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An Invested Teen Becomes One Of Ohio’s Youngest Homeowners With An Assist From A Harlem Globetrotter



Harlem Globetrotter and Ohio real estate agent Julian ″Zeus″ McClurkin hands 19-year-old Chloe Green the keys to the two-bedroom condominium she purchased.

At 19, Chloe Green may not be the youngest U.S. teen to buy a home, but she is among a select group of Gen-Z homebuyers who are hoping the trend takes off.

Green, who grew up in Columbus, Ohio, closed on a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium in Canal Winchester on April 22.

Since posting her story on Facebook, Green said many young people have opened up about their homeownership dreams, asked for advice and thanked her for being an inspiration.

“You’re never too young — or too old — to make your dreams come true. When people read my story on social media, they will post responses like, ‘I’m next’ or ‘I’m going to beat that record.’ I say, ‘Yes, please do.’ There are a lot of young people doing great things, and we need to promote these stories and send positive messages about the benefits of owning a home,” she said. 

Green, an office manager at Trusted Motors LLC, started working at the Columbus auto dealership at 15. She is also the lead preschool teacher at It Takes A Village Early Education Center in Canal Winchester. 

In addition to juggling two jobs, Green is a psychology major at Franklin University.

No, she doesn’t want to be a psychologist. “Everyone asks me that. I’m interested in psychology because of my work with children. I want to be better at my job and learn more about how the brain and the emotions work together,” she added.

Green started dreaming about buying a home when she graduated from high school at 16. Having secured a job, the teen began building credit, opened a Roth IRA and started to save. By the time she started looking for a home in November, she had saved $20,000.

“I planned to buy my first home by my 18th birthday, but then the pandemic hit, so I had to adjust my timeline. Once I missed that first goal, I became even more determined to buy at 19,” she said.

Why buy? “I wanted to build equity and generational wealth and knew that buying a home would help me reach my goals. I also wanted Chloe’s place, my space, my area and somewhere that I could call home,” she added.

While she’s not alone, Green is ahead of the curve. According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 3 percent of home buyers were between 18 and 24 in 2020, and the average first-time buyer was 33.

Green’s Godfather, Bobby Mitchell, sold a home with help from Julian “Zeus” McClurkin, 34, an agent with Golden Gate Real Estate in Louis Center, Ohio, and a member of the Harlem Globetrotters. Mitchell suggested that his Goddaughter start looking at properties on real estate websites, send listings that interested her to McClurkin and start viewing homes. 

McClurkin joined the Harlem Globetrotters in 2011. However, when COVID furloughed the team in March 2020, McClurkin, who was expecting his first child with his wife, had to pivot. So he took his real estate exam and started helping clients buy and sell real estate in April. Green’s Godfather, the pastor at her church, was McClurkin’s first client and spread the word about the young agent.

“Pastor Mitchell marketed me to his entire sphere of influence, and Chloe, who is his Goddaughter, is somebody he trusted me with. The rest is history,” McClurkin said.

Green and McClurkin looked at about 40 to 50 homes from November to March. Still, with a seller’s market driving demand and limiting viewing availability ahead of contingency offers by other buyers, the hot market created challenges. The duo lost every offer but the last one.

“Everybody tells me this is the craziest market they’ve ever seen, but it’s the only market I’ve ever known,” McClurkin said. He plans to continue selling real estate and return to the Harlem Globetrotters when they start touring again. “My schedule with the Globetrotters is very flexible,” he noted.

Initially, McClurkin thought Green was in her early to mid-20s. He found out her age while speaking with Andy Beigel, who originated Green’s loan through NFM Lending in Columbus. 

Because Green had proof of income, tax returns for two years, assets and a solid credit score, she qualified for a $185,000 loan.

“Andy told me we got the approval, and I asked him, ‘Does it say here that she is 19?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ But Chloe is a bit of an anomaly because she doesn’t act young, even though she’s 19. She is very coachable and teachable and came to me with a bit of knowledge about real estate. She had done some research. She also came with some knowledge about money — how to save money and build credit, which are skills I didn’t have at 19,” McClurkin said.

