Buying your very first home is something mostly everyone dreams about, and for first time home buyers, Brian and Diana, it has been a dream come true. A few months back, this couple was just renting again for another year. Right now, they are in their backyard and sharing everything they have learned with listeners. Tune in on this episode of How to Buy Home to hear their tips and tricks!
Brian And Diana – 4 Months, From Wondering About Buying Their 1st Home To Getting The Keys
How These First Time Home Buyers Went Start To Finish In Just 4 Months!
The joy of discovery. I’ve got an interview with people that back in February were thinking about renting a house. Just by starting a conversation with somebody about renting a house, suddenly, they found the show in March, they got a unicorn in April, and they got their offer accepted in May. I interviewed them in June sitting in the backyard of a 10,000-square-foot lot with a view of the Delaware River, the one George Washington crossed. All it took was a little education, empowerment and persistence. Let’s go to the interview.
This is your favorite kind of episode. The one where you don’t hear me talking all the time. This is Brian and Diana. They are so cool and excited to tell us all their story. How are you guys doing?
Very well. How are you doing?
I’m great. At some point, at the end of the interview, I’m going to have you guys pick up the phone and move it all around and show us your football field of a backyard. What a gorgeous home. You guys look so chill right now. I’m so happy about that. Give us your whole story. Tell us when you guys get started on your home buying process.
We wanted to move a few years ago. We started planning to move to another house to rent. It wasn’t until we were at a friend’s house at the end of February. We told them what we wanted to do as far as what we could afford for rent. He mentioned his mortgage was cheaper than what we wanted to pay in rent. That’s the a-ha moment. We decided that instead of renting, let’s look to buy a house. We found your show a few days after that. That was March 2nd or 3rd and binged it in about 12 days, all 78 episodes.
Every day, we were listening to the episodes.
It was paralysis by analysis, but it was well worth it.
Diana, did you feel ignored during this time period?
I knew when he started something or into something, he gets good at it. He’s very dedicated to everything. If it wasn’t for David, maybe we will still be looking to buy a house.
It’s a team effort. I’m just the coach. You’re the player. You’re the Steph Curry, MVP. Did you binge in March of 2022?
November of 2021, you guys were thinking about renting a house and you had a budget for that, then the universe and the gods of all things good found you a friend who gave you the right numbers. In March of 2022, you binged it. It’s summer and you’re already in the back of your beautiful backyard.
Yes. Once we started on the podcast, I said I’m going to email you when I’m finished. In your previous episodes, you said, “Do it right away.” I was like, “I want to get it done, listen to everything, and email you.” That was like mid-March. I said, “Maybe a six-month plan.” Who knows? If we find something sooner, then we’re lucky. If not, the rent we were paying was dirt cheap. The longer we wait, the more money we can save. If we find something sooner, we get lucky. I emailed you. You got us our unicorns, Ed and Beverly Schmidt. We met them on April 2nd of 2022 in their office for a little meet and greet. We had our offer accepted on this house on May 2nd, one month after. Twelve houses we’ve looked at. We had three previous offers, and this was our fourth offer. It was a month from meeting them that we had an offer accepted.
There are so many amazing things about that. First of all, once again, do not condone listening to every single episode before you call me unless you are psychotic like Brian and can binge 100 episodes in a week and a half, or whatever the heck you did.
It was from 7:00 to 8:00. I got time. I was on the treadmill and I was doing dishes.
The beautiful thing is you can get a Master’s degree right now if you put the time in. My wife always knows as soon as I’m finished shaving, it’s time for her to leave the bedroom area because then I put on the big speaker. Whatever I’m listening to gets loud in the shower. It’s on my phone when I shave and then she’s like, “Here it comes.” That’s incredible. You met him on April 2nd, did you close on May 2nd or the offer was in on May 2nd?
The offer was in on May 2nd. We closed on May 26th.
Quick escrow too. The escrow is what we do in California. Did that have anything to do with the reason why your offer was accepted because you could do it quickly?
I’m going to jump around a little bit. You got the unicorn team. What were the things that the unicorn team or the bidding war winners, and the tricks and the tips that you guys use? A short time period was something that the seller wanted.
We were here that day on the 2nd of May. They broker the deal out front of the house because the seller needed to get out right away. For whatever reason, she needed to leave and we were available. We didn’t go to Rocket Mortgage or any of the online. We had a local lender who we knew was going to come through for us. He had a seller guarantee, which if he didn’t close on time, they would pay the seller $10,000. We had already had our financing lined up. She needed to be out by the end of the month. We were ready, willing and able to move in on that date.
