Houston Real Estate information

including how to sell your home, buy a home and FHA information.


How To Sell Your Home or Property

There are several ways to sell your home, including selling it yourself, hiring a real estate agent and selling it at auction. And, all three of these methods have both advantages and drawbacks. The way you choose to sell your home depends on your individual situation.

If you’re in a rush to sell your home and move, then you might want to consider auctioning it. It generally takes about a month for the auction house to be able to advertise it and get everything set up for a auction, so you can get your money fairly quick. But, currently there are only about 1% of the homes in the U.S. that are sold at auction.

You might not see your desired price at the auctions end, but as a safety measure you can opt for a minimum bid auction. Most auction houses prefer absolute sales, which means that your house is guaranteed to sell no matter what the final bid is. If you decide to go with an auction, make sure you express your feelings and terms to the auction house.

If you decide to hire a real estate agent, keep in mind that they will charge a 6% fee of what your home sellsfor. This amount can sometimes be negotiable, but usually the agent won’t barter on the amount. There are lot’s of advantages to hiring a real estate agent though and it may be worth the fee.

An agent can of course reach more potential buyers than you normally can. They will handle all of the phone calls concerning your home and are suppose to take care of the tedious paperwork for you. They will also meet with buyers at your home to give them a tour and you don’t even have to be home!

If you’re not in a big rush to sell your home you might consider selling it yourself and skip paying out any commissions. You can advertise your home in the local papers, place signs in your yard and even hang signs throughout the town.

To get a good asking price for your home you should have it appraised. An appraisal normally cost a few hundred dollars, but it’s well worth it. Getting an appraised value of your home will give you a better idea of how much to ask. It could prevent you from selling your home to cheaply.


Putting a Price Tag On Your Home

Setting a price for your home can be very scary, too low and you’ve lost money, too high and you might not be able to sell at all. If you’re selling your home yourself you can do a little research to get an idea of what kind of price tag to put on your home.

Supply and demand have a great deal to do with the value of your home. If you live in an area that is quickly growing, then you might just be able to get more out of your home than it’s actually worth. At the very least good location will get you top dollar.

While you might not be looking to buy in your surrounding neighborhood, you should still check out all of the homes for sale. Try to look at homes that are similar in size, age and style to yours to get an idea of what other’s are asking. The size of the property should also be similar to yours.

Usually you’ll only want to compare the homes that are within a half mile radius of your property. The value of real estate can be very fickle, sometimes a home that is just on the other side of the street can vary by thousands of dollars in value.

Research the selling prices of at least three comparable homes if you can. If your area is a buyers market, meaning there are lot’s of homes for sale. Price your home near the average selling price of the other homes. If you are living in a sellers market area, which simply means there are more potential buyers than sellers, you might just get a better than expected price for your home.

A balanced market is one that has similar supply and demand. In this market state you’re more likely to get closer to your homes actual value. If you don’t have to move at a certain time, you might just want to hold out until the market is more in your favor.

Simple Tips For Buying a Home

Buying a home is the biggest investment most people will ever make. Once you’re ready to purchase your own home you need to know what to expect. It can seem like an intimidating venture, but with a little knowledge the transaction can go smoothly and you’ll be a proud home owner!

One of the best things that you can do to prepare to purchase a home is to work on your credit score. You may have to pay a small fee to get a credit report, but you really need to find out what your rating is. If you have any delinquent bills or unresolved issues on your report, try to get them all taken care of.

The higher your credit rating is the better, but it should be at least 620. A higher credit rating will get you a better interest rate on your mortgage and lower monthly payments. And, a lower interest rate can add up to thousands of dollars over the term of your loan.

Your down payment will range between 10 and 20% of whatever the home appraises for. Some homes will appraise for more than the asking price and some for less, so you may need even more down. On top of that you’ll have to pay closing costs which are an average of 6% of the amount of the loan.

Just like you shop for a home, you should shop for a mortgage loan. Different lenders often offer different mortgage rates and different terms. Check out several lenders to make sure that you get the best deal possible on interest rates and even monthly payments required.

The most important part of choosing a home to buy isn’t location, it’s choosing a home that is within your budget. Knowing what ratios that lending institutions are using to judge whether you will even qualify for a loan will help you set a payment goal.

The most commonly used ratios are 28 and 36, this simply means that you must be able to cover your housing costs with 28% of your gross income. The higher number is used to determine your monthly expenses, all of them combined must not be more than 36% of your gross income. If your monthly bills are higher than 36% you might want to consider trying to pay some off before trying to purchase a home.

Before you even talk to a real estate agent, get pre-approved for a loan. Don’t limit yourself to one lender, check out several so you can choose the best terms. This is also the best way to know exactly what to expect as far as mortgage amounts.

After you’ve decided upon an loan amount with payments that you can afford to pay, stick to it as closely as you can. And, make sure that you tell the real estate agent what your price range is. This will save you lot’s of time in looking at homes you can’t afford and also keep you from falling in love with one that is too expensive for your budget!


The Best Reasons For Choosing An FHA Loan


Since 1934, FHA has been helping families become homeowners. FHA the Federal Housing Association is a part of HUD and they work with lenders to insure your loan. With the government standing behind your loan, lenders can offer lower down payment amounts, you can qualify for a loan quicker and easier and your closing costs will be much lower.

While most lenders generally require anywhere from 10 to 20% down, that amount can be as low as 3% with FHA. Another really good feature of an FHA approved loan is that the majority of closing costs and other loan fees can be included in with the loan amount. These two things alone mean that you can purchase a home without having to have a lot of money.

If you’ve had credit problems or even filed for bankruptcy, you might still be able to purchase a home through FHA. Again, since the government is insuring your loan lenders can be a little more lenient on credit history and other things.

You can also get very competitive interest rates with FHA. Many times their interest rates are much lower than conventional lending institutions. Before signing anything, make sure that you compare the amounts, terms and offers of different lending sources and FHA as well.

One of the best things about getting a FHA loan, is their foreclosure protection. FHA has several options that will help you retain ownership of your home is something happens and you can’t make your mortgage payments. If you lose your job or get injured and can’t work for awhile, most lenders won’t hesitate to foreclose and take your home.

If you have a home in mind that needs some work, FHA offers a loan that will give you the money to work on the house. They will also finance factory built homes and mobile homes, when many lenders won’t. They also have an loan that will include the costs of making your home more energy efficient.