The Home Buying Process Simplified

Buying a home can be an overwhelming and confusing process.  However, it does not have to be.  This article breaks down the home buying process.

First Steps

During this phase, you are researching mortgage lenders and types of loans.  This is essential to your home buying process because you need to know the difference between different types of loans (VA, FHA, Conventional, etc.).  

Gathering your financial documents is also important.  Mortgage lenders will ask for paycheck stubs, bank statements, W2’s, social security card, and your driver’s license.  I kept these all in Google Drive.

Researching Real Estate Sales professionals happens in this phase.  You want to find an agent who is the right fit for you.

Financial Documents

Pre approval 

Pre-approval is where you apply for mortgages through mortgage officers and directly through financial institutions (unless you are paying cash).  When you apply for your mortgage, you will be asked lots of personal information such as your income, where you plan to buy a home, if you have a home picked out.  You will also need to upload your financial documents to your potential lender’s website.

Finally, you will receive a pre-approval letter that states the amount you are approved for.  Once you have this, you will begin working with a Real Estate Sales Professional to find your ideal home.  The pre-approval letter is very important because it helps you know what you can afford and also shows sellers that you are serious and have funds to purchase.

Home search

House Hunters is definitely a popular show as it highlights the home search.  For many, this is the most exciting part of the home buying process.  You get to tour different homes that you may be interested in.  Before viewing homes, it is very important to review your needs and wants with your agent.  Your agent will then send via email or text you homes that fit your needs.  After receiving feedback, you will tour the properties.  Three properties a day is typical, unless you are moving to a new area, and you may want to see more in one day.  

Home Tour

Purchase offer

Once you’ve viewed 3 properties, hopefully you find a home that you wish to buy.  However, if not, you will continue to look until you find that ideal property.  When you want to buy, you will discuss with your agent the home you would like to purchase.  You along with your agent will decide a price you would like to purchase the home for.  Once the seller accepts your offer, you will be under contract.

Under contract

Under contract has two phases:  option pending and pending.  Option pending occurs during the time you are getting the home inspection, appraisals, and final negotiations.  After the options period, the contract is moved to pending.  This is pending until the close of the home.  Your mortgage lender is working to secure financing, and you may need to submit additional documents.

Signing Contract

Closing

And for the moment you’ve been waiting for…. closing day.  This is the day you sign your final documents- deed, mortgage, land survey, etc.  You also transfer your utilities in your name.  Finally, you get the keys to your new home!

Getting keys to your home.
Buying a home can be scary, which is why it is important to hire the right Real Estate Professional to help you.  If you are in the Houston, TX area and are in need of a dedicated Realtor, you can contact me at 346.481.7050 or email me at Reginald@nxhre.com.  Thanks for reading!

Seven Home Selling Tips

Selling home can be a daunting task; however, with these tips, you will find that selling your home is a little smoother.  

Hire the right agent

This is the most important seller tip there is.  You can really stop after reading this because hiring the right agent will save you a lot of time and stress.  Sometimes homeowners think that they can sell their home themselves.  This was much easier during the recent pandemic because there was a shortage of inventory.  However, now the market is shifting.  It’ll be even more difficult to sell.  

According to Realtor.com, For Sale by Owner (FSBO) homes accounted for only 7% of home sales in 2020.  They also sold for much less than those sold by agents.  FSBOs sold for an average of $298,000 while agent-assisted homes sold for $318,000.  What could you do with that extra $20,000?  I could think of many things- vacations, upgrading your car, home repairs, college tuition… The list goes on.

Curb Appeal

This is very important when thinking of selling your home.  Many home owners make 

their decisions by just looking at the curb appeal.  Now, if your home is being sold as an investment property, the buyer may overlook this.  If not, you definitely need to make sure your lawn is mowed.  Trim shrubs, dead flowers, and trees.  Take out excess weeds and mulch flower beds.  This step is like when you go to a job interview.  You want to give a great first impression on your potential buyers.