The lender came through for us in a huge way. Our agents were great through the whole thing. The escalation clause help with that. We did a home warranty, which is good to cover both us and the seller, and an appraisal gap. The bottom line was we had the financing lined up and the seller guarantee. Our lender came through with the final push.
Even though we’re talking about this crazy timeline that you guys did, you called me in March, you meet on April 2nd and you’re putting it up on May 2nd. Between April 2nd and May 2nd, you had put a few offers in and learned the ropes, but you also did a ton of preparation. You guys did that before you went out. I don’t want people to think, “We got to move fast.” You guys did a bunch of stuff and you probably did it 50 times faster than the rest of the world does since you listened to 78 episodes in a week and a half. You probably got your paperwork together faster than most people did too.
For the record, we would go out and meet with friends. They were looking for houses too. I told them about you, my experience, and all the episodes. They thought I was crazy but we’re here, so it worked. We’re buying a house. We’re not waiting in line trying to buy a TV or a set of tires for the car. You got to do your research. This has to be the number one priority other than my beautiful wife.
She looks lovely in your lovely backyard. How big is that freaking yard? Do you know your lot size by acres? Is it one of those?
The whole lot is 10,000 square feet. It’s a third of an acre. We’re very lucky and grateful.
What’s awesome is I can’t even plan it. There’s like wildlife flying around behind you.
We have rabbits, squirrels, and all kinds of different birds like blue jays, cardinals, and mourning doves.
Buying a home is the biggest decision you’re going to make in your life. Get educated!
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty then. How did it work financially? Were you close to the proposed rent that you were thinking about in November? Did you guys stretch it to get this beautiful place, the monthly payment?
We didn’t stretch it. One thing we didn’t know about the market is our mortgage was higher than we had anticipated compared to what we wanted, but we had a budget. We did all our finances, what our bills were, and what we could afford. We didn’t want to be house broke. We knew we would be able to get approved for a lot more than we did, but we want it to be able to have money leftover and save. We love to travel. Our budget was X amount and our actual final mortgage payment is about $100 and change less than our max budget. We’re happy with that too. In this market with the interest rates, we feel pretty happy and lucky to have gotten that payment.
That’s awesome because I did a whole episode about house poor. I’m seeing people start to use house poor as an excuse to not ask the question that you did. You didn’t even ask the question. In February, somebody else told you, “You can buy a house for that payment.” You and I became best friends for a week and a half, and you learned everything. That’s incredible. It’s only $100 more than the budget that you were thinking in your head.
It’s $100 less than our budget.
That’s the whole thing about when people say house poor, that stops a lot of people from going and getting the approval to see. It’s going to go up because interest rates are going up right now, but that’s going to stall pricing and you’re fixed on your loan. You are wearing an In-N-Out t-shirt, do you have In-N-Out where you are?
No. It’s the one bad thing about Delaware and the East Coast.
When you were in Arizona, you got it.
We were in Arizona celebrating my dad’s birthday and I used to live on the West Coast. I lived in California and Arizona for 10 or 11 years. We finally went to In-N-Out and I’m like, “I got to get a t-shirt after all these years.”
When you move away, it’s one of those things that you get. I was asking because I have East Coast friends that come and I know it’s the airport, In-N-Out, and then my house. You’re at a beautiful place in Delaware. I’m here in Southern California, but the show and the unicorns hooked you up. What pieces of advice can you give to people, good stuff, bad stuff, and things that surprised you? Was there anything that totally surprised you? Was there stuff you were totally scared of that wasn’t that scary? People love these episodes. Give us some things where you’re like, “Don’t forget to tell them that story.” What happened?
There was so much to learn. There were so many things. We got lucky. A lot of people out there are stressed. They’ve put a lot of offers in on houses. They’ve looked at a lot of houses. The main thing is to get educated and listen to the podcast. No matter how many or how short a time, this is the biggest decision you’re going to make in your life. Get educated. Know what you want and have a list. We decided what we want it together.
Who got more on their list, you or her?
We were pretty even. Everything that this house has is way better than everything that we have before.
No matter what, it’s an upgrade. Get educated, be prepared, understand the market, and know that you’re going to eat humble pie. The first offer we put on our house, we thought we were going to get it. We didn’t. We were sad for a day. We kept moving and looking at houses. We weren’t discouraged.
It’s difficult. We were talking about that because everybody said, “Don’t worry. You’re going to find your house.” At the moment, it’s like, “I don’t know. I feel sad about this.” You have to be very motivated.
Motivated, patience, perseverance and persistence.
