Real Estate Q & A On The Market, Searches and Repairs

James Dainard, Co-Founder of Heaton Dainard Real Estate has completed over a thousand real estate transactions in Western Washington. We are giving you the opportunity to ask an expert your top real estate investment questions.

“There is so much information out there about the real estate market – how do I even begin to sort through it? How do I know I’m getting accurate information?”

Always take the time to fully research each and every aspect of the buying process. With the huge amount of information out there, it can be easy to just take one article at face value. Work with a mortgage broker to help you get the best rate, line up financing so you are prepared to buy whenever the perfect opportunity arises. There is no way to time a home purchase, nor should you say “no” to the perfect home just because you think mortgage rates might go down next month. Do the research to learn about the market. Look at enough properties to do comparisons. And most importantly, do not rush through the home-buying process. Find the home that is right for you, and purchase it on your own schedule. The right time to buy depends on your personal situation as a buyer.

“Should I actually factor in school districts that strongly when searching for a home?”

Yes, paying attention to school districts is extremely important for many reasons. First off, homes located near a good school district tend to cost more. Families will most willingly pay the extra for a home located in a good school district. Schools are what establish areas as “good vs. bad,” and an excellent school district can almost ensure a safer neighborhood. While it may cost more to buy in a good school district, it will help increase resale value. Parents will always want the best school they can afford for their children, and this will influence the house they buy. Regardless of how long you want to own this house, it is always important to factor in resale value. Even as a buyer, you should always think like a seller. Location, particularly school districts, should be considered when buying, as they provide neighborhood and resale security.

“How should I go about negotiating repairs after a home inspection?”

First, ask for a credit for the work to be done on the house. The sellers are most likely packing up, dreaming of their new home, and not thinking of all the repairs that need to be completed. They are unlikely to treat the work as a high priority. Look into taking a cash-back credit at the close – you can use that money to complete the projects yourself, on your own time, and to your own level of satisfaction. If you get the credit, there will be less confusion, later on, to confirm that the work has actually been completed. Secondly, be careful what is said out loud to the listing agent. If you mention a plan to renovate the kitchen, then sellers will certainly hear about it, and they will be less likely to offer credit for kitchen repairs. Finally, remember that you should never complete the original contract assuming that you can negotiate repairs later on. If the inspection comes back flawless, or if the market is competitive, negotiations could alienate the sellers or give them a reason to choose another buyer.

About the author...

James Dainard is Co-Founder and Managing Principal at Heaton Dainard. As Managing Principal, he is responsible for the development and execution of corporate strategies, marketing, and property acquisitions. James has been actively investing in multifamily and single family units in the Puget Sound region for over ten years, and leads a dynamic team that exceeded sales volumes in 2015 of over $143 million with over 400 closed transactions. During this time he purchased over $50 million worth of investment properties and sold over $93 million in listed properties with an average market time of 25 days. His business acumen adds value to Heaton Dainard by providing investors with inventory and multiple exit strategies. James graduated from University of Washington Foster School of Business with a focus in finance and marketing and was recently honored by the Puget Sound Business Journal with the 40 under 40 award which recognizes business and community leaders under the age of 40 throughout the greater Puget Sound.

REAPS is the oldest – and largest - Professional Association for the real estate investor this side of the Mississippi. We provide education and networking resources for real estate investors, those who want to be investors and anyone who provides value to our members. Our goals are to motivate and support our members and guests through education, discussion, legislative action and networking. We host over 40 live events a year around Puget Sound and they are all open to the public. If you've never attended one of our meetings, just email our office at [email protected] and be our guest for free!"

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