Buyer

Real Estate Buyers Guide The Home Buying Process

Terra Point Realty Real Estate Buyers Guide

Below is a quick Terra Point Realty Real Estate Buyers Guide detailing the home buying process in and around the Katy Fulshear Area. This process should give you an idea and a good starting point on what to expect during the home buying process. This is just a shortlist and guide. I’ll be working with you to assist and guide you during this journey.

  1. Begin the Process
  2. Get Pre-Approved
  3. Choose a Location
  4. Find a Terra Point Realtor and Begin Your Search
  5. View the Property
  6. Make an Offer
  7. Preparing to Close
  8. Closing

 

Begin The Process

Starting the house buying process is simple. All you need to do is decide if you want to buy a home. Please take a look at my 5 Questions to Ask Yourself to See If You Are Ready to Buy a House. A mortgage pre-approval is essential to obtain before you begin touring houses. Doing this first will help create your budget. Then you decide how much money you are willing to spend on a home. Also, you will need to factor in the expenses to include in the budget. You’ll have your mortgage payment, the property taxes, homeowners insurance, and an HOA annual fee in many communities. Each property will be a bit different, but for houses in Cross Creek Ranch, generally speaking, HOA costs are in the range that is $ 1300 to $ 2925 each year. There is also a keep the community beautiful fee of 0.25% due at the time of closing made payable to the Cross Creek Ranch Foundation Committee. If a home has caught your interest, contact us, we will be delighted to help.

Also, you’ll have to be ready for closing costs, prepaid items, and down payment. Closing prices do vary. They are generally between 3% to 6% of the home’s purchase price. Sometimes, I may have the ability to negotiate the seller covering around 3% the cost. Your down payment can vary from 0% to get VA and a USDA loan to 20 percent for a loan with no mortgage insurance. Fannie Mae now provides a 3 percent down payment loan, and FHA loan offers a 3.5 percent down payment loan. (3.5% down payment must be from buyer’s funds.) Just keep this in the back of your mind when you get to the closing table. You will need the required closing costs and down payment to close on the property.

Get Pre-Approved

Getting a mortgage pre-approval is an important first step to buying a new home. You will need a loan unless you are paying cash for the amount of the property. Find a creditor, credit union, or mortgage broker and get a mortgage pre-approval. In today’s real estate market, most sellers want to see a mortgage pre-approval when an offer is submitted or proof of funds. Sellers also may require it before a showing request on their home is approved. Even if the seller does not require a pre-approval, having one will give strength when negotiating and confidence when you submit an offer. Generally speaking, getting a pre-approval is free as a buyer. 

Getting Pre-Approved Helps Remove the Fear of Purchase

Getting a mortgage pre-approval also gives you a good idea of how much house you can afford. We are not saying you should find a house in the top range of what you can afford. By using the pre-approval along with your budget and what you’re comfortable spending monthly on a home, the mortgage amount should dictate the price range of your search. Make sure to discuss your mortgage options with a mortgage specialist. There are a lot of products and different mortgage options available, like fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, or interest-only mortgages. There are many mortgage term lengths you can choose from, 15 years, 20 years, 30 years, decide on the one that is right for you, your goals, and your budget. Choose the lender or mortgage agent you feel comfortable doing business together. By the time you finish this journey of buying a home, they may know more about you than your doctor does. 

Now that you are ready to purchase,

     Ten Real Estate Mortgage Rules To Follow:

  1. Do not omit financial debts or liabilities from your loan application.
  2. Do not co-sign a loan for anyone.
  3. Do not change bank accounts.
  4. Do not change jobs, decide to become self-employed, or choose to quit your current job.
  5. Do not buy a new car, truck, or van (if you do, it may cause your loan to fall through.)  
  6. Do not use your credit cards other than your normal use or let your accounts become delinquent. (Attempt to keep the balances under 50% of the available credit).
  7. Do not use the money you have set aside for closing.
  8. Do not buy anything that uses credit, such as furniture, appliances, or any other large items.
  9. Do not make inquiries into your credit (don’t apply for a car loan, etc.).
  10. Do not make a large deposit is a big no-no. Check with your loan officer before doing so. (you will need a documentation trail of the money).

Always try to keep your financial debt low. Doing this will keep your available credit high. If you need an expert mortgage referral, please let me know. I’ll be delighted to point you toward a few professionals that I trust and have used.

Choose That Perfect Location

It is all about the location, location, location. I’m guessing you have heard of the fast-growing area of Fulshear and Katy. If you are thinking about buying somewhere in the Fulshear Katy area, we are home to some of the best neighborhoods in the Greater Houston Area. Picking the right area and community is a critical ingredient in finding that perfect place to call home. Consider your daily activities, schools, your commute, and what you would like to be near and do. Whether you want a lot that backs up to water, nature parks, or amusement parks, there is a neighborhood for everyone. Select a location that will enrich your daily life and provide you and your family with the things you care about most.

If you are interested in a certain area or neighborhood in the Fulshear Katy Area, please let us know. We are happy to provide you with a neighborhood report for that area. For your convenience, I have compiled a Fulshear Katy area schools page.

Find A REALTOR® And Begin Your Search

Create a wishlist of those things you want in your next home. The wishlist can incorporate a specific number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, how many car garages, pool, etc.. Make sure to concentrate on features you can not live without first–such as walk-in closets, pool, an outdoor kitchen, or granite countertops, type of floor plan. Use my MLS Home Search tool that is free to begin collecting a list. You can search for Cross Creek Ranch houses, which are for sale.  

