How to Buy Your First Home, 2E by Diana Brodman Summers covers a lot of ground in 174 pages (plus 113 additional pages including a glossary and several informative appendixes).
The book is well written and broken into a logical sequence of sections that include:
Searching for Your Home
The Buying Process
Each section includes several chapters written in easy to understand language. Scattered throughout the text are “Attorney Tip” boxes and “Click On This” sidebars with URLs for pertinent web sites —both of which should be helpful to first time home buyers.
The Glossary is extensive and very well done, almost worth the cost of the book on its own.
I’d be remiss in not pointing out one flaw in the book. Granted, I am a real estate broker and may be biased, but this statement by Summers struck me as being very poor advice:
Never let your real estate agent know that you are willing to go higher in an offer for a home. The higher the selling price, the more commission they make. While it is not ethical, your real estate agent may be tempted to tell the sellers that you are willing to pay more.
If you can’t trust your real estate agent, you are working with the wrong agent. To withhold any information from them out of fear they will utilize that to gain a few extra dollars is not a good idea. Better to do your due diligence up front in selecting the right agent, and work with your agent openly and honestly in all aspects of the transaction. The vast majority of agents have their clients best interests in mind. Given typical commissions and brokerage splits, your agent might make an extra $240 if you pay $10,000 more. The agent that sacrifices a potential future client (along with their family and friends) for that kind of money is the agent that likely won’t be in business very long.
That aside, How To Buy Your First Home contains a great deal of sound information and advice for the first time home buyer.
See the Google Book Search for full table of contents, index, and samples from most chapters.