Green’s best advice for young people who want to buy a home is to start planning early.

“You are never too young to start building credit. I got on a family member’s credit at a young age. Once I had some credit, I got a secured credit card and paid that off every month. Then, I got my own credit card and paid that off every month. For parents who want their children to buy a home at 18, it is crucial to think about creative ways to build a credit history. Also, start saving. Instead of eating out, cook. It doesn’t matter if it is a dollar here or there; just start saving. If I hadn’t started saving, I wouldn’t have been able to buy at 19. The Roth IRA forced me to save. That money was locked away. I took out $15,000 without any penalties for the down. But if you start saving, the sky is the limit,” she said.

“I turned on the notification buttons on Apps for and and got enrolled in the MLS [multiple listing service]. Sometimes I would see five houses in a day,” she said. 

The process took its toll.

“The uncertainty of not getting my offers accepted was hard. When I started looking in November, I had momentum and was fired up, but by March, it was disheartening. Not knowing whether it would happen and if a home was the right for me was the biggest challenge. But I kept believing that if the house was for me, I would get it,” Green said.

The hunt for her dream home ended on March 22 when Green, who typically gets up at 7 a.m., got a 5 a.m. notification about a 1,132 square-foot condominium listed for $159,900. As she scrolled through the pictures, her excitement grew. She reached out to McClurkin. They put in an offer of $165,100 with a 30-day close.

“Finding that house was a miracle. The home was in the heart of Canal Winchester, which is where I wanted to live, close to all my favorite shops and restaurants and a 10-minute from work. So I called Julian to arrange a showing. As soon as we stepped through the door, I just knew this was the one. We had looked at three houses the day before, and I was starting to feel like I had to settle on something, even if I didn’t love it. But as soon as I walked in, I knew this was the one. I love the closet space, and a girl has to have a lot of closet space,” she said, laughing.

“It has a two-car garage and a large side space in the garage with room for games and events so that I can be the ultimate host. Also, the neighbors came over to see me, which is great because being so young, you want to be in a safe community,” she added.

When McClurkin called to say she got the home, Green was delighted. Her $900 monthly mortgage is less than the $1,300 she was paying in rent for a two-bedroom apartment.

“After being told no so many times, I couldn’t believe it. I was super excited,” she said.

Moving forward, Green plans to pay off the home as quickly as possible and move onto the next property, “a rental or an investment property. I know the first one is the hardest. But I am passionate about building generational wealth,” she added.

Green got the keys on April 22 and is painting and furnishing as she prepared to fully embrace Chloe’s place.

“My favorite space is probably the guest bedroom. I have a small business that is local right now called Coco’s Creations, where I make gift baskets and party favors for every occasion. I have been labeled the best gift-giver in my family. So that second bedroom will be my home office,” she said.

“When I was renting, I didn’t even know the people I was paying. I felt like I was making someone else rich when I could be investing in Chloe. People have lots of New Year’s resolutions. This year, my main goal was to invest in myself and take care of myself in all areas of my life — whether investing in my house or my emotional health, taking care of me was my No. 1 goal. When I saw that my mortgage payment was less than I had been paying in rent, I thought, this is what taking care of Chloe is,” she said. “Instead of paying so much more, I can take the extra money and do something else, whether it is investing in the stock market or taking a vacation or saving for an investment property. It hasn’t been easy. I stood by and watched other people get houses, and now I feel like this is my time. I did it.”

GoldengaterealestateBuying or selling your Central Ohio home (614) 888-3600

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Real Estate

13 Tips For Real Estate Investors Crafting An Exit Strategy



Photos of featured members.

Real estate investors know that not every purchase they make is going to be a win. In a few cases, you’ll end up with a dud, where a property that looked good at first ends up being more trouble than it’s worth once you’ve bought it.

