Second Time’s a Charm – Joe and Christine Testimonial

I just closed on a home for some buyer’s out of Seattle, WA who found me on the Internet a few months ago. Joe and Christine first found a short-sale in Berry Creek and after several months of working with the bank, the deal fell through. They were troopers though, and they didn’t get discouraged…within a few days of looking, we found a second home in the Estates of Westlake and closed it in 30 days!

Check out the video below and tell me if you notice the “I just bought a home” glow:) Or maybe it’s the “Edward, your video camera fetish is embarrassing us.” glow. Either way, they put up with me and that’s what makes them cool.

Building in Sun City, Texas from the East coast – Roke Testimonial

Fran and Linda Roke and their friend, Lorraine, are some great folks.  They moved to Georgetown, Texas from Connecticut and decided to build a home in Sun City, Texas right next to each other!  I had the honor of overseeing the construction of both homes and coordinating for any third party vendors to get into the home.  It’s hard enough to build a home, let alone do it from out-of-state!  We accomplished this through lots of email and phone calls and some occasional You Tube videos of the home’s progress.  Check out the video testimonial below!

What Documentation Is Needed to Apply for an FHA Loan?

What Documentation Is Needed to Apply for an FHA Loan?

Buying a home can be a trying experience. From negotiating a price to home inspections; whether it’s your first or fifth time there always seems to be surprises. Being as prepared as possible to meet with a lender will help make qualifying for an FHA backed loan a more pleasurable experience.

A loan officer will need several pieces of information, both personal and financial, to help you qualify for an FHA loan. The information is required of both you and a co-borrower if applicable. Bring this information with you to your first meeting with the FHA loan officer.

  • Your Social Security number
  • The addresses of all the places you have lived in the past two years
  • The names and addresses of all the places you have worked in the past two years
  • Your Gross Monthly Income (before taxes) or your current job or jobs
  • Pay stubs from the past four weeks
  • W-2 forms from all employers for the past two years
  • Personal tax returns for the past two years
  • Information about all current bank accounts
  • Bank name and address
  • Account numbers
  • Current available balance
  • Average balance over the past six months
  • Information regarding all current loans
  • School loans
  • Credit cards
  • Car loans
  • Any other loan – Information should include; account numbers, loan balance and minimum monthly payments
  • Information regarding any other real estate you own
  • The approximate value of your personal property including; jewelry, cars, bonds, etc
  • Self-employed individuals will be required to furnish a business balance sheet and current income statement
  • A certificate of eligibility is required for Veterans

Additionally, you should be prepared to pay for a credit check and property appraisal.

Being fully prepared for your first appointment with a loan officer will ensure fewer surprises on the road to home ownership.

(Article courtesy of www.fhaloansource.com.  Interested in advertising or posting content on www.GeorgetownCustomHomes.com/blog that will be beneficial to my readership?  Please contact me for details.)

I want to make a bunch of “lowball” offers, can you help?

a1With the type of real estate market we’re in right now, many of us are looking for GREAT DEALS…buying opportunities that come around just once in a lifetime.

And if we can’t find the great deals, we think we can create them with a wonderful thing called the “lowball offer.”  Now, technically there is no real definition of what constitutes a lowball offer, except that it’s low ofcourse.  In the market that I’m used to working in (Greater Austin), anything more than 10% off a reasonable list price is considered a lowball offer.  I say “reasonable list price” because there are plenty of agents who list their homes way to high, just to get the listing, and an offer of 10% off list price would actually put the home at market value!

Well, the question that you have to ask is:  Is it worthwhile for a buyer to pursue this strategy for their next home or investment?

I received an email from a client regarding this very thing and I wanted to share my response with my readers:

I know this sounds bad…but given the market conditions and how many houses seem to be going up I want to buy something for what I consider a steal…I am sure there may be buyers in front of me but I figure what the heck I might as well try. We really are happy renting as we will be moving in 2 years for sure into Austin and will turn it into a rental property or sell it. I guess I would be willing to lob bids in on properties in the $125k area for sellers that are desperate. Tell me if I am wrong but, from what I have read, I think that should be doable if I am patient, and like I said I am buying for the bargain, not b/c we particularly need or want a house in Gtown. Your thoughts are appreciated! – JW

Dear JW –

Hmmm, you bring up some interesting points.

