Takeaways Understanding what kind of builder you are working with will allow you to get the most from your home purchase The Three Types There are three business models that most residential home builders choose from: tract, spec and custom. Each of these models offer different benefits and drawbacks for new construction homebuyers to consider. […]
Takeaways Don’t confuse property (hazard) insurance with mortgage insurance, or home warranties Start shopping for your insurance company early in the home buying process Check out rates and learn more at www.HelpInsure.com What Coverage? What do you need property insurance for (also called hazard insurance, or homeowners insurance)? According to Travellers, the most common property […]
Takeaways Consider using the Killeen Homebuyer Assistance Program if you make around or less than $50,000/yr You still have to qualify for a loan, but you can get some of the costs paid Start here first if you’re a first time homebuyer Benefits The Killeen Homebuyer Assistance Program (HAP) provides up to $7500 toward low-income […]
Updated 5/29/17, Originally published 8/7/15 Takeaways Budget off your mortgage payment, not purchase price Don’t assume you can or should spend everything your lender preapproves you for Spend as little as possible to meet your needs What does it mean to be house poor? It’s actually the opposite of having a poor house. Rather, it […]
Updated 3/6/17; Originally published 8/26/15 Takeaways Budget based on your monthly mortgage payment, not your purchase price Plan on that mortgage going up Your lender is your #1 resource for planning your budget Considering buying a home? Don’t know how much home you can afford? Look no further! Starting a Home Budget The very first […]
Takeaways Communicate with the seller, change up your offer, and try again. Just because it’s a “low ball” doesn’t mean it’s a bad offer. Maybe the seller is the one with unreasonable expectations. It’s not always the price – find out what other terms the seller may be looking for. I’m not talking about losing […]
Takeaways Buying a foreclosure in the Fort Hood area? You’re probably buying a VA foreclosure. Yes, you CAN buy a foreclosure with a VA loan Getting the VA the contract is a pain, but otherwise the process is very similar to a normal deal Unique to the Fort Hood market is the tremendous number of […]
Even as a full time agent I have to work overtime to keep up on our market trends, industry news and learning from new experiences. The learning curve is steep in real estate, and it is not surprising that buyers have a lot of misconceptions about the process and what to expect.
Here are a few myths – some true, some not – about buying a home in the Fort Hood area.
Takeaways Budget from monthly payment, not home price. Don’t forget to also budget for utilities, and maintenance costs when buying. A local recommended lender is your best point of contact for current rates, preapproval and more. Not interested in the hit or miss on post housing? Curious about buying instead of renting? Is your goal […]
Takeaways Are you eligible for the VA loan? Use it! Advantages / Pros The VA loan boasts numerous advantages to those who are eligible. The main advantages are the 0% down payments and lower interest rates compared to alternatives. VA loans also don’t require mortgage insurance, which can add $100 or so to a monthly […]
The option period is the most critical time for any contract. This is the time for the buyer to figure out everything they need to about a home. There are many fail safes in place for the buyer, but the buyer and their agent still must be diligent about following up on all the items in a timely manner. Once the option period is over, you are in it to win it.
Fort Hood is overwhelmingly renters. According to the US Census, 1/3 of Americans are renters. That ratio is flipped in the Fort Hood area – 2/3 of Killeen residents are renters. The reason is the military. The Fort Hood area is also overwhelmingly military personnel (54% of loans are VA loans, for example). Military are more likely to rent than buy (more on that below). Some would likely be well served by considering buying.
