Real Estate Project

Project Overview

This cross-curricular project teaches students about one of life’s most important decisions: buying a home!  As part of this simulation, students become realtors and launch on a journey to find their “clients” a home, qualify them for a mortgage, calculate a monthly budget, research the neighborhood, and pitch a marketing presentation to real estate industry volunteers.

Senior AOB students will work on this cross-curricular project, in teams, during all three of their AOBT classes: Government/ Economics; Contemporary Communications, and Business Financial Markets. The project will last four to six weeks, and the grades on each each major assignment will count for every AOB teacher.  Click here to view the standards of how this project meets the Six A’s of PBL Real Estate Project See below for more information and links to all project assignments.

Project Objective & Introduction

Goals:

Buying a home is one of the best investments a person can make for their future. It can provide financial stability and can even become a profitable business, if you know what you are doing. Unfortunately, it is a very complicated and difficult process. We want our students to have a head start by simulating the process of buying a home here in San Diego. This will not only expose them to the steps and terminology of buying a house, but will also allow them to explore, realistically, how much income influences one’s ability to afford a home. This cumulative, cross-curricular project gives students a chance to demonstrate the skills they have acquired in Business, Computers, Economics, and Communications. We don’t want our students to graduate high school without ever learning  practical knowledge for their financial futures. We want our students to dream big, and prepare themselves now for their future dream home.

Scenario:

Students will work in pairs and pretend to be “real-estate agents” who are finding a single-family residence for a family that is moving to San Diego from out-of-town. Students will have to meet with their “clients” (business volunteers from the community) periodically throughout the project in order to find the best home possible for their family, research the surrounding area, and finance the home given the variables. Students will present the findings through various media. As part of the project, students will hear from experts in the field such as realtors, loan officers, and real estate brokers. Students will also have the opportunity to take a fieldtrip and experience an Open House of several homes that are currently on the market in our local neighborhood.

Project Calendar and Volunteer Support

For more information on the pacing of the project and the various ways business partners are involved in the project, please see our

Real Estate Project Volunteer Overview  and Real Estate Project Pacing Guide.

 

Project Introduction

Students will work in pairs and pretend to be “real-estate agents” who are finding a single-family residence for a family that is moving to San Diego from out-of-town. Students will have to meet with their “clients” (business volunteers from the community) periodically throughout the project in order to find the best home possible for their family, research the surrounding area, and finance the home given the variables. Students will present the findings through various media. As part of the project, students will hear from experts in the field such as realtors, loan officers, and real estate brokers. Students will also take a fieldtrip to walk through model homes that are currently on the market in our local neighborhood.

Assumptions:

• all students will use 28% of the clients’s income toward their loan
• all students will get a mortgage at a fixed rate, 30 yr. loan

Givens: Students will meet with their “clients” to get the following information, which was given to them for this simulation:

• annual family income
• down payment
• # of bedrooms and bathrooms your family desires
• Minimum square footage desired
• Credit score (FICO)
• Area of San Diego primary earner of family works in
• Car Loan Credit Card Debt

Assessments: Students will prepare the following items for assessment:

• Client Consulatations Forms & Contacts (see section below)
• A Debt/Income Ratio Spreadsheet created in Excel
• A Video Seminar about a topic relating
• A Prezi Presentation to clients showing

Introductory Activities (click on links):

» Rules for the Real Estate Project
View this online handout to see a list of guidelines regarding how students will be graded on attendance, participation, and assignments throughout the duration of the project.

» Dream Home Digital Collage Activity & Fill-In Template (downloadable as Word Doc)
As an introduction to the project, students will do a digital collage depicting what they are looking for in their own “dream home” some day.

» Dream Home Digital Collage  Example (view as pdf)
View this example Dream Home Digital Collage

» Client Consultation Form 1: Client Info & Home Wish List
Students use this fill-in the blank form to record their given information and create a detailed identity for their fictitious “clients.”

» Real Estate Project Glossary of Terms
Students may view this handout to get a list of comprehensive terms and definitions that will be used throughout the real estate project.

» Webinar: “The Home Buying Process”
This link is to a webinar, or educational video, on YouTube. The seminar is given by Shannon King, a realtor from SchoolHouse Realty and business partner of the AOBT. Note: Due to district restrictions, students will not be able to view this video while using a computer on campus. They will be able to view it on any online computer off campus. Staff may login and authenticate to view and show the video while on the district server.

