FROM THE FALL 2017 ISSUE
Dayton Schrader '93, who was Alumnus of the Year in 2006, has more than three decades of experience in the San Antonio real estate market and can boast many honors from professional organizations.
[Q] What helps you sense a client is truly ready to make the leap to home ownership?
[A] Home ownership is indeed a huge commitment. Before you start shopping, it’s important to get an idea of how much a lender is actually willing to give you to purchase your first home. You’ll want to look at the house’s total cost, not just the monthly payment. For example, how much can you afford for a down payment? And there are other expenses: property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and improvements.
"Home ownership is still a big part of the American Dream."
But there are also tremendous rewards, especially pride of accomplishment; home ownership is still a big part of the American Dream. There are also tax advantages and appreciation opportunities in your investment.
[Q] What characteristics should home buyers look for in a real estate agent, or more specifically, perhaps, how would home shoppers know they've found an agent that works for them and their specific home buying needs?
[A] Well, of primary importance is to get to know your real estate agent or Realtor and get to know about his or her experience with clients. The best agents are knowledgeable, experienced professionals who put the interest of the client first.
By working with a professional agent who can guide a buyer or seller through the process—which includes writing out contracts, exploring mortgage options, filing the ownership title, getting inspections done to ensure the property is in an inhabitable and a legally required state, etc.—you will have good communication consistently during the process and a follow-up afterward.
The agent should also inform you and educate you along the way about everything that is happening. And ultimately, the agent will use her or his expertise to protect you from any pitfalls you might encounter during the process.