Updated 8/9/16, originally published 8/2/15 Takeaways The VA loan is a fantastic loan option for Fort Hood service members, but it is not a blank check. Plan ahead, budget and have an exit strategy, even if it is your “forever home” (situations change) Talk to a Realtor – especially when buying from a builder – […]
Updated 7/1/16; originally published 8/15/15 Takeaways Purchasing a home is a major purchase; do your due diligence when choosing an agent. Cross reference several different resources when evaluating an agent and their history Personal references count for a lot, but still evaluate agents referred to you. So, you’ve found some Realtors® and narrowed down your list […]
Updated 6/26/16; originally published 8/21/15 Some people are looking for them. Others are trying to avoid them. Home Owners Associations. Fort Hood does not have a lot – in fact, only six. Unlike HOA fees in the pricey coastal communities exhibited on HGTV shows, Central Texas HOAs tend to be very affordable – as you […]
(Updated 6/16/16; originally published 7/30/15) Takeaways Steer clear from major purchases or moving money around when trying to buy a home Job changes of any kind (like ETSing from the military) can make buying a home very difficult Budget out the process with your lender and be sure you have enough in your bank account […]
Takeaways There is no way to “rank” builders – different builders and neighborhoods have different advantages depending on your needs. The best way to find a builder who will best suit you is with a local Realtor. The list below gives a basic starting point on narrowing down builders by quality, price and size The […]
Takeaways Interview several agents and do your due diligence before hiring an agent Take the listing or representation agreement seriously – you are committing 100% to that agent Watch out for warning signs, and first try to work out concerns with your agent before sacking anyone Avoid This Problem Hiring the wrong agent can often […]
Takeaways Don’t just look at rates; Lenders can manipulate rates Get the Loan Estimates from multiple lenders to compare apples to apples Local lenders are often better prepared and resourceful than online lenders Choosing one lender over another can be very confusing, actually. Many shoppers erroneously think it is all about the rate, and they […]
Takeaways Make and implement a maintenance plan now so you don’t forget and leave important maintenance unattended. Make the most of your home’s being vacant, before you move in. Do it now, while you’re in the “new home” frame of mind – otherwise you’ll never get around to it. Just joking, there’s not 1,723 things […]
You may have heard about foreclosure and what a good deal they can be. And they certainly can be exactly that, depending on your circumstances, resources and what you are looking for. In my experience, buying foreclosures can be a great option to consider if you have some extra money for closing costs and any […]
About the Fort Hood Area Association of Realtors® MLS The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a marketplace available to professional real estate agents, brokers and other affiliates. Essentially it was born out of a need for cooperation between agents. I may have a home listed, but some other agent has a buyer. The MLS is […]
Welcome back to part 2 in my series on the Texas Association of Realtors Code of Ethics. These are rules of conduct that all real estate agent members of the TAR must follow at risk of fines, discipline, or even being thrown out. Previously, of course, we discussed Article 1. Today, surprise surprise, is Article […]
In American real estate, buyers’ agents have been a fairly recent phenomenon dating to the early 1990s. Before then, homes were listed with a listing agent and advertised, and buyers went directly to the listing agent, buyer beware!, to buy homes. They themselves had no representation. In time, it became more and more customary in […]
Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? Is there a way to tell other than gut feelings and anecdotes about how quickly homes are selling or not? Of course. It’s called months of inventory (or absorption rate). Months of Inventory and Absorption Rates are the same thing. “Absorption Rate” is a term more […]
Note: The Texas Association of Realtors and TREC update promulgated forms regularly. For the most recent updates, check with TAR, TREC, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: I am a real estate professional, not a lawyer. Nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or instructions. We previously discussed the Sales Price and Financing terms […]
This information is no longer current Note: The Texas Association of Realtors and TREC update promulgated forms regularly. For the most recent updates, check with TAR, TREC, or contact me at email@example.com. Note: I am a real estate professional, not a lawyer. Nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or instructions. I hope you […]
What loan types are available to you as a buyer? Here is the short and skinny of the different loan types with a brief explanation of the benefits and restrictions. These loans apply to owner-occupied loans, meaning only homes you are intending to live in yourself. Investment homes will either be looking at an investor […]
Note: The Texas Association of Realtors and TREC update promulgated forms regularly. For the most recent updates, check with TAR, TREC, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: I am a real estate professional, not a lawyer. Nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or instructions. Welcome to the first installment of my Texas Paperwork […]
Hello Central Texans! This is my first post for my new real estate blog, mainly focusing on Fort Hood, Texas, to include the cities of Killeen, Harker Heights and Copperas Cove. I’ve been building my business in the area, and am excited to share my knowledge and experiences with would-be home buyers, sellers and investors! […]