This is why no investor should go into a property purchase agreement without having at least one clear exit strategy defined. To help avoid a bad purchase before it’s too late, 13 experts from Forbes Real Estate Council share critical steps all real estate investors should consider to craft their exit strategy from the moment they start scoping a property out.

1. Understand The Current Financials

It’s important to understand the current financials of the property. From this you can model a multiyear pro forma focusing on the value enhancements you plan for the property. Based upon that model, you can project a valuation for the property at some point in the future. This process should help clarify the investment potential for the property. – Mark Tiefel, Capital Equity Group, Inc.

2. Set Clear Objectives Before Investing

Know your objective before investing in a property and establish your goals for any property you’re considering. This helps identify what success looks like for a property you want to invest in, which will help map out your exit strategy. Committing to a property without a clear objective and “winging it” after you commit to it typically ends up costing a lot of money and time. – Jim Brooks, The Brooks Team – EXP Realty

Forbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only community for executives in the real estate industry. Do I qualify?

3. Consider The Future Buyer Persona 

Know your buyer. Always have the future buyer persona in mind when you are buying an asset. If you know your asset will attract syndicators, for example, then make sure to renovate no more than 50% of the property so you can leave meat on the bone. If you buy a larger asset, you can renovate 100% of it and then sell it to an institutional buyer who normally doesn’t like to execute a value-add plan. – Ellie Perlman, Blue Lake Capital LLC

4. Check Tenant Laws And Sale History

I believe that when purchasing any property, investment or not, you should buy with an exit strategy. Real estate is an investment that is used to create wealth. Look at local tenant laws, development in the area and rental rate history. If new inventory is coming, then rents will decrease. Check sale history for the last five years for trends. – Steven Minchen, Minchen Team/Elevated Living Network, Inc

5. Stress-Test The Deal At Purchase

Any good exit plan starts with stress-testing the deal at purchase. There are many factors in stress-testing a deal but here are a few to consider: 1. Never run out of money, so plan accordingly; 2. Increase the vacancy to at least 25% for the duration of hold and verify that the expenses can still be paid; 3. Increase the exit cap rate by at least 10 basis points per year of hold. – Chris Roberts, Sterling Rhino Capital

6. Plan For The Worst-Case Scenario

Always plan for the worst-case scenario when trying to exit. It’s really that simple. After proper planning and extensive research, determine what the worst-case exit strategy is. If you can stomach the worst-case scenario, then move forward and commit to the property. – Ben Grise,

7. Buy A Property That’s Easy To Sell

Buy a property that will be easy to sell. I prefer single family homes over condos because there is more buyer demand. Homeowners Association dues can also go up as condos get older and/or there can be special assessments for repairs which can make a property harder to sell. Assess the location—does it back to a commercial property or a railroad that may make it hard to sell? Does it have a good floor plan? Be picky! – Kristee Leonard, The Leaders Realty, LLC

8. Have A Multipronged Exit Strategy

Commercial real estate is evolving quickly before our eyes. Having a multipronged exit strategy approach to real estate investment is necessary. Don’t follow the headlines but look for the trend lines. Underwrite an asset traditionally but also underwrite the property in a nontraditional way. Look for one to two scenario analyses considering what happens if a market, sector or demand trend changes quickly. – Jacob Bates, CommonGrounds Workplace

9. Have At Least One ‘Weasel’ Clause

A “weasel” clause is a clause that allows you to exit, even when you’ve made the mistake! Resist the temptation to overdue. You need one. My personal favorite is “subject to the approval of the hard money lender.” Only once in 20+ years have I had to exercise this weasel clause to get out of a deal, but when I did, it was literally 10 minutes before closing. – Sherman Ragland, The Realinvestors®️ Academy, LLC

10. Have Multiple Exit Strategies

Having multiple exit strategies helps protect you from losing money on a deal. If you buy a house to flip but cannot get the price you anticipated to make a profit, if you’re able to rent it out instead, you’ll protect your investment. Unfortunately, if you get in a deal with only one exit strategy and that strategy does not work out, you will find yourself in a risky situation. – Chris Bounds, Invested Agents

