WHY I BECAME A REALTOR®

Would you apply for a job if the classified ad looked like this?

Professional needed — Must have extensive knowledge of area and geography, exceptional interpersonal relations and superior negotiation skills. Willing to work nights and weekends. Will need to generate leads consistently (and handle rejection), since more than 75% of leads will not result in actual transactions. Contact us today!

I did. And I love it!

I think it’s important that you know just why I became a REALTOR® — and why I work so hard for my clients.

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Mortgage Background

During the real estate “boom” of the early 2000s — which became the real estate “bubble” that burst a few years later — I was actually working on the mortgage loan side of the business.  

The first lender I worked for was one of the biggest names in the industry. And although I saw a lot of loan officers go for the fast and easy money, I refused to put people in loans that they wouldn’t be able to handle (especially the adjustable mortgages).

The second company I worked for was a much smaller lender, but the bubble at that time was about to burst (and the recession was beginning) — so the leads began to dry up and everybody was struggling.

I’m proud that I never put a client in a bad loan, and that I did my very best to clearly explain to each and every customer what they were getting into when they signed those papers. And those experiences would serve me well in future years, both as a REALTOR® and as a homebuyer myself.

Lessons Learned From Personal Experience

My husband and I have bought and sold a few homes, and we had different experiences each time — some good, some bad … but I learned something from each and every one of them.

I learned that every client (including myself) wants a REALTOR® who is:

  • Hard-working. Someone who’s committed to doing the legwork to find the right place.
  • Dependable. Someone who arrives at the right place at the right time — and is available beyond regular working hours.
  • Honest. Someone who tells the truth at all times — even when it’s not what a client wants to hear.
  • Attentive. Someone who listens to the client’s “wants” and “needs” — and doesn’t waste their time by showing them homes that are clearly not the right fit.
  • Detail-oriented. Someone who makes sure all paperwork is accurate, and that every person involved in the transaction has all the information and forms they need.
  • Knowledgeable. Someone who is up-to-date on market conditions and prices, geographic areas, communities, neighborhoods, etc. — and has resources such as lenders, appraisers, stagers, and other related professionals.

My 5 Goals For Every Client Relationship

  1. To help each client find the right home at the right price. I make sure their mortgage professional gets them the right type of loan at a good interest rate.
  2. To be friendly. We’re in a “people” business, and being professional and courteous helps put everyone at ease.
  3. To be honest. It’s how I am at work and in my personal life. I have no time for anything less than the truth, and my clients deserve 100% transparency.
  4. To be reliable. I will be there when I say I will, and my clients can depend on me for answers, advice and encouragement.
  5. To help my clients understand everything, every step of the way. Combining my mortgage experience with my personal home-buying knowledge, I’m able to walk my clients through the entire home-buying process.

The Bottom Line

I love my job. I get to help people find a place to live — whether it’s a single person or a big extended family — and I take that responsibility very seriously. I do my very best to make sure that they’re truly happy they chose me as their REALTOR®. 

So now you know my story! Tell me yours — and how I can help you buy, sell or lease your next home. Contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

© 2014 Shannon Rubin.

 

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5 Things To Know About Homeownership In Your 20s

If we all went by movies and TV shows, our 20s are for getting that first job, having that first “real” relationship, and moving into that first apartment. (And of course, PARTYING.)

But your life doesn’t have to conform to by pop culture’s expectations. You’ve got goals and dreams that may not match up with the latest “group of friends trying to have it all” sitcom.

For example, there’s no rule or law that says you can’t or shouldn’t buy a home in your 20s. It could be the right thing for you — but before you go get a mortgage, please read these things you need to know about becoming a homeowner:

1) You’re not too young to buy.
Like I said above, there’s no rule or law that says you can’t or shouldn’t buy a home. In fact, if you’re in good financial standing (see #2, 3 and 4), it could make sense for you to make the investment and start building equity.

2) Your credit report and credit score both matter. A lot. (And they’re different things.)
A credit report tracks your debts — whether they’re paid off or not — as well as each time you apply for credit (ex.: making major purchases like a car or home). Lenders will look at your report to see if you are a good credit risk.

