How to Buy a Home

Looking for answers - Can I buy a home? How do I even do this? When should I start planning? Where should a first-time home buyer start? Right here. Real information from a real expert with clear answers to end your confusion. Guidance from industry insider, me, David Sidoni, the #HowtoBuyaHomeGuy. I’ll give you the playbook on the do’s and do not’s of buying your first home. From planning for the big step even years ahead of time, all the way to the nitty-gritty of getting your keys. If you’ve felt clueless about where to start, you are not alone because the real estate industry has either ignored first-time home buyers or handed them off to novice agents with little training or expertise – and that sucks for you. So get the info, including the dirty little secrets of real estate that will help protect you; as well as the crucial tips to help you plan for the entire process step by step. Tools, tips, and techniques, from my personal experience working with over 115 successful first-ti...

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Wednesday Nov 15, 2023

If you’ve been listening to David for a while, then this step might come as a bit of a surprise. Over and over again David has warned first-time home buyers about the dangers of perusing the Internet for real estate advice so Step Eight might be confusing to you folks. BUT, stick with him because he explains it all in this episode. 
Here are some key takeaways from today’s conversation:
Avoid over-researching
Have a unicorn support team first
The best websites to find the info you’re looking for
Some additional research tips and tricks 
Episode Highlights:
[02:18] Get Ready to Research
Okay, keep in mind that this episode assumes that you already have a unicorn team set up to help you out. It’s important to remember that researching and researching without any professional guidance puts you in the danger zone for misinformation, so it’s vital to have your team so you know where to spend your time. So, now it’s time to exercise your stalking skills! 
[06:04] Start Looking for Neighborhoods
Your unicorn support team can help you with all the financials and real estate lingo, but only YOU can decide where you’re going to feel the most comfortable. So, before your realtor takes you out to look at homes, it’s important to research and find some neighborhoods that align with what you’re looking for in a community. Now, when it comes to looking for these neighborhoods, you need to be aware of where you’re getting your information. Are you on the Chamber of Commerce’s website? Is it a place that’s trying to sell you something? No matter where you get your info, take the time to cross reference what you find with information from lots of other websites to make sure you’re looking at the real best neighborhoods. Do research on safety, schools, and all the other things that will make the neighborhood a winner to you and your family. 
[18:05] Check Out the Homes
Alright, you’ve looked at neighborhoods and now you have an idea of where you want to look for a home. Now it’s time to look at the homes themselves. You hop on Google and start looking at homes for sale, but realtor sites are only going to show you the pictures of the house, not necessarily the entire neighborhood. This is where Google Earth comes in. Get on Street View and start looking at the curb appeal, the neighbors, the walkability of the area, how close you are to a major highway… all those important things you can’t get just from an online listing. This is helpful, but the best approach is to talk to your unicorn realtor because they can talk to other realtors who are familiar with the area, they can go check out the neighborhood for you, or they might know some hard-to-find facts about the region. Talk to them! They have your best interests at heart and will make sure you’re getting the best info.

Monday Nov 13, 2023

One of the biggest challenges for first-time home buyers is navigating all the terms and definitions that are associated with buying a home. In the step seven of David’s 10-part How to Buy a Home series, he talks all things real estate jargon so you can empower yourself with the knowledge you need. 
Here are some key takeaways from today’s conversation:
Pre-qualified vs. pre-approved loans
What escrow really means
Who are these people involved in the process?
Acronyms, acronyms, acronyms!
Episode Highlights:
[01:25] There Are a LOT of Terms to Know
From differences between loans to all the crazy acronyms, it can feel overwhelming when someone starts talking to you in real estate language. What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker? What’s up with lenders and mortgage brokers? And don’t even get David started on the acronyms: FHA, DTI, USDA, ROI… the list is long. Not knowing what these terms mean can leave first-time home buyers behind when it comes to making those tough decisions. The best way to start learning these terms? Start by going back to listen to Episode 94 for the whole A-Z of terms you need to know.
[05:32] Why Is This Step Seven?
Feeling confident is super important when it comes to buying a home and the best way to feel confident is to know what you’re talking about. There’s no room for uncertainty when making this SUPER important life decision and knowing your stuff will give you the boost you need.

