It took more than two years, but today Jeremy Mateo is finally at home. Mateo, 27, is a real estate broker in Honolulu, Hawaii, and bought his first condo on the island of Oahu. Before the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020
It all started in January 2019 when he showed the unit in a building overlooking Diamond Head and Waikiki. ‘Wow, I have to stay here,'” Mateo told CNBC Make It, “so I set a definite goal to earn money to buy a unit in this building.”;
over the course of one year He saved a down payment of $60,000 and worked towards his goal of buying the “dream house”.
He then spent another year renovating and decorating his place. His last piece of furniture arrived in the spring of 2021, finally ending his home-buying journey.
Here’s How Mateo Bought His One-Bedroom Condo For $560,000
year of savings
When Mateo aims to buy a house He was still learning about real estate and earning $20,000 a year after researching the price of one bedroom in the area. He’s committed to selling 10 homes in 2019 for $100,000 in commissions, most of which he’s going to pay down.
His intentions worked. After he set his goal, Mateo sold 17 homes that year, took home $120,000 and put it all in savings while giving himself $500 a month for food, gas and daily expenses, Mateo felt. Thanks to his mother for letting him live at home without rent during that time.
“She wanted me to sell a number of houses and collect a down payment so I could buy a house. And as soon as I moved out She was very happy,” Mateo said with a laugh.
Mateo earns extra income working as a DJ in a nightclub. And it also saves money on social living costs by getting admission and free drinks to share with friends while working: “Being a DJ will save you money on cocktails,” he adds.
Hunting with the help of an insider
Even though Mateo met his savings goals But he realizes that one-bedroom units in his price range are hard to find.
He returned to the dream building and searched for the names and addresses of the residents on the 25th floor and above, then sent three rounds of handwritten letters to see if anyone was interested in selling the apartment to him.
When this method doesn’t work He uses internal access to inspect MLS or multiple listing service databases. to find expired contacts to see if he can open any offers again? He found the listing expired in 2012 for a unit on the 37th floor for $560,000. Mateo then called the real estate agent behind the listing to see if residents were still interested in selling.
As Mateo recalls, “the next day he called me back and said, ‘Hey Jeremy, yes my customer, they really want to sell now.’ And then I hung up, got up, yelled, cheered, so excited.”
Mateo used the original registered price of $560,000 as a jumping off point. Which the seller admits, Mateo considered it “very good”.
He was surprised by the stress he felt throughout the process: “As a real estate agent, I think I’m ready for anything. But when it comes to emotional I’m still stressed out.”
Mateo reduced his home value by 10%, or $56,000. He originally hoped to get a loan on a 5% down payment, but as his income fluctuates as a real estate agent Therefore, he had to reduce the number even more.
His closing costs were $7,800, but he also earned a 1.5% commission for the purchase of his own home as an agent. which eliminates the upfront cost
to increase the bank account and the risk to the lender to be less So his mother and grandmother deposited about $37,000 into the account “to show. [the lender] That I could buy this house and I wouldn’t be broke,” Mateo explains, “I’m pretty worried that they did that. But this is the only way I can close the loan.” He said that since then he has returned his talents.
Mateo uses a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with an interest rate of 4.25%. Because the down payment is less than 20%, he pays $185 a month for personal loan insurance. That brings his total monthly mortgage to about $2,833. He pays an additional $1,010 per month in homeowners association fees. maintenance cost Tax and Insurance
In total, his monthly housing costs are around $3,843.
Inside his ‘Modern Trident Disc’
After he shuts down his house, Mateo plans a complete renovation to build. His “modern millennial bachelor” and budgeted $50,000 for the project. He eventually over budgeted and, with refurbishment, spent $100,000 to fully furnish his space. He said some of the excess spending came from working with contractors who were not transparent about upfront pricing. And Mateo estimates that he can save $30,000 when going with other people.
Inside the Mateo’s front door is a full-length mirror with a Forbes sticker: “So whenever I leave the house, I can look at myself and say, ‘Hey Jeremy, you’re going to be on the cover of a Forbes magazine’ day.’ I know it’s lame. But I call it acting.”
Outside the entrance is a renovated kitchen. Mateo removed the wall of the cabinet to open the view to the living room and balcony. He replaced the rest of the cabinet’s woodwork and upgraded appliances to a Samsung refrigerator, wall oven and microwave. and install glass cleaner next to the sink Which is very convenient when he serves his friends drinks.
Mateo decorated his living room with hosting and entertainment in mind. He has a custom built entertainment center with a 60-inch electronic fireplace and an Alexa-controlled electronic light panel. One of his most special additions includes an 82-inch TV, which he enjoys watching football and basketball.
The bedroom has a king size bed. Two bedside tables, a wardrobe and another 55-inch flat-screen TV, although there was enough room to live. Mateo said the biggest downside to condos is that they don’t have storage. in addition to “small wardrobe”
Another major renovation project is bathroom modernization with standing shower, bidet, mirror with LED lighting, cabinet and counter space.
Although Mateo’s condo is within 800 square feet, the precious gems of space – the balcony and views – add up to 300 square feet of the exterior.
“This is why I want to live in this building,” Mateo said of his balcony entrance and the view he gets from the 37th floor. He often works and eats outside. And he especially likes a space where friends come to visit. “This is everything I need in my life so far.”
After Mateo finally closed its home in March 2020, the first few months of home ownership were strained. Covid went viral immediately after he closed the house. And suddenly he had no income as the epidemic shut down the real estate market.
Mateo panicked: “I have a mortgage now,” but “I haven’t sold my house in two months. And I’m really starting to worry.”
However, over the summer, the Federal Reserve announced it would keep its benchmark interest rate near zero until 2022, “and that’s when all the real estate started going crazy here in Hawaii.”
As a result of the bustling real estate market for the rest of the year, Mateo sold 24 homes in 2020 and earned about $250,000, helping him cover new homes and renovation costs. Living with $500 in nearly $4,000 a month in housing expenses is justified. And Mateo says he now lives frugally to rebuild his savings.
He plans to live in the condo for four to five years. Then buy a detached house and rent out the apartment to earn passive income.
“For me, being a 27-year-old homeowner in Hawaii, I think it’s a huge achievement,” Mateo said. “Hawaii is one of the most expensive places in the country. And for me to buy a very good house at an early age. It felt good.”
Mateo hopes sharing his own shopping experience will help other millennials. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of the process As he had thought of traveling to the mainland He understands the privilege of being able to earn a living in Hawaii: “When it comes to the people here, the food here, the culture here. That’s what makes me love Hawaii so much.”
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