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Table of Contents

Chapter 1
You Want to Buy a House. Where Do You Begin?

  • Renting – Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Buying – Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Your Finances: What a Lender Wants to Know About You
  • Getting Your Finances in Order — Create a Spending Plan, Pay Down Your Debt, Save for Your Goal
  • Getting Help with Your Finances

Chapter 2
How is Your Credit History?

  • Your Credit Report
  • Evaluating Your Credit Information
  • Correcting Errors on Your Credit Report
  • Credit Repair Clinics
  • Rebuilding Your Credit — Set Goals, Get Your Debts Current, Review Your Credit Report, Understand the Statute of Limitations, Borrow a Small Amount of Money

Chapter 3
Who is Involved in the Home-Buying Process?

  • Learn the Definitions of the Buyer, Seller, Loan Officer, Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Attorney, Home Inspector, Appraiser, Surveyor, Underwriter, Mortgage Insurance Company, Insurance Company, Title or Abstract Company, Closer and Servicer

Chapter 4
Find the Right Lender and Get Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved

  • Finding a Lender You Can Work With
  • Three Basic Truths About Mortgage Lending
  • The Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval Processes
  • Financial Information You’ll Provide to a Lender
  • A Look at Your Employment History
  • Determining Your Income
  • What Monthly Debts do You Have?
  • What are Debt Ratios?
  • Know Your Rights as a Homebuyer
  • What do to if You Think You are a Victim of Unfair Lending Practices

Chapter 5
Understanding Your House Payment

  • The House Payment (PITI)
  • Escrow Accounts
  • How Much Money Will You Need to Buy a House?
  • Assistance Loans for Down Payment and/or Closing Costs
  • Gift Funds

Chapter 6
What Types of Loans are Available?

  • The “Trailer Programs”
  • The “Luggage Rack” Programs
  • Other Financing Options
  • Specialized Loan Programs
  • What Parts Make Up A Loan?
  • Should You use a “Fixed” Rate Loan or an “Adjustable” Rate Mortgage Loan?

Chapter 7
Shopping for a Home

  • How Do You Find a Home to Buy?
  • Using a Real Estate Agent
  • What Types of Homes are Available?
  • Shopping for an Existing Home
  • Deciding to Build a Home — New Construction
  • Making an Offer to Purchase a Home —Writing the Purchase Agreement, Presenting the Offer, Acceptance of the Offer

Chapter 8
Finalizing Your Loan

  • The Home Inspection
  • The Appraisal
  • Flood Certification
  • Title Insurance
  • Survey or Plot Plan
  • Full Loan Approval

Chapter 9
The Loan is Approved – Let’s Close

  • The Closing
  • What Should You Expect at Closing?
  • Closing Costs
  • Pre-Paid Expenses or Escrow Set-up Fees
  • What Documents Might You Sign at the Closing?

Chapter 10
You are a Homeowner! Now What?

  • Making Your Payments
  • What if You Can’t Make Your Payments?
  • Refinancing Your Loan

Chapter 11
Owning a Home Brings Joys, Responsibilities

  • General Maintenance
  • Spring and Summer Maintenance
  • Fall and Winter Maintenance
  • Plan for Emergencies
  • Remodeling or Repairing Your Home
  • Home Maintenance Now Can Help You Sell Your House Later
  • The Joy of Being a Homeowner