October 13th, 2018 9:30 PM by Jackie A. Graves
First-time home-buyer advice: Ask a lot of
Names: Anthony Tucker, 32, and Sammy Kallay,
City: Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas
Year of home purchase: 2018
Sale price: $252,000
Home style: 46-year old ranch
Professions: He’s an IT
business consultant; she’s a nurse.
Tucker, and his wife, Sammy Kallay, had their first child, they knew it was
time to buy their first house. Like so many new parents, they wanted the works
for their son, Okiyan — safe neighborhood, good schools, nice yard. But their
budget wasn’t limitless, and their knowledge of real estate was zilch.
about to buy their first home without advice. So
the Dallas-area couple started by finding the resources they needed for a crash course in home buying.
What’s the first thing you did once you
decided it was time to be a homeowner?
Anthony: We didn’t know how much we needed to save. We didn’t
understand the market. We didn’t understand the [real estate] terms. We needed
some guidance. We talked to a friend, and they told us we should call the
REALTOR®, Eloise Martin, who had helped them buy their first house.
What did your agent do to help you get on the
Anthony: She sent us to a lender who told us how much we needed to
save and how much we would need to put down. He ran our credit scores and told
me I needed to pay the balance on my Discover card to make my credit rating better.
He explained escrow, points, and PMI.
How long did it take you to save enough for a
down payment, and how did you do it?
Anthony: Three or four months. We had some money in the bank, but
we needed more. It took a couple of months to get enough. We didn’t eat out. We
didn’t buy so many things. I got a new job that paid more, so that helped.
OK, the money’s in the bank. You’re ready to
shop. What was that like?
Anthony: I told [our agent] our budget and the neighborhoods we
wanted to be in. She got us into a search that sent us notifications every time
there was a house that had what we wanted. She would go with us to see the
house and point out things to look for.
tell us if we needed contractors to check out plumbing or electrical things,
and she had a network of contractors who could come to the house. That paid off
when we were making the final decision.
Anthony: The house we ended up buying, [the sellers] had made an
extension that made a problem with the foundation. We paid a structural
engineer to look at it first, before we made an offer. He said in the long run,
we might need to put up a supporting wall. What that did was give us leverage
to come back to the seller and ask, “Can you lower the price?”
Did they lower the price?
Anthony: Yes. The price was $267,000. We negotiated with them. We
paid $252,000. It was a worthy reduction because, according to the engineer, it
will only cost us $3,000 to build that foundation wall.
How many houses did you look at before buying?
Sammy: Three. We bought the third house we looked at.
Good grief! That’s lightning fast. How long
did you look?
Sammy: One weekend.
A weekend? Wow. Was it stressful to buy in a
super-fast market like Dallas?
Sammy: I know! I was expecting it to be really stressful. But it went
really great. [Our agent] sent us houses that fit what we wanted, so we didn’t
look at houses that were not what we were looking for.
Anthony: We wanted to put in a bid on another house, but because there
were so many bids on that house, we thought it better not to. We only made an
offer on the one where we had a reason to ask for a lower price.
How did you know that third house was The One?
Sammy: As soon as I saw the picture, I said, “Oooh, this is a really
nice house.” As soon as we came in and saw it, that was it. We knew that was
the house. It would work with a family. It had a really nice flow.
What’s your favorite thing about your house?
Sammy: For me, it’s about my son. It’s open and has enough space for
him to crawl around. I can see him wherever he is.
Anthony: It’s secure. I like being able to drive into the garage
and close the door and go straight into the house. I like the fence around the
yard. It’s a safe place for our son.
What’s your advice for first-time home buyers?
Anthony: Find a good agent. [Ours] was critical. Don’t be shy about
Sammy: If you don’t know anything about the home-buying process,
you need somebody who knows what they’re doing. [Our agent] made the process
really, really easy. I don’t think we would have been able to do it ourselves.
To view the original article click here