11. Check Out Average Days On Market

Find out what the average days on market are for comparable properties throughout the year prior to your purchase. You will then have a good indication of when would be the best month of the year to resell the property for its highest and best price and for the shortest amount of time for an effective emergency exit strategy. – Mor Zucker, Team Denver Homes – RE/MAX Professionals

12. Hire A Home Inspector

Hire an excellent home inspector. These professionals are priceless! Sure, they can alert you to big red flags but they can also point out a lot of “minor issues” to consider. An itemized list will let you know exactly when to exit if a particular task takes more resources than you expected. Feedback from a professional inspector can help you “exit well,” minimizing losses and maximizing gains. – Michael McMullen, Prominence Homes and Communities

13. Remove Emotion From The Equation

Always remove emotion from the equation and perform unbiased, clear-headed due diligence without a lot of rosy scenarios. Be conservative with your valuation and repair estimating—often, investors value too high and underestimate renovation costs. Sometimes the best strategy is to walk away from a deal rather than spending the next several months wasting time and resources on a low-margin deal. – Nick Ron, House Buyers of America

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Real Estate

Digital Mortgage Lender Announces Softbank-Backed SPAC And $7 Billion Valuation



SoftBank founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son invested in Better during his search for 'fast-growing pre-IPO companies'.

The Softbank-backed digital mortgage lender Better announced yesterday its intention to join a SPAC with The Aurora Acquisition Corp., in order to take Better public. The transaction is expected to close in the latter part of 2021. This merger gives Better an implied equity value of approximately $6.9 billion and a post-money equity value of approximately $7.7 billion, as stated in the announcement. 

A subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., SB Management Limited, will bring $1.5 billion private investment in public equity (PIPE) and Novator Capital, the sponsor of Aurora Corp, will invest $200 million through the same method. Activant Capital, an existing investor in Better, will also participate in the PIPE for an undisclosed sum. 

Only a month ago Softbank invested $500 million in Better, leading to a valuation of $6 billion.

Better’s strong financial footing is no doubt a direct consequence of its success due to the covid pandemic’s double influence of sustained low interest rates over the past year and the need for consumers to be able to close on transactions without having to meet in-person. Last March, when the pandemic’s impact began, Better had a 200% increase in applications compared to February and a total of over $1 billion in closed loans during the month, which is more than the four-year-old company closed for both 2017 and 2018 combined. In all of 2020 they funded $24.2 billion in volume, according to the press release announcing the SPAC. 

Better, which has not been without some controversy, was founded in 2016 by Vishal Garg who was frustrated with the mortgage application process after losing out to a cash buyer when he made an offer on a home. He built the all-digital, multi-product platform to lower costs and speed up the process for buyers. Company marketing materials say their online process allows qualified customers to close in as little as two weeks.

The biggest takeaway from this news is how large the demand will be going forward for real estate transactions to take place in a fully digital manner. The pandemic has shown us that the market can continue with limited need for in-person contact and mortgage lenders of every size will have to improve their digital platforms if they want to stay competitive. The news about Better is only the beginning of a much larger trend.

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Real Estate

How Consolidated, Bundled Real Estate Offers Can Serve Homebuyers



Close up hand of man signing signature loan document to home ownership. Mortgage and real estate property investment

Amit Haller is the Co-Founder & CEO of Reali, a high-tech, high-touch real estate company founded in 2016. 

When homebuyers make the largest financial decision of their lives, they want the best options that take the pain out of the real estate process. They’re ready to focus on the details that matter most to them — such as settling into their new home — and desire a simplified and streamlined process to get them there. In recent years, that’s come in the form of bundled real estate products, where consumers are eager to combine several steps into one.

