How a REALTOR® can help you as a buyer

Picture a home with a shady backyard overflowing with blooming flowers, chirping birds, and a spacious deck to enjoy it all. You might be a smitten first-time buyer already planning outdoor dinner parties with friends. Then your Texas REALTOR® asks “Do you like gardening?” A well-maintained yard can be an expensive, time-consuming, and water-intensive investment, but that might never come up without your Texas REALTOR®.

The Benefit of Having an Expert on Your Side

A Texas REALTOR® can be the one to ask tough questions that help you narrow your home search. Visiting open houses or touring homes solo may lead otherwise prudent people to fall in love with lush gardens when they can’t keep their current houseplants alive.

This is just one of the many ways Texas REALTORS® keep homebuyers focused as they look at potential properties. Having an experienced Texas REALTOR® at your side can help you feel more at ease with the process and encourage you to think hard about what you’re looking for.

Don’t Waste Your Time on a Solo Home Search

You may think you’re a strong researcher, but when it comes to being a first-time homebuyer, the best resource you can have is a Texas REALTOR®. She can point out aspects of homeownership that you won’t find online, provide lessons learned from experience, and be the helpful reminder that there’s a perfect home for everyone but not every perfect home is for you.How

Something You Should Know Before Looking At A New Construction Model Home

Picture yourself out for a drive one weekend. You see a sign that says:

New Construction Homes!
Models Starting At $XXX,XXX
Next Right!

Maybe you’re actively looking for a house, or maybe it’s just a spur of the moment urge, but you follow the signs to the model home.

You park.

You walk into the model home.

The builder’s sales rep asks you to please sign in.

You sign in.

Ouch. You may have just made a costly mistake…

It’s Not Like I’m Buying One…

Most people don’t think twice about signing in when they visit a model home. They figure, what’s the harm? It isn’t like I’m signing something to actually buy one. I just want to take a look, and it’s not like they’re asking me to sign my life away.

But sometimes you do end up buying one.

You get the bug. You fall in love. You picture yourself in this lifestyle. Next thing you know, you’re making an offer on the spot.

Or, maybe you leave, but you can’t stop thinking about it the whole ride home so you decide you’re going to buy one.

Either way, if you decide to buy one, having signed in with the builder, you may have signed away your right to involve your own real estate agent represent and advise you.

Is A Real Estate Agent Even Necessary?!

Some people question whether it’s even necessary to have their own real estate agent involved in the purchase. They feel like they’re an unnecessary middleman. After all, the builder has a sales rep. They feel like they “found” the house, not a real estate agent. The builder or their representative can handle the paperwork. And, ideally, not having an agent will perhaps give them some leverage to negotiate.

Others just don’t even think to bring their real estate agent with them or didn’t want to “bug” them to go see a house they could easily get in to see. They just stop in on a whim, and once the ball gets rolling, they feel like they can’t involve their agent, or they might even be “encouraged” by the builder not to. And they figure, what’s the big deal… the builder or their rep can handle everything.

And some people feel like real estate agents just want to latch onto the deal to make a commission, while doing very little, since the builder and / or their rep can handle the paperwork and process.

It’s More Than Just “Finding” And Pushing Papers…

Sure, a buyer can “find” a new construction house on their own. And a builder or their sales rep can certainly handle the paperwork.

But the value of having a real estate agent on your side isn’t just about “finding” you a house (new construction or not), or filling in a few blanks on a contract and pushing the papers through the process. It’s about their knowledge, advice, and representation.

Okay, some agents out there may just want to get a few papers signed and wait for closing day to get a commission check. And, yes, you’re probably better off not involving an agent like that in the purchase of new construction.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find and have an agent who truly understands new construction (and real estate overall) on your side.

A good agent can help you:

  • Avoid costly mistakes
  • Get everything you can and should get from the builder
  • Advise you as to whether buying a particular home is the best or right choice for you
  • Offer alternatives you may not have otherwise considered
  • Help you choose the best lot and model in a development for your own enjoyment and future resale value
  • Keep the builder and building process in check
  • Advocate for you when issues arise with the builder

Things To Know And Look Out For

There are quite a few things to know and look out for when buying new construction — more than I can cover in a brief article. So, I created a booklet that you can download and read at your leisure, rather than in one sitting before you scroll away.