Thursday Nov 02, 2023

While you did a lot of the heavy lifting in Steps 1-5, Steps 6-10 are still vital parts of the process. In this episode, David discusses the importance of setting clear goals throughout this home-buying process so you can be on your way to home ownership success. Check it out and learn some insider tricks along the way.
Here are some takeaways from today’s conversation:
Why setting goals is an important part of the process
What does buying a home mean for you and your future?
How to use these goals as part of your planning process
Learn some industry insider tips and tricks 
Episode Highlights:
[02:05] How to Get Started With This Step
There are two major factors when it comes to setting your goals. We’ll call them Goals 1 and Goals 2:
Goals 1: This is the goal of the purchase. What does buying this home mean for you today and what does it mean for you and what you want to in five years?
Goals 2: This is using goals as part of your planning process. 
When you and your partner decide on unified goals, it makes the rest of the planning process MUCH less stressful and allows you to actually enjoy the journey of buying your first home, either by yourself or together. 
[04:55] Goals 1
This factor addresses the big picture behind buying a home and sets a strong foundation for Goals 2. When you’re figuring out your goals for buying a home, you’re not just looking at a page out of the paybook - you’re creating the whole freaking personal manual. When you’ve decided with your professional guides what your best dream scenario is, then you can start home shopping with your personal manual to help you. Remember, some of these are emotional goals, but a lot of them are financial. You need to decide how you’re going to set yourself up and your family up for the future. Does this mean buying a home that you’ll turn into a rental? Does it mean that you’re buying a home that you’ll update and resell? These are all important questions you need to ask.
[36:55] Goals 2
This step is a lot more straightforward than Goals 1 and we’re kind of stepping back for this one. Talk to your professional to get these three numbers:
Credit score 
Debt reduction
Once you have these three numbers, then you can start planning. Share them with your unicorn team to start setting your goals (this helps you with accountability, too). AND don’t forget that setting smaller goals along the way allows you to celebrate your victories because, guess what, buying a home is stressful. In fact, it’s one of the most stressful things you’ll do in your life. So, taking time to celebrate the small wins will keep up your morale even when the going gets tough. 

Thursday Oct 26, 2023

David combines steps FOUR and FIVE in his series that shows you how to buy a home. Balance and budget are the key words when it comes to these steps. Why? Because they can be done at the same time. Get ready as David dives into these important steps and also shares some real-life stories of first-time home buyers who experienced this firsthand. Also, listen to get the insider scoop on debt management from David’s unicorn lending team and get tips you can’t find on Google.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
Why credit score goes before debt
How to balance debt and saving at the same time
Gross debt vs. monthly debt
How to start with savings
Episode Highlights:
[04:59] DEBT
There are some important things to consider when it comes to tackling your debt. David breaks it down into six points:
Credit scores take longer to dispute, which is why this step comes BEFORE handling your debt.
You need to develop a rent replacement strategy. Your grandparents’ way of doing things is way out of date in today’s economy, so you need to strategize in order to accomplish your home ownership goals.
Get a handle on your debt. This does NOT mean that it all needs to be paid off, but you need to be on the right track.
Understand how different types of debt can impact your credit score (i.e. installment debt vs. revolving debt).
Total debt means NOTHING. Your gross debt and monthly debt have very different implications on your ability to purchase a home.
NEVER consolidate your debt before buying a home.
Ultimately, your debt can be broken down into three categories: good debt, bad debt, and workable debt. Knowing which is which can make all the difference in tackling it. Don’t just take David’s word for it. There are countless stories of How to Buy a Homies in unique situations who learned this knowledge and successfully bought their first home. 
[01:15:57] SAVINGS
Okay, now we’re on to savings. Doing this at the same time as managing your debt means one thing: you need some professional guidance here to make sure you’re on the right track. The bank has very specific criteria and having everything paid off is NOT a part of it. Here’s what you need to consider when saving according to David:
Start saving! Yes, it’s just that simple.
The rest? Well, that totally depends on you and your situation. No one can tell you much salary you need to make, how much you need for a down payment, or anything of the like. But, having a professional can definitely help you along this process.
If you’re terrible at waiting for answers, David does give you a VERY GENERIC low standard to shoot for when saving for a home: 8%. That means 5% for the down payment and 3% for closing costs. However, there are 1000 other factors to consider which is why having a professional guide is key.
David shares some saving success stories from real How to Buy a Homies so you can get a real-life perspective on these all play together.

