Ask James Dainard

Q&A With a Local Expert in Real Estate Investing

“I am new to real estate investing, and I am unsure of where to start. Should I find financing or a deal first?” – Andrew of Seattle, WA

Since you are a new investor, I recommend finding financing first. The last thing you want to do is commit to purchase a property and not have any method of paying for it. Most sellers or brokers are going to want to see proof of financing or funds available to purchase the home. If you are not paying cash for the property, it is highly recommended that you get qualified with a lender. This way, when you find the right deal you are completely prepared to close!

“We have found an investment property we are interested in purchasing but there are several unknowns. What sort of contingencies do you recommend putting on an offer to protect ourselves?”  – Natalie & Matt of Maple Valley, WA

That is a good question! I would say it depends on what the unknowns are specifically. If you are new to investing it is a good idea to have an inspection contingency and a title contingency. Have an inspector research what sort of deficiencies the house may have; whether it be the foundation, sewer line, septic system, etc., it is important to know what you are walking into. The reality of this business is until you start tearing the house apart there are always going to be surprises. You may also run into difficulties with the title on the property. Some issues that may arise are private road easements, sewer and utility easements, encroachment on lot lines, etc. It is important to note that in a competitive situation, like today’s seller’s market, the more contingencies you have the less attractive your offer will be. To strengthen your offer and learn how to determine which contingencies to include and which to remove I advise that you team up with an experienced professional.

“I am considering selling my primary residence, when should I start meeting with agents?” – Brad of Des Moines, WA

The sooner the better. If you are thinking about selling your home, now is a great time! Historically, the market has been fairly active from March until July. In August we tend to see families going on vacations and getting ready to go back to school. We have found that the market tends to slow down around the “back to school” season. Generally we see another peak in the market around October and November right before the holiday season. We have also found that it can be difficult to list your home in the winter months because buyers tend to be occupied with holiday activities. However, due to factors beyond our control, for example a growing family or a job re-location, many people do not have the option of choosing when to sell their primary residence. When the time comes to sell your home, make sure you partner with a realtor who can help you get your home into market ready condition to ensure you receive top dollar for your property.

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