How to Buy Real Estate Like a Star

By: Keith Wagstaff · April 04, 2024 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Chrishell Stause, who rose to fame on Netflix’s Selling Sunset, knows a little thing or two about real estate.

On SoFi’s YouTube series Richer Lives, she sat down with the SoFi’s Head of Advice and Planning, Brian Walsh, and Vivian Tu, aka Your Rich BFF, to share the wisdom she gained as a realtor at The Oppenheim Group in Los Angeles.

While there wasn’t much drama on the SoFi set, there was plenty of sound financial advice. “No question is stupid,” Stause said, especially when it comes to home loans. Being afraid to look ignorant might lead you to take out a “terrible loan,” which could haunt you for years.

It’s better to be “vulnerable and honest enough to say, ‘Okay, let me ask questions. Let me look at the information’,” Walsh agreed, noting that overconfident people make a lot of mistakes.

Don’t Spend Beyond Your Means

If you get pre-approved for a loan, you don’t have to spend the whole amount on a home. As Stause tells potential buyers: “I really think you should go under that [number] to give yourself some leeway.”

When shopping for a home, it’s fun to imagine hosting friends and family. It’s less fun to think about property taxes and maintenance costs. But those expenses can add up, potentially leaving you cash poor.

“If you’re overextending to buy the house, are you actually going to be happy in that house?” said Stause. “The house might be pretty,” but if you’re constantly stressed about money, you’re not going to enjoy it. Plus, more cash on hand means more money for renovations. Her dream addition: a spray tan booth.

Keep Track of Your Finances

Stause said she wished she had had something like the SoFi app when she started investing in real estate. If you can use digital tools to track your spending and credit, “why not take advantage of it?”

Knowing the state of your finances can help you take action. Ideally, you should be monitoring your credit score regularly, not just before a big purchase. Still, there is a lot you can do in a short amount of time by focusing on the few things keeping your score down.

“I’ve seen people bring their credit score up in six months, pretty drastically, and it’s really helped us get them a better loan,” Stause said.

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