting your investment. If you want to save yourself a truckload of money as well, you need to know at least some basic stuff. Black and Decker’s guide provides an overview of everything you’re likely to encounter as a homeowner. Each ‘how-to’ guide comes with photos to explain every step of the way, and it never overwhelms you with complicated details that you don’t need to know.