Tuesday February 20, 2018 by The Mettle Group
Josh Mettle: Hi friends, my name is Josh Mettle with Fairway Independent Mortgage and I’m here with Sam Robinson. Sam, thanks for hanging out with me today.
Sam Robinson: Happy to be here.
Josh Mettle: And Sam just went through one of the most flawless home purchase transactions that I have ever seen. It literally could not have gone any better, in my opinion. It was much smoother than my first home purchase. And I thought, you know, maybe we should analyze this and so we’re going to call this Analysis of a Flawless Home Purchase and I just wanted Sam to uncork the story of how buying a home turned out for him and what his planning process was in the hopes that we can help educate others to have a flawless home purchase like Sam.
So, Sam, you didn’t decide on a Thursday to buy a house and get in a realtor’s car on Friday and write an offer that night, right? It was a bit of a process. So walk us through what you did to prepare.
Sam Robinson: Right, so about six months before I knew I wanted to purchase a home, I started getting ready and making sure my credit profile looked good. Making sure I had enough in savings and I started building up my savings a ton and pretty much anything I didn’t need into savings.
Josh Mettle: Good. And I think you had told me that you pulled your credit before because you realized, “Hey, a 720 score is going to get a better rate than a 700 score.” So walk us through that process of what you did to kind of juice your credit before you wrote your offer.
Sam Robinson: Right, so I had gotten auto loans previously this year so I knew that my credit was not in the greatest state that I wanted it to be in. No issues on credit, just didn’t know how to use credit cards and stuff like that to really boost my score.
Josh Mettle: They don’t teach that in high school or college.
Sam Robinson: Not at all. Not at all. I’m mad at my parents now. So you can actually go online to the bureau’s websites. I think we did maybe Experian or Equifax. I don’t remember and you can pull a free credit profile. It doesn’t give you any score. It just tells you what is on your credit. The balances reporting and the payments reporting and so I looked at that and started formulating a game plan and knew I wanted to get another credit card on my credit with a higher limit and start planning towards a strategy to increase my score.
Josh Mettle: Great. And so I think you said that you started that in August and what month did you close on your house?
Sam Robinson: February 1st.
Josh Mettle: February 1st. So about six months ahead. Juice the savings, go in and analyze where your credit score is, if you know it’s not an 800 then we might as well start working on things, and some of that advice was open up a new account. Make sure the balances are in the correct zones. You really learned how the credit bureaus are analyzing credit and worked that angle.
Sam Robinson: Absolutely. The biggest part was I figured out what days they actually reported every month to what days the creditor reported to the bureaus every month. So that way I could set up reminders on my phone and really control what the bureaus are seeing.
Josh Mettle: That’s a new idea, right? Control what the credit card company is reporting to the bureaus to use the system to your advantage.
Sam Robinson: Right.
Josh Mettle: That’s great. Okay, so you’re cruising along. You’re saving, you’re juicing your credit score, and what was the next successful action that you think that you took that made a difference?
Sam Robinson: From there I started talking to you about loan options and down payment requirements. What kind of payments I can expect and kind of get a general price range going and started on the pre-approval process.
Josh Mettle: So you filled out the client questionnaire. We really got all of the data into our loan system and we started looking at “All right, backing into a payment.” If I want a payment in this range, with this amount of down payment, what loan programs are going to work for you?
Sam Robinson: Right. Yeah.
Josh Mettle: Okay, cool. And this would have been what month?
Sam Robinson: I think it was middle of December.
Josh Mettle: Yeah.
Sam Robinson: When we started going that route.
Josh Mettle: Perfect. Okay. And then from there how did you … and then we got you pre-approved.
Sam Robinson: Right.
Josh Mettle: So you had a pre-approval letter and, again, people’s definitions of pre-approval letters vary greatly. You’re good. Or “Hey, lets…” and in your case you had income from different sources and your bonus and stuff like that, so we got a full verification of employment. We had the credit report at that point. We ran automated underwriting.
