Seven Steps to Home Ownership ~ Home Buying Made Easy



John Cleek, Ph.D. Author
The Real Estate Doctor


"This Doctor Makes House Calls"

To obtain a complimentary copy of this book, buyers should send an email to The Real Estate Doctor.

Home ownership can be the pinnacle of stability and self-reliance but the thrill of home ownership can become the agony of foreclosure if the decision is made lightly or ill-advisedly. Personal circumstances can change quickly due to loss of job, medical bills, divorce, or other unforeseen events. Often I have heard the sad refrain, we should have waited to buy a home; or we should have bought a less expensive home.

My motivation for writing this book is rooted in my desire to do what I can to educate prospective homebuyers to the reality that home ownership may not be the best choice for everyone. And some who bought homes during the past dozen years discovered too late that home ownership was not the right option for them and have now gone through the painful process of losing their home to foreclosure or are struggling to make mortgage payments far larger than they anticipated.

The decision to buy or rent should reflect a careful analysis of your personal and family circumstances and your emotional health. Buying a home will most likely be the largest single financial decision you will ever make. Do your homework, examine your motives, consider whether you are ready for the responsibilities and constraints that go with owning a home.

The good news, especially for first time home buyers, is that the conditions that favor the buyer are all in place now and will likely continue to favor buyers at least through 2012. Interest rates are low, an abundance of homes are on the market at record low prices, and sellers are more willing to negotiate now than at any time in the recent past.

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Look Inside

Table of Contents

Step 1 D-I-Y is Not Good Enough!
Step 2 How Much House Do You Need?
Step 3 It Takes Money to Buy a House?
Step 4 Location, Location, Location
Step 5 Deal or No Deal?
Step 6 Proceed with Caution
Step 7 You Made It!


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The definitive guide for all who purchase a home today.

by John Cleek      170 pages

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Seven Steps to Home Ownership

ISBN 978-1-60910-134-3

is also available from:


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Reviews of Seven Steps to Home Ownership

Over fifty years ago John Cleek and I were college classmates. I only remember seeing him one time since but was pleased to find he had published Seven Steps to Home Ownership. Having in a past life been a Professor teaching real estate law in the largest law school in Ohio I thought I might be able to give a credible review of John's work.

Of necessity the book is a basic primer for first time home buyers setting forth in logical sequence the practical consideration a buyer must face in the acquisition of a home. The text is written in clear concise and very readable language and is of value to more than a first time home buyer. The book serves as an excellent and valuable checklist for anyone commencing the search for a new home. Even though I have been active in buying and selling real estate for more than half a century, and have considered nearly everything John suggested, I must admit that from transaction to transaction I frequently forget some of the tiems John covers. I will be using it as a checklist for future purchases.

John makes a good case for a Buyer using a real estate agent separate from the Seller's agent. He cogently lists the plusses for separate representation and makes an excellent case for hiring a Buyer's agent. His suggestions for choosing an agent cover many interpersonal relationships that might not be immediately obvious if he had not listed them.

One of the strongest aspects of John's book is the recognition of and discussion about the relationship aspects of home buying including the relationship of the buyer to the community at large as well as the immediate community of other homeowners with whom the new owner will of necessity have personal relationships. He posits the help which a professionial can give a buyer and then fleshes out the outline of the various types of help which a buyer should expect from his real estate representative. The book is a well worthwhile read for anyone contemplating the purchase of a home. It gives a complete outline of the transaction from start to finish with excellent tips along the way to smooth the trip. I give it a five star rating.

                            --- Burton H. Patterson, Ph.D., J.D.

As a banker for more than 25 years, I've seen my share of ill-prepared home buyers. If you are looking to make a home purchase, whether your first or 10th, you need to take a little time to read this book. I have seen home buyers, young and old, that get themselves into financial, emotional, or legal trouble because they didn't know how to properly choose and purchase a home. Each step in the process is important and this book leads you step by step through the maze of decisions to help assure the home buy is the right home for you.

     --- Roger Miller

Feedback from Previous Clients

The most valuable aspect of our house-hunting experience with John was his gentle reminders that we needed to continuously pare down our "short" list of potential houses even as we continued to visit more homes. John’s willingness to prescreen houses with the choosier of the two of us (the wife who eliminated some homes from the list) before viewing them jointly with both husband and wife helped us achieve our goal. This kept our options to a reasonable number which we could then evaluate in terms of how they fit our daily lifestyle.  

 – Terry and Marlene Calaway

Thank you John for your extraordinary efforts in helping me find the right condo at the right price on the Plaza! You are incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects of the real estate market and you made the process enjoyable from the beginning to the closing. I look forward to working with you again in the future.    

[When we]  decided to buy our first home, we were nervous and extremely cautious. John was patient and answered all of our MANY questions. He never pushed and let us ease ourselves into this life changing purchase. … he made buying our first house an EASY experience. I highly recommend John; he is a kind person who looks out for your best interests.

--Belinda Beals

John was a pleasure to work with and we would give him our highest recommendation. He is an extremely knowledgeable person and he provided great recommendations and assistance in our real estate decision. John stayed in constant communication with us during the whole process of finding a home and it couldn’t have been a smoother experience.WeI have purchased and sold 4 homes to date and John was the best Realtor we have ever worked ever with.

--Dustin Gentry

How Much Will My Mortgage Payments Be? How Much House Can I Afford? Am I Ready to Buy a Home?  Ask Dr. Cleek



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