Monday, April 23, 2007

Go to war!! Buy a home!!

1. Identify the objective- If you're in a war zone you can't just run around aimlessly, you must know what it is you're trying to accomplish. And then you most be able to locate the specific area that requires the use of your tactics in order to accomplished the desired results. In war on home finding it is no different. You must locate an area you feel will help you accomplish your mission; in this case, provide a good home for you and your family. The most obvious thing people are first attracted to is the house itself. A neighborhood will generally have homes of the same age and style. So if you have located an area you feel meets your housing desires, you need to move onto the next step.

2. Gather intel- Once you've said "boy, I love that house," you need to do some research on the area the house is in, as well as the house itself. You should ask yourself, and have answered, these type of questions:

Where will the kids go to school? How far away is it?

Where are the things I need/want? Wal-Mart is a big one on everyones list these days.

How far am I from work? How far is my spouse?

Is the house worth the price?

What's the market around here? Will the house sell when I'm ready to move?

Do I need to consult a Realtor?

Which leads me into my next point.

3. Call for fire support- One thing all Marines are taught is to know when to fight and when to call for the bigger guns. While my M-16A2 may work really well on insurgents, it really has no effect on a tank. Know when to say you need help.

If you are new in town you have to face the fact that you just don't know the area. Don't be so full of pride that you can't ask for help. Usually a Realtor works for a buyer free of charge. Everybody loves free right? It's a heck of a deal. Do you know any doctors that will give you a free transplant? I don't. Realtors offer so much help and guidance when buying homes. Not to mention they have access to programs and services that can drastically cut down your search time. Use them. Seriously.

Realtors also help with my next point.

4. Remain camouflaged- In combat rule #1 is don't be seen by the enemy. If they don't know you are there, they can't defend against you. And even better they can not identify any possible weaknesses you may have, which means they can not exploit them.

When it comes to buying a home, never under estimate your enemy (the seller). They may seem to be the most friendly person you've ever met but remember, they are trying to sell there house and put as much money in their pocket as possible. There are so many things you could say to them, just through the course of normal conversation, that could drastically damage your bargaining position. By using a Realtor you are given the privilege of having a trained professional do your bargaining for you. They make sure those specifics of your life and financial situations, which may be bad for your position in the transaction, are kept secret. Once again, a Realtor can be a very valuable asset to you.

Finally we come to #5.

5. Ensure you have a proper exit strategy- No one ever plans an attack on a target and then stop with the target being eliminated. There is always a plan to get back home, move to the next objective, or whatever. Real estate is no different.

When you buy a house you should say to yourself, "self, when it comes time to sell, will this house sell easily?" When you buy the house and you notice things that are a turn off to you guess what? They will be a turn off to any potential buyers in the future when you go to sell. That busy street that's only 20 ft out the front door, or the fact the house doesn't have any covered parking, or it's 45 minutes from the nearest Wal-Mart, all of these things will be potential deal breakers in the future. Just food for thought.

I would like to leave you with one last thing. Although I do recommend using a Realtor such as Sergeant Real Estate (sorry had to plug myself), you can buy a home on your own. People do it all the time. Just make sure you do the research and make the right choices. Good luck and I hope this helps you.

Blog Done. Carry On!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Real Estate Market crashes in Biloxi and Ocean Springs!!

"Ocean Springs and Biloxi real estate market is taking a dive!!" At least that's what I keep hearing. Seems like everywhere I go I hear people are saying "the market's going down." I just don't see it. Now true, the market did take a HUGH spike after Katrina worked her magic, as my illustration shows. And some homes were sold for way more than they were worth because of the low availability and high demand for housing. Some people were taking advantage of and may realize now that their house isn't worth what they paid. Now it is true that the market has slowed down. Home's don't sell in 30 minutes of listing as they once did. But the market still averages somewhere around 90 days to sell your home. But prices are still increasing at a rather nice appreciation curve. So, if you are worried about the market here, I say, don't be. Everything is alright. But hey, that's my opinion.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Don't use new Realtors!! Why should you?