If there was anything funky in the profile, we would have submitted to our in house underwriter. I think that step of really going through a thorough credit and income approval, so that once you find a house, we can move fast. I think that’s a crucial step there.
Sam Robinson: Absolutely.
Josh Mettle: Okay. So then, how did you go about finding a house? What were the tools that you used?
Sam Robinson: You guys gave me Home Scout, which is absolutely awesome. I mean, you’ve got … actually so we started talking back in probably September, maybe a little earlier.
Josh Mettle: It was just a dream.
Sam Robinson: Yeah, right. And that’s when I really kind of got my hands on Home Scout and I kind of … my wife and I, we just started glancing at them. Figuring out what kind of price range we wanted to end up in. Just kind of getting our feet wet type of stuff and we really didn’t start aggressively looking until we got the pre-approval going and stuff like that.
Josh Mettle: Just out of curiosity, on Home Scout, were you both looking?
Sam Robinson: It was mostly me and then I’d show her the ones I liked.
Josh Mettle: You liked? Okay. And were you … did you go in and save your search so that you were getting an email notification anytime something hit the MLS?
Sam Robinson: Yeah, that was part of the best part of my day was getting a little email notification every … I don’t know how instant it is, but it felt like it was within an hour or two of the MLS listing hitting. That was one of my favorite emails to get.
Josh Mettle: Yeah. What I think is so cool about that is you can let that app, the Home Scout app, educate on the market without you having to remember every day to go in and update your search because that kind of gets tedious. Right?
Sam Robinson: Right.
Josh Mettle: But that save function enables you to draw a parameter. Put your search criteria in. You hit save. And then every time something … it’ll show you obviously what’s listed today, but if at 5 o’clock something new hits, it’s going to then send you that email. I’m in that process of house hunting and I’m doing the same thing and it’s awesome. It’s a cool tool.
Sam Robinson: Yeah it is.
Josh Mettle: Okay. So you started the education phase on where’s the market, where are prices in September-ish. So you had about four months of watching the market and just out of curiosity, did you notice any trends during that period of time? Was there anything that-
Sam Robinson: No, not really. It all seemed pretty same to me. Obviously it slowed down a ton probably the middle or beginning of December is when it really started slowing down and I didn’t see as many homes coming up.
Josh Mettle: Homes on the market. And then walk us through the process of okay, you’re now educated on the market, savings are going up, credit score is going up, now when you did you make the decision that okay, it’s time to engage a realtor and to go actually see some houses?
Sam Robinson: It was mostly just as soon as possible. When I knew I had enough in savings that I could do a nice down payment and I knew my credit was getting up there. A lot of these credit companies will … they’ll allow you to see your … I don’t know what kind of score it’s based on, but it’s not completely accurate score as far as mortgage scores go, but allow you to see it every week.
Josh Mettle: It gave you a trend at least.
Sam Robinson: Yeah, it shows you when it’s increasing. So I knew once it kind of jumped 20, 30 points I knew i was … it’s got to be as good as it’s going to get anytime soon.
Josh Mettle: Yeah, okay, cool. And then walk us through once you started working with the realtor, what were some of the things that you think you … that helped you get a home under contract and closed quickly?
Sam Robinson: Really just going back to Home Scout and being able to quickly see new homes that were coming up. We could quickly take a screenshot and send it to my realtor and we could try to get into the house to schedule a showing and then hopefully make an offer.
Josh Mettle: So did you find the house that you ended up buying with Home Scout? You found it first?
Sam Robinson: Yep.
Josh Mettle: Okay, perfect. And then you reached out to your realtor and said, “Hey, this might be one. Let’s go look at it.” Were there multiple offers on it?
Sam Robinson: This one, I think we made the first offer, but they did mention there were a couple of offers coming in afterwards. And they ended up going with ours.
Josh Mettle: Nice. So why do you think that is? What do you think about the way your offer was structured might have been enticing to the seller?
