|Real Estate Broker/Owner||
|location_on Alexandria, VA — DROdio Real Estate, Inc|
|web Real Estate Expert Answers - DROdio Real Estate, Inc., VA/MD/DC|
Not sure you need a Realtor? Read this...
If you're wondering exactly how a Realtor can help you find a home, you'll probably enjoy this whitepaper.
I was wondering the exact same thing when I bought a home in 2001 (before I was a Realtor) from Pulte. What I found was that most Realtors were generally clueless and were just trying to get me into a home so they could get paid their commission. Furthermore, I had no idea how they were even paid. Needless to say, I didn't have the most positive experience, so I decided to start a real estate company to change the way buyers purchase homes.
The first thing I did was apply my background (in technology) to make the search process as easy & transparent as possible for buyers. Most Realtors try to restrict access to the MLS, not enable it, because they want control over the process. Our approach is entirely different.
We give you access to as much information as possible. We created a Google Maps based home search tool, BirdsEyeSearch.com (all links open in new windows) that searches the MLS, and we include the address of the homes, so you can drive by yourself. In fact, we'll even help you help yourself, with our free GPS loaner so you don't get lost. Our philosophy is this: If we let you do your own research at your own pace, then we believe you'll contact us when you're ready for an expert.
Everyone wants some hand holding at a different part of their search process. That's why we're always available, 24x7, for phone calls. In fact you can call me, the owner, at 202-250-3846 anytime you have a question (and yes, I take midnight phone calls all the time, so feel free). Some buyers want us to show them homes at the beginning of their search, and other buyers want to drive themselves around until they've narrowed their choices to a few homes or a few neighborhoods. The point is, we're here when you need us, and we won't bother you until you're ready for us to help.
We think that most Realtors have a fundamental misunderstanding of what their role should be in the home buying process. Most Realtors think they have to "control" the process, and they think that by driving you around to certain homes, you'll buy one of the ones they show you. We call this the "taxi driving syndrome." But we don't think our value lies in being a taxi driver. Our agents are expert negotiators and don't mind making lowball offers, all of it with the goal of serving your best interests. We'd rather enable you with the ability to see homes, with addresses, through our search tools, and let you take your time, and then be the expert to guide you through the process when you're ready. To that end, we have a series of buyer tutorials, including "How to make a lowball offer" and "How to buy a home as a Realtor would", which you can access, for free, at DROdio.com/video. We even work more efficiently than any other firm I know of, allowing you to digitally sign documents instead of running around looking for fax machines.
But that's not all. In our quest to empower you with information, we've even automated some of the more tedious parts of the home search process. By signing up at ListingNotice.com, you can have our servers check the MLS for you, once an hour, for any homes that match your criteria. If you want to be alerted when a 4 BR home in a certain neighborhood is for sale, no problem, we'll email you the second any homes that match come on the market. And yes, we give you the street address so you can drive by yourself to see if you're interested.
We've also had many buyers wondering if they could search for certain keywords, like "backs to woods" or "close to Metro" so we created a search tool for that too, called TheBestHomeSearchEver.com, which lets you do exactly that, and much more, like searching for homes that have dropped by a certain amount in price, or have been listed for a certain number of days or more. Even Realtors don't have the ability to search by keywords in their super-duper MLS search tool, so they use our site too!
Many people ask me if I'm worried that people will just use our free tools but never contact us. I know a certain percentage of buyers will do that, but I figure that by putting the tools out there, buyers will recognize that our approach is a better one, and for every buyer that takes advantage of these tools without contacting us, there will be several other buyers that do want our help. And that's just fine with us, because we really do think we've come up with a better way to help you buy a home.
Best regards, and good house hunting. We're here when you need us. Daniel R. Odio Owner & Managing Broker DROdio Real Estate, Inc.
P.S. - if you'd like to learn more about me and my philosophies, I invite you to visit my blog, at DanielOdio.com/blog.
P.P.S. - Others must think what we're doing is pretty neat too, as we've been featured in multiple publications for our progressive use of technology in the real estate world, including The Discovery Channel, CNN, CNBC, The Washington Business Journal, Forbes.com, CNN Money, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and many others.
For Our Clients...
