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Ways to Avoid Being Denied a Mortgage

Until you’ve gone through the mortgage application process yourself, it’s hard to understand all of the ins and outs and highs and lows that go along with applying for a home mortgage. Educating yourself, as well as working with an experienced real estate agent in Spring, TX, is key to avoiding rejection and disappointment. Buying a house is already stressful, but knowing the best ways to get your mortgage loan approved can help you to avoid disappointment.

Maintain a Good Credit Score: Knowing your credit score before applying for a mortgage is key. A poor credit score is the number one reason mortgages are denied.  Lack of credit, which is common for people who don’t have a long credit history, a very low credit score due to overdue payments, and high balances are the most common reasons for rejection.

Avoid Changing Jobs: Before a bank loans money, they want to be sure you aren’t the kind of person who frequently jumps from one job to another. The financial institution will consider this financial instability, and you’re likely to be denied a mortgage.

Provide a Solid Down Payment: Some lenders may ask you to provide at least 10% for the down payment. Down payment minimums vary and depend on various factors, such as the type of loan and the lender.

If you are looking into buying a home, we can help you with finding the right home as well as with your mortgage! Call Carol Knott and The Hometown Team today at 866-960-6819.

Five Things to Negotiate When Buying a Home

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you’ve purchased a few homes or properties, everyone wants to feel like they are getting a bargain when it comes to the price you’re paying. The negotiation part of the home buying transaction can seem a bit daunting and stressful, but with the help of a trusted real estate broker in Spring, TX, it doesn’t have to be. A solid negotiator on your team is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what types of things should you negotiate when buying a home?

  1. List Price – Negotiating down the listed price of a house is fairly typical, but there are some tricks to making it work in your favor. Your real estate broker in Spring, TX, can ask for a lower price based on comparable properties in the area, appraisal results, neighborhood status, home condition, and overall market value.
  1. Closing Costs – Several factors determine your closing costs, but you can expect it to be between 2% to 5% of the purchase price. Ask the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs or request a closing credit that can be used to make updates and repairs to the home.
  1. Inspection and Closing Timeline – Buyer offers that include a quick inspection and closing timeline are often more attractive to sellers. Just ensure you allow yourself enough time to get your financing in place and inspections complete.
  1. Repairs – Your inspection may uncover some minor or major repairs needed to bring the home up to code or your standards. You can negotiate to have these items fixed before closing or ask for a price reduction to cover the costs.
  1. 5. Furnishings – Is part of the charm that sold you on the home how the seller has furnished and decorated? Buyers often negotiate keeping couches, fixtures, landscaping items, patio furniture, appliances, and more. And many sellers agree, wanting to make the home more appealing to the buyer.

Real Estate Designations: What Do They Mean?

Buying a home is likely the most expensive purchase you’ll make in your lifetime, so you want to be sure that you’re getting the best deal possible. To do so requires the help of an experienced real estate broker in Spring, TX. Having the right agent on your team can mean selling your home faster or getting the best deal for the forever home you’re trying to buy.

In our last blog, we shared tips for finding the right agent to meet your needs, but what more can you do besides interviewing prospective agents and asking the right questions? Just like doctors have specialties, so do real estate agents, many of whom get additional training in particular areas. Those letters found after a real estate agents name indicates that the agent has received specialized training in a specific area of real estate.

But what do the alphabet-soup acronyms mean? Here is a list of the most popular real estate designations and their meaning:

ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) – This course is for real estate agents who represent buyers as a buyer’s agent. An agent who has earned this designation may elect to work as a listing agent or a buyer’s agent.

CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) – Agents who hold a CRS designation earn four times more than average agents.

GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) – Approved by the National Association of Realtors and offered through state realtor associations, this course covers law, practice, finance, taxes, exchanges and more.

SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) – Sponsored by the National Association of Realtors, the SRES designation is for agents who work with buyers and sellers over the age of 55.

Broker – A real estate broker is a person who represents sellers or buyers of real estate or property. Brokers and agents are licensed by the state to negotiate sales agreements and manage the documentation required for closing real estate transactions.

When you are looking to buy a home or sell your home, put your trust in our real estate brokers in Spring, TX. We’d be honored to help you with all of your real estate needs.

