miércoles, 10 de septiembre de 2014

Dick Echorst of Century 21

Buyers on a budget are finding it harder to secure affordable housing due to investors gobbling up lower priced homes; sometimes before they are advertised publicly. Hiring a competent realtor is essential, or you may find yourself lost in house hunting purgatory. During the last 38 months, I have looked at homes in almost every state on the eastern seaboard and met at least a dozen realtors with varying degrees of expertise. The qualities I look for when choosing a realtor are dedication, a sense of humor and the willingness to be pestered at all hours of the day and night. The two best realtors I've encountered possessed all three of these attributes and have made the grueling process of home shopping fun instead of frustrating.
Dick Echorst of Century 21 Sbarra & Wells is located in upstate New York, an area I know very little about. He has kept in touch with me faithfully for the last three years through two hurricanes and all major holidays. Since I am far away, the task of touring potential homes falls on him alone. I send him multiple inquiries a week and he always responds the same day, even if it's near midnight. Dick has an uncanny knack for narrowing down my housing choices with words of wisdom like: "You don't want to live there." or "It's a nice area if you don't mind flooding." His dedication to caution never wanes and his level of honesty is steadfast. When I do find something he approves of, Dick is always willing to go see it for me & send a video.

My local realtor, Kevin Colman of Prudential Gross & Jansen Highlands in NJ, is like an overprotective mother, always looking out for his client's best interests. I suspect he attended real estate boot camp instead of regular real estate school. According to Mr. Colman, most of what I see on the internet is already sold or too expensive for my budget. Everything I ask him about is either in attorney review or "not really for sale." It almost seems like he's trying to prevent me from buying anything instead of helping but his methods are designed to save time. Kevin specializes in commercial real estate as well as residential and is one of the busiest realtors I've met. I don't think he ever takes a day off and he manages to answer all my questions, even if I've asked them more than once. Kevin also has a good sense of humor, which is important because finding a house on a shoestring budget can be stressful. He's been showing me houses since 2007 and has never complained, even though I have yet to buy one. Most of the properties we look at are moldy or lacking essentials like sheetrock & flooring but he remains optimistic; always encouraging me that we'll find the right one eventually. No matter what I ask of him, Kevin comes through. Whether it's a seller willing to finance or a house big enough for 6 kids that fits my ridiculous budget; his dedication to working miracles is unwavering.

According to US Housing Conditions, the homeownership rate is the lowest it's been since 1996, sales are at their lowest since 1997, and the production of new homes is the lowest it has ever been. Still, home prices are similar to those in 2003. What should you do if you're a buyer trying to find an affordable home on a tight budget? Find a realtor like Dick Echorst who's willing to answer emails at midnight & send video from two hours away. If you prefer comic relief with your house hunting; hire Kevin Colman, who's brave enough to go inside a house even when the listing notes say "do not enter structure!" He tells a good fish joke too.

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