Monday, August 6, 2018

Hip in Detroit Talks Buying and Selling Real Estate with Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg

Buying a house has always intimidated the hell out of me. I consider myself to be a semi-intelligent person, but when it comes to home buying, selling, financing, or upkeep, I know very little. That extreme lack of knowledge feels a little bit embarrassing, so I've never stepped up and learned about how someone looks into and buys a house. That being said, I realized that if I was too shy to reach out and learn more about real estate, there was probably a lot of people who felt the same way. So, I reached out to local real estate agent Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg to learn more about the art of buying and selling. You may know Ryan as the legendary drummer of Detroit's own The Suicide Machines, but he's also one of the best house hustlers in town. So, I interviewed him and asked him all the questions I always wished I could ask someone in the business. Check out what he has to say and find out all the basic information that you always wanted to know about real estate buying.

HID-How do you know when it’s “time to buy a house”?
Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg- "That is up to the buyer! People need to by all the time for different reasons. Job transfer, growing family, divorce, downsizing, etc. Sometimes it’s not completely
out of necessity and people just want something different, or maybe they’ve had
their eye on a particular neighborhood. Although our current market is considered
a “sellers market”, I’ve still been able to find great things for my buyers all over.
And we are starting to see more and more sellers come onto the market in late
summer after seeing what happened with pricing earlier in the spring."

HID- How should you determine what areas to look for a home in?
Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg- "There are a few things to consider when choosing an area. How long do you plan on staying in the house? Is it an area that sells quickly if you were to be
transferred or have to move suddenly? Are you looking to make some quick cash
by buying a fixer upper? How important is the distance between your house your
job? Do you have (or plan to have) kids? If so, would you be satisfied with the
school district now or a few years down the road? How much can you afford in
annual property taxes? Is the amount of square footage more important than all of
these other things? Depending on what’s important to you, we can zero in on an
area that can check as many of these boxes as possible."

HID- How much money does someone realistically have to have to even think about buying a house?
Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg- "It’s tough to pin a specific dollar amount or percentage because that depends more so on what types of loan programs you may qualify for. With an FHA loan
you can get a house with as little as 3% down. There are some conventional
programs that also allow as little as 3.5% down, but keep in mind that there are
multiple other costs besides your down payment such as inspection fees,
appraisal fees, homeowners insurance policy, title fees, and lender fees, etc. (all
of which must be paid prior to and/or at the closing). Online mortgage calculators
can be deceiving because they tend to leave these expenses, and often property
taxes, out of the equation."

HID- How does credit affect you when you are buying a house?
Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg- "Lower credit scores usually mean a higher cost of borrowing money. Lenders base their program ability off of multiple factors but one of the biggest is your
credit score. If you’ve got some blemishes on your report, I recommend clearing
up as many as possible before applying with a lender. Do all you can to get your
score as high as possible."

HID- What is the biggest mistake you see first time buyers making?
Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg- "Many buyers want to start looking at houses asap before talking to a lender. I can’t stress how important it is to have a solid reputable lender lined up before
beginning your house search. Often times I have clients with great paying jobs
who don’t realize that things like student loans can have a huge impact on how
much (or little) a bank will lend them based on their debt to income ratio. It can be
an eye opening experience to talk the numbers with a lender and not only see
what you qualify for, but also what a payment may look like once you factor in your
taxes and insurance costs. This also goes for the cash needed to cover closing
costs on a house. I’ve had buyers fall in love with a house only to find out that it
wasn’t within their price range, or even worse, they find a house they want and
there are multiple offers submitted, but they don’t have a pre-approval letter
because they haven’t applied with a lender yet."

HID- How do you know when it is time to sell?
Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg- "Only a seller can really answer that question. The more important question/answer is where you’d like to be next. The current market is definitely stacked in favor of
sellers and it is a great time to cash out some equity in your existing house. Just
keep in mind that depending on the area where you’d like to go and what type of
home you’re looking for could also be in high demand."

HID- What can you do to get your home ready to sell?
Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg- "The most effective things are usually the easiest. Clean up the yard. Trim the trees. Wash the windows. Deep clean the inside of the house including the
baseboards. I always recommend decluttering as much of the house as possible.
This includes piecing out huge sectional sofas and multiple recliners, etc. The
more furniture you have in a room, the smaller it is going to look. Take your
toaster, blender, juicer, food processor, crock pot, and put them all away in the
cabinets to show that you have tons of counter space. Less is usually more."

HID- What is the number one problem to look for when you are looking at a home?
Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg- "The most important thing about any house is how functional it’s going to be for the buyer. If you are looking to cut your commute but find an amazing house an hour
from your job, chances are pretty high that you’ll either change your mind about
driving or be shopping again in a year or two. As far as structural items, it’s
imperative to hire a good home inspector who will check out all the systems of a
house. Don’t use your friend/family member who is a contractor...they may know
how to build houses now, but chances are pretty good that they probably didn’t
build them in 1930 or whenever your potential house may have been built. Home
inspectors are trained to find red flags on the inside and out."

HID- What's the hardest part about buying a house in your opinion?
Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg- "The hardest thing for first time buyers is probably knowing when they’ve found “the one”. Often times people will be apprehensive to place an offer on a house
because they don’t know if something better may be around the corner.
Unfortunately in the current type of market, buyers have to move somewhat
quickly because good houses that are priced correctly usually don’t last more than
a weekend. I usually try to get clients through at least 4-6 houses the first couple
times we go out so that they can start to get a good idea of what you can get for
$x, or what you might expect for $x more."

HID- Why do you like being a real estate agent?
Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg- "I like real estate because I’m kind of a house nerd. My parents were builders and we’ve built and rehabbed quite a few houses over the past 30 years. I still invest in
properties and I am constantly stopping in open houses weather they are in the
areas I work or not. Working with buyers and sellers was the next logical step. I
like helping people get to whatever their next step might be."

HID- What does your dream house look like?
Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg- "It depends on the day of the week! Sometimes I get obsessed with mid-century type of stuff where they’ve kept a good amount of the original finishes. Lately I
can’t stop checking out the brick tudors like you’d see in Sherwood
Forest/University District. They have a kind of character that you don’t see in new
construction unless you’ve got endless funds."

HID- Give us your top 3 tips for buying or selling a home.
Ryan Vandeberghe-Malburg- "3 Tips for buyers: 1) Get pre-approved with a known area lender as soon as possible. Which lender you choose can potentially help you out in a multiple offer
situation. 2) Make a list of the most important features of a house (size, location,
floor plan features, etc) and go over them with your agent so they can zero in on
exactly what it is that you’re looking for. 3) Try to not fall in love with a house
immediately. I know it’s hard to do, and you are supposed to love what you’re
buying but keep in mind that once you are head over heels, you will lose some of
your bargaining power for fear of losing the house. Keep in mind that if you lose
out on a multiple offer situation, there will be another!
3 Tips for sellers 1) Hire an experienced full time agent that is familiar with your
area. 2) Staging before photos and showings will go a long way. You don’t have to
change out everything in your house, but remember that you are trying to show
that your house will work for EVERY potential buyer. The current furniture layout
may be comfortable and functional for your family but may not highlight a room the
way it should. 3) When pricing, trying to be a “10” in your price range will help
encourage multiple offers where you will not only be able to get more money, but
also may be able to pick and choose additional terms of an offer that may be just
as important as price."

If you want to learn more about homes from Ryan, reach out and work with him to find the perfect place! You can also follow him on Facebook here. Thanks for making that issue a little bit less confusing and intimidating for me!


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