As one time DJ for Inner City Broadcasting, owner of the Egypt Sherrod Real Estate Group, author of Keep Calm… It’s Just Real Estate and host of HGTV’s hit television series, Property Virgins, Harlem fave Egypt Sherrod has achieved guru status when it comes to all things homes – something we’d like to think she has in common with Homes.com!
Each week, on the television series Property Virgins, Sherrod guides first time homebuyers through the emotional ups and downs and logistical wranglings associated with buying a home, while setting realistic expectations and dishing out some tough love along the way. She ushers property virgins into the world of real estate without breaking a sweat as millions of viewers enjoy living vicariously through the budgeting, house hunting and deal-making process.
Once upon a time, Egypt Sherrod was, herself, an anxious first time home buyer. She recalls those jitters all too well, which most likely inspired the name of her book as well as her passion for deconstructing the entire home buying process for her audience and her clients.
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In this interview with Homes.com, Egypt Sherrod shares how she nabbed her coveted HGTV gig, her thoughts on everything from choosing the right city and style of home, to how to build your “real estate dream team.”
Why do so many first time home-buyers find the process overwhelming and stressful, and how can they simplify it?
It’s natural to have anxiety about things we don’t know or understand. Purchasing a home is not to be taken lightly. It’s a huge financial commitment, which is why it’s important to have the right team in place to help you navigate. Homebuyer’s can simplify and even enjoy their experience by finding a great realtor to quarterback the process for them. Also before looking at any homes, get that pre-approval so that you’ll be confident in your “buying power.”
What would you say are the top three takeaways from your book Keep Calm…It’s Just Real Estate: Your No Stress Guide to Buying a Home?
Wow… I jam-packed it with so many useful tidbits, it’s almost difficult to narrow it down three. But let’s see…. get your ducks in a row. It’s incredibly wise to sit down with a mortgage professional before shopping for your home. This way you can have a very clear and confident idea of exactly how much money you’ll qualify for.
You can also determine a comfortable monthly output for yourself. It’s anti-productive to shop first. What if you fall in love with a home at $400k, to later find out you can only afford a $200k home? That will be extremely disappointing, so set yourself up for success early. Build a real estate dream team- your real estate agent should be your quarterback. A good agent will have a network of individuals that can help you through each phase of the home buying process, ie inspectors, attorneys etc. Not all agents are created equally. Interview them just as if you were interviewing any job candidate.
After all this will be perhaps the most important purchase in your life so you’ll want an ethical and skilled Realtor representing you. Don’t overspend- You don’t want to move into your first house broke. That’s what we call “house poor.” How horrible would it be to move into a gorgeous new home, but have no money to furnish it or enjoy the basics. Make sure you have enough money in reserves. And as tempting as it may be, stick to your budget.
How can a first time home buyer set realistic expectations, budget-wise, yet still create their dream space once they move in?
Do your homework! Educate yourself about neighborhoods, school systems, prices and competition BEFORE you shop for your home. You notice I keep going back to things you should do ahead of time. That’s because knowledge is power. If you understand the process, the prices, and the market ahead of time, then chances are you’ll have more realistic expectations of what you’ll be able to get for your money and won’t be wrought with indecision and frustration. Also, create a wish list for yourself so that you can make sure your needs are being met as you tour homes.