Wednesday Aug 09, 2023

David is onto step THREE in his series that shows you how to buy a home. Credit scores can feel overwhelming and David gets it: yes, they can be hard to navigate. Thankfully, David is going to tell-all in this latest episode where he talks ALL things credit so you are armed and dangerous when it comes to prepping to buy your first home.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
When you should start working on your credit score
The importance of time
FICO vs. Credit Karma vs. other apps
Where your credit score comes from
Episode Highlights:
[04:44] Don’t Rush It
The most important thing you need to know about building your credit score is that it takes time. We’re at the mercy of the financial system and we can’t change it, so there’s no point in getting all anarchal about it. It’s how it is. BUT, we can learn how to beat the system so we can use these systems to our advantage and still get the best deal. The key to it all? Being patient, especially if you or your partner are starting with a lower score. And remember, it’s not fun, it’s not sexy, but it’s very rewarding, so find a way to celebrate when you’ve built it up to your goal!
[18:44] Hard Pull vs. Soft Pull
The only way that you can get a full approval for a loan is to get a hard credit pull, which does give your credit score a hit. While you might have been warned to avoid this from other people, you have to remember that they need to pull your credit score for a full approval and if you don’t get this done it’s possible you could even lose the home. But, if you’re early in the process, you can get your credit pulled and then have time to build up your score again. Having the right team means that they can guide you through this process and make sure that you are on the right track.
[30:54] What Happens When Your Score Looks Rough
When you’re qualifying together, sometimes you’ll need both incomes to buy a home. However, it’s not an average that they use - they use the lowest the mid score. So, if your credit is 800 and their score is 620, well, they’re going to use the 620 score. But, there are some ways that you can boost a bad credit score and jump even a tier or two. According to credit pros, exceptional scores are 800 to 850, very good scores are 740 to 799, good scores are 670 to 739, fair is 580 to 669, and anything lower is not so hot. If you want to jump a tier, then you can do some things such as strategically managing your debt, asking for more credit, getting credit for paying rent, and dealing with your negative marks first. 

Friday Aug 04, 2023

David is onto step TWO in his series that shows you how to buy a home. If you’re worried about being able to afford a home in this market, well, don’t be. With the right team behind you, this process can be made leaps and bounds easier and can make your goal of buying a home all the more attainable. Surrounding yourselves with experts is the key. 
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
Why getting pre-approved isn’t even the second step
Make sure you get helped, not captured
Not all lenders and realtors are the same
Do what makes you feel comfortable
Episode Highlights:
[01:15] Pick Your Unicorn Success Team
Okay, so you’ve decided that you’re ready to buy a home and you’re ready to hear the next steps. Great! The next - and second most important - step is picking your team to help guide you to your goal. And yes, this guy didn’t say “Get pre-approved!” Having a team in place can happen before you get pre-approved and should happen beforehand. The earlier you get them into the process the better because they can help you set yourself up for approval. Maybe you’re in a sticky situation. Perhaps you need some help navigating student loans. Whatever it is you need, having a team can help you overcome those challenges and get on the right track ASAP. BUT, you need to be on guard against the “turn ‘em and burn ‘em” part of real estate and, oh boy, does it exist. Make sure you are getting a lender and realtor who want to help you and not just capture a sale. 
[18:30] Finding the Right Realtor
Most realtors are not trained on how to work with first-time home buyers, so the experienced folks usually end up sending you over to the newbies. So, you’re their guinea pigs! Yay! Not really. When you’re passed off like this, it means that you’re less likely to get the screaming deal you were hoping for because you’re working with a realtor who doesn’t know their stuff. Oh, and another little dirty secret? Realtors only get paid at the end - the sale. So, they’re less likely to give you that call back when you ask for help because it doesn’t make them money. Yeah, I know. It’s twisted, but it’s the truth. A unicorn realtor doesn’t operate that way. Their goal is to help you, not get the paycheck. They’re in it because they’re passionate and knowledgeable and David is willing to have them help anyone. 
[40:42] Do What Works for You
David doesn’t expect you to use his unicorn lenders and realtors, because maybe you know someone who can help you or you want to try to take what you’ve learned and apply it out in the real world. The bottom line is that you need to do what feels right for you. That could look like anything. Just make sure that you feel comfortable and that you’re in touch with a team who will look out for you. 

