Friday, February 20, 2015

How Not to Blow a Real Estate Deal Part 3

Patience is a virtue in this business.  If patience is not your strength, you will lose out on great deals.    For the home in Part 2, patience won the day.  The buyer was very patient as was the seller.  The buyer and seller understood it would take a while working through the process.  Sometimes a deal must be passed up due to time constraints.  If you know you aren't a patient person, or that the situation doesn't allow you to be patient then you must allow these deals to pass you by.  Don't buy into any sales agent's pitch that a short sale will go quickly.  They may have better than average closing rate, but that rate is still a long time when the situation doesn't allow it.  A foreclosure will have issues and the more complicated your loan the longer the foreclosure will take to get to closing.  In the last 6 months, many of my clients have been pursuing the RD-USDA loan as there is no down payment associated with that loan.  It is not impossible to close on a foreclosure with a USDA loan, but it will take a lengthy period of time.  This is because the majority of foreclosure homes need some repairs and the USDA loan has the strictest criteria concerning the condition of the home.  FHA loans also have a strict criteria in which to qualify the home.  If the foreclosure seller is willing to do the repairs or the repairs are minimal and can qualify for an escrowed repair holdback then the sale will move forward.  Many times the banks and sellers of the foreclosed homes don't want to put more money into the home and are taking a loss of some sort already on the loan so they are sold "as is".

One recent closing comes to mind that makes me smile.  The man was purchasing an investment home and was in town for a short period of time.  He stated his price, we countered, he accepted, we all moved forward and closed.  I spoke to the man's agent and she told me he didn't get bogged down in the minutia. A couple thousand here or there didn't matter in the end as the end result of the monthly payment wasn't changed but by a few dollars.  If the home is what you really want, is getting what you want worth a few extra dollars a month?  His wife thinks so.  She is much happier in her dream home than with him saving $10-$20 dollars each month.

How Not to Blow a Real Estate Deal Part 2

Selecting the right lender is a two part process.  First, you need to select the right Loan Officer, and secondly, you need to select the right Mortgage company/broker.  From my perspective as a REALTOR, I weigh the Loan Officer the heaviest.  You may have the absolute best mortgage company, but that won't do you any good if the point person for your loan is not a strong closer.  I recently closed a contract that was very complicated.  It was a foreclosure, needing repairs which the seller would repair some but not all of the repairs required by the underwriter, the loan was a RD-USDA loan requiring all required repairs to be completed prior to closing,  special permissions for an escrowed repair hold back, the USDA loan office at the government level was behind 22 days, and to complete the close there were 3 extensions due these complications.  In this case, it took two determined agents and a top notch loan officer to push through the red tape to acquire the special considerations to get this to close.  This loan officer was on the phone day and night, weekends, and was available as needed for letters and explanations to keep the seller's participation.  Not every loan officer is willing to work this hard for one closing.

How Not to Blow a Real Estate Deal Part 1

Buying a home in today's market reminds me at times of the days of battle when all men had were swords and their wits.  Today our swords are our pens and our wit's hopefully are still as sharp as the victors of these conflicts now gone by.  Three decisions a buyer needs to make in order to not lose or blow a deal when buying a home are selecting the right agent, selecting the right lender, and being patient.

Choosing the right agent isn't as easy as it seems.  Don't buy the hype.  Ask to speak to previous clients.  If a sales person is halfway average, he will have his marketing material down pat.  Marketing and repeating "sales scripts" to win clients is Real Estate 101.  Just because they have perfected the verbiage of winning a client, doesn't mean they have perfected closing a complicated deal.  Do your homework and research the prospective agent.  Speak to his references and if possible speak to his colleagues concerning his ability to close.

Love Grows Best in Little Houses

People downsize for many different reasons.  Some times it is a desired move, but sometimes it isn't.  Having once lived in a 640 square foot apartment with four people, I was desperate to try and make it work.  Below are sever ways to make the most of the space you have.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Importance of Home Warranties

I can't express enough how important a Home Warranty is.  My wife and I purchased a home in 2013.  It was built in 2004.  The previous owners were gracious to provide a home warranty with the sale of the home.  It was one of the things we took into consideration when buying a home.  We didn't want to inherent anyone else's hidden problems.

In the first year, we had a garage opener, kitchen sink disposal, bathroom commode, 2 glass top stove elements and switches, and a dishwasher water spinner go out. We also had a hot water heater blow out the side seam and begin to flood out!  I couldn't believe it.  It seemed every time I turned around something was breaking or not working.  The second year our A/C A-coil developed a leak and began freezing over.  We would have been out $1000's if it was not for our home warranty.

Now, this isn't normal, and I hope the rest of year two in our home is without further incident.  Will I go without a Home Warranty?  No.  If you want some more information contact Kelly Lukenda, 404-992-2655 cell.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Learning to Become an Investor

I love working with real estate investors.  I have several that I work with and the first book I recommend them get is Gary Keller's, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor.  I would recommend this book even if I wasn't a realtor at Keller Williams.  I make no money pushing this book, but I do make money when my investors glean from its richness.  While there is so much right about investors like, being a big thinker, trend setter, risk taker, entrepreneur, visionary, etc.  The number one flaw I see real estate investors make is the lack of quality education, the second is being overwhelmed by the plethora of information out there and investing gurus who up-sell and gouge only to regurgitate much of the same material the next guy is peddling so they loose sight of the goal.  Please don't take this as a slight against expensive courses and true to life real coaches that will give you hands on treatment.  It is expensive to get that level of coaching, but it is worth it.  There are good and bad in all arenas.  Be sure to start small and build slowly.  Ask around and get real first hand feedback from investors that can recommend good courses.  Read everything you can from reputable sources, and find realtors that love working with investors to help you.  It may cost you some time and a dinner or two taking people out to lunch to discuss your goals, but you will be the better because of it.  If you find a realtor that is taking the time to invest into your knowledge bank, please be loyal to him/her and work with them.  Don't become one of "those" other type know the ones.

I recently went to a local real estate investing course and the speaker singled out all the realtors and real estate agents in the room.  He then gave us an applause.  It was the first time I had been to an investor's seminar where this happened.  It immediately set the tone for the rest of the night.  One of the attendees mentioned this as well and went so far as to exclaim shock due to some of the other meetings he had attended.  Find education that is beneficial to all aspects of real estate.  Make sure it is a win/win/win.  Lenders, investor, sellers, buyers, realtors, and contractors all win and are welcome.  As a realtor, I need investors and welcome them.  If I can help you, drop me a line.  You don't have to be in my neck of the woods.  I have investor friends in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and North Carolina that I speak with regularly.  One day I may even work a real estate deal with them, but until then we sharpen and encourage each other as we pursue our passion for real estate.  You can not have enough good education or positive encouragement.

Here is the Amazon Link for the MREI.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Thank You; It Is All Because of Your Sacrifice!

Thank you to all the veterans and active personnel serving in our armed forces.  I am blessed to have a father, two grandfathers, and uncle, and a cousin to serve in the US Military.  Our military is the finest example of excellence our world sees today.  Selfless, brave, courageous, loyal, kind...are just some of the qualities that exemplify our men and women.  They have families that love and support them as well as worry about their safe return.  My thank you goes out to families, too.  They live without a constant presence of their husband, wife, child, father, and/or mother.

We have the freedom to live, enjoy, and to prosper because or your sacrifice.  I hope you find all the happiness, peace, and joy God has in store for you and your family.