Ep. 1 – How To Buy A Home 

 March 1, 2019

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Buying a home is a very big deal and a big commitment. Too many people rush home ownership without knowing the full implications of what they’re getting into. David Sidoni, the “how to buy a home” guy, has put together this podcast as a home buying guide to help you understand what the entire process is all about. If you’re buying a home, especially if you’re a first time home buyer, this podcast is for you. Learn everything you need to know about home ownership – from talking to realtors and checking out online listing companies to looking for real estate agents and what to expect when buying a home.

How To Buy A Home: Your Ultimate Home Buying Guide

You want to buy a home someday. You’re looking for knowledgeable, clear guidance that isn’t going to try to sell you something or rip you off. You just want to know how to do this right and how to avoid the biggest mistake of your life. I get it, you want the dream. You just want to know how you do this. Let’s go.

My name is David Sidoni. I’m your host to the How to Buy a Home show. Welcome. I’m excited to have you. I’m super stoked. This is episode one to introduce you to the show, and a chance for me to say hello. Back in March 2019, I originally recorded the first episode of this show, and you’re lucky you’re not hearing it because the audio sucked. I rambled a lot because I was pissed off at how the first-time home buyer has so few resources out there, few really good, decent information on how you do this. That’s because the real estate industry looks down on you and treat you crappy. That pissed me off too. I decided to start a podcast to fix this.

This is the show where you can get the real insider secrets of how to beat the game, that frankly is totally rigged against you because the real estate industry thinks that you, first-time buyers, suck. They think you suck their time, effort, energy and money. Lots of them give you subpar service because they get paid the least for working with you. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m keeping it real. You are the bottom of their business model. I think that is truly a horrific way to do business, to categorize a certain group of peoples as less important and not worth their time, especially for something this gigantic. That sucks.

Back in 2019, and I’ve been doing this for years and started to see this all over the place, I freaked out. I had enough. You guys deserve better than this. Guys, gals, he, she, they, everybody, you all deserve better, all first-time buyers. You just need someone experienced who gives a damn about you, to value you and to give you the roadmap on how to do this, get you your how-to list. Let’s get you confident and ready to get started.

In the original sucky audio recording of the first episode, I babbled a lot. It was therapeutic for me. I was channeling my inner rage and my empathy for you to give you more info than you ever wanted to know. Let me quickly tell you what’s been happening since March 2019 when I started my mini-revolution. The goal of the show is to honestly educate and give quality detailed information that isn’t out there. It’s to help empower you, the first-time home buyers, everywhere in North America. I know podcasts go globally, but I don’t know the laws everywhere else.

As record this in October 2021, we have over 175 first-time buyers that use the tips, tricks, tools, hacks, tactics and the insider information from this show to get it done and buy their first house. That’s insane because many of those 175 first-time buyers, they bought their home during the middle of a global pandemic. It was a stupid sellers’ market. That means that there were 10, 20, 30, 50, 75 buyers competing for each home, writing offers, getting in bidding wars. I’ve seen fist fights. It’s insane. Yet, we helped over 175 people buy a house.

We’ve got 300 or 400 people working on it, and about fifteen people across the country that are getting ready to close on their house in the next couple of weeks. I am humbled and excited that my little show is giving you guys out there, the lost first-time buyers, the real information that you guys are craving, so that you don’t have to tackle this hurdle. This is the biggest hurdle of your life feeling completely blind, befuddled and clueless.

Secret Superpower

I know you clicked on this and you’re a person of action and you want to get to your superpowers of understanding how to do this right now. You’re ready. What’s the trick? That’s the thing, I can’t tell you in just a ten-minute episode, “Here are the steps to go 1, 2, 3, 4.” Every single buyer is different. I don’t know where you are in your plan. It could be three days out or three years out. Here’s the thing, no matter where you are, no matter what phase you’re in, I’ve got all the information, that’s why I’m re-recording this. We’re over 50 episodes now as I record this in October 2021.