Your credit score, which is somewhere between 300 – 850, is based on a formula that takes into account your existing debts and limits, your payment history, how many types of credit accounts you have, and a few other variables. The higher your score, the better.

The bottom line: Having a “clean” credit report and a higher credit score can mean you’ll qualify for a better interest rate on your mortgage loan.

3) The bigger the down payment, the better off you are.
To be clear, you can buy a home without putting any money down. But if you are able to put down some money up front (maybe you have some savings or just put away a nice haul of birthday checks), that can help lower your monthly payments — just like you do with a car purchase.

4) Shop around for a good mortgage person and rate.
There are thousands of mortgage lenders out there, and it’s best to meet with a few (or at least call/email several of them) to find one that you connect with. Check the Internet for testimonials and take a peek at their LinkedIn profile, because positive reviews are a great sign.

5) Find a REALTOR® you trust that will work hard on your behalf.
You may have a realtor in your family or circle of friends, and that can work wonderfully. If you don’t know one, or you prefer to keep “personal” and “business” apart, you can do an Internet search (same as above for mortgage lenders), and maybe find a company/broker you like (they range from small, independent brokers to the nationwide companies like Coldwell Banker) or just ask around your personal and professional networks.

The bottom line: Consider your options carefully — and don’t rule out homeownership, regardless of your age.

Whether you’re ready to buy a home in your 20s, 30s , 40s or never, I hope you find this advice helpful!

 

Whatever your age, you need a REALTOR® who understands your needs. Contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

© 2014 Shannon Rubin.

Rave Reviews: Brandi P. (Princeton, TX)

“Shannon definitely takes the time to get to know her clients’ needs and wants. She made sure we felt safe with the house we bought, and that we would be truly happy living there.

She went out of her way to get to us if we were unable to meet with her — that was very helpful, too.

I will be using her again in the future. DEFINITELY RECOMMENDED!”

—Brandi P., Princeton

 

Looking for a REALTOR® who will get the job done? Contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

© 2014 Shannon Rubin.

Dallas Cowboys To Locate World HQ + Training Facility in Frisco!

Although I’m from Philadelphia and grew up rooting for the Eagles, I’m thrilled that the Dallas Cowboys have chosen my adopted hometown of Frisco for their new world headquarters and indoor practice facility.

(You can read more about it at the Dallas Morning News article here.) 

FOOTBALL!

Image courtesy of Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There are lots of reasons that this is a great thing for Frisco:

—It’s great publicity for Frisco — which is already the fastest-growing city in the country from 2000-2009 (according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics) and named one of the top 100 places to live in the United States by Money magazine.

—It will strengthen Frisco’s reputation for sports — joining FC Dallas, the Frisco RoughRiders, Dr Pepper Arena, the Dallas StarCenter Frisco, and other pro and amateur teams and venues.

—It will bring increased tax revenue to the city, which it can use to maintain our infrastructure as the city grows.

—It will attract more businesses in the surrounding areas, meaning more jobs and more money being spent in Frisco.

—It will bring football fans and tourists to training camp, leading to more money being spent here.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

And for us folks with real estate on the brain, here are four more reasons this is big news:

Increased local and regional real estate values and prices.

—More construction projects will likely be started by builders.

—More people will want to move here (as this strengthens Frisco’s reputation as a great place to live and raise a family).

—Community involvement from the team — they already have an agreement where Frisco ISD can use the facilities for high school football and soccer games, graduation ceremonies, band competitions and other events; and the city of Frisco can use the facility up to 6 times a year for events.

It’s safe to say that Frisco is looking forward to the facility’s opening in 2016 — and the benefits of a 25-year agreement with the Cowboys!

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Frisco — or anywhere in the DFW Metroplex — let me show you what a great teammate I can be.  

Call me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

© 2014 by Shannon Rubin.

How to Buy a Home With Bad Credit

Lots of people are dealing with bad credit. (No judgments here!)

You could have credit issues for a wide variety of reasons:

Maybe you made some bad decisions…

Maybe you were just unlucky…

Or maybe your credit report has errors that you don’t know about— a recent study shows that 1 in 4 Americans have had issues with their credit report.

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But it’s not impossible to buy a home with bad credit — maybe tougher than normal, but it can be done. Here’s how:

1) Know your score.

