Need advice on finding a good RE agent to buy and mortgage lender

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Submitted by mixxalot on December 10, 2015 - 8:38am

Hello my fellow piggs,

I want to buy a place next year in San Diego and have been looking at the Claremont area since it is centrally located to places in San Diego and far less expensive than coastal PB, OB or Point Loma. With that said budget is under 700K for first time RE primary residence and FICO is 750 score with 10-20% down for the purchase. How do I find the best RE agent to work with and lender? I find many of the agents that advertise the listings on sites like Zillow and Redfin to be in the same league as slimy used car sales people or life insurance agents!

Submitted by FlyerInHi on December 10, 2015 - 12:04pm.

I'm sure people will come with all kinds of advice.

But... you're not buying during the best of times, or in a "normal" market.

When the market is not "normal" you need to take "abnormal" measures. There's a lot of competition for good deals now. If you want to pay the "regular" price, by all means, find a good, pleasant realtor to work with.

If I were you, and wanted to buy now, I'd look at new listings everyday. If you see something priced well, that you like, drive by, look at the outside, put in an offer immediately sight unseen with the listing agent. Then go look at it.

Submitted by XBoxBoy on December 10, 2015 - 12:23pm.

First a couple of practical suggestions:

1) Find an agent who works the area you are interested. (Clairemont)

2) Go to open houses in the area you like, chat with the agent to get a feel for what they are like.

3) Create a list of possible realtors and then call them up, ask to meet with them so you can interview them. A good agent will give you a half hour, or hour of their time to talk to you before you make any commitment.

4) Shy away from any agent who wants you to sign a contract as an exclusive buyers agent.

Lastly, let me suggest that an agent that you think isn't slimy used car salesman, might be honest and great, but maybe they are just be good at hiding it. How would you know? So... remember at all times in the real estate transaction process that it is your responsibility to watch out for your interests. Your agent will of course be looking out for their commission. When negotiating, tell your agent what they need to know to do their job, but you can keep your top price and other such things to yourself. And always remember to watch out for your interests yourself! (Did I say that already?)

Hope this helps.

Submitted by bearishgurl on December 10, 2015 - 12:51pm.

I'm not quite understanding why you're interested in Clairemont, mixxalot. Just a little while ago, you were posting about wanting to buy inland so you could have a "fun sailboat" and even afford a hangar for a private plane.

http://piggington.com/are_home_prices_ju...

Where are you going to park a sailboat in Clairemont? Granted, there may be a (very) few lots on the Mtn Sts with room to park a sailboat (if it's not too long) but are any of those (premium) lots available? In the above thread, you didn't even seem that committed to staying in SD. Are you SURE you're going to stay in SD long enough to make a $700K purchase in Clairemont "worth it?" I personally don't think Clairemont is worth that much money. Perhaps a few properties in there with premium lots might be worth $600K - $650K but I just can't see $700K. Some of those tracts up there weren't even built with attics!

Submitted by ltsddd on December 10, 2015 - 1:06pm.

^^^I am just shaking my head

Anyways, agree with xbox suggestion. Drive around the 'hood and go to open houses will give you a better feel of what's available and how much. Also opportunity to see and talk to the agents - you might find your agent that way. For $700K, you should be able to get something in west clairemont/bay ho/morena; and maybe even one with a view of the bay.

Submitted by bearishgurl on December 10, 2015 - 2:17pm.

ltsdd wrote:
^^^I am just shaking my head

Anyways, agree with xbox suggestion. Drive around the 'hood and go to open houses will give you a better feel of what's available and how much. Also opportunity to see and talk to the agents - you might find your agent that way. For $700K, you should be able to get something in west clairemont/bay ho/morena; and maybe even one with a view of the bay.

Agree with the italicized portion. Homes in northern 92110 and the southern and western portion of 92117 (as opposed to 92111/northern and eastern 92117) are "worth" ~$700K. I really feel like the OP may still be able to find a cosmetic fixer, especially in SW 92117 ... that is, IF he has given up on parking a big toy on his lot.

You can "shake your head" all you want, ltsdd, but most of those early '60's tracts in Clairemont (92111) weren't built very well. They were built for an ~$11K purchase price primarily to house defense workers and their families who relocated here from "flyover country."

