The stepping stones for a successful home buying process are organized here for you
Tools For Success
Home Buyer Resources
Congratulations! The decision to buy your own home is an exciting one whether its your first home purchase, or one of many. The experience should be enjoyable, and you should get the perfect home with the least amount of hassle.
I am devoted to using our expertise to make your transaction successful!
Purchasing a home is also a very important decision. I would like to help you with honest, accurate information so you can make well-informed decisions regarding the purchase of your home. Consider bookmarking this page as it is a useful reference guide even after the transaction is closed.
Making this transaction as easy as possible for you is my job. We are happy to serve all your real estate needs!
Why I am the Perfect Candidate
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Learn the Lingo
Glossary of Real Estate Relationships
In Texas, Real Estate brokers and their salespersons are required to disclose the type of working relationship they have with the buyers in a real estate transaction. There are several types of relationships that are available to you. You should understand these at the time a broker provides specific assistance to you in buying real estate. Buyer’s Agent and Seller’s Agent relationships are commonly referred to as “agency” relationships and carry with them legal duties and responsibilities for the broker as well as for the buyer and seller.
A Buyer’s Agent acts solely on behalf of the buyer and owes duties to the buyer, which include the utmost good faith, loyalty, and fidelity. The agent will negotiate on behalf of, and act as an advocate for the buyer. The buyer is legally responsible for the actions of the agent when that agent is acting within the scope of the agency. The agent must disclose to sellers all adverse material facts concerning the buyer’s financial ability to perform the terms of the transaction and whether the buyer intends to occupy the property. A separate written buyer’s agreement is required which sets forth the duties and obligations of the parties.
A Seller’s Agent acts solely on behalf of the seller and owes duties to the seller, which include the utmost good faith, loyalty, and fidelity. The agent will negotiate on behalf of, and act as an advocate for the seller. The seller is legally responsible for the actions of the agent when that agent is acting within the scope of the agency. The agent must disclose to buyers or tenants all adverse material facts about the property known by the broker. A separate written listing agreement is required which sets forth the duties and obligations of the parties.
Step by Step
The Buying Process
In the home buying process is to find an experienced Realtor that you can trust and sign a Buyer’s Agent Agreement. This guarantees, by the laws of the state, that your needs are met professionally and represented throughout the entire process of buying your home.
We are available at anytime to help you find your dream HOME.
Be Careful – This is a BIG Step…
When you find your dream home, you should present a competitive offer immediately. Prime Properties has extensive experience in contract negotiations. We will ensure you get just what you want for a fair price … a transaction in your best interest.
When the seller accepts your offer, you “go under contract.” You want to make sure every detail is handled accurately and immediately. We will ensure your home closes properly and on time.
You’re on the “HOME” Stretch!
Final details are handled and inspections are performed to ensure the property is “perfect” for you. Contract details are further negotiated, and we head to closing!
The Next Step Will Be Into Your New Home…
Be prepared to bring your checkbook to the closing procedure – the next steps will be over the threshold of your new home!
Fort Bend County has a very friendly, intelligent, and diverse community
Start With a Budget
How Much Can You Afford
When you are ready to begin looking at various houses to find your dream home, you need to prepare all of the necessary materials to present to the lender. Your lender will tell you exactly what you can afford so that you do not spend time looking at “too much” home. There are three key factors that you will need to consider when determining how much home you can afford. These are as follows:
Most loans today require a down payment of between 3.5% and 5.0% depending on the type and terms of the loan. If you are able to come up with 20-25% down payment, you may be eligible to take advantage of special fast-track programs and possibly eliminate mortgage insurance.
It is often thought that bigger is better when it comes to down payments. In many cases, this may be true. However, the arithmetic will differ from case to case. A bigger down payment means smaller monthly payments and lowers interest expense for as long as you remain with a mortgage. This can be an important factor for many people. But if you can put your available funds to work for you so that they can earn more than the interest rate on your loan, you could be dollars ahead with a smaller down payment. Also, a smaller down payment may allow you to keep you extra cash liquid and available for an emergency.
Most lenders require that your monthly payment range between 25-28% of your gross monthly income. Your mortgage payment to the lender includes four items….the PITI. These items are discussed in detail on the page entitled, “Predicting Your Monthly Payment (The PITI).” Remember, when you buy a home all interest is tax deductible, so you will qualify for a major tax advantage that will effectively increase your take-home pay. Your total monthly PITI and all debts (from installments to revolving charge accounts) should range between 33-38% of your gross monthly income. This is a general rule of thumb, but other key factors specifically determine your ability for a home loan. These factors are:
History of employment, stability of income, potential for future earning, education, vocational training and background, and any secondary income such as bonuses, commissions, child support, etc.
History of debt repayment, total outstanding debt and total available credit. If you have concerns about your credit report, consider contacting one of the major credit bureaus for a copy of your file: TRW (1-800-422-4879), Trans Union (1-602-933-1200), and CSC Credit (1-800-759-5979).
