Advice For Dallas Home Buyers - M Streets Home Tour
Some of the best REALTORS® in Dallas hosted a tour in one of the area's most coveted zip codes this weekend - Dallas's M Streets. We stopped in to visit the 14 homes for sale and their listing agents. Not only did we get to visit some fantastic homes, but we got some great advice for home buyers looking to enter the market this spring.
"Being educated in this market is powerful."
- Mandy Mahoney, Compass
What are the pros of buying a home during the busy spring season?
Kyle Baugh: The biggest pro in the spring season is that there's so much more inventory. If somebody doesn't have to list their home at a certain time, they're going to list it in the spring because they know that's when there are the most buyers. Versus in the winter, when you may have one or two properties show up on your search every week, in the spring you'll have eight to ten. If you want options, spring is when you get the options. Also, you get to see the home in the best light - springtime, the flowers are out, the weather is great.
Mandy Mahoney: The best part of being a buyer in the spring season is seeing all the great new inventory come onto the market. Much like the seasons, there's a hibernation period, and then this is the time when everyone is listing.
Eve Holder: Whenever you start buying in the spring and summer, the benefit to the buyer is that you have more options. The negative is that you have more buyers to compete with.For those of you who feel like the market is changing, I want to clarify that we've been in a not normal market for about 5 years. So anything that you're feeling in our market, if it's anything different than it has been in the last 5 years - it's normalizing.
Laurie Welch: The biggest pro is all the inventory. A lot of people wait to put their house on the market until March, April, and even May because it's the end of school season, and that helps people to be able to close and move after school.
What mistakes should home buyers try to avoid in 2019?
Courtney Michalek: Not asking enough questions. Because this is a competitive market and everyone wants to get their offer in, but it's important to ask a lot of questions, ask for repairs on things, etc.
Laurie Welch: I think the biggest mistake people are making is relying on Zillow and Realtor.com and all those, and taking them as fact,. You really need to get with an agent, someone you trust and really want to partner with. I would say about a third of my transactions are done off market. Really good agents are privy to so much information that Zillow and others - and they're great sites to educate yourself with, I'm not saying don't look online, because they're wonderful. They really give the buyer power and knowledge. But agents are privy to a lot of things that they are not.
Mandy Mahoney: There's been a little bit of a shift in our market - not in a bad way - but some buyers are maybe waiting a little too long to make a decision, assuming that these houses are going to sit on the market, and they're not. Other buyers are coming out - so make sure, if it's something you like, make an offer.
Eve Holder: In a changing market, I think that you have to listen to your Realtor. Because as Realtors, it's not our house, it's not our mortgage, and we don't care which house you buy - we want you to buy the house that's right for you. So if your agent is giving you advice with regard to pricing and things of that nature, listen to them. Because we sell houses all year long, and this might be your first house, or one of a few that you ever buy - so trust your Realtor.
Scott Jackson: Waiting because you think something is going to get better. When you see something you like, you need to be able to make a move on it.
I've decided to buy a home, what's the very first thing I should do?
Mandy Mahoney: Oh my gosh, get pre-approved - please! Either your agent or I can help you find a great lender.
Scott Jackson: Talk to the lender. Get yourself qualified and make sure you can write a contract that's a little bit cleaner. You'll be able to negotiate better if you get all your lending stuff in place.
Eve Holder: Call Eve Holder at 214.682.0322! But if you already have an agent, because there are amazing agents out there, call a lender. You need to have clarity on how much you can spend, and how you're going to put that together, so that when you find a house you can make an offer.
Laurie Welch: You want to get pre-qualified, but even before that, you want to get your goals, what you want in line. Typically someone lives in a house - 7 years is the average - so where d you want to be the next 7 years. It can be a lifetime investment, but probably only 7 years. So you want to think about - do you want a three bedroom? Is the kitchen important? Is the backyard important? Do yu want a hjighrise, a condo in Uptown? What are your goals for the next 5-7 years?
What's your best advice for a first time home buyer?
Eve Holder: There are a lot of home buyers, especially first time home buyers, that think that they don't need an agent because there's so much out there online. And I can certainly understand why you would think that, but what you need to understand is that listing agents are contractually obligated that all of our actions and all of our words are to the benefit of our seller. No matter how nice I am, I'm working for the seller. And if you have a buyer's agent, you have someone who's going to support you in a contractual way.
Mandy Mahoney: I think the best advice for a first time buyer is to interview the agent that you're going to work with. Ask questions, about their business, where they work, and find the right person that's the right fit for you. Then sit down with them and have a consultation about the types of properties you're looking for, and talk about the process. Being educated in this market is powerful.
Courtney Michalek: Explore your options. Read up about the process, and USE AN AGENT! Call me, I'd love to help you! 513.227.4990.
Laurie Welch: First time buyers are so precious, it's so exciting and usually they're just engaged or got married or pregnant. I'm a big proponent of a budget. You don't want to spend all that you have; you don't want to be house poor. So figure out what you want to spend and then partner with an agent and let her talk you through what's important to you. Is an elementary school important to you, or having fun, lifestyle important?
Scott Jackson: Get an experienced Realtor to work with. Find an area you like and go around the areas that you're comfortable with - and then let your Realtor show you some places that maybe you're not aware of.
What's the most important thing that someone from another city needs to know about moving to DFW or the M Streets specifically?
Courtney Michalek: Have a really good air conditioning system because it is HOT here. Seriously, Dallas is such an easy place to live. I came here from Ohio, and I would just say be prepared for the heat, and have a swimming pool that looks like this:
Laurie Welch: Please move to Dallas! It's so much fun. There are so many people moving to Dallas that when you get here, there will be a lot of other people new to town. Dallas has a wonderful social life, a mix of old and new, and you'll have an easy time figuring out where to be and where to live and how to find your groove.
Mandy Mahoney: The M Streets are very special. The location is phenomenal. You're minutes away from downtown, Uptown. There are great restaurants just down the street. You can literally walk to the restaurants and shopping on Henderson and Greenville - you're right in the thick of everything.
Scott Jackson: For the M Streets, I think you're going to like the walkability and the friendliness of the neighbors. A lot of people come here for the sticks and bricks, but they end up staying around because of the neighbors.
Eve Holder: I've lived in East Dallas since 1995...(it's the coolest part of Dallas). I love East Dallas. It feels like a small town that's close to downtown. So you're accessible to all the cool stuff you get in an urban environment, but it's very niche-y. There aren't big neighborhood developments here, there are older, smaller neighborhoods that each has their own flavor. And whether it's a craftsman home, Tudor, mid-century modern, each one of them is very special. Some neighborhoods are conservation districts, some are historic, and some are not. Having an agent who really knows East Dallas is important because it's a really unique area.
THE M STREETS HOME TOUR