There are three things that every home / real estate buyer needs. This is the case whether you are a first time home buyer or someone who routinely procures real estate.
Remember this, real estate agents and real estate lenders are a dime a dozen. Literally! However, good ones, those who will provide for you the highest skill set related to their specific craft, are RARE!!!
Three Things - ALL real estate buyers need.
Money is needed to buy real estate
Money - Even if you are buying a home as a veteran - meaning you served this country in the military and are in good standing with all the proper documentation. You have the ability to buy a home with zero down. That means you don't need to have a down payment. However, depending on how successful you were in getting the home seller to cover your "other costs", known as "closing costs", you will need to have some money. There are other ways, if you are a veteran to have those costs covered. But all home buyers will need some "money" to paint, carpet, clean, buy furniture/appliances, etc., the home, condo or townhome they are buying.
Money also is necessary if you are not a veteran, to cover your down payment and closing costs. As stated with Veterans, there are ways to get your closing costs covered by the seller. However, that depends on the specific seller and your particular circumstances.
Money regarding your down payment. There are varying loan programs which are popular by nature, giving you the ability to purchase residential real estate for little down. As little down as 3-3.5%. The 3.5% down payment is typically known as the FHA loan. This has liberal credit requirements and is the most used loan program when it comes to real estate buyers buying real estate. In addition, you don't have to be a first time buyer to use the FHA loan program.
Real Estate agent - not just any...
As stated - real estate agents are a dime a dozen. I was outside recently in my back yard. We had some new people move into the home next door and I struck up a conversation with the new resident. He was an "older man" and very nice. We spoke about his background and spoke about mine. After It came up that I was LAPD turned Realtor, he said he also had his real estate license. Recently retired, he was wondering what to do with his "free time".
I said why not try to do something associated with real estate which requires a license? Potentially escrow or lending support? Maybe real estate, he quipped? Then he corrected himself stating it seems to him that everyone has their real estate license... I agreed, the real estate industry is very saturated, - but I said, "Good Realtors are RARE!" And those types of Realtors get the Lion's Share of the real estate consultation and representation business.
A person who is about to embark in real estate consultation and representation services needs to be available, communicative, upfront, aggressive(not with clients but others on the "other side" of the transaction and with support personnel - such as escrow/lending), and totally client centered. Some of these traits are God Given. They cannot be learned nor taught. In addition, if the real estate agent is "faking" these traits - they will be found out, eventually. Keep a watchful eye with those whom you are hiring.
Real Estate Lender - only performance based...
Even if you are a cash buyer, that's fine, you may "think" you don't need a real estate lender. However, as we tell our cash clients, see what it will cost you to borrow money so you finance a portion of the home instead of paying all cash.
Did you know you can write off on your taxes, in almost all cases, Mortgage Interest? Maybe you need that tax deduction. Also, the interest rates are very low and (currently) money is cheap to borrow(meaning interest rates are very low). Maybe you can take 200k of the 400k you were going to use to buy the home cash and buy a condo or townhome to rent out? That maybe a better use of your money. These are things which we discuss in our Crash Course on real estate held in our offices at REMAX (by appointment only!).
If you are going to be needing to borrow money to buy a home, condo or townhome - pay attention. As with real estate agents, there are also a lot of lenders. Within the "lots of lenders", there are not very many who are stellar in form and ability. Once you find one of these "exceptional" lenders never leave them. If you want us to vet your lender, to see how they stack up against the best we know in the mortgage and lending industry, we'd be happy to!
Your real estate lender should have the time to explain all facets of the loan to you. Your chosen lender should take the time to cover other "loan programs" which you maybe able to utilize. They should be available to serve you, answer questions and respond to inquiries by you on weekends, after hours and on holidays.
Sometimes the only way to "know that" they are going to be what you need is to interview them and to have them vetted by someone in the industry, such as your personal "Realtor".
Important for home buyers
If you are anything like me, I have a hard time trusting anyone. It comes down to learning about a process than finding those who are like minded and willing to serve me and my needs. Most of those with whom I work with and hire for the services they provide are like me. They don't hold back and don't play games. They tell me like it is and always are there to support me and provide me with the best in service.
Thanks for taking the time to read the three things a real estate buyer needs. There is a lot more information we cover within our crash course on real estate which I hold in my offices located at 25101 The Old Road, Santa Clarita CA, 91381.
I'm Connor T. MacIvor, make sure you tune into our real estate radio show which you can find on our Top Santa Clarita realtor blog and at HousingRadio.com. We have hundreds of real estate episodes we have completed which cover all different aspects of the real estate buyer and seller processes. These will keep you safe and keep you informed as to any and all new developments in the real estate world.