First, you need to know where you stand in the credit world. Find someone you trust who can “pull” your credit. (I don’t usually recommend those “free credit check” websites — they usually require a subscription.)

Once you see what’s on your credit report, it might just mean paying off some credit cards or a medical bill — which could be the difference in qualifying for a mortgage.

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“37% of American adults admit they don’t know their credit score.”

(Source: FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Sallie Mae,
TransUnion, Experian, U.S. Department of Housing;
http://www.statisticbrain.com/credit-score-statistics/)

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2) Find a loan officer.

If you already know someone in the business, great. If not, chances are a friend or colleague knows a mortgage loan professional who can help. (I’m happy to refer you to one of my trusted colleagues.)

You definitely need a hard-working pro who you can trust. Their main responsibility is helping you find which loan programs and amounts that you qualify for and fit your budget.

3) Develop your plan of action.

If your credit issues need serious work and you don’t qualify for a mortgage loan right away, you might have to postpone your house purchase — but not forever.

Now that you know what your credit issues are, you can work towards paying off old debts and getting them removed from your credit report.

Also, there may be sellers who will consider working with you by way of asking for a larger down payment. This could require a multi-month plan to save cash for your down payment.

4) Think before you budget.

We’d all like a big mansion for the price of an efficiency apartment. But in reality, it’s crucial to look for a house that fits your budget.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice house in a good neighborhood with exemplary schools and a beautiful park. It just means you need to ask yourself some very important questions:

  • How much of a down payment can you afford?
  • How much of a total monthly payment can you afford?
  • What kind of term loan would you like (how many years — 15, 30, etc.)?
  • What interest rate can you qualify for?
  • What’s your loan-to-value ratio? (Divide mortgage loan amount by the fair market of the home value.)
    Ex.: A $150,000 loan on a home appraised at $200,000 = an LTV of 75%.
    Note: Most mortgage loans with an LTV that’s more than 80% require private mortgage insurance.
  • What can you afford to pay in yearly property taxes?
  • What can you afford to pay for yearly property insurance?

Try the “How Much Can You Afford?” calculator from “Freddie Mac” here.

(Freddie Mac is the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.)

Bad credit? Mediocre credit? Good credit? Excellent credit? Whatever your score, I know how to help you find your next home.

Call me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

© 2013 by Shannon Rubin.

Rave Reviews: Alyssa G. (Dallas, TX)

“Shannon was an invaluable resource to us during our process of looking for a new apartment to rent. She helped identify options, coordinated appointments and advocated for us as we finalized our lease.”

“Shannon is fantastic to work with, and I don’t think we could have done it without her! I highly recommend contacting Shannon if you’re looking to rent or buy a property.”

—Alyssa G., Dallas


Looking for a REALTOR® who will get the job done? Contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

© 2013 Shannon Rubin.

Quick —— Buy a Home by the End of the Year!

OK, this particular blog entry isn’t for everyone. Even if you’re not looking to buy a home right now, the message is worth keeping in mind for your next home search:

There are lots of great reasons to buy a home before the end of the year.

Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here are some of them:

  • Mortgage rates are still relatively low.

They’re not as low as they were a few months ago, but mortgage rates are still more attractive today than they have been in recent years. If you can lock in a good rate now, that can be a lasting benefit that helps you for many years.

  • It might be easier to get a mortgage right now.

Lenders may be willing to work with new customers like you — because recently, less people have been applying for loans. So you could possibly get a better rate and more friendly terms than you might think.

  • Home prices are still within reach.

Although inventory is shrinking, many available homes are still reasonably priced — especially homes that have been on the market for a while. Those sellers in particular might be willing to lower their price to get a deal done before the year ends.

  • And one of the best reasons to buy a home by the end of the year…the tax benefits!

There are few deductions bigger than a home purchase. By completing the transaction in 2013, you could stand to get a lot of help on your income tax return!

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Maybe you were planning to buy a home next year, or you’re just tired of paying rent. Whatever your situation is, a home purchase before the end of this year can be beneficial — and I can help you see if it’s possible!

Find out if buying a home in Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Plano, Richardson, Dallas, or anywhere in north Texas is the right move for you! Call me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

©2013 by Shannon Rubin.