You’re not the only one wanting to snag a steal…I do too…in any market!  However, there is a reason why I, as a guy involved full time in real estate, have never gotten a good as a deal as you’re wanting to get through the lowball method even though I own 5 homes:

1.  I’m not savvy enough
2.  I don’t have the patience
3.  I haven’t been in the right place at the right time
4.  I never offered anything that lowball and it got accepted.

I’d say it is a combination of maybe all 4 of those reasons to some degree.  However, my goal is to own homes, not make offers, so eventually I need to be able to use the resources I have (time, money, patience, savviness – i know i didn’t spell that right), however limited they may be, and buy something.  Not because I need to, but because I want to.  For me, it’s better to own 5 pretty good deals, then 1 super great deal.

I don’t know how productive it would be for me to make the 50 offers for you just to get 1 accepted…..especially if I’m not willing to do it for myself! That is a full time job…and I already have one.  In my early (read: desperate) years of real estate when I had time to twiddle my thumbs, I helped a lady do this and we made a good handful of offers….in the end, all I did was spend my time and money and she never bought a home. I told myself that in the future I would never do that again.  If somebody insisted that I represent them on making lowball offers on a multitude of properties, I could only justify it from a business standpoint if I charged my client for every offer made.

If you’re trying to get a home for $125K and it’s worth $150k, why would the owner lose $25k to you when they can just lower the asking price to $135k (10% below market value!) and still sell it quickly and for $10k over what you’re offering?  What you’re trying to do can and has been done….but I haven’t personally been able to be successful with it.  Believe me, I’ve tried.

BOTTOM LINE: Value is not determined by how much of a discount you can get off a home.  To many lowballers think that if they can get a huge discount off the home, they can brag to their friend’s “I’m da man!” yet really have no idea of the true value of what they bought.  I would much rather determine the value of a home and purchase it at a great price rather then feel the need to have to lowball everything in sight.  I guess what I’m saying is that you don’t have to lowball (offer a ridiculously low amount) a home in order to get a great deal.  Real estate investing is determined by the end result…how many homes you own is more important than how many offers you’ve made. Case in point:

On the market today is a home on 1125 Boxwood Loop in the city of Georgetown, Texas.  It’s listed for $157,500 and is 1953 SF.  If you are an investor or homeowner, I can help you own this home for probably around $150,000.  Is that a lowball offer?  No.  Is it a great price?  Well, let’s just say that it will be the second cheapest home to sell in Georgetown Village since January of 2005 (according to the MLS).  I’d say that’s a great deal!  Interested?  Call me before I buy it for myself.


Berry Creek in Georgetown, Texas – What you can get for just under $400K (if you’re lucky)

I’m helping a friend of mine buy a large home and we ran across this home on 13 Sarazen Loop. This home is located in Berry Creek, a private golf course community in Georgetown, Texas that has homes ranging from the high $100’s to the $700’s and up.

One of the services that I provide my buyers is that I take pictures of the interior of the home for them and then post them on my Picassa Web Album. I forward my clients a link to the pictures so they can share them with family and friends, and “re-visit” the home conveniently through the Internet in case they forgot how something looked like.

What I’m field testing now is using video instead. This enables my client to get a better feel for how the rooms are connected, something that pictures can’t do. It also allows me the creative freedom to play around with iMovie on my Mac and still call it work:) So recently, I’ve been getting more familiar with YouTube to upload my videos. Check out my profile here

The beauty of using YouTube is that I can give my clients a better feel for the home and at the same time, I can use the videos to give the “outside” world a tour of the local Georgetown, Texas real estate market. So here’s the rookie tour…hope you don’t get motion sickness. I’m still working on technique.

You can read more details on Berry Creek Country Club and search all the homes available in Georgetown golf course communities through this page: Golf courses in Georgetown Texas

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