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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Greens Homes: Save A Tree & Save Some Cash

Green Homes

Green Homes Energy Star Homes

Green Homes are homes that incorporates smart design, construction and maintenance elements to significantly lessen the effects of the home on the environment and improve the health of the people who live inside. No matter your location or living situation the opportunity for living a greener life at home are limited only to your imagination and of course your budget. Some of the features that make a home green include:

LOCATION:  Close Proximity to work, grocery stores, schools, parks entertainment and dining cut down on the amount of miles you drive. This is a key factor for green homes.  It also reduces the stress of traffic and limits the cost of your daily commutes.  The ability to use public transportation is also a key factor.

SIZE:  A larger home will consume more natural resources and will require more heating, air conditioning and lighting.  If you really want a green home chose the smallest size with a layout that allows you and your family to be comfortable in the living space.  The right layout can actually feel larger than it really is.  Don’t just shop by square footage.  Really get a feel for the home.

BUILDING DESIGN: Green homes should be situated to take advantage of natural light and prevailing breezes. The Exterior should have shading devices like sunshades, green screens and trees the help block the hot summer sun.  The more you take advantage of what nature provides for free, the less the impact the home will have on the environment and your wallet.

GREEN BUILDING MATERIALS: Green homes will use non-toxic building products and renewable resources like bamboo flooring from salvaged materials. Other features in green home maybe non-toxic insulation, energy star rated appliances, windows and doors. Also water conservation systems, rain water collection systems and drought tolerant landscaping.

Making your home a greener place is a commitment to yourself, your family, your community and the environment. It is also a learning process. As technology continues to improve and evolve it is important to be educated about the options that are available to improve your green home.

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW to learn more about Energy Star Certified Homes and how they can help give you peace of mind and a better quality of home life.

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Home Inspections: The most important part of the home buying process.

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home from the roof to the foundation.  The standard home inspection report will include an evaluation of the condition of the homes heating system, air conditioning system, interior plumbing, electrical systems, the roof, attic and visible insulation, wall ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and any other part of the property that is visible.  Why do you need a home inspection?  Buying a home will most likely be the largest single investment you will ever make.  You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs that need to be made.  The home inspection will help to minimize any surprise repairs that will need to be made after you purchase the home.   How much does a home a inspection cost?  The inspection fee varies geographically.  Also the fee may vary depending on the size of the house, its age and possible additional services like septic, well, or radon testing.  Its a good idea to comparison shop prices on your own however, don’t let cost be a factor when deciding whether to have a home inspection or not or in the selection of your home inspector.  The knowledge gained from and inspection is well worth the cost and the lowest cost inspector is not necessarily a bargin.  You may be wondering, can I do it myself?  Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of and experienced home inspector.  An inspector is familiar with all the elements of home construction, proper installation and maintenance of a home.  More information about licensed inspectors can be found at   You may wonder if a house can fail a home inspection.  The answer in no.  The home inspection report is an examination of the current condition of your perspective home.  It is not an appraisal that determines market value or a municipal inspection which verifies local code compliance.   A home inspector will not pass or fail a home but rather describes its physical condition and indicate what may need repair or replacement.   How do you find a home inspector?  Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with a home inspector that fits your needs and your budget.  So when do you call in a home inspector?  A home inspector is typically called right after the purchase contract has been signed and often available within a few days.

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Closing Cost: What the Seller Can Expect to Pay

The final step of any real estate transaction is the closing.  During the closing all funds are accounted for and distributed.  It is during the final accounting process that the seller will learn what cost and expenses they will be responsible for and what funds they will be receiving.  Once the buyer has received a clear to close the seller will receive a closing disclosure.  The closing disclosure will identify what funds will either be paid or received by the seller.   Some of the fees a seller may be responsible for are attorneys fees, escrow fees, recording fees, owners title policy, realtors commission, prorated property taxes, and mortgage interest are a few the seller may be responsible for.  Your particular closing cost will be itemized on your closing disclosure.   Once the total closing cost are added to your mortgage pay off and subtracted from the closing price hopefully, your net proceeds is a positive number meaning, you walk away from selling your property with money in your pocket.  If it is a negative number you will have to bring money to the table in order to close the sell of the home.   There are several factors that can affect the closing of a real estate sale.  Having a realtor that can navigate you through the process gives you peace of mind through the process.

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Here is a link to the TRID Closing Disclosure Form.

Zoning Restrictions: What they are and how they work.

Zoning Restrictions are one of the most important tools used by state and local governments to encourage or prohibit certain types of real estate behavior.   Zoning Restrictions attempt to improve the living conditions in certain of areas and neighborhoods by preventing one landowner from damaging neighbors and the community through the improper use or development of land.  For example, a ordinance may prohibit someone from building an auto-repair shop next to a single-family home.   The same ordinance that protects a property from what develops next door also limits the development of property.  Every land owner should know what restrictions are in effect for there neighborhood or area.  Consumers considering the purchase of a property should carefully review the restrictions for that neighborhood or area and be sure to check with area officials about any zoning change applications that may have been filed.  Would be buyers should also be aware of zoning ordinances or master plan that may apply to that area.  It is also to important to know that in some area including areas within the City of Houston may not have any zone restrictions.

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Title Insurance: What it is and Why you need it!

what is title insurance

Title insurance provides financial protection against laws arising from problems connect to the title of your new property.  Before you purchased your home it may have gone through several ownership changes.  Their could be a weak link at any point in that chain of owners that could cause trouble.  For example, there maybe unpaid real estate taxes or other liens.  Title insurance covers the insured party for any claims and legal fees that arise out of such problems.  There are 2 kinds of title insurance policies.   A mortgagee  policy covers the lender.  An owners  policy cover the purchaser.    Do you have to have title insurance?  It is mandatory if you are taking out a mortgage because all mortgage companies require title insurance equal to the loan.    The full premium for a title policy is paid at closing and the  policy stays in effect until the loan is fully repaid.  As with mortgage insurance it protects the lender but the purchaser pays the premium.   The required mortgage policy protects the lender up to the amount of the mortgage but it doesn’t protect your equity in the property.  For that type of protection you need an owners policy for the full value of the home.  In some areas sellers pay for the owners policy as part of there responsibility to deliver good title to the buyer.  In other ares buyers must buy an owner policy as an add on the the lender policy.   A standard title insurance policy does not cover the owner for matters that arrive after closing which is a weakness.