Hello Bigger Pockets Family
I'm a new investor just getting started. I've been following the great advice from the blogs and the forums. I've been reading blog articles, and reading free books. I couldn't help myself these last few days though, and I started looking at houses on Trulia and Zillow. I found a couple of single family and multi family in Bloomfield, West Orange, Orange, and Union New Jersey. On one of those properties there is a open house today at 1 30. The agent from the house got in contact with me. She said she would pre approve me on the spot. My question is should I go to the open house? I have a little ways to go from being ready to buy my first property.
Welcome to BP @Caleb Matteis
My suggestion is yes, why? so that you can see, learn about how a open house really works.
Find a notebook somewhere and write down all the questions you might have for the agent before you meet with them. Maybe do a dry run of what it might be like if you are going to buy the house but even if you don't even really buy it. As far as I know open houses don't cost anything to go, and maybe they will even have answers to your future questions and give you cookies for your troubles. Just enjoy yourself. Worst comes to worst, you might even find a way to buy it and start your way to financial independence. Who knows?
Would you feel like you had to buy a car just because the used car salesman told you to buy it? No.
You have absolutely zero obligation to this is agent by viewing this house. In fact, you have an obligation to yourself to do your own due diligence on what it is you do want. As a licensed agent, I want you to look at many, many properties so that when you do see what you what you want, you are ready to act quickly.
When you decide to get serious, get pre-qualified and then search for investor-friendly agents in your area to represent you (a buyer's agent). A seller's agent (like the one holding the open house), is exactly that- working for the seller... Which means they are not interested in getting you the best deal.
@Ralph Soles Thanks for the advice. I'm gonna go and check it out. It gives me a chance to see the area. I have another question. Does the pre approval process effect your credit? What I mean is does it show up as a hard inquiry on your credit report?
@ Tiffany Plovie Thanks for the advice.
Go Go Go. That's how you learn comps and maybe build a relationship with the realtor,
@Caleb Matteis - what everyone else said. Also, I'm willing to bet if it's a ridiculously good deal (if you even suspect so), you could come back here and toss the details into the "Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice" forum here and see what people think. If the deal IS a good one, i'm SURE there's a seasoned investor in your area on these forums that would love to partner with you to make it happen.
Bottom line is...you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain! Go check it out!
@Joe kalis @Mark Langdon Thanks for the advice.
I took a quick glance at your profile, and I noticed that what first made you want to get into real estate investing is watching your uncle flip houses. Is he still around and available to help guide you? Most people here have paid big money (either from mistakes they have made themselves or from learning from others) on how to successfully invest in real estate, and you may already have it at your fingertips!
These are the two most important things to know in real estate investing:
1. Where you are beginning...
The pre-approval process and understanding the houses/options in your price range is step number one. It looks like the pre-approval process has already been explained to you here:
Before beginning any part of the purchasing process, get a crystal clear picture of the point you are starting from. Get the dreams of grand splendor wiped from your eyes, and focus on the nitty-gritty reality in front of you.
2. Where you are going...
What is your ultimate goal in real estate investing?
This may sound like a no-brainer... I am sure you are sitting there thinking to yourself 'To make money!!! Why else would I be here?!!' But I promise you the answer is not as simple as that... Is it to make quick cash? Is it to create passive income? Both? If so, why? How much is enough? Is your ultimate goal financial independence? Being able to work for yourself? F*** you money (that is what I call the money every single person should have in the bank to get away from a situation/relationship/job that makes them unhappy)? Is to care for your future family? Your parents as they get older? All of these questions help you clarify how much is enough...
Now, I know what you are thinking (yes, again... I may not be a mind-reader but I have been around this business a long time)... You are thinking 'Geez, I just want to buy a house and make a little cash ( or some similar version thereof)!' It is good to jump into the deep-end of the pool... Sometimes you just need to get your feet wet! However, whatever your long-term goal is (and it is okay for it to be a little bit vague right now), it will effect the kind of property you buy, the way you (and your agent) approach that property when negotiating and what your exit strategy is... And everyone should have one.
In the meantime, while you are figuring this out, (getting your pre-approval together and envisioning what you desire) get out there. Look at as many houses as you can and get a feel of your market.
Ready. Set. Go!
@Tiffany Plovie. Thanks for the great advice. I spoke to a Realtor today and he would set me up with a loan officer from Bank of America. He advised the exact same thing you did. I'm going to take all your advice. Thanks again for the insight and motivation.
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