Whether this is your first house, or you've done it all before, DROdio Real Estate, Inc. has the resources & expertise you need to purchase your next home. We provide you with a winning combination: Tools to help you find what you want, and smart, tech-savvy agents to represent your interests and close the deal. Follow the steps below and contact us when you're ready. We'll be here when you need us.
You should definitely take a look at the home buyer video tutorials we offer at www.DROdio.com/video
You might also especially like these free buyer tools we offer:
www.ListingNotice.com - Our system checks the MLS every hour and sends you any matching properties that meet your criteria
www.BirdsEyeSearch.com - Allows you to search the full MLS using a Google Maps interface
www.TheBestHomeSearchEver.com - Offers powerful search tools, including the ability to search listing notes for keywords (like "Metro" or "deck"), or to search for properties that have dropped a certain amount in price, or have been on the market more than a certain number of days, and much more
Did you know that the same $500,000 house can cost you between $2,083.33 per month and $4,219.28 per month depending on which loan you get? For this reason, it's very important you start your search by determining how much you want to spend per month, and which loan you want. We've gathered some excellent loan tools to help you make that decision. And remember, unless you'll be living in a house for the next 30 years, a 30 year conventional loan is probably not the right loan for you. Visit our resources library to learn about the different loan types. Be sure to read documents DROdio-1011 and DROdio-1010 .
You'll also need a loan pre-qualification (or better yet, approval) letter from a lender before you can make an offer. So save yourself the time spent looking at properties that aren't right for you. Talk to a loan officer and use these tools as the first step of the home buying process.
We have several loan officers we recommend available here (this will take you to Step 2). Any of them can get a pre-qualification letter made for you in 1/2 hour or so, and you can do it all over the phone. (If you're willing or able to, however, we highly recommend getting an approval letter, which is stronger, and will probably require you to fax your financial information over to the loan officer. Sellers much prefer approval letters over pre-qualification letters.)
f you're not sure how to use these calculators, we're here to help! Just use the contact box at left to send us an inquiry, and we'll walk you through the calculators.
Note: When you use these tools, you will be leaving our site. We are not affiliated with the company that has created these calculators.
Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) vs. Fixed Rate Mortgage CalculatorHave you considered an "ARM" loan? You won't pay off any principal, meaning if you buy a home for $500,000, at the end of 3 years you'll still owe $500,000, however, since houses have historically risen in value over the long run, you may still find yourself with increased equity. Many people find that they'd rather buy a bigger house with an ARM type loan than a smaller house with a conventional loan because bigger houses tend to appreciate more. If you have the risk tolerance to do this, it may be a smart move for you. More Details on ARM LoansHere is a calculator that gives a more detailed breakdown of ARM loan options Mortgage QualifierThis calculator steps you through the process of finding out how much you can borrow. Fill in the entry fields and click on the "View Report" button to see a complete amortization schedule of your mortgage payments. How Much Can You Save By Increasing Your Mortgage Payment?This financial calculator helps you find out. Click the "View Report" button to see a complete amortization payment schedule, and how much you can save on your mortgage! Mortgage comparison: 15 years vs. 30 yearsDetermining which mortgage term is right for you can be a challenge. With a 15 year mortgage you will pay significantly less interest, but only if you can afford the higher monthly payment. Use this calculator to compare these two mortgage terms, and let us help you decide which term is better for you. Mortgage Points CalculatorShould you buy points? Buying points when you close your mortgage can reduce its interest rate, which in turn reduces your monthly payment. But each "point" will cost you 1% of your mortgage balance. This calculator helps you determine if you should pay for points, or use the money to increase your down payment. Click on the "View Report" button to review your information.
Without a lender pre-qualification or approval letter, you will not be able to make an offer on a property. However, the reason you really need to talk to a loan officer is to figure out exactly what you can afford. Trying to buy a house without talking to a loan officer first is like buying a car with no engine. The loan is what drives the process, and just like a car, there are many different "engines" available for any particular purchase. You may think you know what you afford, but unless you can answer all of the questions below, you don't truly know, and hence, you're not ready to look at houses!I understand the differences between an ARM, Interest-Only, and Conventional loans, and I know which one is best for me I know what points are, and whether or not I want to pay any I know how much I am approved for, I have a pre-approval or approval letter from a lender, and the approval is less than 90 days old
If you don't have answers to all the questions above, we suggest you contact one or more of the people listed below to get them answered. We're also happy to discuss the process with you. Just submit an inquiry at left and one of our agents can go over everything in more detail. We are here to help!
