Looking to buy a home in 2018? Whether purchasing a new home, an investment property or a vacation villa, there are three things all home buyers need – a Realtor, a Mortgage Banker and an Insurance Agent. We recently spoke with seasoned professionals from each of these industries and this is what they had to say about the current market for home purchases in 2018.
Malcom Askew – Keller Williams -Team Dynamo Realty
Q: How did you decide to become a realtor?
A: In 2009 I was brainstorming on what I wanted to do for a living and I recognized that something my parents both had experience in was real estate. I then started to do a little research and realized the opportunities were endless for me, if I worked hard and mastered my craft.
Q: Why is it important for someone to use a Realtor?
A: Using a Realtor has so many benefits. Some of the more notable ones include in-depth market knowledge, thorough understanding of the real estate market, and relationships with top-rated local vendors (i.e. home inspectors and mortgage professionals). These are assets to home buyers, yet the most important asset is undoubtedly ADVOCACY. Realtors live in the industry daily. We repeatedly help clients navigate through difficult, complicated and extensive transactions. Each transaction helps us gain more insight and skill as to how to lead our clients to their real estate goals. We are experts at saving our clients time, money and stress!
Q: If someone is interested in purchasing a home, what should their first step be?
A: The first step after deciding to purchase a home should always be to interview and hire your Realtor. Your Realtor will first educate you on current market conditions and the home buying process. Then comes developing your personalized strategy, finding your new home and sealing the deal with keys to your new home!
Brian Goldman – Leap Mortgage
Q: How long have you been in business and why did you choose to locate your business in Gainesville?
A: I have been in the business for 14 years and I chose to work in Gainesville because I grew up here and wanted to be around a strong network of people I knew and also to give back and help my community grow.
Q; What services does your company provide?
A: Leap Mortgage is a full-service mortgage banker. We provide residential lending solutions throughout Florida. At Leap Mortgage we have built a culture of service where we understand the importance of trust and the value of fostering long-term relationships. We aim to make the mortgage process as smooth as possible within a challenging real estate market.
Q; If someone is interested in purchasing a home, what advice would you give them?
A: There are several things they should consider and begin to prepare for. My list of things to do include the following:
Start saving for a down payment
Check your credit with your lender
Do not apply for any new credit
Determine what monthly payment you are comfortable with
Budget for closing costs
Set aside a reserve for after closing for home upgrades
Gather all necessary paperwork together for the mortgage process
Start shopping for your dream home
Lataylia McKnight – Owner, Allstate Insurance
Q: As a female business owner you must face a lot of challenges. What drives and motivates you to see beyond these obstacles?
A: There’s nothing more rewarding than giving families peace of mind, and building relationships with my clients. Year after year, my team and I are able to help families make financial decisions that will change the course of their lives for the betterment of their family. Also, as a member Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, I have had the privilege of working with many teen girls in the community. I encourage them to dream and set goals, and show them that being a black business owner can be a reality for them as well. Being that beacon of hope for them is gratifying.
Q: What should new homeowners be aware of when purchasing Homeowners Insurance and considering an insurance agent?
A: The best advice I could ever give a first-time homeowner is to truly understand what owning a home means and what responsibilities come with owning your own home. Home ownership is much like owning a vehicle; it requires time, patience and upkeep. As an agent, the biggest challenge I see in first-time homeowners or prospective homeowners is inquiring about homeowner’s insurance at the last minute, shortly before closing on their home. Researching insurance should be one of the first steps of purchasing a new home. A prospective homeowner should perform extensive research on homeowner’s insurance and find the best insurance company that caters to their unique needs early in the purchasing process.
When considering an agent, consider someone that is going to be there when you need them, someone who is knowledgeable and able to explain coverage accurately. Also, consider the company, and their ability to meet your needs. Of course, saving money during is important, but do not cut corners where it counts the most.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself, or your business?
A: My agency is a one-stop shop and carries an array of products for all insurance needs. Whether its homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, life insurance or retirement needs, my team and I are here to help. To obtain a quote is free and painless; the first step in protecting your home and family is to get a quote.
Virginia Grant – Ashley Bryant