Looking for answers - Can I buy a home? How do I even do this? When should I start planning? Where should a first-time home buyer start? Right here. Real information from a real expert with clear answers to end your confusion. Guidance from industry insider, me, David Sidoni, the #HowtoBuyaHomeGuy. I’ll give you the playbook on the do’s and do not’s of buying your first home. From planning for the big step even years ahead of time, all the way to the nitty-gritty of getting your keys. If you’ve felt clueless about where to start, you are not alone because the real estate industry has either ignored first-time home buyers or handed them off to novice agents with little training or expertise – and that sucks for you. So get the info, including the dirty little secrets of real estate that will help protect you; as well as the crucial tips to help you plan for the entire process step by step. Tools, tips, and techniques, from my personal experience working with over 115 successful first-ti...
Season 2 E08 STEP EIGHT - Do Your (Online) Research!
If you’ve been listening to David for a while, then this step might come as a bit of a surprise. Over and over again David has warned first-time home buyers about the dangers of perusing the Internet for real estate advice so Step Eight might be confusing to you folks. BUT, stick with him because he explains it all in this episode.
Here are some key takeaways from today’s conversation:
Have a unicorn support team first
The best websites to find the info you’re looking for
Some additional research tips and tricks
[02:18] Get Ready to Research
Okay, keep in mind that this episode assumes that you already have a unicorn team set up to help you out. It’s important to remember that researching and researching without any professional guidance puts you in the danger zone for misinformation, so it’s vital to have your team so you know where to spend your time. So, now it’s time to exercise your stalking skills!
[06:04] Start Looking for Neighborhoods
Your unicorn support team can help you with all the financials and real estate lingo, but only YOU can decide where you’re going to feel the most comfortable. So, before your realtor takes you out to look at homes, it’s important to research and find some neighborhoods that align with what you’re looking for in a community. Now, when it comes to looking for these neighborhoods, you need to be aware of where you’re getting your information. Are you on the Chamber of Commerce’s website? Is it a place that’s trying to sell you something? No matter where you get your info, take the time to cross reference what you find with information from lots of other websites to make sure you’re looking at the real best neighborhoods. Do research on safety, schools, and all the other things that will make the neighborhood a winner to you and your family.
[18:05] Check Out the Homes
Alright, you’ve looked at neighborhoods and now you have an idea of where you want to look for a home. Now it’s time to look at the homes themselves. You hop on Google and start looking at homes for sale, but realtor sites are only going to show you the pictures of the house, not necessarily the entire neighborhood. This is where Google Earth comes in. Get on Street View and start looking at the curb appeal, the neighbors, the walkability of the area, how close you are to a major highway… all those important things you can’t get just from an online listing. This is helpful, but the best approach is to talk to your unicorn realtor because they can talk to other realtors who are familiar with the area, they can go check out the neighborhood for you, or they might know some hard-to-find facts about the region. Talk to them! They have your best interests at heart and will make sure you’re getting the best info.
Season 2 E07 STEP SEVEN - Terms & Definitions
One of the biggest challenges for first-time home buyers is navigating all the terms and definitions that are associated with buying a home. In the step seven of David’s 10-part How to Buy a Home series, he talks all things real estate jargon so you can empower yourself with the knowledge you need.
Here are some key takeaways from today’s conversation:
Pre-qualified vs. pre-approved loans
What escrow really means
Who are these people involved in the process?
Acronyms, acronyms, acronyms!
[01:25] There Are a LOT of Terms to Know
From differences between loans to all the crazy acronyms, it can feel overwhelming when someone starts talking to you in real estate language. What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker? What’s up with lenders and mortgage brokers? And don’t even get David started on the acronyms: FHA, DTI, USDA, ROI… the list is long. Not knowing what these terms mean can leave first-time home buyers behind when it comes to making those tough decisions. The best way to start learning these terms? Start by going back to listen to Episode 94 for the whole A-Z of terms you need to know.
[05:32] Why Is This Step Seven?
Feeling confident is super important when it comes to buying a home and the best way to feel confident is to know what you’re talking about. There’s no room for uncertainty when making this SUPER important life decision and knowing your stuff will give you the boost you need.
Season 2 E206 - STEP SIX - Setting Your Goals
While you did a lot of the heavy lifting in Steps 1-5, Steps 6-10 are still vital parts of the process. In this episode, David discusses the importance of setting clear goals throughout this home-buying process so you can be on your way to home ownership success. Check it out and learn some insider tricks along the way.