Submitted by ltsddd on December 10, 2015 - 3:12pm.

bearishgurl wrote:
ltsdd wrote:
^^^I am just shaking my head

Anyways, agree with xbox suggestion. Drive around the 'hood and go to open houses will give you a better feel of what's available and how much. Also opportunity to see and talk to the agents - you might find your agent that way. For $700K, you should be able to get something in west clairemont/bay ho/morena; and maybe even one with a view of the bay.

Agree with the italicized portion. Homes in northern 92110 and the southern and western portion of 92117 (as opposed to 92111/northern and eastern 92117) are "worth" ~$700K. I really feel like the OP may still be able to find a cosmetic fixer, especially in SW 92117 ... that is, IF he has given up on parking a big toy on his lot.

You can "shake your head" all you want, ltsdd, but most of those early '60's tracts in Clairemont (92111) weren't built very well. They were built for an ~$11K purchase price primarily to house defense workers and their families who relocated here from "flyover country."

Give a counter example to Clairemont's "weren't built very well" claim. Which community in San Diego that was built in the 50s & 60s that was not "weren't built very well."

Submitted by bearishgurl on December 10, 2015 - 7:03pm.

ltsdd wrote:
bearishgurl wrote:
ltsdd wrote:
^^^I am just shaking my head

Anyways, agree with xbox suggestion. Drive around the 'hood and go to open houses will give you a better feel of what's available and how much. Also opportunity to see and talk to the agents - you might find your agent that way. For $700K, you should be able to get something in west clairemont/bay ho/morena; and maybe even one with a view of the bay.

Agree with the italicized portion. Homes in northern 92110 and the southern and western portion of 92117 (as opposed to 92111/northern and eastern 92117) are "worth" ~$700K. I really feel like the OP may still be able to find a cosmetic fixer, especially in SW 92117 ... that is, IF he has given up on parking a big toy on his lot.

You can "shake your head" all you want, ltsdd, but most of those early '60's tracts in Clairemont (92111) weren't built very well. They were built for an ~$11K purchase price primarily to house defense workers and their families who relocated here from "flyover country."

Give a counter example to Clairemont's "weren't built very well" claim. Which community in San Diego that was built in the 50s & 60s that was not "weren't built very well."

I'm sure I already covered this subject in depth on another thread that I would have to dig deep to find, ltsdd. Suffice to say, many Clairemont tract homes were NOT built with insulation, attics or gas dryer hookups and some tracts were built with nearly flat roofs with no eaves. Also, some of these tracts were built without central or forced air heat. This type of house has suffered a lot of issues over the years, not the least of which was extensive dry rot. Some plans were built with a few (leaky) glass shutter windows (similar to the kind used in HI). SD's climate gets too cold at night for these type of windows.

These subdivisions were built fast and cheap to cure a housing shortage at a price point necessary to house badly needed incoming workers for defense contractors. And that's primarily who bought them.

There are a LOT of SD metro areas which have much better-built homes than Clairemont (92111/17) but the bulk of those homes were built in the mid '50's and prior.

Submitted by bearishgurl on December 10, 2015 - 7:10pm.

I'm not saying here that I think Clairemont is a bad place to live. All I'm saying is that a typical tract home there is not worth ~$700K, IMO.

Submitted by mixxalot on December 10, 2015 - 9:22pm.

Agree and I am not in a rush just looking at potential place to buy. If I decide to buy a home on private airstrip outside of California that might work out better since I am a pilot and work from home.

Submitted by joec on December 11, 2015 - 7:12pm.

If you talk to a lot of people who looked for homes, a lot of times, with a limited budget (pretty much everyone), you're going to have to see what's really important to you since the supply is so low.

I don't think the agent or loan person is that important, but actually finding a home you actually want to live in is insanely hard, especially for older homes or areas...

When I was looking, every single damn weekend or day, it's so tiring. After seeing like 20 homes, you'll instantly know if you'd ever want to live in a place so if you do, you probably need to put a best offer or someone else will since 'good' move in or low problem homes seem much more desired.

HLS here on the loan side sounds reputable and some people here have used his help.

Submitted by mixxalot on December 11, 2015 - 9:49pm.

True which is why my first choice is an airpark home on private airstrip with large hangar outside of California. I see plenty in Arizona, Texas and Florida that are 3000 square foot SFA with massive hangar and acre of land for 300-600K. That buys little in San Diego. Add a plane and travel is easy within 500 miles.

Submitted by yuhtey on December 12, 2015 - 10:40am.

XBoxBoy wrote:

4) Shy away from any agent who wants you to sign a contract as an exclusive buyers agent.