There are going to be episodes with detailed, real world, practical information from me, from several guests and from some of the actual first-time home buyers who read and did it. You’re going to find information on topics that you’re probably wondering about. We’ll talk about episodes on renting versus buying. Credit, that’s a big one. I did a couple and I think a third one is coming out soon. How about income qualifications? “How much do I have to make to buy a house?” One of the biggies, how much do you need to put down? I did a whole podcast on that. Spoiler alert, it’s not 20% like your mom and dad and grandma and uncle tell you. Most first-time buyers buy their homes at 3.5%.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t let not the fear of what you don’t know hold you back.  Don’t let it keep you paying rent that you don’t have to pay. ” via=”no”]

In 2020, the average was about 6% down. In 2021 so far, the average is about 8% down. You can get a house with a down payment of 3.5% on what’s called an FHA loan. We’ll explain that more later. Most people this year 2021 that are buying with me, 5% down. There’s a whole bunch of episodes on how to pick a realtor for you that won’t screw you over either intentionally or unintentionally, because it happens. The insider tip on that is there are lots of nice realtors out there. Unfortunately, because of the industry, these are the realtors that they push towards first-time home buyers, the inexperienced and under-trained realtors, and they’re dying for you to be their clients so they can figure out how to do their job. It doesn’t sound great for you though, does it?

There are episodes on the total cost to buy, but here’s another big hint on that. When you’re buying, your realtor is free, paid for by the seller. If you don’t have to pay them and they’re all getting paid the same no matter what, why don’t you pick the best one in town? There are episodes on sophisticated tactics in using the internet and all the cool ways to research homes in neighborhoods. There are episodes on market conditions.

A big question, “Is this a housing bubble?” I had to do two full episodes on that. Episode on should you buy now or should you wait to buy? That’s an interesting one. We’re going to answer the questions like, “What the hell is FHA, GFE, PMI, PITI, LTV?” What about appraisals, loan approval, or earnest money deposit? We’ve got episodes on that. Practical advice with tips on how to talk to your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles about buying a home. I’ve seen firsthand how stoked that some of your older relatives get when they find their kids or their grandkids start adulting.

One of my audience took the tips from that show. It was Waiting Versus Buying Now. It was one of the shows that you’ll find when you scroll through. He took the information with that. He made a chart with graphs like the X and Y axis and fancy colors. He convinced his parents that buying made more sense, using the information he learned from the show. He got a sweet loan from the bank of mom and dad.

There are also going to be episodes with deep dives about lenders. I know you’re all wondering about that. What’s difference between a lender and a mortgage broker, and an online lender and a credit union? We’ve got a whole bunch of information to help you choose the one that’s right for you. Here’s another little side note. Most of the time, the right lender for you, it’s not some random internet site or an app that takes three clicks to see if you can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. You need a little bit more customer service than that.

There’s a whole bunch of motivational inspirational in how-to episodes talking about taking the steps to make this your last lease ever. If you’re one of those three-year people, or you think you’re a long way out, there’s a seven-part series on how to financially prepare to buy your home. Seven full podcasts of math, numbers and budget stuff. How ultra-pumped are you to learn about all that crap? You best be because buying your first home isn’t like HGTV. It’s time to stop dreaming and get some reality for me instead of reality TV.

If you crave all those cute stories from those reality TV cute couples, I’ve even got those too. There are episodes where you can learn straight from the people who read this show and did it. Planned, found the right realtor, bought a house. There’s a bunch of realized success stories. I can’t say it but they’re real from real life people who read and found those people, realtor and a great mortgage broker, and they bought their first home. We call those people unicorn realtors and unicorn mortgage brokers, but more on that a little bit later.

The deal is I’ve got lots to share with you with one goal in mind, you making this happen. That’s all I’m looking to do, educate and help you, because I think it sucks that you don’t get this. There’s nothing out there from anyone with any experience to help you guys. I’m going to give you all the secrets. I want to fight for you. I want to help arm you. I want to make you more powerful and help you avoid mistakes.

HBH 1 | Buying A Home
Buying A Home: There are lots of nice but inexperienced and undertrained realtors out there. They’re dying for you to be their client, so they can figure out how to do their job.