How To Choose The Right Real Estate Agent

Buying or selling a home is an exciting experience. Searching for the perfect house in the ideal neighborhood and closing the deal is thrilling. As for selling your home, the excitement and anticipation you feel as the offers start rolling in is exhilarating. The whole process, however, wouldn’t be as easy or successful without a good real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the local market. But with so many agents and brokerages in a given area, finding the perfect fit that’s right for you can be challenging.

Finding the perfect real estate agent in Spring, TX, one who is experienced and trustworthy, can make a huge difference when it comes to successfully selling your home quickly at top dollar or securing the home of your dreams for the best price.

A real estate agent can easily make or break your home-buying or home-selling experience. Read on for points to consider when choosing the real estate agent that’s the best fit for you.

  • Are they familiar with the local area and neighborhoods?
  • Will they take the time to become familiar with the features of your home?
  • Do they have excellent reviews?
  • Do they have a local reputation for closing deals quickly and successfully?
  • Are they an experienced negotiator and problem solver?
  • Do they have experience with your specific selling scenario?
  • Will they listen to your needs?
  • Are they approachable and friendly?

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, finding a real estate agent you can trust might be the most important decision you make. Be sure to do your homework before choosing a real estate agent in Spring, TX.

Tips for Improving Your Home’s Curb Appeal

beautiful home with blue sidingYour home’s curb appeal is what draws buyers to your home, so you need to make sure your home’s exterior is in top shape. Here are a few ways that you can improve your home’s curb appeal significantly without breaking the bank.

Upgrade Your Front Door

The entryway is one of the first things a buyer sees, so make sure your front door looks inviting. You can either put a fresh coat of paint on your existing front door or upgrade to a new one. You will be surprised at just how big a difference this can make.

Overhaul Your Lawn

Bare spots and weeds on your lawn will detract from your home’s curb appeal, so make sure you take care of any lawn issue you may have. Neatly trim your trees, hedges, and shrubs, and hire a lawn service to overhaul your lawn. Neat, well-manicured landscaping does wonders for curb appeal.

Window Shutters

Adding new window shutters is an inexpensive way to give your home’s exterior a facelift before you sell it.

Exterior Lighting Fixtures and Other Small Upgrades

Install a new porch light, door handle, and mailbox to quickly update your home’s exterior hardware. Just a few small tweaks are enough to make a significant impact on your house’s appearance.

When you need to sell your home, call our real estate agent in The Woodlands, TX, at 866-960-6819 today.

Small Kitchen Lighting Upgrades to Help Sell Your Home

modern kitchenThe kitchen can be a deal breaker or a deal maker when it comes to selling your home. If you are trying to figure out which areas of your home to upgrade, any good real estate agent will tell you that buyers are most interested in the kitchen and bathroom – so it pays to upgrade these rooms first. One of the simplest yet effective upgrades you make in the kitchen is to change out your lighting.

Upgrade to LED

Upgrade your current lighting fixtures with LED bulbs to boost your wattage and increase energy efficiency. Choose an LED temperature that is not too white and not too soft to provide a pleasant glow. This will make your kitchen brighter and more inviting.

Add Recessed Lighting

If you have an older home, you likely have one ceiling fixture located in the center of the room. Replace it with recessed lighting to create a more even wash of light in your kitchen. In a larger kitchen, you can separate your recessed lighting into zones that can be turned on and off independently for customizable illumination.

Install Pendant Lighting

Pendant lighting is prevalent in modern kitchen design because they are decorative and functional. They bring the light source closer to your work surface, thereby providing efficient task lighting as well. Place two to three pendants over your kitchen island for a trendy, modern look.

When you are looking to sell your home, put your trust in our real estate broker in Spring, TX. Our team will work hard to help you sell your house when you reach out to us at 866-960-6819.

Remodeling Ideas to Help Sell Your Home – Pt. 2

painting equipment and paint swatchesIn our last post, we shared three home remodeling projects that add value to your home and get you the most significant return on investment when you sell your home. Here are three more ways you can improve your home before the sale:

Fixtures

Installing new fixtures and hardware on cabinets go a long way towards refreshing your kitchen and bathroom. This is an easy DIY upgrade that you can do in an afternoon and is worth the investment.

New Paint

You will be surprised at how much a new coat of paint transforms your home. Choose neutral hues with universal appeal. Avoid dark colors that can make a room look small and cramped. Brighter paint colors reflect light and make your home feel cheerful and reflect light to make the space seem larger.