Learn your Credit Score! Visit MyFico.com to get a copy of your credit report and learn what you can do to raise your score. By pulling your own credit you may also be able to give a copy to the loan officers below to obtain a pre-qualification letter. (We are not affiliated with MyFico and do not get any type of compensation for recommending their use.)
If you think there is a problem with your credit score, click here.
Lending Institutions 1. Brian Martucci - GetLoans.com Brian is a loan broker, meaning he has a network and contacts that give him access to data from 70+ banks, mortgage companies and other institutions. He has been in the the mortgage business since 1986. You can see Brian's current loan rates here. You can also apply for a loan with Brian. Click here to get a checklist of required documentation. Contact Brian Martucci directly at 202-588-2400 or email him at Brian@GetLoans.com . You can also visit his website. 2. Chuck Davis - APRcompare.com Chuck is readily available to assist you in making some of the important financing decisions you'll be faced with. He offers many different mortgage- purchase and refinance loans. Many programs offer "No Money Down" and "No Closing Costs". He also has a unique Approval Certificate for buyers that shows you are approved for your new home financing. Chuck will take the time to understand your current financial situation and compete for your business. Even if you already have a loan he can evaluate your offer and possibly improve on it. Please contact Chuck for a Fast and Free quote, or just to ask a question. Contact Chuck Davis directly at 1.877.277.2667 or email him at Chuck.Mortgage@Gmail.com . You can also visit his website. 3. Steven Spitz - Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corporation Steven is a Loan Officer who focuses specifically on the ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¯ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¿ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ½tougherÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¯ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¿ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ½ deal. If you speak to a lender that suggests they are unable to provide a loan for you, Steven would love an opportunity to take a look at your scenario. With a level of service that is unsurpassed, scenarios include low credit scores, high debt-to-income ratios, high loan-to-value, recent late payments, collections, judgments, and even bankruptcy. He can also provide credit advice, credit repair, and possibly turn a ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¯ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¿ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ½rejectedÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¯ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¿ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ½ loan into a ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¯ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¿ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ½closedÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¯ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¿ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ½ loan. Contact Steven directly on his cell phone 703-819-7290 or at his office at 703-934-9316 or e-mail email@example.com . 4. Patrick Collins - First Savings Mortgage Corporation Patrick has been a successful loan officer in the Greater Washington DC area for over 11 years. He has significant experience in the various facets of mortgage lending, including first time home buyer programs, low down payment options, new construction and rehab products. Patrick is eager to share his wealth of expertise with you to facilitate your mortgage needs. Patrick also has a loan program called "The EDGE" which provides a $500 to $5000 closing cost credit. You can contact Patrick at 703.564.1756 or on his cell phone at 571.334.7352 or PCollins@fsavings.com . 5. Richa Badami - Countrywide Richa is a top lender with Countrywide - one of the nation's largest lenders. She has some great programs, including a 30 year fixed rate program with an initial 5-year interest-only portion. You can contact Richa at 703.779.7042 or on her cell phone at 703.928.3030 or Richa_Badami@Countrywide.Com .
ATTN Military service members: If you are in the armed forces and already a member of USAA, we strongly suggest you contact them along with the references listed below. If you are in the Navy or a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union, you should contact them as well. Both these institutions have great loan programs, but they are only available to military and family of military members. Note: Here is an example of an excellent loan letter (provided by Bob Costanza). Note how the letter specifically says it satisfies paragraph 9 of the sales contract.
CPA & Tax Planning 1. Brad Wagner - Wagner & Duys, LLLPBrad is one of the top tax accountants in the Metro DC area. Brad can help you plan a tax strategy for your real estate investment portfolio. Call Brad at (301) 652-7014 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
1031 Exchange Experts 1. James Brennan - Vice President, Wachovia Exchange ServicesIf you are considering a 1031 exchange upon the sale of your real estate investment, the need for a bonded, secure Qualified Intermediary will arise quickly. Wachovia Exchange Services specializes in providing exchange services and completes hundreds of exchanges per month. Call James at (703) 801-4178 and he will be happy to assist you with any real estate investment concerns as well offer a free 1031 exchange consultation. You can also email him at email@example.com .
