Book Reveiw By Robert J. Bruss

Before you buy a home or get a mortgage, read "How to Find a Home and Get a Mortgage on the Internet" by Randy Johnson. The author has been a mortgage broker for more than 20 years, so he knows the mortgage industry inside out. He shares this valuable insight in explaining how to get pre-approved for a mortgage before shopping for a home.


The book emphasizes using the Internet to accomplish these tasks. Johnson evaluates the best Internet mortgage and home search Web sites. Along the way, he shares his opinions, especially when rating the home-listing Web sites, including the "for sale by owner" resources.

It's a pleasure reading a real estate book written by an author like Johnson, who thoroughly understands his subjects. He uses numerous examples, such as using the Internet to shop for a home near where he lives, and Johnson compares the pros and cons of the various home-listing Web sites.
When the author explains how to shop for mortgages, whether on the Internet or at a local mortgage office, he really shines. Occasionally, the explanations get a bit technical, such as when he compares one mortgage against another. But Johnson is at his best when he explains, from his insider vantage point, how some mortgage lenders rip off borrowers. He also emphasizes how to find an honest mortgage broker.
Equally important, the book explains how to locate a home for sale, whether it's listed by a real estate agent or being sold by a do-it-yourself seller. Since Johnson's wife is a real estate agent, he adds her viewpoint on how a sharp buyer's agent can aid the buyer's quest.
Johnson never says buyers should get mortgages and buy homes solely on the Internet. Instead, he recommends the Internet as a starting point, to compare mortgage interest rates and to learn what homes are available in a community. He emphasizes the importance of having an ethical buyer's agent to show homes found on the Internet.
Especially revealing is Johnson's comparison of the Internet home-listing Web sites. He reviews 25 homes listed for sale in his local area. None of the major Web sites (,, and included all the homes. Although had the most test listings, the others had many home listings not found on For this reason, Johnson emphasizes shopping all the major home-listing Web sites.
Chapter topics include Decision Making and Salesmanship; Getting Information About Communities; Finding and Buying a Home; Selling a Home Online; Estimating What It's Worth; Finding and Working with a Real Estate Agent; Understanding and Controlling the Closing Process; Getting a Mortgage on the Internet; Choosing the Right Loan; Qualifying; Checking Credit; Understanding APR, Buy-Downs, and Discount Points; Ensuring Lenders Treat You Fairly; and Managing Your Mortgage.
Thus ultra-complete book about home buying and financing explains how to start your home quest using the Internet. Readers can spend days checking out the many recommended Web sites. On my scale of one to 10, this excellent well-organized, well-written book rates a solid 10.
Courtesy Tribune Media Service
Randy Johnson Independence Mortgage Company, 1601 Dove Street Suite 181, Newport Beach, CA, 92660
(949)-852-8822 Fax (949)-852-0441 Updated 5-28-04

Copyright 1999 Independence Mortgage Company