Wednesday Aug 02, 2023

David jumps right into the first step in his 10-step must-do list for first-time home buyers. Before anything else, deciding that you’re ready to buy a home is the necessary catalyst in leading you to all the other steps and, ultimately, a home. Check it out.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
Why deciding is the most important step
Over-researching does exist
Trust the process
Believe in yourself
Episode Highlights:
[01:15] Don’t Fall to Analysis Paralysis
The first - and most important - step in the home-buying process is deciding that you want to buy a home. You can research all you want, but nothing will actually happen until you make that commitment that you want to be a homeowner and you’ll do what’s necessary to get there. So, don’t waste time cruising the Interweb for months on end - just decide whether or not you’re ready to take that step! When you’ve decided, then you can start assembling your unicorn team and get some REAL answers on how to move forward, no matter how far in the future you’re prepared to buy. And remember: buying a home is not a crazy big expense. It's a rent replacement strategy.
[15:10] Trust the Process
The decision starts with you. And in order to make the decision to buy a home, you need to trust the home-buying process and have CONFIDENCE that this is the right choice for you. When the going gets tough, which it probably will, you need to have unshakeable confidence that this is what you want so you can keep pushing through. That means you shouldn’t buy a home if it’s what you feel pressured to do, but it also doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy a home because you don’t want to “conform.” Do whatever you want, but make sure it’s actually what you want. Note, too, that the first step has nothing to do with getting pre-approved. That comes in the next step. The most important part of the journey is making sure it’s the right one for you. 
[22:53] Believe!
The bonus step within step one is that you have to believe in this process. Believe in the numbers. Believe in your experts. You don’t have to have the perfect credit score, or $20,000 in the bank, or have paid off all your student loans. You have to be able to ignore the myths and trust that when you see the numbers and develop your plan, it’s going to get you where you need to go. 

Monday Jul 31, 2023

Now that we’re into a new season of the How to Buy a Home podcast, David is giving a step-by-step look at how to buy a home in a 10-part series. This series is going to help you figure out what you need to do to be able to buy a home, so David is going to cover everything from debt and student loans to picking the right team and finding the right home. 
In today’s episode, David kicks it off by giving you a brief overview of what to expect in this series and how you can start TODAY.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
What to expect with this step-by-step
Why you need a team
Make sure you have an experienced realtor
Why David Sidoni is your guy
Episode Highlights:
[02:00] New Series Forecast
There were 1.5 million first-time home buyers in 2022 and the average age of this home buyer was 36 years old! Well, that’s just crazy. David spent years watching first-time home buyers get jilted in the process and this data proves it. That’s why he left his brokerage and started a podcast to help revolutionize real estate by empowering first-time home buyers with the knowledge and resources they need to successfully leave renting in the past and buy their first home. A successful first 200 episodes of home-buying education leads into a 10-part series where David will take a lot of the information from the previous episodes and combine them into a step-by-step that allows home buyers to feel more prepared. Learn about everything from tackling debt to navigating closing in the new series.
[10:25] You’re All Special
Every first-time home buyer is SO unique! You all have different stories, circumstances, and finances that will influence your decision. And guess what, Google can’t totally help you. Even David can’t hand out one-size-fits-all plans for buying a home. You need a specialized team that understands your situation and can offer the advice you need to make smart choices. Yes, Google can help you on some things, but it doesn’t know you well enough to be your end-all be-all influence throughout the process. You need to start preparing as soon as possible to buy a home because the market is constantly changing and you need to be able to roll with the punches. That’s why a specialized team - who knows the industry - can help you get there.
[17:09] Who Is David Sidoni?
David is your guy for this series. Why? Because he left the industry for YOU. After years of watching first-time home buyers get handed off to rookie realtors and subsequently get screwed, he was fed up. He knew that first-time home buyers are just as valuable as second- or third-time buyers and knew that something needed to change. So, he left his brokerage to start his passion project: How to Buy a Home. His goal? Revolutionize the industry by empowering first-time buyers with the knowledge and resources to help them be successful.

