Thinking About Buying?
It’s a big deal to purchase property and not get overwhelmed by the process. With mortgage rates at historic lows and affordable home prices, consumers can take advantage of home buying opportunities throughout the Texas markets. Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in life, and we’re here to help make that purchase as easy as possible and find your perfect lifestyle.
As a buyer, what do I need to know before I begin my search?
First, you need to know what you can afford. You’ll want to get pre-approved by visiting your local bank or a mortgage broker to fill out an application. Once you provide the necessary information, you will receive documentation on your pre-approval and know the price range you can afford, amount of down payment, closing cost amounts, etc. Once you know your budget, you need to decide on timeline to purchase and the location that will fit your perfect lifestyle. Will you live in town, in the country, waterfront, etc.?
Choosing an Agent
In this era, we search and rely on the Internet for many things. However, some things will always require the human touch, like the home buying and selling process. Real Estate transactions tend to go very smoothly when an agent helps you navigate through the transaction with attention to detail and care. While searching online, you’ll start seeing faces, bios, and contacts for agents. As always, recommendations from your network are a good start as well. At LBRET, we’re here to help you stay informed about relevant market updates and make the house-hunting experience an enjoyable one.
The Buyer’s Checklist
- Evaluate your budget by identifying the amount of down payment you have available as well as your monthly expenses.
- Visit your local bank or get a recommendation for a local mortgage broker to determine what you can afford by getting pre-approved.
- Determine your timeline to purchase and the location that will fit your perfect lifestyle.
- Find a local real estate agent to work with that is knowledgeable of the area.
- Determine your wants and needs: location, size, style, etc.
- Evaluate the area and determine if it’s right for you by checking schools, hospitals, community, commuting time, etc.
- You’ve found a home you’re interested in? Work with your agent to evaluate the condition of the property, monthly energy costs, etc.
- Let’s make an offer! Discuss with your agent how much to offer and be sure to leave room for negotiation. Youragent will be able to provide adviceon an offer price based on recent comparable sales, condition, and time on market, etc.
- Once an offer price is decided on, your agent will prepare the necessary paperwork (purchase contract) to present to the Sellers, navigate you through the negotiating process, and agree upon a final purchase contract.
- You’ve got an agreed upon contract to purchase. Now what? Arrange for a home inspection and obtain a copy of the report to review closely.
- Work closely with your agent and mortgage loan officer to provide all information for your mortgage application.
- Check on insurance. You’ll want to receive quotes to compare and secure a policy with appropriate coverage.
- Arrange with your agent to perform a final walk-through prior to signing the final closing paperwork.
What should I know about taxes in Texas?
Texas does not have a state property tax. Property taxes are locally assessed and locally administered. These taxes provide local governments withfunds to pay for schools, roads, police and firemen, emergency response services, libraries, parks, and other services. State law does offer different options of partial or complete exemptions. An exemption removes part of the value of your property from taxation and lowers your taxes. Information on the types of tax exemptions available can be viewed at http://goo.gl/HjQsLh