A Big Reason

Speaking of mistakes, here’s a beautiful segue. There’s another reason why I’m doing the show. A few years into my real estate career, I looked back at my own rental life from the 1990s. It was from 1991 to 1998. I lived in a few different apartments in Hollywood, and I spent $104,000 in rent and that was ‘90s money. It was way more than that if you do that now. Here’s the gut punch. I realized in my 30s that at 21 years old, I could have qualified and bought a condo. It’s nicer than all those apartments I rented for $104,000. It would have just been about $8,000 down in 1991.

I could have borrowed that from my parents, paid the exact same amount per month. My mortgage was the same as my rent, if I had that mortgage, for the exact period, ‘91 to ‘98. Then when I moved out to Hollywood, I would have had literally hundreds of thousands of dollars, but nobody told me how to do this, or even that I could do this.

I personally walked away in 1998 with my $1,500 security deposit, not hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’m sure I didn’t get the whole $1,500. I think the landlord took $500 out to clean the carpets. The only reason I didn’t take advantage and do that was because I was ignorant. Nobody told me what was possible. I threw away all that rent money. Let’s change that for you. Don’t let not knowing or the fear of what you don’t know hold you back. Don’t let it keep you paying rent that you don’t have to pay.

Every month, we need to write the biggest bill that is your rent. Wouldn’t it be nice if you were writing that check towards something that goes towards your future? Another example of how I’m older and experienced. I said, “Writing that check.” If you pay average rent, this is more affordable than you think. Can you do this? I’ve had this conversation hundreds of times with most of my first-time buyers. They’re almost all super surprised at what they’re able to do.

I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “Sidoni, I should’ve started planning for this way earlier. I could have done this years ago.” Not only do I have heard it from them over and over, but I heard it told to myself. I said that to me in my 30s, “What are you doing, David?” I should’ve started in my twenties, way back in the 1990s. That’s a long time for appreciation. I know that’s before most of you guys were born. I’m sorry you missed it. You missed out on the dope ‘90s R&Bs. You missed FRIENDS for the first time when it was on TV and not streaming somewhere.

Why should you keep listening to me, my awful jokes and diving into this catalog? I try to present this as a fun way, but I’m going to give you a whole bunch of information. Also it sucks, but I’m the only one doing this. Seriously, I’m the only experienced agent speaking directly to you, the first-time home buyers. I didn’t know it was going to get this big and I’d be helping these many people. I just did it for some local people, but then I realized, you guys are dying for this stuff.

An Insider Secret

There is nothing out there. When I got this idea in 2019, I googled ‘first-time home buyer’ and I was scrolling through page after page. I finally got to 19 pages and I gave up. I was like, “I’m not doing this anymore.” I didn’t see one realtor reaching out to advertise to you. Here’s the insider secret as to why. It’s not the game. The real estate game, the realtors’ game, is to get sellers. Buyers, especially first-time home buyers, they think that they’re for training and not for the pros. This archaic real estate industry is run by dinosaurs who still think that they need to put a sign in the yard, and that you first-time buyers will come running.

In fact, that Google search I was telling you about when I looked up first time home buyers where there was an ad on top as there always is. The very first ad for first-time home buyer was, “Thinking of selling your home?” Even Google knows you don’t need squat to the real estate industry. That’s what’s up. That’s the real deal. The whole industry is not talking to you.

[bctt tweet=”The game in real estate is to get sellers. Buyers, especially first-time buyers, are for training and not for the pros.” via=”no”]

The jacked-up thing is you are 30% to 40% of the market every year, and realtors think you’re a time suck, that you’re not worth it, and you’re not going to give them a paycheck in the next 30 days. Instead, they’re going to pass you off to their inexperienced new agents while they work with the people that want to sell their homes because they’re too old school. They think buyers will come running to them and all their homes for sale, their listings with their signs in the yard. Hello, realtors, ever heard of the internet? Zillow, Redfin, anybody? Buyers are smarter than ever. They want a real pro that’s going to be their guide, their trusted resource.

