Making a commitment to purchase real estate is a life changing experience. Whether this is a home for your family, a piece of land that you are holding for your dream home at a later date, or an investment property, owning real estate changes the way you look at your life, the way you handle your financial future.
For a first time home-buyer, making a commitment to purchase a home is often the first step to financial stability. Many first time home-buyers leave showing appointments with the greatest frustration yet when they find “the one” they leave with the biggest smiles and sense of urgency, nervousness and excitement. My job is to help these buyers remain calm and focused while educating them about the business part of a transaction. This will be one of the largest financial commitments people will make, and the first home-buying experience is the most important. It is the one that will shape their outlook on future home purchases. There are 9 Steps to Home Ownership, click here for a printable version of these steps.
There are three requirements I ask of my first time home-buyers.
- First, make a formal loan application. Let’s look at every aspect of your ability to purchase. Qualifying for a loan need not be difficult but will reveal any red flags that must be handled first such as credit issues, purchase price and payment comfort zones. We are not going to shop for what we cannot afford. Get loan counseling before you commit to such a major investment.
- Secondly, think 5 years from now. I want you to see yourself in your home for at least 5 years. First time home-buyers should not be thinking of “flipping.” They should be thinking about recovering enough money to cover their initial down-payment and closing cost investment and not losing money should they have to sell in less than 5 years. This was the norm when I bought my first home, and we should get back to advising buyer’s of this especially given the horrors of the past two years of inflationary values and subsequent seemingly depreciated values, (really only applicable to people turning properties in less than 3 years)
- Lastly, know when to separate emotion from good business sense. Most people initially choose their home based on an emotional attachment to something they see or feel about a home. First impressions are critical. I always like my folks to come back to a home a second time if possible. Most Realtors would disagree, but I always tell my people, I have to sleep at night. I want you in that home with a fresh set of eyes, bring a friend, bring family, bring a notebook to make note of all that you see. Make notes of all that you like and would like to change. Those are the things that we need to weigh, to negotiate with, and that will bring you to a practical and business mindset. I do not want my buyers coming to me a month after closing, to tell me that they hate their new home.
As a real estate professional, my first timers are the most impressionable. I love it when they call me afterwards, telling me how much fun they are having.. or invite me over to see what they have changed or are planning. Big smiles, always a heart warmer!
Purchasers of lots or land are other customers who I love to work with.
They come with a vision. They come with dreams and with home plans sometimes already in place. Land purchasers like to walk lots, to visit neighborhoods, and while it is important that I hear their dreams, I will make sure they are realistic about the costs of custom home construction if they are planning to build anytime soon.
Investors are fun, not as emotional, but depend on me to provide them with cash-flow analysis, opinions of value, analysis of renters including profiles, vacancy rates and ability to rent. This is all about business and finding a property for either a short or long term investment. Knowing how to analyze investment property is crucial. I love working with both the veteran investor and the investor who is just beginning to put together an investment portfolio. An investor never forgets their first investment property, and rarely do they forget who sold it to them!
I love working with all of these customers, and the variety that my job brings. I ask for your referrals, whether they are in my area or across the nation. Finding a REALTOR, licensed, educated and who is ethical is important to me. My referral agents are picked by hand, interviewed by me ahead of time.. and matched to customers. If you hear someone talking about buying real estate or selling their home.. pass my name and this article to them!
It’s a great time to buy…to invest. Rates have never been lower, and banks are lending. Individual investors can now acquire loans for up to 6 properties! Call a professional, Contact Debbie