Top 5 Questions That Home Buyers Should Ask

Top 5 questions everyone should ask when buying a home? 

Being a SUPER realtor here in the Spring, Texas area I was helping a client look for homes when I intuitively picked up on an awkwardness.  I kindly asked her what was wrong. I genuinely wanted to know what suddenly made her uncomfortable, even if it was me.  She laughed and told me that she was just nervous and although she was in love with this beautiful 3000 square foot lakefront home I was showing her here in Spring, TX she felt like the questions she wanted to ask sounded “silly”. 

What, wait a second and stop the presses!

I had worked with this client for 7 years and she felt silly asking me a question! 

I thought about all the other people out there who didn’t want to sound silly or didn’t know what to ask. I explained to her that there was no such thing as a silly question when buying a home.   The purchase of a home is one of the largest purchases a person will ever make in their life. 

I always tell my clients in Houston throughout this process please feel free to ask me any questions that they may think of. It’s important to me that my clients have a clear understanding of what we are doing and why. I do my best to answer and satisfy any questions my clients may have.  Buying your house is too big of a deal for you to have any reservations. 

Here are my Top 5 questions I would suggest you ask when buying a home wherever you are?

What is the difference between the comps and the appraisal value and how does it affect me?  

comp vs appraisal defined

Here is an example, of a sale I negotiated for a client in of mines in Creekside

Village The Woodlands.

example of comp vs appraisal

My very happy client just purchased their home with $10,000 equity. 

See how the difference between the comps and appraisal can be a very good thing. 

Who is responsible for the closing costs i.e. paying for your realtor?

There are closing costs for both the buyer and the seller to pay.  To keep it simple most mortgage related cost would be paid for buy the buyer.  The buyer pays for things like:

  • survey
  • inspections
  • appraisals
  • lender fees
  • required pre-paid property tax
  • insurance, and buyers’ title insurance policy

Most home “selling” related cost will be paid for by the seller.

For example:

  • the title search
  • home warranty
  • realtor fees   

It’s normal here in my area of Spring, Texas that if the buyer agrees to use the sellers chosen title company, the seller will pay Owners title policy. Some fees can be negotiated, some fees the mortgage company will require the buyer to pay.    But if you are paying cash, as we say in The Woodlands, you do what you want when its cash! Cash is king!

If I am pre-approved does that mean I am guaranteed to be able to close?

No, not at all.  This is something that your realtor and your mortgage rep should go over with you.  I am always reminding my clients while we are looking for a home and once we find the house, a pre-approval does not mean a guaranteed closing.

  • Do not run your credit after you receive your pre-approval
  • Do not quit your job
  • Do not make large or unusual deposit into your bank account. 

Last month I had a client in Sterling Ridge that almost sunk his home purchase because he forgot to let the mortgage rep know that he had a large end of the year bonus coming in.  Now getting more traceable money is not the worst thing you can do, but his deposit caused underwriting to have to do a little more verifying and added a week before we could get a clear to close.  So remember your credit will be reviewed again a few days before closing and quitting your job unless you have won the lottery will pretty much tank your home purchase. 

What kind of warranty am I getting on this home?

On ALL home purchases I have EVER negotiated in Texas for my clients at a minimum they have had a one-year warranty paid for by the seller.  Two things I cannot let go are a home warranty and an inspection (Click here to learn more about inspections).   

Home warranties cost pale in comparison to the possible savings for a seller. I’d be doing a disservice not to negotiate a policy for my client.  The warranty on your home can run anywhere from $350-$1000 depending on the depth of coverage i.e.  pool, appliances, plumbing etc.. Considering the average cost of one refrigerator repair or replacement by itself can cost you  $300-$1200 dollars.  The risk vs. benefit is a no brainer.  I also make it a point to go over what is covered in detail with my buyers in Houston when buying a new home. New homebuilders warranty can have built in clauses that require the homeowner to do perform certain actions in order for repairs to be covered. 

I sold a Highland Home in Spring, TX that required homeowner at a certain time after purchase to draft up a list of all repairs that were needed and they would repair every single last item but if the owner waited just one day after the deadline he would only have a very limited warranty for five years after. 

*I have it on my calendar to call him one month before that day to remind him to start drafting his list. 

(Click here to find out why insurance differs from home warranties)

How do I know if I “REALLY” like this neighborhood? 

Well this is pretty easy, VISIT the neighborhood, as often as you can.

I tell my clients feel free to come back without me.  You should visit the neighborhood in the evening to see what happens after 5pm. 

Are there a lot of cars parked on the street? Is there lots of noise?

Are there people walking dogs etc.? 

Talk to potential neighbor about why they love the neighborhood. 

I had a client of mines find out that a young man from the local high school band sits out at a park nearby a home he was under contract to buy and plays the violin.  He and his wife were moving from the museum district in Houston to a smaller home in the suburbs in Kingwood. His wife loves the arts, he was so excited to be able to tell me how this made her feel like she would not be loosing access to the music and arts of their old home but finding it in other ways in their new home. The best way to find out the nuances of a subdivision is by doing some exploration on your own before and during the option period will save you from most if not all buyers’ remorse on your new home.

What’s an Option PERIOD you say? . . .    Till next time Friends.

DEEDEE WYMS is Realtor working in the Houston, Spring Texas Metropolitan area. 

RE/MAX THE WOODLANDS & SPRING     832-610-4565Helping Home Buyers in Spring, Texas

Partnership Tower: Houston’s New Center for Visitors and Business!

