I thought I knew everything I needed to know about buying a home......

Real Estate Sales Representative with Weichert Realtors & DCC Marketing/Cyprus

I had my move from Paphos, Cyprus to Northern Virginia all figured out - down to the tee. I was leaving Cyprus at the perfect time to buy my dream home in the States.  I thought I knew everything there was to know about financing, foreclosures, new construction and the real estate market in general. I lived real estate in Cyprus and incorporated all I learned through sites like Active Rain and other American based forums into my day to day routine. With the American mind set, work ethic and knowledge I was able to set up the business in Cyprus and now do my part (web work and SEO) from the US while my sales team in Cyprus does the rest...fantastic right!? Yes, BUT reading and learning on-line put me in a bit of a shock when I actually got to the US and realized how hard it is to actually buy a home!

Living overseas you hear about dropping home prices, foreclosures and job losses. You see for sale signs on every news cast by CNN International, BBC and even Aljazeera. Every message is the same, the number of homes available are at record levels, America is on sale and although I knew that all markets were not created equal and some were much more competitive and better than others. Knowing that I wanted to buy property for myself in Virginia, I researched the news on local media and no where did I read about how difficult it was to actually buy a house.

I thought I would be able to close a deal in no time at all, basically just walk through a neighborhood I liked and choose the home for sale I wanted and get it. I heard and read about short sales, but I did not actually understand how it really works or how it didn't. My brother-in-law who is a licensed real estate agent clued me in on the likelihood of me getting a short sale or shall I say getting a short sale in a timely manner, the neglected state bank owned properties are generally in, the competition when trying to buy a quality, move-in ready bank owned property and the list goes on and on of what he taught me about the Northern Virginia market which is still moving....I know...I lost a plot of land I wanted to buy to another more savvy buyer AND a home I wanted to purchase had 10 contracts on it! Who knew!? I surely didn't.  

I forgot how creative corporate America- even in an economic crisis where house prices are plummeting and there are million of houses for sale, they can turn it into a competitive situation. So gone were the fantasies of getting a dirt cheap foreclosure by the time my shipment from Cyprus arrived (6 week time frame).  If all the right elements fall in place a home can be bought fairly quickly like if a spec home is ready for immediate move-in. In general though it seems like it can be a long process with many disappointments. Despite that last statement, I ended my search for a move-in ready bank home and purchased a great, new home on a 1/4 acre that my wife and I love AND for about $200,000 less than we would have at the height of the market! I do have to wait until the end of August for it but it will be well worth the wait!

In the meantime, I am preparing to take take the real estate exam in Northern Virginia. Hopefully, all my practical knowledge gained from selling Cyprus properties and my knowledge gained from actually searching and buying my home plus the Mosley Real Estate course will help me pass and excel selling homes in VA. Wish me luck on passing and that our house is ready on time!!!

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