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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 28 July 2005
This isn't a book about making a killing in the property market - it's just a supremely practical and easy-to-read guide to buying your own home. Unlike other reviewers, I'm impressed with it precisely because it has appeared at a time when the property market seems to be falling: it helps the reader focus on exactly what she or he wants from a house which might have to be home for five years or more before the market picks up again. I wish I'd read it before I bought my first house - it would have saved me so much worry, expense and dissatisfaction. It's worth the money for the advice on dealing with estate agents and solicitors alone. Though it's true that the proportion of photographs to text is high, for me this helped keep my attention through the tedious but necessary technical bits (and even these are set out in a clear and comprehensible way). If you are an experienced property developer then obviously you won't need this book; but for those of us whose home is the biggest investment we will ever make, it's well worth reading.
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on 15 February 2006
The book is a very light read and the spacious layout resembles a cookbook more than a book on real estate. Short hints are presented mixed with plenty of (irrelevant) pictures - half of them showing Allsopp and Spencer.
The strength of the book is that it has collected *all* the fundamentals in an easily accessible format. It is definitely not for the more experienced house-buyer, but for an infrequent reader about to buy a first home it could prove extremely useful.
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on 8 October 2006
If you like the idea of buying a house and want to have a colourful and attractive book to let your friends know that you are 'thinking of buying a house' then this is a must. If you are a first time buyer and serious about buying a house, then don't bother.

It's mostly style over substance filled with nice photos and a really annoying magazine-style layout with bits of text scattered across the page in random segments. There's also some really garbage tips like 'Kirstie says, 'don't forget estate agents are human too, why not get them coffee on the way to your viewings from the nearest Starbucks...' or some such. Which she immediately admits is a stupid idea, as if everyone followed it, all estate agents would be bloated and caffeine crazed.

To be fair there are some useful bits and pieces, but a lot of it is either common sense or common courtesy. Lots of things are glossed over so it's unclear what happens between different stages.

I think you're better off getting the Adam Walker book of the same name. It's much better laid out with clear headings and practical advice that you can follow. This one is definitly best kept on the coffee table of your Clapham flat.
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on 22 November 2012
I have to admit I haven't bought this book, I got it from my local library after reading mixed reviews on here.

I won't be buying it as I got through it in one night and after making a few notes didn't actually get that much from it. It covers the basics and is great if you know nothing about the process of buying a house. But after you've read it and have this knowledge I think you need further detail so I'll be searching the internet for more detailed guides.

I also got Phil Spencer's 'How to Buy your First Home' and this was loads better- lots of in-depth advice about the process.
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on 14 January 2006
This book is probably best for a first time buyer. A lot of the advice is common sense, but as a first time buyer it's reasuring to know that you have all of your bases covered. There are also a good few golden nuggets too, which could easily save several thousand pounds compared to the cover price.
It's true that the book makes no warning that house prices can go both up, and down, but I think that they were correct to ommit it. The book is about buying a house, not the housing market in general. Over a year after it was published the book is very relevant, but any discussion of the housing market would be completely out of date.
It's true that the information could easily be condensed into fewer pages, but the design and layout is very good.
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on 8 September 2004
Kirsty and Phil have put all their familiar Location Location Location advice into one handy and stylish book. If you've ever wondered what a house is and where you can buy one, then no doubt this book will help you out.
This book is very much a product of housing boom Britain. As you might expect it gives little mention of the very real possibility of a serious downturn in the housing market and the consequences of living with negative equity.
This is a good coffee table book that is snappily written and will no doubt help some people to take the plunge into property. However, if you are seriously considering buying a house I suggest you also get a more balanced view of the currently precarious housing market by doing your own research.
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VINE VOICEon 6 February 2016
Terrific 'how to' guide filled with great little tips in digestible paragraphs. I was a total novice when it came to even entering an estate agents so this was invaluable. Much better than having a favourite [and slightly eccentric] Uncle to accompany you! In essence it's like having Phil and Kirsty on hand with tips. Favourite line has to be on page 104 where we're warned about sellers who use tempting coffee smells and brand new toasters in their kitchens during a viewing: "these things are like a Wonderbra- once it comes off the reality can be pretty disappointing!".
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on 8 August 2006
Most of the other reviewers here have completely missed the point. This is not for the very experienced house buyer who is only interested in property development and return on investment etc - it is for the first-time buyer or someone who has bought a property before but is not an expert. For anyone who wants a bit of advice about the house-buying process, it is completely invaluable. It talks you through all the different stages of buying a house and Phil and Kirsty share their past experience to give you tips on how to be sure you won't make the mistakes that other people have made. I'm going out to get myself a house-hunting notebook and deliver some estate agent calling cards!
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on 7 September 2004
Just as the bubble is set to burst, Kirsty and Phil have rushed out a book explaining how to buy a house. No doubt this will be followed up next year with "How to sell a house in a crashing market when you have negative equity".
Buy now at a 40% discount through Amazon.
Interestingly, wait a year and you might be able to get a similar discount on buying a house!
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on 16 July 2014
Really good simple advice for the house buying process - from deciding what you're looking for to keeping your new house standing after you've bought it. It not only explains exactly what happens at each step, but how to minimise the chance of your purchase falling through and how to pick yourself up again if that happens.
Just to reiterate what others have said, this is focused on the residential buyer, not professional investors.
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