The three Ps. I love it. I’ve been talking about that over texts. It was a listener who told me that first. I threw it out because I now have it copied on my notes on my phone. I send it to everyone. Diana, that’s great advice for people. That’s the reason why I love doing these episodes. I can tell them until I’m blue in the face, but now people are going to read this and they’re still going to be sad, but they’re going to be a little less sad because they’re going to be prepared for it, and not fall in love with that first one. You said they brokered the deal on the front porch.
They were putting the deal in writing together. The seller wanted to move fast and it was 5:30 and their listing agent was like, “All deals got to be in by 6:00.” We’re like, “Let’s go.” They did everything on the porch on the cute little red bench that’s out front.
The unicorn was able to pull that off for you. Was it brand-new on the market and needed to go fast?
It wasn’t like on the market for a while. It was the 2022 bidding war. Put it up and get it out.
It went on the market. Sunday, May 1st, we found it. We had another engagement that we had to do that Sunday. We couldn’t get down, so we came Monday. We got the offer that day.
Was there back and forth at that point?
That’s where the escalation clause and the appraisal gap all helped.
We put that in the original offer. What happened was we were outbid. We overbid by $15,000 and we were outbid as well, but we had the financing so they chose us. We had a better and solid local lender. We had reputable agents, the financing, and the seller guarantee. Even though there was an offer that was more money, they knew they were going to get it done with us. That’s what it was.
For the love of everything. Everybody, when you tell me, “I’m going to Google and get a great agent. I’ll be fine because I’m going to offer the most money.” Did you read that, everyone? It doesn’t matter what you’ve got on paper. It does to a degree, but it’s when A or B and B can close. People forget all the things you said. I only heard one thing, “This couple is going to close. That person, I don’t know.” It’s just a piece of paper. People are like, “Did you send the offer?” I’m like, “No, I sent the offer. I sent a conversation with my lender. I sent a video to my lender. I sent my sixteen years of reputation.” It’s not just a piece of paper. It’s so much more.
As far as being educated and everything, even if you have the greatest real estate agents and lenders in the world, which we feel like we did with Ed and Beverly Schmidt and Mike Walsh, our lenders at Prosperity Mortgage were great for us, I feel like you still have to be educated and have to do the work too. You can’t depend on your agent and lender to do everything. They do, but you have to ask the questions. You have to be on top of it. You can’t just sit back and say, “They’re going to do everything for us.” They will, but I feel like if they know that you’re doing and have a grasp on things, it’s going to make their job a lot easier too.
It’s a team. It’s a coach and a player. I can tell you this based on how you’ve binged the show. When I send a lender a buyer if you and I had talked and you’re like, “I did 78 episodes in a week and a half. Can you send me to a lender?” I’m going to call the lender and go, “This couple is amazing. Send them your list.” I know you guys are going to go, “This is important.” You’re going to send all the paperwork over immediately.
To be able to buy your first home, you need patience, perseverance, and persistence.
That’s something that people seem to take time doing. You take three years to reach out to me and then you take three weeks to send the paperwork in. What’s crucial in a situation like this when the market is moving quickly, Ed and Beverly are on the front porch. They are there. They might have to turn to you and go, “What about X, Y and Z?”
That’s why he said. He was like, “How about an escalation clause?” I was like, “Cool.” I knew what it was. You had discussed it. He didn’t have to spend twenty minutes trying to explain it to me or us. It was like, “Do it. We know what it is. We want the house whatever it takes.”
That’s unreal. What’s the future for you guys in this home now that you’ve been here? Is it, “Dave, I don’t know. We just unpacked. Leave us alone.” What’s the plan? Is this the forever home?
For now, yes. We love it. It’s perfect for us. It’s just us right now. The next thing we’re doing is getting a dog because this backyard needs a dog.
It’s screaming for it. You’re going to have the happiest pooch in Delaware.
I’m going to have the happiest wife in Delaware because she wants the dog.
Right now, it’s forever for us. We don’t know as far as the future with that. We love the house. It’s along the Delaware River. It’s on a cul-de-sac.
It took me 35 minutes to my work and I work in Philly, so it’s right there.
It’s only a 35-minute commute?
Yes, it’s amazing. It’s the best.
You look like you’re miles from a big city. That’s so cool.
We have a river view, the Delaware River. It’s a huge river. We love it. It’s the thing George Washington crossed 300 years ago. We’re very grateful, lucky and humbled about it. We’re so happy to be here. Our agents and lender, we owe them the world for this, but we’re not sitting here right now without you. Hands down.
