New Missoula podcast eases anxiety for first-time homebuyers

Kyle Pucko, podcast host, and Talia Zook, digital marketing specialist, test audio before a recording.
(Shawn Nicholls)

On average, people cry three times during the first-time homebuying process.

Knowing what a mortgage is and identifying the people who play a role in the journey to homeownership can be challenging and confusing.

Now Kyle Pucko’s Missoula-based marketing agency, Pintler Group, with help from University of Montana student Kassi Strong, have started an online podcast called “Closing Day” to answer many of the questions that novice homebuyers have.

When Pucko bought his first house, he still had some uncertainty about the process and whether he made the right choice on closing day.

“When I first went through the homebuying process, it felt like I was pretty out of control, meaning I was just taking advice from people and signing documents,” said Pucko, who also hosts the podcast. “Before you know it, you have keys and everything’s great, but you find yourself sort of reflecting and asking, ‘Were there things I could have done that could save me money or things that I did that were reckless and I shouldn’t have done?’ So I’m trying to answer some of those questions through interviewing different experts.”

The podcast has six episodes so far that address renting, buying, mortgages, real estate agents, lenders, and budgeting for a down payment.

The group brings in different experts from different companies and organizations to talk about the process without influencing the information the podcast provides.

“We had a hard time finding a podcast that wasn’t affiliated with a bank or a realtor or broker. The information you can get from those podcasts are sort of skewed,” Pucko said. “We’re trying to be a place of information for first-time homebuyers. We’re helping them navigate the buying process.”

Strong, who produces the podcast, said that resources like this are helpful to everyone, but especially Millennials, who statistically head fewer households than Generation Xers or Baby Boomers, according to Pew Research Center.

“For most people, it’s the biggest purchase they’ll ever make, and especially for first-time homebuyers, it’s their first major purchase,” Strong said. “There’s a lot of money on the line and a ton of different professionals that you have to work with to get through the process.”

The team provides advice from Missoula-based experts, organizations and companies, but the information provided in the podcast can be used by anyone. The goal is to give listeners the tools they need to move forward or find creative ways to own a home.

“There are ways. The first home I purchased, it was a duplex, and my wife and I lived downstairs and rented the upstairs so we could afford to get into that home. Our mortgage was cut in half,” Pucko said. “So there are ways to do it if you’re willing to sacrifice a little bit. The things you don’t learn in a high school classroom can really help you make an investment and to perhaps build some wealth.”

In the future, Pucko hopes to address other housing topics, like investing in properties and even the emerging trend of young generations living in tiny homes. Overall, creating informed homebuyers is what the podcast aims to do.

“I want to share that information and just show people that you don’t have to be a doctor or a lawyer to afford a home and to navigate this process with some success,” Pucko said.

Reporter Mari Hall can be reached via email at mari.hall@missoulacurrent.com.