Here are some takeaways from today’s conversation:
Why setting goals is an important part of the process
What does buying a home mean for you and your future?
How to use these goals as part of your planning process
Learn some industry insider tips and tricks
[02:05] How to Get Started With This Step
There are two major factors when it comes to setting your goals. We’ll call them Goals 1 and Goals 2:
Goals 1: This is the goal of the purchase. What does buying this home mean for you today and what does it mean for you and what you want to in five years?
Goals 2: This is using goals as part of your planning process.
When you and your partner decide on unified goals, it makes the rest of the planning process MUCH less stressful and allows you to actually enjoy the journey of buying your first home, either by yourself or together.
[04:55] Goals 1
This factor addresses the big picture behind buying a home and sets a strong foundation for Goals 2. When you’re figuring out your goals for buying a home, you’re not just looking at a page out of the paybook - you’re creating the whole freaking personal manual. When you’ve decided with your professional guides what your best dream scenario is, then you can start home shopping with your personal manual to help you. Remember, some of these are emotional goals, but a lot of them are financial. You need to decide how you’re going to set yourself up and your family up for the future. Does this mean buying a home that you’ll turn into a rental? Does it mean that you’re buying a home that you’ll update and resell? These are all important questions you need to ask.
[36:55] Goals 2
This step is a lot more straightforward than Goals 1 and we’re kind of stepping back for this one. Talk to your professional to get these three numbers:
Once you have these three numbers, then you can start planning. Share them with your unicorn team to start setting your goals (this helps you with accountability, too). AND don’t forget that setting smaller goals along the way allows you to celebrate your victories because, guess what, buying a home is stressful. In fact, it’s one of the most stressful things you’ll do in your life. So, taking time to celebrate the small wins will keep up your morale even when the going gets tough.
Season 2 E205 - STEP FOUR & FIVE - Managing Debt & Creating Savings
David combines steps FOUR and FIVE in his series that shows you how to buy a home. Balance and budget are the key words when it comes to these steps. Why? Because they can be done at the same time. Get ready as David dives into these important steps and also shares some real-life stories of first-time home buyers who experienced this firsthand. Also, listen to get the insider scoop on debt management from David’s unicorn lending team and get tips you can’t find on Google.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
Why credit score goes before debt
How to balance debt and saving at the same time
Gross debt vs. monthly debt
How to start with savings
There are some important things to consider when it comes to tackling your debt. David breaks it down into six points:
Credit scores take longer to dispute, which is why this step comes BEFORE handling your debt.
You need to develop a rent replacement strategy. Your grandparents’ way of doing things is way out of date in today’s economy, so you need to strategize in order to accomplish your home ownership goals.
Get a handle on your debt. This does NOT mean that it all needs to be paid off, but you need to be on the right track.
Understand how different types of debt can impact your credit score (i.e. installment debt vs. revolving debt).
Total debt means NOTHING. Your gross debt and monthly debt have very different implications on your ability to purchase a home.
NEVER consolidate your debt before buying a home.
Ultimately, your debt can be broken down into three categories: good debt, bad debt, and workable debt. Knowing which is which can make all the difference in tackling it. Don’t just take David’s word for it. There are countless stories of How to Buy a Homies in unique situations who learned this knowledge and successfully bought their first home.
Okay, now we’re on to savings. Doing this at the same time as managing your debt means one thing: you need some professional guidance here to make sure you’re on the right track. The bank has very specific criteria and having everything paid off is NOT a part of it. Here’s what you need to consider when saving according to David:
Start saving! Yes, it’s just that simple.
The rest? Well, that totally depends on you and your situation. No one can tell you much salary you need to make, how much you need for a down payment, or anything of the like. But, having a professional can definitely help you along this process.
If you’re terrible at waiting for answers, David does give you a VERY GENERIC low standard to shoot for when saving for a home: 8%. That means 5% for the down payment and 3% for closing costs. However, there are 1000 other factors to consider which is why having a professional guide is key.
David shares some saving success stories from real How to Buy a Homies so you can get a real-life perspective on these all play together.
Season 2 E204 - STEP THREE - Credit Score
David is onto step THREE in his series that shows you how to buy a home. Credit scores can feel overwhelming and David gets it: yes, they can be hard to navigate. Thankfully, David is going to tell-all in this latest episode where he talks ALL things credit so you are armed and dangerous when it comes to prepping to buy your first home.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
When you should start working on your credit score
The importance of time
FICO vs. Credit Karma vs. other apps
Where your credit score comes from
[04:44] Don’t Rush It
The most important thing you need to know about building your credit score is that it takes time. We’re at the mercy of the financial system and we can’t change it, so there’s no point in getting all anarchal about it. It’s how it is. BUT, we can learn how to beat the system so we can use these systems to our advantage and still get the best deal. The key to it all? Being patient, especially if you or your partner are starting with a lower score. And remember, it’s not fun, it’s not sexy, but it’s very rewarding, so find a way to celebrate when you’ve built it up to your goal!