Cash on hand, other liquid assets such as savings, checking, CDs, stocks, etc.
The home you are buying must be appraised to determine that it has adequate value and is marketable to ensure it will secure the loan.
Don’t forget to think ahead carefully. In addition to the down payment on your dream home, you will be required to pay fees for loan processing and other closing costs. These fees must be paid in full in cash at the time of the final settlement, unless you are able to include these in your financing. Typically, total-closing costs will range between 2-5% of your mortgage loan. A more detailed schedule is included herein in the section detailing your closing.
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Get the Advantage
Advantages of a Buyer's Agreement
Enlisting the services of a professional Buyer’s Agent is similar to using an accountant to help you with your taxes, a doctor to help you with your health care, or a mechanic to help you with your car. So the first advantage is pretty obvious. If you had the time to devote to learning all you need to know about accounting, medicine, and automotive mechanics; you could do these services yourself. But who has the time? You probably already have a full-time career to which you are committed. This is why you allow other professionals to help you in specific areas of expertise. Prime Properties has devoted their time to perfecting a career in real estate service. Continuous education, market research, and vast experience are combined with an excellent team of real estate professionals to find you the perfect home quickly. We will take care of all the hassles of every day real estate transactions for you. We let you concentrate on your full-time job, while we do ours. Prime Properties will guide you through the home buying process and exclusively represent your interests as we help you find a home, present your contract offer, negotiate, and close!
The advantage to signing a Buyer’s Agency Agreement with us is that you will have a professional working to find and secure the perfect home for you exactly when you need it. It is nearly impossible to find a home that meets your needs, get a contract negotiated, and close the transaction without an experienced agent. We have access to vast computer networks to make sure you only tour properties that meet your specific needs. You won’t need to spend endless evenings and weekends driving around looking for homes for sale or trying to search computer network yourself. When you tour homes with your professional Buyer’s Agent, you will already know that the homes meet your criteria for bedrooms, bathrooms, garage space, square footage, neighborhood, etc. Also, your Agent will ensure you are looking at homes that are in your price range.
Just as your accountant, doctor, and mechanic get t know your needs through a steady relationship, your Buyer’s Agent gets to know your real estate needs and concerns. This type of relationship is built by open communication at all times and by touring homes with your Agent so he/she gets a good idea of your feedback and concerns about each home. If
you try to jump from agent to agent, you will not receive the best real estate services possible, and you will be violating your agreement to your agent. There is nothing to gain from trying to find and tour homes on your own, and you will save a lot of time when your agent can tell you everything about any home before you see it.
Entering into a Buyer’s Agency Agreement has countless advantages and no disadvantages. When you sign the agreement, you are simply agreeing to “hire” a personal representative who, by law, must represent your best interests to the best of his/her ability. All of this personal service is available at absolutely NO COST TO YOU! The Seller’s Agent is responsible for paying your Buyer’s Agent fee. With Prime Properties, you get a professional devoted to protecting your needs to help you make one of the most important investment decisions of your life –- and you don’t even have to pay the fee!
PITI: Predicting Your Monthly Payment
Your monthly payment (PITI) is the sum of four items
P – Loan Principle
I – Loan Interest
T – Taxes
I – Property Insurance
To predict your monthly payment for a 30-year fixed rate loan:
1. Use the following table to determine the principal and interest part of the payment
2. Divide the loan amount by 1,000 and then multiply that figure by the appropriate interest rate factor from the table below.
3. add 1/12th of the amount of your yearly taxes and 1/12th the amount of your yearly insurance.
P (Loan Principle) = $150,000 | I (Loan Interest) = 12%
+I (Monthly Property Insurance Premium) +T (Property Tax)
= Your monthly payment
Principle & Interest Table
Taxes & Insurance
Hazard Insurance covering your home for its contract value is required by your mortgage lender. You are at liberty to choose any insurance company and agent you wish. Ask your agent to quote you a policy for insurance coverage.
All property owners must pay general real estate taxes. These taxes are also called “ad valorem” taxes because the amount of the taxes varies, according to the value of your property. General real estate is levied for the operations of various governmental agencies and municipalities. Other taxing bodies may include school districts, drainage, water, sanitary, and recreation districts.
Each agency or municipality determines how much money is needed for the budget. They receive these funds through mills levied against properties in their counties. The state limits how much the mill levy can increase each year without voter approval. Each mill is equal to one-thousandth of one dollar ($.001) of assessed value or $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value.
The actual tax is calculated by multiplying the assessed value by the current mill levy. General taxes are a lien against your home as of January 1st, the year of the tax, even though they are not due until the following year.
Properties are valued or assessed by the county assessor. The land and buildings are usually assessed separately. The assessed value is approximately 12-15% of the true value (percentage value is determined by state law). If an owner feels the assessed value of their property is incorrect, they can present their objection through the local taxing authority on an annual basis.
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