At Reali, we’ve also seen this trend emerge across several industries, not just real estate. Bundles have become highly appealing to customers regardless of the complexity of the buying process, including purchase decisions around insurance, home appliances and video game systems. Bundling often means financial savings for consumers, but it also means less stress and time-consuming interactions with nuanced details. Essentially, bundles save time, money, and stress, and that’s exactly what real estate companies should do for customers.

Here are the top trends we’re seeing in 2021:

1. Consumers want to keep it simple.

Complex decisions take more time, and right now, most of us are stretched too thin to think through all of the details. The pandemic, as well as other personal and social concerns, have stretched our capacity to do everything we want to do, including daily activities such as working or running our household. At the same time, people are eager to move into the next phase of their lives, and we’re seeing them begin to move forward by holding their delayed weddings, buying new appliances or investing in a new home. Anything that makes the process simpler will help that transition.

In real estate, homebuying can be one of the most stressful transactions that people complete. They have to worry about real estate brokers, a mortgage, insurance, escrow, inspection and warranties, and all of that can require different companies and experiences to complete the final tasks. Consumers may get lost along the way or miss a critical detail right now as they begin to move toward a “new normal.” 

In an experiment by our partner agency, Next Step, consumers who saw real estate as complex were nearly three times as likely to say that they wanted a bundled experience. They wanted more ease in the process and a smoother experience to get to their end goal. Essentially, bundling can help people to make a decision sooner rather than later, experience less risk and stress — and actually enjoy the decision-making process of buying a home. Any bundled options that real estate companies can provide to free up customers’ time and stress could reduce the barriers for making a decision.

2. Bundling can increase the perceived value.

Homebuyers want the best purchase for their hard-earned dollars, which has become even more prominent in the past year. People have faced tough financial decisions, and many families are rethinking the priorities that they need in a home-work-school space. They’re looking for more value and an all-in-one solution that makes the financial decisions easier and more transparent.

In the Next Step study, people said that, compared to individual product offers, consolidated bundles seemed more valuable, more popular and more preferred than other options, which plays to our psychological needs for belonging and smart decision-making.

Bundles also decreased costs. On average, people can save nearly 16% by bundling homeowners and automotive insurance policies, according to a 2015 Insurance Quotes study. Those who combined condo and car insurance saved about 11%, and those who bundled car and renters insurance had an 8% discount.

Overall, bundling complementary products can lead to a cost-savings of about 8% for consumers, according to a marketing study from Fordham University. In addition, the researchers found, offers that make sense together can create greater consumer happiness, which is the ultimate goal. For real estate companies, this could mean pairing mortgage options with insurance options or legal services.

3. Consolidated offers can facilitate the decision-making process.

Customers have told us that the decision-making process seems more complex than ever. People have easy access to products and services across the country — even across the world — and that can lead to analysis paralysis when deciding on the best option. We’ve found that bundles can help people make those decisions, particularly in complex service industries.

For instance, in a 2019 Accenture survey of 47,000 consumers, half said they were interested in bundled services in healthcare, home security, car care, personal finance management and homebuying. In real estate in particular, they voiced a need for end-to-end homebuying services, including advice on finding a new home, securing a mortgage, using legal services, buying insurance, and getting help with the moving process.

Ongoing survey data show that this trend has been increasing in recent years and became more popular throughout last year in particular. In the insurance industry, for example, consumers said they were seeking bundles so they could make better decisions and experience greater value from their options.

In fact, a 2020 survey by Deloitte found that consumers said offering non-insurance products was the most important factor when choosing an insurance provider. They said it added value and created an extension of the core products, so consumers wanted to buy them. In real estate, this requires rethinking the conventions around what products to include and creating innovative options.

Ultimately, we need to keep consumers in mind when considering the best ways to serve them in the homebuying experience. Their concerns come out loud and clear, with a need for simpler decisions, a smoother decision-making process and bundled packages that increase the value of their purchasing power. Real estate leaders should step up to provide these consolidated offers to clients and guide them along the successful path to homeownership.

Forbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only community for executives in the real estate industry. Do I qualify?

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