Hope this helps.

yes, you should rather sign on with a dual agency broker. WTF - can you please pass me some of what you are smoking?

Submitted by gzz on December 12, 2015 - 5:48pm.

--If I were you, and wanted to buy now, I'd look at new listings everyday. If you see something priced well, that you like, drive by, look at the outside, put in an offer immediately sight unseen with the listing agent.--

Good advice for both hot and cold markets.

This is what I did for my first house, used someone in the listing agent's office as my agent after my short sale offer was accepted. Made my offer better than any other full price offer that way. And full price was underpriced by about 5-7% or I expected competing offers.

My second house neither of us used an agent. Paid $750 each to my mortgage broker to draw up the 278 standard form disclosures.

I have nothing against agents but the work to price ratio is not fair to customers buying/selling standard $700,000 San Diego houses.

Submitted by mixxalot on December 12, 2015 - 8:43pm.

True and since I am not in rush I can search daily. My first choice would be an airpark home with hangar and freedom to taxi to take off. For 400-500K that is easily found. San Diego RE inventory sucks right now.

Submitted by joec on December 13, 2015 - 6:47pm.

No idea on the airport stuff, but IMO, looking daily is just a waste of time. Maybe with kids, I don't like to use my time that way and thought when I was house searching, all the open houses, driving around, checking new listing daily was just a drag...also, supply is very low in general (we're talking 1-2 months here vs. normally 6 months+).

If you're "hoping" for a good deal, it'll never happen. You're better off making friends with real estate people who really know their area/stuff (maybe some airport area person who does 90% of the biz in that type?) and have them contact you.

Good deals usually won't even be posted so unless you have an in, you won't get those I don't think without contacts or watching it daily.

I suppose my TL:DR of this idea is:
You can watch it all you want, but nothing will happen so it's all a waste of time.

Submitted by mixxalot on December 13, 2015 - 7:32pm.

As a pilot the way to go since I work from home is an airpark home! I found a few for under 500k that come with land, a big home, hangar and private airstrip access. Hangars rent for $500+ here in California so it saves money as a pilot who flies for fun.

Submitted by Hobie on December 13, 2015 - 7:49pm.

Hey Mix: Do you have a plane? Whatcha got??

I think not based on your posts. If you do, how about Anza??? Az is a great option of you rent. Lots of options.

Put the $$ in the plane not the house if you are single ;)

Georgia has some nice houses on airstrips.

Submitted by Coronita on December 14, 2015 - 1:46am.

I envy all you lucky people who have good vision that can fly..... :) .....Dumb question. What exactly is a house with an airplane hanger look like ?

Submitted by Hobie on December 14, 2015 - 6:02am.

Normal house with a giant garage at the back! Taxi out to adjacent runway.

https://www.contigorealty.com/info/displ...

This listing has good photos and there are cheaper options.

http://www.stellarairpark.org/

Submitted by Coronita on December 14, 2015 - 7:08am.

Hobie wrote:
Normal house with a giant garage at the back! Taxi out to adjacent runway.

https://www.contigorealty.com/info/displ...

Yup, I definitely picked the wrong career, lol

The caption of the above house should be

"Honey, I'm leaving you the Lambo so you can go to Yoga and run your errands today. I'm taking the plane to work...."

Except, I wouldn't mind being the one going to Yoga.

Quote:

This listing has good photos and there are cheaper options.

http://www.stellarairpark.org/

That's pretty awesome.

Submitted by flyer on December 14, 2015 - 7:16am.

Have friends who live at various airparks around the country--Stellar being one of them. Similar to people we know who enjoy living near their boats--think Coronado Cays here--and many places in FL.

We prefer keeping things separate, but most people who purchase their homes in these type of locations really enjoy those lifestyles, and if that's what the OP wants, I'm sure he'll be very happy with his decision.

Submitted by mixxalot on December 14, 2015 - 9:01am.

Right now I just rent at Plus One Flyers. However, that said, I did fly a Yak 52 this weekend which was great fun! I am planning to get the airpark home first then the plane. Easier to swing the finances this method in best tax situation. Hangars are SUPER expensive here in San Diego to rent like 500+ per month so this is great way to go to get the hangar and airport included.

Submitted by mixxalot on December 14, 2015 - 9:04am.

Something like this:

http://www.trade-a-plane.com/detail/Resi...

They sell between 300K and up. Cheap compared to San Diego or bay area real estate!

Submitted by bewildering on December 14, 2015 - 9:26am.