The system is rigged. It sucks. Back in 2019, I quit my broker. I moved to a new broker that was internet-based. Many realtors and brokers are still living in that bricks and mortar business model. They think they are the sources of all the local information. You guys know you’ve got the world in your pocket and you’re going to do your research on everything including your realtors. You want to find the best way and the right way to buy a home. It’s to not only protect yourself from crappy service, but to get the best service and get a good value too. That model needs to change. I’m trying to do it with the show, one buyer at a time.

The model is so busted. There’s a great story about Dale Carnegie. He was building the steel empire in America. The first couple of years when he saw that technology was moving so fast, he realized, “I’m going to have to tear down my factories every five years.” He realized, “We can’t just fix up our factory and keep up with the new technology. It’s going to be way more inefficient.” He realized he needed to burn the whole thing down and start over. That’s what I’m doing.

Who Am I

Why would you listen to me rambling? Who the hell am I? I’ve been in real estate in Southern California since 2005, and first-time buyers have always been my jam. I live near Disneyland, and I know some of the people there. I worked there in high school and college. When I got into real estate, I became Captain First-Time Buyer Realtor for all the Disney employees. Don’t call them employees. Mickey says you have to call them cast members.

Over the years, I’ve helped 89 cast members make homeownership happen. I even helped lots of non-Disney people in all these years I’ve been doing it as well. In 2021, I’ve helped 16 first-time home buyers get their first home, and 123 first-time home buyers in my career so far. Most realtors are going to do 3, 4 or 5 transactions a year and maybe work with 1 first-time home buyer. I can say, this is my jam. I learned a lot with these awesome people.

Over the years, I realized that most first-time buyers are drastically underserved and not getting experienced quality realtors. You guys have been ignored, undervalued and underappreciated. You deserve better. This is my mission. Labor of love. To educate and give you guys the information, just give it all away so you don’t have to get caught in this nasty web. It’s to help you.

If I sound frustrated or pissed off sometimes, it’s because I am. I’ve seen first-time buyers get screwed for too long and I’m sick of it. I’m talking to a microphone by myself in my office. Maybe you’re here because you’re curious, but maybe I know some of you are here because you’re pissed off too. You’ve been looking for answers and not finding much or you’ve been pushed or pressured, or you just realize that this nice agent that you met seems kind of clueless. It’s not your fault. It’s not even their fault. This is the system, but you can beat it. There are people out there that will help you.

Empowered, Educated, Confident

Rent sucks. Stop renting. You need a rock star realtor, someone to help you plan before you buy and then help you buy. I’m here to help you with that. Let’s get you empowered, educated and confident, help you beat the system by finding a pro in your area who’s going to give you that A-plus, five-star experience, bad-ass service you deserve.

HBH 1 | Buying A Home
Buying A Home: Buyers are smarter than ever. They just want a real pro to be their guide and trusted resource.

I ran through all those episodes. There’s information for anybody. If you’re 1 month, 6 months or 2 years or 3 years out, whatever works for you, don’t do it alone. You’ve got me babbling in your ear holes. You’re also going to learn how to find the right rockstar, unicorn advocate for you. Why do you need an advocate? Number one, it’s free. I told you that, get the best. Your choice, your call. I seriously have had so many horror stories before the show and during the show from my clients, and now audience who are using their agents who are their friends, their cousins, their relatives, or just this nice guy that he met at the gym.

I even had an audience call me. Their mom was their realtor, but they didn’t think she knew what she was doing so they called me. It’s tragic. It’s an epidemic. The real estate industry is not training their agents right. They sure as hell aren’t spending any time or resources to educate you, the first-time home buyer, on how to do this best. Whether you’re planning years out or ready to buy the house, they’re not showing you what your options are.

What sucks is that they’re getting crushed by the internet. The internet is winning, and the real estate industry is way behind. They don’t understand Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, Opendoor, and whatever else is going to pop up next week. All these internet companies are listing homes for sale. They tell you to go with their not-so-hot realtors or some other guy on their website who paid to be there. It doesn’t mean they’re good.

