this one). It finally looks like this home ownership thing might really happen (preapproved!), so I figured I'd better read it now or I'd miss my window of opportunity.
The first thing to note about this book is that it is waaaaaay out of date. It was written in 1996, so it was already ten years old when I bought it, and the information hasn't gotten any fresher. This was written before the housing bubble even got very bubbly, and definitely before it popped. Interest rate estimates are way out of whack compared to the super low rates we've seen lately. And most of all, there is hardly any information about house buying / mortgage investigating / real estate searching on the internet. None of the resources in the appendix list web addresses, online mortgage applications and banking are seen as "iffy," and there are awkwardly phrased sections that try to give some advice if you are "Wired" but end up falling flat. Obviously Glink couldn't predict the future, but the lack of internet information really dates this book, and makes it call out for an updated edition.
Setting all that aside, there is a good foundation here and I think the book is ultimately worthwhile if you can separate the timeless advice from the 1996-specific recommendations. Glink works through the major areas of the homebuying journey, and includes helpful worksheets to help the reader figure out what their priorities are and what they can afford. This is really designed for someone who is thinking of buying a home sometime in the next 6 months - 3 years, and not someone who has pulled the gun and is actively looking for houses (so maybe I should have read this one six years ago instead of the Dummies one...). Glink has written personal finance books and her recommendations for clearing up your credit and saving for a downpayment are sound. I also like that she walks through both the financial and the emotional issues of buying a home. I know I've already had 10 heart attacks and lost some sleep just applying for a loan, so there is definitely an emotional toil.
This isn't the most crisply written or up-to-date book out there, but if you are lazy and cheap like me and already have it on your shelves, it would be a worthwhile read.