It’s free and there’s no obligation. And, even though it’s more detailed and longer than this article, covering more than a dozen topics, it isn’t a long read. You can breeze through it over a medium sized cup of coffee.

Just fill in your information below, and I’ll get a copy to you right away!

Navarro ISD New Construction in Near Future

On November 3, 2015 the voters passed a bond issue for $21 million.
For – 674
Against – 219
The following new construction and projects are in Navarro’s near future:
•New Intermediate Campus
•Eight (8) Classroom Addition to Navarro Elementary
•Science Lab Renovations at Navarro Junior High School
•Band Hall Addition and Remodeling
•Intermediate Demolition and New Parking

Navarro Crossing

Things are still growing in Seguin. Below is the article Seguin Economic Development posted today…. Enjoy!!!!

Navarro-Crossing-to-bring-duplex-condominiums-to-Seguin–Texas.html?soid=1107990347452&aid=axwy10YJSds

To Stage or Not to Stage…

Thinking of Selling? Have your house Listed? Staging a home is recommended by Realtors often; some clients choose to and some don’t. Does it help? Here is an article posted by NAR on the Texas Association of Realtors on February 16, 2015…you decide…

Does Staging make a home sell for more?

01/29/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

If you want to increase the price that buyers offer for your listing, staging the property might be the way to do it. According to NAR’s recently released 2015 Profile of Home Staging report, 32% of buyer agents surveyed said staging a home can increase the amount buyers are willing to offer by 1% to 5%. Sixteen percent said it could increase offer prices by 6% to 10%.

According to the report, the median dollar value to stage a home is $675, and 62% of seller agents offer the service to their sellers. If you want to give staging a shot, but do it on a budget, start with these five tips:
1.Try a theme for each room, like a reading nook or movie theater.
2.Remove personal items so buyers can picture themselves in the home.
3.Rework items a homeowner already has rather than making new purchases. This could be as simple as rearranging the furniture to highlight a room’s feature, or using old frames to display new artwork.
4.Paint the walls neutral colors.
5.Get a third party to suggest changes if you’re concerned about a seller having a negative reaction to your ideas.

87% of all homes qualify for some sort of down payment assistance program and over 90% of all DAP’s across the country are funded

Check out the link below to see if you qualify. Then give us a call. The market is active and moving out there!!!!!

Qualifying Programs

4 Reasons to Keep up Your House Hunt this Winter

We hope everyone had a safe a joyous holiday season.

12/05/2014 | Author: Editorial Staff Shared from TAR website

Winter months typically bring a lull in real estate sales, but this can be an ideal time for homebuyers. In fact, there are several benefits to being an off-season homebuyer.

Less competition. Even hot markets see a decline in buyers during the winter. This can mean fewer multiple-offer situations and more time to present your strongest offer.

Motivated sellers. Sellers who list during winter months are often highly driven to sell. And fewer buyers means fewer offers, so sellers may be willing to make extra concessions to close the deal.

Potentially faster closings. Mortgage brokers, inspectors, and other professionals involved in the deal may help you get to the closing table sooner since they’ll be dealing with fewer transactions this time of year.

A chance to see how the home performs. Systems such as the heater, insulation, and plumbing are put to the test when the temperature drops, and you’ll be able to witness how they handle winter stress.

If you’re thinking about starting or continuing your house hunt during the winter, ask your Texas REALTOR® about the benefits of purchasing a home at the end of the year, including tax write-offs for homeowners. You may decide that it’s worth donning those mittens after all.

Why use a REALTOR?

For most people, buying a home is the largest financial investment they will ever make. It is the one time you can say you went shopping and spent a quarter of a million dollars (or more).

So shouldn’t you work with a REALTOR® to get the best advice possible for that investment?