Thursday Jul 20, 2023

Welcome, folks, to the 200th EPISODE! This one is going to be all about predictions for the rest of 2023 and 2024. The bottom line? Um, David has been right so far about these predictions and many economists are following right along. But, he’s going to give you all the facts so you can follow along and make some of your own predictions along the way.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
What experts are saying - the good, the bad, and the ugly
Why a crash is impossible
What’s up with mortgage rates
What is going to happen to housing prices
Episode Highlights:
[04:15] A Quick Recap
Despite high interest rates and high home prices and high mortgage rates, it’s all going even higher this summer. Patterns indicate that the numbers will steadily increase through 2024. If you’re hoping that they drop, well, they did drop. And you missed it - sorry! The only time home prices dropped month over month was from July 2022 to January 2023. Now, we’re right back where we started - that steady increase. And what’s the cause of that? Well, How to Buy a Homies, you know the answer. Say it with me: “LOW INVENTORY.” Because of this, David predicts that there will continue to be a steady increase with very little evidence showing that there could be a decrease.
[15:45] Will There Be a Housing Crash?
Well, probably not. According to the research David did, there are a few folks out there who think there could be, but the majority of sources say, “No, there won’t be one.” As David says, a housing crash, or a housing bubble, is financially and physically impossible when you break down the data. A crash can only happen when the number of homes outweighs the demand, but as we’ve said over and over and over again, inventory is low. There aren’t enough homes to keep prices down, so we’re going to be stuck in the slowly rising prices here for a little while.
[34:34] Recessions Aren’t Always Bad for Housing
As in many cases, our trusty friends the Feds like to jump in and get involved with the banking process. According to some experts, inflation occurs when the Feds raise the bank rates too fast and lower them too slowly. This can cause a recession, but not always a big one. In today’s economic climate, it appears that we’re in a mini recession. But, typically in recessions (besides that crazy time in 2008), house prices go up. However, even in recessions, housing is a safe and stable investment.
2023’s Housing Correction Could Be The Largest Since Post-WWII 
4 Signs That a Housing Market Crash Could Happen in 2023 
Housing Market Predictions For 2023: When Will Home Prices Be Affordable Again? 
Housing Market Predictions for 2023 
US Housing Market in Trouble: Moody's Predicts Home Prices Will Fall in 2023 and 2024 
Buffini & Company
Housing Market Predictions: The Forecast for the Next 5 Years 
Could Housing Market Become Affordable Again by 2025? New Report Makes Shocking Prediction

Wednesday Jul 12, 2023

David is back to help explain a couple important things. First, everyone is complaining on social media (as they like to do) about the price of homes and how they “can’t buy a home the way the Boomers did because the prices are out of control.” Second, he’s going to (again) talk about why it’s so important for you to get your credit pulled months before you’re ready to buy a home. So, buckle up as David dispels even more real estate myths in this episode.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
Why it’s actually hard to buy a home these days
The numbers behind the problem
Rent to mortgage ratio
Why you should have your credit pulled
Episode Highlights:
[01:35] Don’t Miss the Facts
The wage gap and number of people living paycheck to paycheck definitely makes buying a home difficult. But, when it comes to housing, the math shows that there is another problem. In 1980 the average home price was $50,000 which translates to $184,000 in today’s economy. Well, we know you can’t get a house for that price pretty much anywhere today, but ten years ago, you could. So, here’s the biggest difference: in 1980 the average rent was $300. Today, the average rent is $2,000. This number shows the real disparity between the generations. So, it’s not the wage gap that’s the problem, it’s the crazy inflated rent prices. The key variable is the mortgage to rent ratio - how doable is it to swap a monthly rent payment for a mortgage payment? 
[11:23] Look at the Numbers!
Interest rates are also a huge factor. In 1980, you could pay $300 for rent, or you could pay $700 a month for a house with 5% down. That would be an over 250% jump in your monthly housing payment! In 2023, you can do the same thing where you change from paying $2,000 a month in rent to $3,200 in a mortgage payment. That’s only a 60% increase, not a 250% increase like it would have been in 1980. So, is housing affordability unfair right now? If you’re just looking at home prices, yes. If you look at the whole picture, then the answer is more complicated. 
[17:34] Pulling Credit Scores
One of the biggest myths David is dispeling today is that your credit score will get hurt by having it pulled before buying a home. Well, nobody needs to pull your credit score to help you plan. There’s something called a “soft pull” that will help you and the right lending team will use this strategy to help you. This will get you an idea of what you should do to prepare to buy a home. And, yes, you SHOULD get a soft pull months in advance of buying a home so you know how to properly prepare. This myth makes people wait to start planning out of fear, causing them to miss out on more time and more money.


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