I do not see the attraction. How much is maintenance on a plane? Fuel? Landing fees? Also, when you need to go buy some groceries, where is the nearest store? IF you feel like a drink or dinner, where is the nearest nice restaurant or bar? Can you get a UberAir home? How do your friends pop round to visit? Do your kids get homeschooled?

If you fly to San Diego I guess you will land at Montgomery Field, which is miles from the beaches or anything. In fact, does it cost money to store a car at Montgomery Field?

It honestly sounds like some prepper fantasy. Most people want to stay closer to civilization. Humans are nothing by themselves.

Submitted by Coronita on December 14, 2015 - 12:21pm.

bewildering wrote:
I do not see the attraction. How much is maintenance on a plane? Fuel? Landing fees? Also, when you need to go buy some groceries, where is the nearest store? IF you feel like a drink or dinner, where is the nearest nice restaurant or bar? Can you get a UberAir home? How do your friends pop round to visit? Do your kids get homeschooled?

If you fly to San Diego I guess you will land at Montgomery Field, which is miles from the beaches or anything. In fact, does it cost money to store a car at Montgomery Field?

It honestly sounds like some prepper fantasy. Most people want to stay closer to civilization. Humans are nothing by themselves.

Different strokes for different folks....
You would understand if flying is your hobby, enjoyment.

Similar concept, different type of machine...

The Thermal Club

http://www.theagencyre.com/new-developme...

If I could, I would. Because you only live once.

Submitted by HLS on December 14, 2015 - 1:21pm.

I'm not here to get leads but I don't turn anybody away if I can help.

I have worked with about 100 Piggs from this site over the years, many were lurkers and not posters, but I've worked with plenty of active posters also.

I'm licensed for real estate and mortgages, and also a Realtor for anywhere in CA.
Commissions can be negotiated depending on the work/liability involved.

I've never pushed anyone to buy a house OR told them it was a good investment.
Around the peak I talked people out of buying houses and I don't know anyone who wasn't thankful for that as well as coaching people through foreclosures.

I do it because I enjoy it, not because I have to.
Consultations via phone are always free and I'm happy to take calls whenever I can, 7 days a week about purchasing OR refinancing so you can understand your options and that it's not just about the payment, it's really about the rate and what you will pay in interest.

I've been a property owner & landlord for over 30 years and have seen a lot of crazy situations.
I see it from both sides.

Qualifying for loans is idiotic but that's the way it is.
It can be easier for someone with a 620 credit score to qualify with 3.50 % down than it is for someone with an 800 credit score and 50% down if they can't show income properly.

There are things that some people can do IN ADVANCE to make it easier to qualify for a purchase loan. When they call me with 30 days to close it's too late for advance planning and stuck with 'what is'

If you'd like to chat, just send me a message.
there's a few things that you can do ahead of time, the rates will be whatever they are at the time you are ready to buy. Sheldon

Submitted by mixxalot on December 14, 2015 - 7:14pm.

Correct most lenders want:

- 2 years+ of stable income on tax returns
- current employment in same field 2+ years
- FICO above 720+ score
- at least 10-20% down payment
- at least 6 months cash reserves

Submitted by mixxalot on December 14, 2015 - 7:19pm.

You have to take a discovery flight and see for yourself! Go fly acrobatic rolls in a Pitts or Yak and experience what a roller coaster will never provide or real thrills.

Landing fees? This isn't Europe so few airports have them and if you buy fuel usually they waive them. Catalina is the only place that has one I am aware of and Santa Barbara waives it when you buy fuel.

Plenty of airports have restaurants on the field or close by. When I flew to Santa Barbara the restaurant was a five minute walk from the airport and the food was fresh seafood with ocean views! So far most places have food nearby. I have a folding bicycle that I take with me to ride into town. Not sure about uberair. I don't have kids but home schooling could work if I did. There are many small airports all over San Diego like Palomar near Carlsbad, Brown Field by Chula Vista, Gillespie field in El Cajon/Santee and you can land at a big San Diego international which is right by down town and the beach areas.

Flying isn't cheap but if you have a business that can help with costs. I don't spend much on food, clothing or entertainment so planes are my things.

Submitted by flyer on December 14, 2015 - 9:38pm.

Along with real estate and other business interests, I'm an airline pilot, and having aviation businesses can also be a great write off against other income.

We've had several over the years in which we lease back our planes and helos to schools, etc., and are still able to use them ourselves at very little cost.

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