Tips for first time home buyers:

Sixteen years ago, my wife and I bought our first house together. I was a school teacher in El Paso, Texas. To say that it changed me is an understatement. My self-esteem increased by bounds. I suddenly felt that I could do anything. I was 37 years old, but I finally felt like a grown-up.
That is just it – purchasing a home is a grown up thing to do. You are a part of the community. You are a better employee. Dare I say – you are a better citizen. The American Dream is still alive. Owning a home is a BIG DEAL and CHANGES YOUR LIFE.
Well through all the changes in my life, now I get to help others get that same feeling. I have worked with a couple of first time buyers now, and I have noticed (maybe remembered) that they make some assumptions about working with me and the whole home buying process that aren’t always right. The whole process is scary and challenging. I put together a few tips that might help:
1. Home buying is a process: Nobody expects you to know how to do it. That is why you work with a Realtor. They can guide you through the process and help answer questions. That is a topic for a whole other post.
2. Get pre-qualified with a local lender: Let’s keep stuff local. Guess what – that is a good practice. Nothing is more frustrating than calling a 1-800 number when you have a question or a problem. Also, let the Realtor know who are using. Different lenders have different rules, and your Realtor does not want to waste time looking at houses that you can’t buy. Plus, what if you LOVE one of those homes. You will hate on your Realtor and your lender if you can’t buy it. Life is too short for hate.
3. Look at a few homes and then make a criteria list: Looking at a couple of really different places helps you see what is on the market. Also, you might see a great place you would never have seen otherwise. For example, when my wife and I moved to Fort Worth, we wanted a garage. That was non-negotiable. Our Realtor (who is now my broker), found a great house without a garage. The short of the story is we bought that house. It was a great house and we lived there until my daughter was 9 months old and the house was just too small.
4. Be patient: If you fall in love with the first house you see then you are a schmuck! Even in a seller’s market there are choices. Don’t get mad at your Realtor just because they have not found you a house. Do your homework too. I set up a portal so that my clients can see houses that match their criteria the day they come on the market. If you see something you like, let your Realtor know. He or she is NOT TOO BUSY TO SHOW YOU A HOUSE. If they are, you need a new Realtor and should call me.
5. Use a Realtor: You might think – “how else would I buy a house?” Let me tell you a quick story:
When my wife was in law school, we were watching the news one night. They had a consumer report about a young woman who was taken advantage of by some crook. She owned a small business and was having some success. She wanted to buy a home. Rather than use a Realtor, she looked in the local “Thrifty Nickel.” The guy had her pay him as a “rent to own,” but she could not take possession of the mobile home until she paid him off. She paid him a couple of months and then he skipped town with her money. I felt so sorry for her. Using a Realtor costs the buyer no money, and gives them a professional to look after the buyer’s interests. All it really costs you is loyalty, but you get the same in return. Plus, when something at your perfect new house breaks, call the Realtor. They know all the good contractors.

Introduction to my blog and a little about me:

This blog was created to promote my Real Estate business. SURPRISE! Were you actually surprised? I hope not. Yes, I am a Realtor, and yes I want to promote my business. I am more than a real estate agent, and I wanted to start a blog for a long time. I just never felt like I had much to say or promote. Now I have a business that needs promoting, but I also have other interests that are just going to be a part of the blog too. If you want real estate advice, I am happy to provide you with my experiences. If you like a good cocktail, then I might can help with that too. My plan here is to give you the reader five things to know about a subject.
So, let’s get started with five things to know about me, your humble writer, beach bum, parrothead, Realtor:

1. I live in Fort Worth, Texas, and my heart is on the water. I was born in Fort Worth, Texas at Harris Hospital just like my two youngest children, but I have the soul of a sailor. Fortunately we have some great lakes. My family keeps a boat at Eagle Mountain Lake. We are out there most summer weekends and then some into the fall. In Fort Worth, summer weather starts in May and ends in October. We are so lucky. I’m happiest on the water, even in the cold weather.
2. Maybe it just goes with the water thing, but I listen to Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney and Bob Marley music all the time. One of the biggest bummers is that I never got to see Bob Marley play. I started listening to reggae music when he was still alive, but I never got to see him play. On the positive side, I have seen Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney play live. In fact, this year will make the sixth year to see Buffett at the Frisco show. I’m pretty pumped for the concert. Great tailgate scene in Frisco. If you make it to the tailgate, stop by and say hey. I would love to meet you.
3. I love Mexican food. I love to make it and eat it. I love Mexican food so much I lived in El Paso, Texas for twelve years where I taught school. When I lived in El Paso, I met the most wonderful woman in the world and married her. She makes awesome enchiladas. I mean truly cosmic. We love to eat Mexican food when we go out too. Everything from standards like Joe T’s to smaller places and taco stands. I am always up for a dining adventure. The best part of that is I don’t have to leave Tarrant County to do that. That said, I got a list of places to hit in Parker and Johnson County too.
4. Being a Realtor is my third career change. Life is what happens when you are making plans. I was a petroleum geologist until the market went down in 2015. I saw this a great opportunity to start my own business. I am a self-starter and independent thinker. I have my own ideas about how to get things done. Fort Worth has a history of people like that. Being a Realtor makes me an independent contractor representing my broker. My broker was my realtor when I returned to Fort Worth in 2003. I love the slogan at Wilco – “Grassroots starts at home.” Its got that Fort Worth proud attitude.
5. I like to look at houses. I know that I have not been doing this long, but I do like to shop for houses. I love looking at how other people live. I love seeing what others have done to their homes over time. Some people are wildly creative, and have great senses of style. I would like to think that I am like that, but sometimes I think I just like weird stuff. For example, I love mid-century modern tiki décor. The more hideous and campy, the more I love it. I am searching Fort Worth and the surrounding area for a tiki inspired rumpus room. Care to join me for the search?

Cheers ya’ll,