Feb. 4: Tips for first time buyers; all-cash buying continues

Rob Chrisman

Rob Chrisman began his career in mortgage banking – primarily capital markets – 31 years ago in 1985 with First California Mortgage, assisting in Secondary Marketing until 1988, when he joined Tuttle & Co., a leading mortgage pipeline risk management firm. He was an account manager and partner at Tuttle & Co. until 1996, when he moved to Scotland with his family for 9 months. See more

The news about “Tiny Houses” continues to trend along: this one looks pretty darned nice, is only $20,000, and is changing zoning laws.


Agents know that this depends on the area and price range, but overall the percentage of total home sales transactions that are completed in cash continues to decline on an annual basis as distressed homes become less and less of a market factor. CoreLogic said on Thursday that 33.9 percent of home sales in October were all cash, a 2.6 percent decrease from a year earlier.  The cash share did increase by 1.4 percentage points from September to October but CoreLogic said that is normal for an uptick in such sales in October due to the seasonality of the market.


Cash sales are especially significant in sales of owned real estate (REO) and accounted for 59.7 percent of those sales in October. However total REO sales constituted only 7.3 percent of the market.  When cash sales were at their peak in January 2011, accounting for 46.6 percent of home sales, REO played a major market role, providing close to a quarter of the homes that sold.


First time home buyer tips


In 2015, 32% of homebuyers were first timers, down 1% from 2014. Agents know that buying a new home is often the biggest financial decision a person will make at that point in his or her life, and the thought of laying out the necessary funds and taking on a mortgage can be overwhelming. There are a few tips that lenders often provide to “newbies.”


Check your credit before applying for a loan: Be aware of your credit score, profile and any credit issues that you can either resolve or improve before making the purchase. Accurate information on your report will make your loan review and approval much smoother and faster.


Have cash on hand: Cash is often required for your down payment or loan costs. Lenders may have programs that offer no upfront costs and no closing costs.


Identify local loan expenses with a mortgage professional prior to applying for a loan: Loan expenses can add up to several thousands of dollars. Ask your loan advisor if the lender will allow you to finance these expenses into your overall loan and still be approved.


Know the impact of rising or falling rates: Consumers often become focused on a rate and not the payment. Know your payment is affected by rates, loan amount and loan term. It is also important to know if rates rise how they might affect your payment.


Ask about loan adjustments: Lenders have pricing adjustments for different attributes of a loan. Consult your loan advisor about what adjustments are available for your loan. This can help save you money in the long run.


Ask about negotiating loan expenses: Find out specifically what each expense is for and if they are required. Some expenses are broker or lender specific that can be negotiated.


American Hardwoods:


There has been a great deal of research and thought aimed at sustainability, annual growth and harvest rate of hardwood species. In fact, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has created an interactive platform, Grown in Seconds, to illustrate the sustainability of American hardwoods, how swiftly wood used for a variety of projects regrows naturally in American forests. This platform, together with the AHEC website, will provide environmentally concerned architects, developers and manufacturers with an easy source of information to help in selecting the most suitable materials. As an example, Sir Terence Conran, commissioned sustainable designer, Sebastian Cox to create a workspace for his office. The material used included red oak and cherry.


Data used was gathered by the US Forest Service to track the annual growth and harvest rates of every hardwood species to calculate how quickly wood used in projects can be regrown within the forests of the United States. Also supported by environmental consultants ThinkStep, AHEC aims to promote a better understanding of the true environmental benefits of using American hardwoods in design and manufacture. The US Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program has gathered this data for decades, tracking the rate at which each species of American timber grows and is harvested, by county, across the entire country.


How to make the most of a symbiotic relationship:


Real estate professionals need loan officers to sell homes and loan officers need home buyers to stay in business. That means real estate professionals and loan officers both benefit from a good relationship with one another, after all, you are both on the same team. Realtors want to make their clients happy and if a loan officer helps accomplish that, a healthy relationship will ensue. Culpability is key in an interwoven relationship which is the striving point for realtor/loan officer relations. If you are dependable, you will attract higher-end relationships.


All relationships need open and effective communication. Loan Officers must remember that Real Estate Agents and their clients are waiting on information from the Lender. Timely and effective communication is vital to maintain credibility with the borrower. The real estate agent’s rapport with the client is imperative to the process. If the customer isn’t happy, everyone loses. Remember, relationship building takes time, particularly the trust factor.


A Joint effort between L.O. and Agent can make a huge difference is the success of both parties. For instance, try doubling up on social media channels. Engage with each other on social media to create opportunities for success. Share content and links to further help each other reach more people with a dually purposeful message.



It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and the butcher is just locking up when a man begins pounding on the front door.

“Please let me in,” says the man desperately. “I forgot to buy a turkey, and my wife will kill me if I don’t come home with one.”

“Okay,” says the butcher. “Let me see what I have left.” He goes into the freezer and discovers that there’s only one scrawny turkey left. He brings it out to show the man.

“That’s one is too skinny. What else you got?” says the man.

The butcher takes the bird back into the freezer and waits a few minutes and brings the same turkey back out to the man.

“Oh, no,” says the man, “That one doesn’t look any better. You better give me both of them!”





(Copyright 2016 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman. To subscribe please visit www.knowledgeforrealestateagents.com.)