Partnership Tower will house Houston First, the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau and Greater Houston Partnership employees. Partnership Tower will be built to the north end of the GRB, and connect via sky bridge to the convention center. More retail space in Partnership Tower will be found at street level, light rail connection on both sides, and one set of tracks running right through the 1,900-car parking garage. Partnership Tower will have a foundation that can later support a boutique hotel on top. All of these projects are scheduled for completion by 2017 and are designed to enhance the Houston experience for visitors and locals.   WATCH THE VIDEO TO LEARN MORE!

deedee wyms pic 2

DeeDee Wyms

832-610-4565

WWW.DEEDEEWYMSREALTY.COM

 

 

GREAT BONES FOR A REMODEL!

31 E Split Rock Rd

This charming Victorian style home is waiting for you to make it your own. Filled with unique design features such as upstairs bonus room, lovely secondary bedroom with wood floors and octagon ceiling, stained glass panels, and antique door. GREAT LOCATION! I-45 is 3.8 miles away and you are within minutes of Town Center, Market Street, Hughes Landing North Shore Park, and The Woodlands Mall. Come see it today! – See more at: http://search.deedeewymsrealty.com/idx/details/listing/a047/64146555/31-E-Split-Rock-Rd-The-Woodlands-TX-77381#sthash.22LhZgiq.dpuf

First Time Homebuyer Programs: Watch The Video!

First Time Home buyer

Homeownership gives you a sense of accomplishment that no other purchase in your lifetime will give you.  Owning your own home is the cornerstone of the American dream.  First Time Homebuyer programs are designed to help make homeownership accessible to people who may not qualify for a mortgage through conventional means.  Watch the video below to learn more about First Time Homebuyer programs.

 

Call DeeDee Wyms Realty For All Your Real Estate Needs  832-610-4565.

The MLS: What It Is & How It Works

An MLS(Multiple Listing Service) is an organization of cooperating real estate professionals.  Most MLSs is the America today are owned and operated by a local realtor associations.  An MLS offers a series of tools that real estate professionals use to search for and identify properties that their clients and costumers might be interested in buying or leasing.

During your property search on the MLS will be used to identify and determine the status of homes you may be interested in purchasing.  To help understand the process you should know about the terms used to do describe the status of a home you are interested in purchasing.

Active–  A home that is currently active and available for showing appointments.

Option Pending–  The home is under contract but the buyer and seller have agreed to a specific amount of time that the buyer may walk away for the sale and get there earnest money back.  This gives the buyer time to sure up financing and get an inspection done on the property.  The home is still available for showings.

Pending–  The home is under contract and in no longer available to show.

Pending Continue to Show–  The home is under contract but is still available for showings.

Sold–  The home is under contract, has funded, and closed and is no longer available.  All sales closed must be reported to the MLS.

Withdrawn–  The home has been taken of the market but a valid listing agreement still exist with a real estate agent.

Terminated–  The listing agreement between the listing agent and the seller has be terminated before the listing agreement is expired.

Expired.  The contract between the listing agent and the seller ends at an agreed upon date in the listing agreement.

Understanding these terms will help you to search more efficiently for the home you want to purchase. It also helps give you an understanding of where the seller is in the process of selling their home and how willing they may be to lower the price of the home.

 

 

 

MUD: Municipal Utility Districts

The MUD(Municipal Utility District) is vital to the success of any neighborhood.  The MUD manages all the utilities and services that the neighborhood provides.  Watch the video below to learn more about what the MUD does to keep your neighborhood functioning everyday.

FHA Loans vs Conventional Loans

FHA: Your Pathway to Homeownership

The Federal Housing Administration(FHA) provides a loan guarantee program in lieu of private mortgage insurance so qualified borrowers can secure a mortgage loan with a low down payment.  The FHA doesn’t lend you the money.  It guarantees the loan so the lender doesn’t take on the financial risk buy extending you credit to buy the home.

The most popular FHA loan has a minimum down payment of 3% percent but allows 100% of the the funds needed for the down payment to come from a relative, non-profit organization, or government agency.   FHA guidelines are not as strict as the Federal National Mortgage Association(Fannie Mae)  or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Feddie Mac).  This makes it easier for consumers to have access the privilege  of homeownership.

FHA Loan are assumable.  That means you can transfer your loan to the new owner if you sale your house.  To assume the loan the buyer has to meet the credit standards for the loan.  This feature can make it easier to sell your home.  This provision is not found in a conventional loan. Under a conventional loan the sale of the subject property triggers a due on sale clause that requires the total loan amount be paid off before the buyer can take ownership.

The biggest disadvantage to an FHA loan is the mortgage insurance premium.    Conventional loans with less than 20% down require mortgage insurance coverage also but unlike private mortgage insurance(PMI), the mortgage insurance premium is not canceled when the homeowner equity reaches a target level.

Consumers need to shop rates when looking for FHA mortgages just as they would on a conventional loan. Because the rates are established by the lender and not the government.   FHA mortgage rates are typically higher than conventional or non-government guaranteed home loan rates but shouldn’t be significantly higher unless you have credit problems.  The current state of our economy and the housing market in general have made FHA loans much more viable and popular.  There is a lot to know about purchasing a home.   DeeDee Wyms Realty can walk you through the process and make sure that you are happy with your new home purchase.  Give me at 832-610-4565 call and lets find the right home for you.

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