Sam Robinson: Honestly, I think it was probably the realtor. I knew that it was listed fairly high. I remember our realtor called the listing agent and kind of was talking to him like, “Hey, there’s no way it’s going to appraise for this much. We’re not … we’re going to offer you this. This is why.”
I think it was the clear communication between my realtor and their realtor and kind of setting them up and explaining exactly why we are offering what we’re offering. I think it kind of came to the listing agent in a good light and made us more trusting and more experienced.
Josh Mettle: Softened them up a little bit, but didn’t taken it in a confrontational approach.
Sam Robinson: Yeah.
Josh Mettle: I think having a good realtor who can have a conversation like that and not be offensive can go a long ways.
Sam Robinson: Absolutely.
Josh Mettle: Okay and then from the day you wrote your offer, how long was it until closing and just briefly tell us about how that went for you?
Sam Robinson: It went great. Our contract … we had a set month deadline of 30 days, which I was kind of pushing for 20 or something, but our realtor was like, “No, let’s give them a chance to move out because they were still in the home.” The seller was. And then started the loan process.
I got you guys all my documents, which at that point there really wasn’t anything. It was just my driver’s license, a new pay stub, and stuff like that. And then we ended up getting initial approval and I was excited to get that because I thought maybe there’d be more things for me to do because I was getting bored and I wanted to do something, to feel like I was doing something to help the process, but I just couldn’t do anything about it and that was crazy fast.
I think it was within three or four days we got that first underwriting approval and that was pretty much just all we needed at that point was the appraisal to be finished. And I think we were clear to close and ready to go, I think, a week later.
Josh Mettle: Wow awesome. And you ended up moving up your closing a little bit, didn’t you?
Sam Robinson: Yeah, definitely. We were scheduled to close the 13th of February and we ended up closing on the 1st of February.
Josh Mettle: Awesome.
Sam Robinson: So almost two weeks early.
Josh Mettle: Awesome. Well, congratulations.
Sam Robinson: Thanks.
Josh Mettle: Really cool milestone. I remember buying my first house, and it was a year and a half of getting in my realtor’s Cadillac and driving around and seeing houses, and I didn’t have the ability to search for homes and so I’d have a weekend. I’d go look for a couple homes and then I’d get frustrated or bored and then I’d go find another one, and I’m just really glad that you guys had a great experience. Congratulations on your new house.
Sam Robinson: Thank you.
Josh Mettle: And any other … anything else you want to share?
Sam Robinson: No, I don’t think so.
Josh Mettle: All right, man. Well, thanks. It was a pleasure.
Sam Robinson: Thanks.
Josh Mettle: So thanks for spending a few minutes and listening to Sam’s story. It was a lot of fun working with him. We love working with first time home buyers and guiding them through the process. I’d also love to share the Home Scout app with you. It is the only real estate app that I’m aware of that has 100% access to every MLS in the United States.
It gives you the ability to search for a home exactly like a realtor would search for a home with that live access. What a lot of people don’t realize and I didn’t realize for a long time is that Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com; these companies are media companies. Not real estate companies and because they are not real estate companies, they don’t have those direct feeds into the MLS systems so that means they’re not getting all of the listings.
It means the listings that they’re getting are often on delay and in the seminar that I attended where they compared an actual MLS to what was on Zillow, 47% of the information was erroneous, dated, not accurate or complete. So, this is an app that Sam used successfully. I’m currently using and love and we’d love you to take a look at it.
Download for FREE today: https://homescout.app.link/SEARCHBETTER
Josh Mettle is an industry leading author and mortgage lender, specializing in financing physicians, dentists, CRNAs, and physician assistants. You can enjoy great physician real estate and mortgage advice here or by visiting his book site. Josh is also a fourth generation real estate investor, and owns a number of rental homes, apartment units and mortgages. Josh is dedicated to helping physicians become more financially aware and able; listen to “Physician Financial Success” podcast episodes or download Josh’s latest tips and advice here.
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