Finding your dream home is the fun part – but actually buying a home? It is quite the process! We understand what goes into purchasing a new home and work hard to make the process as smooth and seamless as possible.
Our agents are familiar with the home buying process on both a personal and professional level. Not only are we experts in real estate, but we have purchased and renovated many homes ourselves. Whether you are buying a home for the first time, looking to upgrade or wish to relocate to Houston, our team is dedicated to helping you find your perfect home.
At Rob Griffith Real Estate we know Houston neighborhoods well and can answer any questions you may have about the community. If you’re also looking into selling your home, we can help you with the process of getting your home on the market!
Here are a few things to consider if you are looking to buy a home.
7 Tips for Buying A Home
- Managing your Money
Getting your home financed is an important step in the home buying process. As you may have guessed, a lump sum of money may be needed to buy a house, even if you’ve been told that a down payment is not required. Closing costs and loan fees, for instance, are less obvious expenses that you may need to save for. Additionally, lenders look beyond your savings to determine your eligibility for a loan. For this reason, you should avoid moving money around and try not to take on new debt 3-6 months before buying your new home.
- Getting Pre-approved
Different than getting pre-qualified, a pre-approval letter prevents you from getting locked into a loan you can’t afford. It also shows that you’re serious about buying a home.
- Hire a Realtor®.
Don’t get flustered and stressed out with the home buying process. Let the professionals help you–we stay on top of current market conditions to find the best house at the best price. There are piles of paperwork and deadlines to meet, which can be hard to juggle with anyone’s daily routine! But, this is what we do on a daily basis and we are here to help. Provide us with a list of your wants and needs and not only will we find you the perfect home, but our experienced agents will negotiate with the seller on your behalf, so you don’t have to.
- Don’t let your emotions take over.
We know there’s a roller coaster of emotions from completely thrilled when the deal is made, to stressing out about paint colors and closet sizes. It’s easy to get confused and forget specific likes and dislikes after seeing many homes. To keep yourself on track, create a list of pros and cons to each property the same day you view it, and before you go to sleep. This will make it easier to compare properties and ensure you’re making the best decision when picking the right home for you.
- Be aware of additional costs.
Buying a home isn’t just taking on one mortgage payment every month. There will be extra costs such as insurance, property taxes, utilities, HOA dues and repairs or upgrades. Talk with your lender ahead of time to get an idea of any hidden costs you may have missed.
- Get a feel for the neighborhood.
Inspect the neighborhood you are looking to move into. Check out every aspect at different times of the day including school districts, commute times and the neighbor atmosphere. Are people friendly? Are there places close by that you frequent? These are all questions you want to consider before diving into a new mortgage.
- Before buying a home, hire an inspector.
It will cost you some extra money up front but may save you thousands in the long run. A home inspector is a third party with an unbiased opinion. They are professionally trained to look for elements in your prospective home that may work as a bargaining tool to lower the asking price. There might even be an issue with the home that makes you reconsider investing in it, saving you from a lifetime of regret.
Contract to Close: 7 Steps to a Successful Home Buying Process
** Choose your lender, get a pre-approval letter and estimate of closing costs. Then go find a great home!
- Make an offer and negotiate the terms.
Sales Price, Seller Contributions, Closing Date, Length of Option Period
Buyer writes 2 checks – one to Seller for Option Period ($100-1,000) and one to the title company for Earnest Money (1% of the sales price)
- Seller Signs the Contract and it’s official, we are now under contract.
Buyer’s agent delivers Option and Earnest checks to Seller within 3 calendar days (for Option) and within 2 business days (for Earnest)
- Option Period begins day after execution of contract
Can back out of contract for ANY reason during option period
Option Period is based on calendar days
For example, if the contract is executed on August 20th, then the count of Day 1 begins on August 21st.
Inspections conducted during Option Period – renegotiate for repairs, sales price, or seller contribution, before option period ends
- Title company orders survey after Option Period is over (typically)
- Lender orders appraisal after Option Period is over (typically)
- Buyer can get out of contract if serious objections to survey, title commitment, or if lender doesn’t approve loan (called Objections in the contract)
Additional up front costs estimate
- ≈$400 for appraisal,
- ≈$500-1,000 for inspection including WDI (wood destroying insects),
- $400 for survey
(approximate total $1,800**)
**Add to this your earnest money and option fee
- taxes (3-15 months),
- insurance (typically 12 months),
- and interest (from the day of closing to end of the month)
If you are looking for homes for sale in Houston, TX, Contact us for an appointment and we’ll help you get started with the home buying process!