Focus on the Buyer’s Taste

Everyone has their own personal style when it comes to home décor. Our advice is to throw your personal style out the window – for now. When selling your home, pay attention to current trends and select styles that will appeal to your buyers, even if you aren’t a fan.

Are you looking for homes for sale in The Woodlands, TX, or perhaps a capable agent to help sell your home? Call Carol Knott and The Hometown Team today at 866-960-6819.

Remodeling Ideas to Help Sell Your Home – Pt. 1

homeowner measuring cabinetsWhen you are preparing to sell your home, you may want to do some small remodeling projects. Sprucing up your home will make it more attractive to buyers which can sell your home faster and get you a higher price. Not all remodels are creating equally, however. These projects will likely get you the best return on investment:

Focus on the Kitchen and Bathroom

The kitchen and bathroom are arguably the most important rooms in your home. They are also the most likely to be a deal-break or deal-maker for home buyers. If you are going to spend your hard-earned cash on a remodeling project, it is best spent here. A buyer does not want to spend the time and money necessary to remodel an ugly kitchen or bathroom, but they will forgive in other areas.

Countertops

When you are remodeling your kitchen and bathroom, consider replacing the countertops. These are very visible to buyers and can help seal the deal for your home. Natural stone and quartz countertops are almost universally appealing and can make any room look instantly more luxurious.

Cabinets

When choosing remodeling projects to sell your home, you should focus on the most noticeable areas. Cabinets are at eye level, so they will not escape the attention of the buyers. You don’t need to run out and replace your cabinets, however. If they are in reasonable condition, a fresh coat of paint and some new hardware will make them look new.

These are just three remodeling projects that add value to your home and attract buyers. In our next post, we’ll show you more ways to increase your home’s value. Contact The Hometown Team, today when you are ready to sell your home.

Essential Tips for Buying a New Home

happy couple in front of their new homeBuying a new home can be both challenging and fun. Here are some essential tips to help you prepare:

Make a Realistic Budget – The first thing you need to do before you even begin browsing the real estate listings is set a budget. Be realistic. Depending on where you are moving, you will need to factor in your new cost of living and new wages if you are changing jobs. Take into account the cost it will take to move, relocation fees, the cost of a mortgage, and how much you can get for your current home.

Secure a Mortgage First – Once you’ve nailed down your budget, secure a mortgage. Mortgages can take a long time to be approved, so getting preapproved can be a huge help. It may even help you beat out competing offers on a home.

Make a Wish List – Keeping your budget in mind, make a list of features you want to see in your new home. Include things like number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a yard, parking, size of the kitchen, or anything else you want your ideal home to have.

Check out the Neighborhood – Locate schools and other things you need to be close to and find a neighborhood that works for you. It also pays to check out the average real estate prices and crime rates for your desired area.

Get a Qualified Real Estate Agent – Working with the experienced real estate agents at The Hometown Team can increase your chances of finding your dream home. Let The Hometown Team, show you homes for sale in Sprint, TX and the surrounding areas today. Contact us at 866-960-6819.

How to Choose the Best Neighborhood for Your Family

young family with children sitting outside of homeIf you’re searching for a new house, you probably have a lengthy checklist of all the things you want from your potential new home. One important thing to keep in mind when you are searching is that you are purchasing more than a house – you’re buying into a neighborhood. Here is a guide to selecting the perfect community for your family.

Ask Questions

Your real estate agent is here to help you find the perfect home. Ask them plenty of questions about each neighborhood so you can get a good idea of what you’re moving into. Here are some examples of questions to ask:

  • What schools are nearby?
  • Is it a quiet or busy area?
  • Are there parks?
  • Is it close to restaurants and shopping?
  • Is this a new development or an older neighborhood?
  • Is there a tight-knit community or does everyone keep to themselves?
  • Are there amenities within walking distance?

You know what is best for your family, so use your agent's answers to these questions to decide where you should move.

Check Crime Rates

Check the crime statistics for your potential new neighborhood. You can find this information easily online. It is also worth noting if there are community crime watch programs in place.

Drive Around

 The best way to get a feel for an area is to drive around in it. You will be able to get a feel for the neighborhood and decide if your family will fit in there or not.

When you are looking for a new home put your trust in a The Hometown Team, who has your family’s best interests in mind. Contact the Hometown Team today!