Homeowner's Insurance 1. Max Olson - Branch Manager, Nationwide InsuranceThe Olson Insurance Agency is a full service, family owned agency that has been operating in Northern Virginia for over 30 years. Max can help explain homeowner's insurance coverages to you and find what discounts are available to you. Currently, the agency has 5 offices in the Northern Virginia area offering superior customer service along with very competitve prices. Call Max at (571)438-6902. You can also email him at Olsonm13@Nationwide.com .
Powerful Search Tools:
www.BirdsEyeSearch.com: This tool lets you search for a home visually using a Google map. We think you'll love it! Then, you can borrow a GPS machine from us to drive yourself around a bit, if you'd like. www.TheBestHomeSearchEver.com: This tool searches the same data as BirdsEyeSearch.com (above), but presents the data in a more traditional results list instead of a Google map.
We specialize in helping buyers who want to start the home search process on their own, at their own pace. We enable users with tools to help themselves, and we are available as a resource when the buyers are ready to start looking seriously.
How To Search For A Home Get a free GPS Loaner from us, so you can do the initial part of the home search on your own! Read what Inman News thinks about how we empower buyers.
No matter what type of home you're looking for, if you're like most buyers, you'll probably want to do some (or most) of the initial searching yourself. Our goal is to enable you to do as much searching on your own as you'd like. To do this, we provide you with property addresses in our home search tools (at left).
We recommend compile a long list of potential homes that interest you. Then, take the print-out and drive around the neighborhoods which you might want to live in, previewing the available homes from the street. You'll find that you can narrow down your list of homes by about 90%, and by then you'll know exactly which ones you want to see inside. This approach allows you to search at your leisure without a Realtor interfering. It also allows the Realtor to maximize his or her time with you, because the agent is opening houses up (something you can't do on your own) vs. driving you around (something you can do on your own). Having said that, if you're not familiar with the area, or you'd like to have a Realtor with you, we're happy to do the driving! We'll work with you based on what suits your needs best.
About Our ListingNotice Email Alerts Whether you're looking for your next home or you're just a nosey neighbor, we can alert you when a home in any area is listed for sale on the MLS, 24x7x365! Just set up a "ListingNotice" email alert below and it'll notify you when a property matching your description comes on the market. This service is free and requires absolutely no obligation. We won't even contact you if you don't want us
Ready to View Homes and/or Make An Offer? If you feel you're ready to view homes and find the perfect home for you, we're just an inquiry away!
DROdio Real Estate, Inc.'s Market Analysis Tool We're not just here to show you houses. We'll also help you make the right offer. One of the tools we offer is our Market Analysis tool, which will help you get a quick snapshot of the marketplace.
Our job is to represent your interests, and it doesn't cost you anything to have us working for you. The seller pays for the buyer's agent, so you have nothing to lose by having us help you (see Resource Library document DROdio-1009 ).
Even if you are buying a new construction home and don't think you need a Realtor, you should contact us (and we'll tell you some stories!). After all, would you walk into a courtroom without an attorney? The same principle applies - we're experts and will help you navigate the biggest purchase of your life safely and effectively.
Please use the contact form at left or call us at 1-800-705-2782.
Here are two resources to help you learn about schools in the area:Free School Reports GreatSchools.net - a popular online resource. A little pitch for 2 Virginia schools: Many of you already know about Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology. Daniel R. Odio of DROdio Real Estate, Inc. is a TJHSS&T alumnus and would be happy to share his experience at the school. Many people consider TJHSS&T to be the best high school in the US. Its average SAT score is 1482. Students must apply, and out of about 3,000 applications yearly, only 500 are accepted. To learn more about TJHSS&T, visit www.TJHSST.edu. You must be a Fairfax County resident to apply (some exceptions for Loudoun, Arlington & PW Counties). The University of Virginia is one of the top public universities in the nation. If you have a child contemplating colleges, Daniel R. Odio of DROdio Real Estate, Inc. would be happy to discuss his experience at the school. Daniel graduated from UVA with a BS in Commerce. You can learn more about UVA at www.Virginia.edu.
Technology-centric real estate firm, featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNN, CNBC & many others. Referral & relocation clients welcomed.