Real Estate Agent with FHAllen, Sonoma Country and Vintage


I think we all agree that much of the satisfaction in our profession comes from helping young people buy their first home.

I just had the privilege of working with a young man purchasing his first home in the town were he was born and reared. I think it is safe to say that not many single buyers would consider buying and renovating a fixer -upper and the reality of living with a house torn apart. His hometown is in the wine country in Northern California, an area of high house prices, but the current market offered him a chance he might never have had and he was willing to make sacrifices and stay focused on his goal.

Fortunately his unflappable attitude and optimism got him through more than one disappointment and glitch in the process. He never got frustrated, gave-in to disappointment or anger. For example, when the house did not appraise for the contract price, he choose to stay with his original offer. His response to me when I consulted with him about different options was quite simple, "I told the seller I would pay X price and my word is my word."

I have to mention that his parents helped in this purchase and as hometown folks the family were there for financial, practical and emotional support. He also had the help of a terrific friend who helped him look at every house and discussed the work they could do together to improve the property.

I felt lucky to be a part of it.

                                                                               Kathleen Bonham

                                                              Sonoma Country and Vintage Specialist

                                                               Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol

Posted by

Kathleen Bonham

Vintage Home Specialist

Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol

Comments (24)

Dave Roberts
Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty - Healdsburg, CA

I'm lucky to be working with a first time buyer couple. I'm going to share your story with them so they will understand that persistence pays off.

Nov 14, 2009 01:03 AM
kathleen bonham
FHAllen, Sonoma Country and Vintage - Santa Rosa, CA

Thanks Jim and Dave!

Nov 14, 2009 01:57 AM
Kathy Yannes ABR, CDPE
ReMax South Shore Realty - Riverview, FL

It's true, when you close with a first time buyer and get that hug and excitement, it reminds you why you are in this business.

I recently worked with a young couple, and when we were done pre qualifying and looking at what they could buy, the wife turned to her husband who had a big smiile and said, "see honey, I told you we could buy a house".  We are 90 days in to a short sale deal waiting on an answer and they are being very patient. I can't wait for closing day with them. He keeps telling me how hard he worked to save money that is sitting in an account for their first house. He says, we are not touching that money, it is for our house!

Nov 14, 2009 02:00 AM
Linda Landry
HomeSmart Realty - Tucson, AZ

Home ownership is exhilarating in and of itself but that first time is mind boggling.  What a smart young man to make an investment in his future by recognizing that now is the time.

Nov 14, 2009 02:03 AM
kathleen bonham
FHAllen, Sonoma Country and Vintage - Santa Rosa, CA

Thanks Kathy and Linda!

Nov 14, 2009 02:08 AM
Anthony Ebright - NMLSR ID #247647 Purchase and Refinance Mortgages
FHA, VA, Conforming, Jumbo - Wells Fargo Home Mortgage - Santa Rosa, CA

Kathleen, thanks for the post. I'm going to share it with a couple of my clients who are getting dispondent with this market. They've gone through 5 offers and continue to lose to other offers.

Nov 14, 2009 02:54 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Your buyer truly is an exceptional young man. How many people would make such a statement and be so firm in standing by their word? Next time you see him, tell him he has a fan in Idaho.

Nov 14, 2009 05:46 AM
Brett Dalbeth
iPro Real Estate - Laguna Niguel, CA
Laguna Agent

Kathleen. I'm working on my 3rd 1st time buyer for 09 and handing them the keys is my favorite part of the whole transaction. What a great time of the year to get into a new home especially for a young family. Just before Xmas.

Nov 14, 2009 06:32 AM
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

I always love to help first time buyers because they are so jazzed to get their first home.

Nov 14, 2009 06:46 AM
Karla Casey
Karla Casey (BIC), List Sotheby's International Realty, Hawaii - Honolulu, HI

Isn't making someone's dream come true wonderful?  That is what gets me through the difficult times in this business.

Best wishes and lots of Aloha,


Nov 14, 2009 07:35 AM
Marian Pierre-Louis
Fieldstone Historic Research - Medway, MA
Metrowest Boston

Wonderful story on so many levels.  Nice to hear people like him still exist and glad he was able to take advantage of this opportunity.  I know his first home will turn out great.

Nov 14, 2009 10:33 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

The best part of this business is enjoying other people's successes with them. 

Nov 14, 2009 11:15 AM
Jeff Coon
Annie Mac Home Mortgage - Toms River, NJ
Branch Manager

First timers are usually my favorite clients to work with.  The fact that they usually appreciate the help, & invariably assume that i have somehow performed a minor miracle for them is a real boost to the ego.

It sure is fun to help them.  I remember buying my first place, & if it wasn't for a smart agent -who I still work with to this day, -it would not have happened then. 

Nov 14, 2009 11:21 AM
Valerie Sullivan
Sullivan Enterprises, LLC - Fort Walton Beach, FL


First time home buyers are excellent.  I work in a town between two military bases, and the majority of my clients are first time home buyers.  I love seeing the looks on their faces going through the entire process, and guiding them through it.  It's a great feeling to know you've found them the home they were looking for!


Nov 14, 2009 11:59 AM
Martin Kalisker
Greater Boston Association of REALTORS - Boston, MA
Professional Standards & Legal Assistant

First time buyers are great repeat buyers.  I hope that you have an outstanding client follow up program in place.  All too many times have I seen someone move  up with a different realtor.  When asked why they didn't use the realtor that sold them the house in the first place, the response is "she never followed up with me - - I don't even see her signs around anymore."

Nov 15, 2009 12:09 AM
kathleen bonham
FHAllen, Sonoma Country and Vintage - Santa Rosa, CA

Thank you all for reading this and sharing your thoughts with me! The real estate community is full of dedicated, gernerous and kind professionals.  

Nov 15, 2009 01:20 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

What an exceptional buyer and young gentlemen. A word that is not often used these days. Congrats on your feature Kathleen.

Nov 15, 2009 06:36 AM
Catherine Marrone
Integrity Residential Brokerage LLC - West Newbury, MA
West Newbury MA real estate, Essex County

Obviously this young man was raised right. It's nice to know that there are people who are willing to work hard in an ethical manner to get ahead in this world.  So many look for the short cut or are willing to step all over others in order to achieve.  I bet you'll get some very nice referrals too.

Nov 17, 2009 05:54 AM
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

He gave his word and he was going to keep it. God, you want to hear young people utter words like that everyday. You were blessed to have a client like that, and I hope more like him come your way.

Nov 17, 2009 10:58 PM
kathleen bonham
FHAllen, Sonoma Country and Vintage - Santa Rosa, CA

Thanks again everyone for you feedback.

Nov 18, 2009 01:41 AM