REALTORS® Facilitate the Process

A REALTOR® is a client advocate, the market expert and the negotiating tiger all wrapped up into one independent contractor. Because REALTORS® are usually solo practitioners, they wear many hats. They are sales people, but they are also marketing directors, social media managers and data analysts all in one.

A rising number of home buyers are using REALTORS®. About 88% of home buyers purchase their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69% in 2001, according to the National Association of REALTOR®’s 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Homeowners rely on REALTORS® to help them find the most qualified buyer and to navigate the home selling processes. Rules regarding home sales are always changing, and it is the REALTOR®’s job to stay on top of those market dynamics and pass along their expertise to their clients.

REALTORS® direct their home-buying clients to the best financing options for their situation, and they steer all their clients to make better decisions in preparation for the home buying or selling process.

For instance, a homeowner who wants to list their home might be advised to take a home equity line of credit (HELOC) before listing to make necessary repairs—because once the property is listed, a bank will not lend on that property. A buyer might be advised not to buy a car before starting or closing on a home purchase, because such a big ticket purchase would change their debt-to-income ratios and might disqualify them for a home loan.

REALTORS® Offer Great Resources

REALTORS® know the best contractors and can refer them easily to new homeowners and potential sellers. They are the link between all things real estate and the novice.

One of the REALTOR®’s most important roles is as the unbiased voice of reason. The REALTOR® is the objective set of eyes in the transaction. They help sellers see outside their personal connection to a property, and they help buyers stay level when faced with a multiple-bid situation.

A REALTOR® can help a buyer save money and help a seller to make the most money. Because they go through the home buying and selling process daily, they can warn clients of potential dangers and looming changes.

For instance, when Congress threatens to eliminate the mortgage-interest deduction, REALTORS® are at the forefront of the fight rallying to voice their support and save the measure. They are the link between housing policy and the consumer.

A REALTOR® maintains a customer-focused approach. Showing properties and writing offers is just a percentage of what happens in the course of the typical REALTOR®’s day: no two days are alike, and no two transactions are alike.

The REALTOR® is the only constant in the real estate transaction. Can you afford not to have that experience on your side?

Copied from the NAR webpage.

You Really Can Afford To Buy A Home

You’re probably hearing that mortgage rates are at favorable levels and that now’s the time to buy a home. But maybe you’re also thinking, “I’ll never be able to afford a mortgage.”

Many potential homebuyers feel this way, but the good news is that there is help available. Homebuying-assistance programs at the local, state, and federal level make homeownership accessible for more buyers. This could be in the form of low- or no-interest loans, help with closing costs or even mortgages that don’t require a down payment.

Help is out there
Assistance programs are available for a variety of qualifying buyers, such as first-time buyers or low-income buyers, and there are even programs available for specific types of homes. And if you don’t qualify for one program, you may meet the criteria for another.

When you decide to buy your next home, the best first step is to talk to a Texas Realtor. He’ll have the latest information about assistance programs and their eligibility requirements, and will know about any changes to existing programs.

Here are a few examples of homebuyer-assistance programs in Texas that you may not know about.

Get rewarded for doing your job
In Texas, there are homebuyer programs that certain professionals—educators, law-enforcement officers, fire fighters and military veterans—might qualify for.

In addition, some Texas cities and counties have partnered with local employers to offer housing incentives for employees who buy a home within the city or county limits. Your Texas Realtor will know if these options are available in our market.

The property itself may qualify
Instead of the buyers, some homes could meet eligibility requirements for certain state or federal assistance programs. For instance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a program to encourage development in rural communities.

Or, if you’re willing to put some work into a home, the property may qualify for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s rehab program for properties in need of repair or updating.

Where to start
The list of assistance programs is extensive and varies for each buyer’s situation. You can visit TxHomePrograms.org to search for local, state and federal homebuyer-assistance programs to get an idea of the many programs available. Then, when you’re ready to make that move, ask your Texas Realtor to help you find which programs you may qualify for.

Learn more about buying property in Texas at TexasRealEstate.com.