[18:44] Hard Pull vs. Soft Pull
The only way that you can get a full approval for a loan is to get a hard credit pull, which does give your credit score a hit. While you might have been warned to avoid this from other people, you have to remember that they need to pull your credit score for a full approval and if you don’t get this done it’s possible you could even lose the home. But, if you’re early in the process, you can get your credit pulled and then have time to build up your score again. Having the right team means that they can guide you through this process and make sure that you are on the right track.
[30:54] What Happens When Your Score Looks Rough
When you’re qualifying together, sometimes you’ll need both incomes to buy a home. However, it’s not an average that they use - they use the lowest the mid score. So, if your credit is 800 and their score is 620, well, they’re going to use the 620 score. But, there are some ways that you can boost a bad credit score and jump even a tier or two. According to credit pros, exceptional scores are 800 to 850, very good scores are 740 to 799, good scores are 670 to 739, fair is 580 to 669, and anything lower is not so hot. If you want to jump a tier, then you can do some things such as strategically managing your debt, asking for more credit, getting credit for paying rent, and dealing with your negative marks first.
Season 2 E203 - STEP TWO - Find Your Guides
David is onto step TWO in his series that shows you how to buy a home. If you’re worried about being able to afford a home in this market, well, don’t be. With the right team behind you, this process can be made leaps and bounds easier and can make your goal of buying a home all the more attainable. Surrounding yourselves with experts is the key.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
Why getting pre-approved isn’t even the second step
Make sure you get helped, not captured
Not all lenders and realtors are the same
Do what makes you feel comfortable
[01:15] Pick Your Unicorn Success Team
Okay, so you’ve decided that you’re ready to buy a home and you’re ready to hear the next steps. Great! The next - and second most important - step is picking your team to help guide you to your goal. And yes, this guy didn’t say “Get pre-approved!” Having a team in place can happen before you get pre-approved and should happen beforehand. The earlier you get them into the process the better because they can help you set yourself up for approval. Maybe you’re in a sticky situation. Perhaps you need some help navigating student loans. Whatever it is you need, having a team can help you overcome those challenges and get on the right track ASAP. BUT, you need to be on guard against the “turn ‘em and burn ‘em” part of real estate and, oh boy, does it exist. Make sure you are getting a lender and realtor who want to help you and not just capture a sale.
[18:30] Finding the Right Realtor
Most realtors are not trained on how to work with first-time home buyers, so the experienced folks usually end up sending you over to the newbies. So, you’re their guinea pigs! Yay! Not really. When you’re passed off like this, it means that you’re less likely to get the screaming deal you were hoping for because you’re working with a realtor who doesn’t know their stuff. Oh, and another little dirty secret? Realtors only get paid at the end - the sale. So, they’re less likely to give you that call back when you ask for help because it doesn’t make them money. Yeah, I know. It’s twisted, but it’s the truth. A unicorn realtor doesn’t operate that way. Their goal is to help you, not get the paycheck. They’re in it because they’re passionate and knowledgeable and David is willing to have them help anyone.
[40:42] Do What Works for You
David doesn’t expect you to use his unicorn lenders and realtors, because maybe you know someone who can help you or you want to try to take what you’ve learned and apply it out in the real world. The bottom line is that you need to do what feels right for you. That could look like anything. Just make sure that you feel comfortable and that you’re in touch with a team who will look out for you.
A MUST for 1st time home buyers!
David is the absolute BEST at preparing 1st time home buyers!! Pass this along to any of your friends and family members considering a purchase in 2023! Thanks David for preparing all my Raleigh 1st time buyers for success!
Listened and bought a home a month later
This podcast taught me everything I needed to know to purchase a home in the summer of 2022. It also gave me the motivation and the hope that purchasing a home was even possible for me. Thank you David!
David is incredible!!! He has a great personality that shines through the podcasts. He also has so much great advice and I am only a few episodes in.
The only downside is that he is constantly repeating himself in episodes. Maybe he’s trying to drive the point home, but to me I just hear the same thing said different ways. Still great information but episodes could be shorter