Khan Academy Video Webinar: “Titles & Deeds on Real Estate.” Watch this 9 minute lesson which explains the fundamentals of home title works and why possessions and ownership are not always equal.

Khan Academy Video Webinar:  “Introduction to Mortgage Loans” Watch this 18-minute video which explains the basics of what a mortgage is, how interest works, and how a mortgage payment is calculated.

Khan Academy Video Webinar:  Making an Offer” Watch this 8 minute video which draws out the process of making an offer on a home.

»9 Tips on Buying a Home
Follow this link to a You Tube video where a mortgage banker talks about nine insightful pointers to a buying a home.

» “Why Buy a Home” Articles
Students read these articles in order to complete a short essay that responds to the question “Why should one consider buying a home instead of renting one?”

» “Measuring The Benefits Of Home Ownership” by Barry Nielson, Article from Investopedia. This article quantifies some of the benefits and costs of owning a home, to give  a rational basis for making a housing decision.

» “Freshen Up On The 7 Financial Benefits Of Home Ownership This Tax Season” This 2014 article from Forbes examines how homeownership makes “cents” – from the tax benefits, to good old fashioned financial stability,  particularly around tax time.

“Why I Never Want to Own a House Again” This 2013 article by Kelly Phillips Erb from Forbes presents the counter argument to homeownership, outlining some of the risks and financial downsides of owning a home.

» Real Estate Webpage Search Quiz
Students use this introductory search quiz as a guide to becoming familiar with the information about the real estate project given on this webpage.

» San Diego Home Prices Internet Search Activity
Students use this activity sheet to research home prices in San Diego and other parts of the country in order to compare and formulate an analysis.

Client Consultations

Throughout this project, student “realtors” will meet with their “clients” to request information and update them through the process of finding them a home. The clients were given fictitious financial information, but they can use their own judgment and personal preferences when telling their “realtors” about what specifics they would like to find in their new home.

Overview of Client Consultations 2012-13
View or download this one-page printable quick reference list of  all realtor-client meetings and their scheduled dates for 2012-13.

» Client Consultation #1: Contact Information & Client Home Wish List
In the first meeting with their client, student “realtors” will meet face to face to interview and ask questions about what kind of a home they are looking for. Clients will give the students their fictitious financial information as well as details about the neighborhood, rooms, amenities,etc. that they want to find in their home.

» Client Consultation #2: Loan Pre-Qualification
In the second contact with their clients, student “realtors” will send an e-mail informing their clients about their loan pre-approval. Students will report back to their clients about their “credit check” (report the FICO score that was given to them by the lender) and will tell their client how much of a home loan they “qualified for.” Students will also calculate the maximum home price and monthly payment for their client, and send them an electronic copy of a “Loan Pre-Qualification Letter.”

Client Consultation #2 Loan Pre-Qualification Contact (E-mail) Directions

Client Contact 2: E-mail Template

Loan Pre-qualification Letter Template (Download Word document)

» Client Consultation #3: Ten Potential Properties E-Mail
In the third contact with their clients, student “realtors” will research ten homes in their client’s price range. They will then send an e-mail, attaching a comparative analysis Excel spreadsheet of the ten potential properties. Realtors will ask their clients to view these properties and then eventually reply with their top five choices.

Client Consultation #3: Ten Potential Properties E-Mail Directions

Client Contact #3: Ten Potential Properties E-mail Template

Ten Potential Properties Comparative Analysis Spreadsheet (download Excel document)

» Client Consultation #4: Top Five Follow-up Phone Conversation
In the fourth contact with clients, realtors (students) will e-mail or call to check in with clients and pinpoint the client’s top five property choices from the original ten potential properties that were emailed in a comparative analysis spreadsheet. These 5 properties will become the focus for the Virtual Home Tour.

» Client Consultation #5: Virtual Home Tour
In the fifth contact with clients, realtors (students) will conducts a face-to-face meeting at Clairemont High, giving clients a digital tour of their top five home options and surrounding neighborhoods.