Make sure home has curb appeal to sell

Remove excess furniture (if occupied)

Removing excess furniture is vital to getting your home sold.  Yes, buyers are 

encouraged to look at homes as if they were empty; however, sometimes they can not see past clutter.  If the home is well organized and decorated, buyers will be able to see how they can change items.  

Remove unnecessary clutter from rooms

Remove religious or offensive artifacts 

You may very well be attached to religious artifacts; however, if you want to get your 

homes sold fast- remove them.  Also, consider removing any potential offensive items.  Removing these will help your home to appeal to a broader audience of people.  Depersonalizing your home is essential to getting it sold.  Yes, that may be hard to hear.  But if you’re selling your home, it will eventually no longer be yours. Remember to consult your Real Estate Professional when trying to decide on what to keep or remove.

 

Consider hiring a stager

Professional staging may be necessary.  Professional stagers have a keen sense of 

style and know what it takes to get a home sold.  They organize furniture, add or remove decorations, and remove clutter.  After all, professional stagers do this everyday, so you should consider them.

 

Hire Professional Photographers

Have you ever seen homes that looked like the photos were taken from a Motorola 

Razr in the 2020s.  Hiring professional photographers to capture your home is essential because you want to showcase your asset in the best light.  Some real estate professionals include professional photography in their marketing budget. Yes, your iPhone takes great pictures, and that infamous Rise filter on Instagram may have made you look good on your recent beach vacation.  But they won’t work on your home.  If potential buyers don’t see good quality photos of your home online, they probably won’t take the time to book a showing.  Get a great photographer.

Hire a professional photographer to sell home

Remove pets during showings

Many of us love our fur babies, but someone visiting your home may not.  Imagine 

visiting your future home only to get attacked by a dog.  Okay a bit dramatic, but potential buyers may have this point of view.  Having strangers in your home will not only make potential home buyers uncomfortable but also can cause your four-legged family members distress.

Remove pets from home to sell

Are you considering selling your home?  You can fill out my Home Valuation form or call me at 346.481.7050 for a more comprehensive Home Valuation.

Resources:

https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/quick-real-estate-statistics 

Home Keys

First Time Home Buyer Programs

Home Keys

Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA)

https://www.naca.com 

This program is a great option for those who need to work on their credit score.  NACA walks you through the entire home buying process including pre qualifications.  You are required to attend classes and work on a budget before getting a home.  The process does take a long time; however, the low interest rates may make it worth it.

The benefits of this program includes:

  • No Down Payments

  • No Closing Costs

  • No Fees

  • Low Interest Rates

Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation

https://www.tsahc.org/homebuyers-renters/first-time-home-buyer-grants

This program is a downpayment assistance program where you won’t have to worry about that hefty down payment.  There are two programs: “Homes for Heroes” and “Home Sweet Texas”.  The “Home for Heroes” program is for professions such as educators, police and corrections officers, veterans and active duty military, nursing facility and allied health.  The “Home Sweet Texas” is for all other professions.  I personally used this program to purchase my current home:  I qualified when I was a full-time classroom teacher.

  • No down payment

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Single Family Housing Direct Home Loans

https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-programs/single-family-housing-direct-home-loans

If you are looking to live in a rural area of Houston.  There are income requirements for this program which can be outlined on their website.

The benefits of this program include:

  • No down payment

  • Low Interest Rates: 3% (June 2022)

  • Extended Mortgages (33 to 38 years)

Houston Home Buying Assistance

https://houstontx.gov/housing/hap.html 

This program is specifically for Houston, Texas residents.  It is a down payment assistance program with a forgivable down payment loan.  The loan does not have to be repaid if living in home for 5 years.

This benefits of this program include:

  • Down payment assistance

  • Forgivable down payment assistance loan

Home Partners of America

https://www.homepartners.com

This program is made for those who are unsure if they want to buy right away.  You are able to rent a home, live in it, get a long term lease of 3 years, and then decide what you would like to do next.

This benefits of this program include:

  • Rent then own

  • Flexible

  • No penalties after lease

Are you considering buying your first home?  Contact me, so I can answer your questions!