Make sure to interview and hire a local REALTOR® that is an expert in the area. You want the right agent to help you with your home search and negotiations. Take a look at A Great REALTOR® Interview Questionaire to assist you in your selection. Ensure you are comfortable with the agent and that they are experts in the area you will be searching for. A top REALTOR® will know the home values, amenities, builders, schools, etc. within the area. As a buyer, hiring a REALTOR® to assist you is ordinarily free. The one question we get asked all the time is, can I use a REALTOR® to purchase a new construction home? The answer is you most definitely should use a REALTOR®! The agent on-site at the builder’s model works for and represents the builder in the transaction. You must have a qualified REALTOR® to represent you.  

View The Property

As soon as you’ve narrowed your list down, visit each property. We prefer to limit the home showings to around six homes (there, of course, are exceptions) on any given day. Showing any more than six houses tends to run all the homes into each other. A REALTOR ® should print copies of the MLS listings for you when seeing the houses so that you can use the property information. It also allows you to take detailed notes on each property. There is nothing worse trying to recall a particular feature and getting it confused with another property. What you did not like about each house and what you liked or wanted. If you would like house B over house A, just move home B to the top of the pile and move A to the bottom. While viewing the home, give it a good walkthrough, imagine yourself living there. Sometimes you will need to use a little vision. So don’t get frustrated or sidetracked by simple things you can change, like carpeting, appliances, wall color, and landscaping. Now you’ve found your dream home get ready for the next step and make an Offer! We cannot stress this enough at this time. It is presently a seller’s market, so once you find the house of your dreams, move because that home may go under contract FASTER than you can blink!

Make An Offer

You’ll want to make an offer, once you’ve chosen a property. It is a seller’s market, as noted earlier, and you will need to act fast but responsibly. If we are your REALTOR®, we will most likely know what price point each home will sell for. If you aren’t using us, your REALTOR® should do comps of the region and guide you on an offer price that you’re comfortable with. There should be some negotiations going back and forth over costs. Negotiations are typical, and for us, among the best part of the buying procedure. We do not worry about the risk of insulting the seller when it comes to making offers for our buyers. We look at market facts, so you are happy with the offer price and obtaining the best deal on the property. Keep in mind, if done correctly, each side believes they won. In many cases, the seller of this home wants top dollar, which is not reasonable. So negotiation is a science, in our opinion. Ask any buyer agent at Terra Point Realty, and we will be happy to explain our theory behind it.

Now the buyer and the seller agree on a sales price. It is time to get all parties to sign and initial the offer contract. Once complete, you will now have a valid and binding home purchase contract. You’ll then need to make an earnest money deposit (EMD), which will go into escrow. The earnest money deposit around the Fulshear Katy area is subject to the home’s sale price. Typically, the sellers will ask for earnest money deposit from 1% to 3% of the sales price. Keep in mind; the higher your earnest money deposit, the more serious the seller will consider the offer. In the Greater Houston area, the earnest money deposit will be held by a third party, usually a Title Company or an attorney of the seller’s choice.  

During the option period, usually seven days or ten days, a buyer should get an inspection on the property to determine if the home has any visual problems that need to be fixed or negotiated. After the option period is finished, financing must be obtained and start preparing to close this phase.

Preparing To Close

Before closing, the last steps involve obtaining a new survey (if the seller does not have a current one or changes have been made), appraisal, home inspections, and title search. You will now be waiting on your financing to get finalized, if not paying cash. The mortgage financing approval period takes anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to finish. During the financing process, be prepared to prove your finances, maybe multiple times! At a minimum, a buyer will need the following: * two months of bank statements 

  •  The last two years of tax returns
  •  Generally the latest two pay stubs
  •  Drivers License or Government ID

The lender will most likely call your employer to check your employment status right before closing. Underwriting will complete their process, and once complete, the lender determines if you are qualified, and they will give a Clear to Close. Each title company has a different home closing process. The title company will provide you and your REALTOR ® closing instructions. At the closing table, you’ll need to prove your identity with a valid Drivers License or Government ID. Some clients will wire money to the title company a day before closing. On the day of closing, once the seller has moved out of their house completely, you will need to do a final walkthrough of the house. This walkthrough is very important. You would not be happy if the seller destroyed the carpet and left home a mess. Once you sign your name on the conveyance deed, the house is yours “as is.” Also, you need to verify all the appliances are still in the home like agreed, and that there isn’t any damage.

Closing

Finally, you get your closing disclosure from the lender. The closing day is right around the corner! Typically it is a mandatory wait of three business days after you receive a Closing Disclosure to close. On closing day, you’ll sign documents to complete the transaction such as a Deed of Trust, promissory notes for your mortgage, pay the seller, and pay closing costs. The property will transfer title by a Warranty Deed and placing the instrument in the County’s Clerks Office, putting the public on notice of transfer. In Texas, you usually get the keys to your new home at closing, and once the transaction has the funding.

Do not forget if this is your primary residence; make sure to apply for a Homestead Property Tax Exemption. You can do that about three weeks after you close at the Harris County, Waller County, or Fort Bend County Property Appraiser Website.

What I Can Do For You

Please click over to the Buyer Services Page to see how I can make your buying experience better!

If you are looking for an excellent REALTOR®, We are at your service! It would be our pleasure to assist you with buying your home anywhere in the Greater Houston area.