Many buyers don’t know this. They don’t know any better. They think, “That guy must be good. He’s on the internet.” No, either the internet company hired him for cheap to try sell the house or it’s somebody who bought that spot. If you pick your own realtor, trust me, you’re not going to lose out on anything. They’re still going to gladly sell you that home, but you’ll have an advocate on your side and you’re going to be protected.

I’m going to get you the knowledge to help pick you an all-star realtor that cares about you, not a part-timer or newbie thrown at you because you’re undervalued. Are you ready to get educated? Give these episodes a try. I know you’re going to feel better about moving forward on this dream. You’re going to hear tons of advice from other people in other sources. Once you say, “I’m looking at houses,” everyone has an opinion.

I promise you, you won’t find more in-depth information than on this show. From someone who’s been doing this for many years, my blabbering comes from a passionate place and years of experience, and we’ve already helped hundreds of people. You can listen to their stories. We know that we can help you too. Plus, you can always listen to this at 1.5 speed and get through it all super quick.

If many of you guys out there are readers, every single show is transcribed and written out. Go old school, print it out and use highlighters. I always encourage folks to wake up your day, make this part of your daily routine. I know that’s scary but maybe do it a little bit later after you’ve had some coffee. If you’re commuting, working out, walking the dog or if you can’t sleep, maybe listen to those extensive episodes on the housing bubble because it’s filled with math, data and statistics. They’re real sleeper stuff. I encourage you to listen over and over. Try to get this information in your brain before you start running out and looking at open houses. If you get this information, you get familiar with it, and it won’t be so scary when that time comes.

If you’re brand new, hit the subscribe. That’s what we used to do. Now, I guess you just follow. If you’re reading this five years from now, hit the “I think this guy is cool” button. I don’t know what it’s going to be. The reason why I tell people to do that is because you’re going to get the episodes right away. I release episodes based on exactly what’s happening in the market and the housing market, as well as the real estate business is changing weekly. You need to stay up to date.

If you have any questions or specific things that you want to ask me, most people are finding me on Instagram, @HowToBuyAHomePodcast. You can DM me right there and I can help answer your questions. Join the How to Buy a Home Facebook page if you still have Facebook, or if you’re like me, you’re a little older and you have it to show your mom and dad pictures of your kids. I also got a YouTube page, Twitter. I even started TikTok. It’s scary. You could reach out me directly through my website, DavidSidoni.com or HowToBuyAHome.com.

This is one step of your journey. This is your story. Not mine. You want to do this, and you want to know how. You need a guide who cares about you to give you the details, to help you avoid the big no-no’s and make sure you don’t make any huge mistakes, and then get you to a happy ever after with no more rent ever. You can do this.

Important Links:

This podcast was started for YOU, to demystify things for first time home buyers, and help crush the confusion. After helping first timers for over 13 years, I knew there wasn’t t a lot of clear, tangible, useable information out there on the internet, so I started this podcast. Help me spread the word to other people just like you, dying for answers. Tell your friends, family, and perhaps that random neighbor you REALLY want to move out about How to Buy a Home! A really easy way is to hit the share button and text it to your friends. Go for it, help someone out. And if you’re not already a regular listener, subscribe and get constant updates on the market. If you are a regular and learned something, help me help others – give the show a quick review in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts, or write a review on Spotify. Let’s change the way the real estate industry treats you first time buyers, one buyer at a time, starting with you – and make sure your favorite people don’t get screwed by going into this HUGE step blind and confused. Viva la Unicorn Revolution!

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You Might Also Be Interested In:

Ep 217 – Interview With Millie – How To Buy Your First Home Before Turning 30
Ep 218 – Interview With Brian Friedman – How And Why Creatives And Artists Should Buy Instead Of Rent
Ep 215 – That ADU Guy Interview – The Ultimate House Hacks To Make Buying Affordable
Ep 216 – PMI Is Still A Privilege And Still Not The Devil