Client Consultation #5: Virtual Home Tour Directions

Client Contact #5: Confirm Virtual Home Tour Appointment E-mail Template

Virtual Home Tour Template Outline

Virtual Home Tour Feedback Notes

Virtual Tour Client Assessment Form

»Final Client Consultation
The last client contact will be a  face-to-face  final presentation event at the Clairemont High School Library. As a culminating activity to the AOBT Real Estate Project, all student “realtors” will do a formal presentation to their clients about the process they underwent: the home search, loan approval, budget, and final home selection. Students will present to their clients about the three best homes & surrounding neighborhoods that they recommend making an offer on. Clients will watch and assess the presentations, using a metric form to grade each team (this presentation counts as students’ semester midterm exam) and then tell their realtors which home they want to “make the offer” on. See below under final presentation for more info.

Internet Research: Finding the Home

The first step of the Real Estate Project is an involved procedure where students must use their given information to fill out a loan application, and simulate the process of qualifying their “client” for a home loan. Using  their individual family’s annual income, credit score, and down payment amount to calculate the loan will help students know what price range they must use to search for homes. Once students have a maximum home price, they can begin looking for homes on the market.

Searching For Homes:

» Search Areas Reference Sheet
Students should reference this sheet when choosing a community for their clients. For the purpose of the project, San Diego County was divided into five primary areas: Area 1: North County Coastal; Area 2: North County Inland; Area 3: Central Coastal; Area 4: Central Inland; Area 5: East County. Click on the link to view a list of neighborhoods for each area.

» MLS (Multiple Listing Service) of San Diego
To search current homes for sale in San Diego

» Realtor.com – San Diego
To search current homes for sale in San Diego

» Redfin.com
To search current homes for sale in San Diego

» Sign-On San Diego – Real Estate
To search current homes for sale in San Diego

 

» Sandicor (stats)
To research statistics on home sales and areas including median prices

» Zillow
To research specific home sales for a particular home or neighborhood and get home values for neighborhoods or even a specific house to determine if the purchase price the seller is asking is fair

» Google Maps
Check out Street View to explore neighborhoods through 360-degree, panoramic, and street-level imagery

» Google Earth
To view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, and more of homes and surrounding neighborhoods

Spreadsheet Budget

Assignment Description: Students will create a budget for their “clients” using a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet.  The spreadsheet will calculate and graphically represent the family’s budget. It will use formulas to calculate the maximum home loan amount and maximum purchase price of the home. It will also demonstrate the family’s monthly expenses pertinent to buying a home  including: monthly income, monthly mortgage payment, monthly liabilities (auto & credit card debt), real estate taxes, and hazard insurance.


» Spreadsheet Budget Assignment Requirements
View this link to see a detailed page outlining the requirements of the spreadsheet family budget.

» Spreadsheet Budget Grading Rubric
View this link to see the grading rubric that teachers will use to asses the final spreadsheet budget.

» Sample Spreadsheet Budget
View this link to see an example of a completed spreadsheet budget.

MLA Research Paper on Real Estate-Related Topics

Assignment Description: Students will choose a topic relating to real estate to do a formal 2-3 page research paper in MLA format with works cited page. Topics will included a closer look at aspects of real estate that are not already covered in the general project such as energy-efficient home building, the current economic crash, ESCROW, homeowners insurance, appraisals, and more. Topics will be divided so that no group researches the same theme.

» Research Paper Requirements

View this link to see a detailed page outlining the topics and assignment requirements for the Seminar.

» Research Paper Grading Rubric

View this link to see the grading rubric that teachers will use to asses the final MLA Research Paper.

» Example Research Paper & Works Cited

View this link to see an example of a research paper and works cited! Be sure not to copy if you have the same topic!

Final Presentation to Clients

Assignment Description: As a final semester project, student teams will present their findings for this project to a board of panelists from the real estate industry field. Students will present as if they are a team of reltors speaking to their clients. They will use Microsoft PowerPoint to put together a professional oral presentation that shows their family the neighborhood they have chosen for them, the home itself, and the budget. Students will be graded both on their multi-media creativity and their speech delivery.

» Presentation Requirements
View this link to see a detailed page outlining the assignment requirements of the PowerPoint Presentation.

» Presentation Grading Rubric
View this link to see the grading rubric that teachers will use to asses the final PowerPoint Presentation.