Do you recognize this man? If not you probably live under a rock, or possible inside one. Can you believe that there was a time when even this guy was new to the game? Yet, NOBODY wants to give the new guy a chance. What do you think would have happened if no one gave "The Donald" a chance? A lot of people would have missed out on A LOT of money. See the thing is experience doesn't build creative thought, thinking outside the box, or how to look at things in a new way. It just builds repetition, that's it. So why do so many people refuse to use a new Realtor? Why? Because they just don't know what they are doing right??!! It's that simple!! Or is it? Ask yourself this, who is more creative and motivated, the new guy or the guy that has been doing this for 20yrs? Who do you think is actually going to work harder for you and really earn your business? My money is on the new guy.
But wait it's not that simple either. See, a lot of people new to a profession, whether it be real estate or auto mechanic, think they know it all. That's a fatal mistake, these guys will get you in trouble. You have to be educated yes, but you also have to be responsible and intelligent enough to realize you don't know everything. No one does. Especially in this game of real estate, laws and guidelines change everyday. Which is why sometimes the ones that make the biggest mistakes are the ones who have been around the longest because they feel like they do know it all.
I'll share a personal experience with you. On my very first deal as a sellers agent I was in negotiations with a buyers agent that had been doing real estate for 20yrs. Naturally you would think that the senior agent had the upper hand in negotiation right? Wrong! Not only did I negotiate a better deal for my client, the other agent made a fatal mistake they could have potentially cost her client thousands and thousands of dollars. Why did she make this mistake? I honestly don't know. But I do know that I was educated to catch the mistake.
Anyway, I'll let you be for now as I don't want to take up too much of your time today. But in closing I ask you to remember this; experience is great but I'll take motivation and action any day over blind experience.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New listing in Gulf Park Estates!!!

Are you looking for the right house at the right price? Well look no further!! I just listed a beautiful home in Gulf Park Estates in Ocean Springs MS. It's close to everything in Ocean Springs. Minutes from schools, food, and yes even Wal-Mart. For full listing details check my website at And when you're ready to see it, give the Sarge a call. Take care!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sorry for being gone!!

Sorry I've been a little distant lately guys. My Internet has been on the fritz for a long time. Thanks a lot CABLEONE!!! Sorry b--t--s!! Excuse me eluding to vulgar language. But I'm back now. For how long, who knows?

Monday, April 9, 2007

The 2 most important things to ask for when buying a home.

What is the most important thing to ask for when buying a home? Is it a loan? The interest rate? The terms of the loan? What school's will your kids attend? Well I guess it's really a matter of opinion, but here's my opinion and the why. I actually have 2 things.

First, get the sellers disclosure. This nice little piece of paper is a legally binding document from the seller, not their agent, given to you. This tells you everything about the history of the home and the best part is if the seller lies on it you can sue him or her. Everyone seems to love suing anybody for anything these days. Here's your chance. This tells you things like; did the home flood; are you in a flood zone; ever had termites; etc. A very valuable piece of paper. And remember, no Realtor is allowed to touch, as far as filling it out goes, this which means you get it straight from the sellers own written hand. If you're buying make sure you ask for it. And for Pete's sake, if you're selling make sure you fill one out. It's the law.

Second, Get a home inspection done by a professional. Just so we understand each other, I'll say it one more time and speak slower, louder, and more clearly ( I do tend to mumble at times), because it's very important. GET...A...HOME...INSPECTION...DONE...BY...A... PROFESSIONAL. This can save you thousands of dollars in later repairs, purchase price, closing costs, etc, etc, etc. GET ONE!! Basically a home inspection verifies everything the seller told you on his "sellers disclosure" form. Usually around 10-15 days before closing a home inspection should be performed. But no more than 30 days.

Well there's a little more real estate knowledge for you. Hope it helps you out. If you got questions, feel free to contact me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Mississippi Bond Program!! Talk about a GREAT DEAL!!

Man!! Do you wanna hear about the sweetest deal in Mississippi? Well sit back and let me drop a little knowledge on you.

Mississippi has a program called the "Mississippi Bond Program" that actually gives you money for a down payment to buy a house. Now how awesome is that? They will actually give you 3% of the purchase price, up to $200,000, to use as a down payment to purchase your new home. Now, the even cooler part. It can be used in conjuction with a FHA loan which only requires 3% down payment and they allow you to finance the remaining 97%. Do the math folks!! If they allow you to finance 97% and the bond gives you 3% that equals 100%. That's right!! You have to pay exactly 0% to buy a home; aside from any closing costs you are required to pay according to your negotiation with the sellers.

But wait, there's more. The program had a fixed interest rate of 5.78%, but it just got better. They lowered the rate to 5.4%. I'll say that again in case we didn't understand the first time, no offense of course. You get a 5.4% fixed interest rate for 30 years, 3% down payment GRANT given to you and you can finance the remaining balance. Now, I'm no mortgage broker, which I will never claim to be, but I don't know of ANY program that can top that offer, not even VA. Call your local broker and ask them about it, it's one sweet deal. And when you're ready to buy that house call me, Sergeant Real Estate.