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Home Buyer Information Category

2010 Census Data for Spring Texas

Almost every client I talk with who is relocating to Spring Texas asks me which neighborhoods should I stay away from or which are the most family friendly but due to Fair Housing Laws I can't answer those questions.  I can only point you to websites that you can use to develop your own opinions.  An excellent resource that I discovered recently is provided by the New York Times.  It overlays the 2010 census data onto Google Maps. The data is broken down by state, county,...Continue Reading!

Does buying a house “AS IS” mean you can’t do inspections?

Even if the Spring Texas home you are interested in is being advertised "AS IS", you still have the right to have the home inspected. Homes that are being sold as a short sale or as a foreclosure are typically sold ''AS IS" and it means the owner/seller of the home is selling it in its present condition. Whatever that condition may be. You are accepting the home with all its faults and deficiencies. The phrase "AS IS" is a classic...Continue Reading!

Is a part-time Realtor the best person to represent you?

Recently while at a family gathering, you told an aunt you and your husband were thinking about buying a house in Spring Texas.  Your aunt's response was "You need to call your cousin, Joe. He's a Realtor®".  Cousin Joe's a Realtor?  When did this happen?  Last you heard he was working at Home Depot.  Your aunt's response was "Yes, Joe does still work at Home Depot. That's his full-time job but he sells real estate part-time".  Before you dial cousin Joe's number, ask yourself is a part-time Realtor® the...Continue Reading!

How many excuses does a lender have for not closing on time?

When you are buying or selling a Spring Texas house, your life evolves around the closing date.  For weeks you have been coordinating schedules.  You set a date for the movers. You lined up a babysitter for the kids. You scheduled time off from work. You called the utility companies to establish service.  You are ready to go. You are just waiting on the closing date to arrive. Then BOOM out of nowhere and just three days before the closing date, your lender says "your loan has not met...Continue Reading!

Credit Do’s and Don’ts

Did you know your lender is required to pull your credit score right before closing?  That's right and a drop in your credit score could stop you from getting full loan approval.  And without full loan approval you will not be closing and you will not be moving into that fabulous house in Spring Texas.  During the loan process follow these Credit Do's and Don'ts: Do's: Do call your loan officer before making any decisions regarding your credit. What sounds like a logical financial move...Continue Reading!

FHA change hikes monthly mortgage payments

It was just last October 8th when the FHA increased the monthly mortgage insurance premium from 0.55% to 0.9% and now on April 18th, 2011, the FHA is hiking the premium again.  This time the mortgage insurance premium will increase to 1.15% for 30 year loans with a Loan to Value (LTV) ratio of greater than 95%.  How much is the latest FHA change going to increase Spring Texas home buyers monthly payments?  Let's say you're buying a $150,000 house which gets you a nice house...Continue Reading!

Pre-approval does not guarantee you a loan

One of the most misunderstood items in the home loan process has to be the pre-approval letter. The pre-approval letter is the letter your Realtor® said you needed to get before viewing Spring Texas homes for sale. So away you went and met with a loan officer and got yourself one of those pre-approval letters. You then went out and found the Spring Texas home of your dreams, submitted an offer, got into contract, and now you are counting down the days till closing day.  You've been...Continue Reading!

What are the tax advantages of owning a home?

Are you looking for ways to cut your income taxes?  Do what 34.6 million taxpayers already do to cut their taxes. They own a home and deduct the interest they paid on their home mortgages. The mortgage interest deduction cuts their federal income taxes by a total of nearly $77 billion. What are the tax advantages of owning a Spring Texas home?  There are 3 main tax deductions: 1. Mortgage interest - The interest you paid on your home's mortgage.  Your lender will send you a Form 1098  reflecting...Continue Reading!

Home inspections – how long do they take?

For the averge 2,500 square foot home in Spring Texas, the inspections if they are all being performed by the same home inspector, will take approximately 3.5 to 4 hours to complete.  The time for the individual inspections are mechanical and structural - 2 to 3 hours, wood destroying insects (WDI) - 30 minutes, and pool and spa - 30 minutes. Between the time spent looking for homes, the writing and negotiating of the offer, and the collecting and submitting of the lender requested...Continue Reading!

More affordable to Buy vs Rent in Houston

Trulia recently released their latest Rent vs. Buy Index for the 50 largest cities. The Rent vs. Buy Index calculates a price-to-rent ratio. The lower the ratio the more affordable it is to buy a home vs renting a home.  Price-to-Rent Ratios of: 1-15:        It's better to own a home in this city as it is less expensive than renting 16 - 20:  Costs of home ownership are greater than the renting 21+:         Renting is less expensive than owning a home in this city Houston's...Continue Reading!