The Essential Guide for First-Time Homeowners

July 16, 2012

Although the global economy is currently mired in recession, one upside of the housing market crash and ensuing financial crisis has been a buyer’s market for real estate. And while anyone seeking to sell a home is no doubt cursing the banks and their decision to destabilize the secondary mortgage market that led to this debacle, individuals, couples, and families that are on the market for their first home have a shot at some truly spectacular properties for only a fraction of what they might have cost just a few years ago. But just because these people are entering the real estate marketplace at the right time doesn’t change the fact that they might not have the first idea of what to expect when it comes to owning a home. Forget about getting answers to pressing questions; they don’t even know what questions to ask! Luckily, Ilona Bray and Alayna Shroeder have kept these hapless homeowners in mind with their audio book, “The Essential Guide for First-Time Homeowners: Maximize Your Investment and Enjoy Your New Home”.

In truth, this essential guide offers more of an overview than an in-depth compendium. But for any new homeowner that doesn’t have an inkling of what to expect, general knowledge is an excellent place to start. This audio book may not get down to the nuts and bolts of financing your home purchase, comparing insurance policies, or hiring assessors to inspect your property, but it will give you a springboard for future research (and there are plenty of other guidebooks out there targeted at these areas that can provide further information, should you need it). Once you know what you’re looking for it will be a lot easier to extend your knowledge base.

What this audio book really offers is a lot of general information sprinkled with a little bit of common sense (and some fun extras). For example, many first-time homeowners have never heard of an energy audit. Heck, even people who have owned a home for a decade may not have heard of this simple and relatively inexpensive method of discovering areas in your home where energy is being wasted (cold or hot air escaping around door and window casings, and so on). And many new homeowners might not think to figure out where their electrical box and water main are (until something goes out) or check systems around the house on a schedule (smoke detectors, pressure and temperature of the water heater, etc.). Of course, some will also kick themselves that they didn’t think to get chummy with the neighbors when they first moved in, especially when they lock themselves out of the house and no one nearby has a spare key – Bray and Shroeder recommend wooing the neighbors with cookies (recipe provided).

While you can certainly try this site or that one offering tips for homeowners, this guidebook really does cast a wide net, briefly covering all kinds of essential information that first-time buyers need to know. As an exploratory resource it can give listeners clues as to what they might need to research in more detail (budgeting for renovations, maintenance, security, insurance, and more). And it offers some useful tips and tricks that the majority of first-time homeowners would have no way of knowing otherwise.

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