Thanks. It has been fun. I had these conversations with people at Disneyland and my Southern California beach. It was a couple of years ago and now I get to go home. I’m glad you’re happy, but hearing that from you, my wife is going to be super happy because when I come home, I’m going to be all smiles because this fills me up. She’s going to go, “Did you do another interview?” I’m going to be like, “Yes.” This is what makes me the happiest. This is awesome.
I did this episode and I was talking about this whole being house-poor thing. This is not even super sexy get rich quick. You guys are going to benefit from this. Being a buyer in the hardest time to ever buy a home in the summer of 2022, you’re going to look back on that and go, “Did we pull that off?” You’re going to have an interest rate that is going to seem very low when everyone is buying houses at 8% and 9%. You’re going to have a fixed rate. Everyone else’s rent is going to be $4,000 a pop. You’re going to be chilling where you are.
By then, I’ll be retired on my boat, but you can call me and thank me then because it’s not getting rich quick. It’s a get rich long and slow. That’s awesome. With this whole thing being here and you guys being excited and ready for the future besides listening to my podcast, is there anything else that you would recommend maybe as a couple for people out there that are thinking about buying a home? Any little nuggets of advice?
When everybody says that you will find your dream house or dream home, you will find it. When we were finding our first house, we were very sad, but everybody was like, “You’re going to find your perfect house.” We were like, “No, that was the perfect house. We want that house.” That house is maybe an hour or something from my work. It’s a lot of driving every single day. We found this house and it’s 35 minutes from my work and that’s priceless. I always tell Brian, “That’s priceless for me. That’s crazy. I love that. I love it.”
To be 35 minutes from the city and be in the paradise that you guys are sitting in right now, I totally get that. I have an opportunity to be in a cheaper office, but my kids are older now. Even if I didn’t have kids or if I have a dog, that’s an hour extra with my dog every day that you’re going to get Diana. That’s cool.
I have the whole afternoon to enjoy the house.
It looks like you got tons of daylight there. That’s awesome. Thanks, guys. I’m going to say goodbye to you and thank you so much. For those of you reading this, this is your clue to go check us out on YouTube. Brian and Diana, thank you so much. Congratulations and enjoy your house.
Thank you. Nice talking with you.
I don’t know what to say about that. I am so happy for Brian and Diana. They gave me such a fantastic commercial, but I don’t want to focus on myself. I want to focus on the fact that this story can happen for every single one of you out there. They were planned. They were together. They are organized, but that’s the thing that I’m trying to tell you guys about buying a home. If you are getting ready to rent for the average price of a decent-sized home in your area or a home in your area, you owe it to yourself to find out that maybe you could turn this into a purchase instead of another rent.
February, they found out that they could buy a house for the same as renting. In March, they listened to the podcast. In April, they got a unicorn. May 2nd, they got their offer accepted. On May 26th, they got their home. That was phenomenal. One of the pieces that I want to make sure that you guys read was Brian said, “Eat humble pie,” and Diana said, “You will find the perfect home.”
I always tell you guys to make sure that you compromised. Diana mentioned that you will find the perfect home. You just have to be flexible and don’t get your dreams dashed. I couldn’t have said it better than that. I’m hoping that this show just turns into nothing but interview after interview. Share it with your friends. I feel great. That was so nice that they were thankful to me.
Your friends can be thankful to you for sharing the show with them by saving them hundreds and thousands of dollars, getting them on the road to financial freedom, and dumping their rent. If their friend that he met in February had known about this, they could have told them about the show right away, but they found it. Thank goodness.
Now that you know this information, share it. Go to HowToBuyAHome.com. All the information you’re looking for is right there. This got me totally excited. I’m excited to go home and be a happy dad to my wife, kids and two dogs. Don’t forget to check out the Instagram and the YouTube page. Remember, 2022 can be a daunting time, but it could be just a matter of months for you and you might find out that like Brian and Diana, you can do this.
This podcast was started for YOU, to demystify things for first time home buyers, and help crush the confusion. After helping first timers for over 13 years, I knew there wasn’t t a lot of clear, tangible, useable information out there on the internet, so I started this podcast. Help me spread the word to other people just like you, dying for answers. Tell your friends, family, and perhaps that random neighbor you REALLY want to move out about How to Buy a Home! A really easy way is to hit the share button and text it to your friends. Go for it, help someone out. And if you’re not already a regular listener, subscribe and get constant updates on the market. If you are a regular and learned something, help me help others – give the show a quick review in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts, or write a review on Spotify. Let’s change the way the real estate industry treats you first time buyers, one buyer at a time, starting with you – and make sure your favorite people don’t get screwed by going into this HUGE step blind and confused. Viva la Unicorn Revolution!