Monday, September 22, 2014

Buying a House is Like Magic: The Gathering

Alright, it's about time I put together a post that addresses the huge audience of Magic: The Gathering players who are also real estate enthusiasts.

I came up with this idea a couple months ago when I was explaining the buying process to a client.

Buying a house is like attacking someone in Magic: The Gathering. Let me explain:

Draw: Prequalification

There's little use in going house shopping if you don't know what resources you have available. I've already written about this before, so I won't rehash it here. Prequalify for a loan. Draw that card. Make sure you know what you have available. I have a mortgage guy that I like working with, and I'll happily refer you to him if you want help with this step.

Also, I skipped Untap and Upkeep. Because those have nothing to do with real estate.

Pre-Combat Main: Shopping Around

This is the luxurious phase, where you look at your available resources, you get a feel for the board state, and you prepare for the Combat phase. In order to prevent you from spending an eternity (really, an eternity) in this phase, you should get together with your realtor and use their search engine tools to narrow down the possibilities.

Unless, of course, you genuinely enjoy looking at houses on the Internet. If that's the case, allow me to recommend this website, as it consistently has the most up-to-date information on what's available.

Declare Attackers: Go Under Contract

Alright, now you've found your winning move, and you're ready to end the game. Pick the house that you like, make a competitive offer (What constitutes a "competitive offer" depends on what the market is doing, along with other factors.), and get that offer accepted!

Declare Blockers: Due Diligence, Financing and Appraisal

Unless you had an extremely compelling reason not to do so, you made your offer to purchase contingent upon Due Diligence and Financing and Appraisal. During Due Diligence, you will send in an inspector, find out every last problem with the house, and decide whether you want to proceed with the purchase or not.

Before Financing and Appraisal, you will have an appraiser come in and say whether the price being offered is justifiable, and also you'll make sure that your loan is good to go.

In either of these cases, if there is something wrong with the house or if there's something wrong with the appraised value (if there are blockers, you see), you can use Instant Spells, in the form of addenda, to try and rectify the problem.

Swing for Fatal: Buy the House!

All potential blockers have been vanquished. You go to settlement! If you settle with my favorite Title Company, then we will be sipping on sodas and apple juice while munching warm cookies as you sign a stack of papers that would make War and Peace jealous. It takes a bit, but then you've won the game! As soon as the loan funds (generally the next business day) you're a home owner!

Post Combat Main: The Housewarming party, I guess?

Realtors don't have a post-combat main. We always swing for fatal. Every time.

Want help winning a big, expensive game of Magic: The Gathering? Let me know!

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