Ready to buy a home in Houston? Sure, you can just walk into an open house and pay a bid. But you'd be better off hiring a professional and doing your research to help you purchase the right home. Experts agree that as a first-time homebuyer, you should never navigate the landscape alone. There are a lot of hidden catches or things that you need to set straight before jumping into the process. The housing market in Houston is looking good, therefore if you are in the buying prospect it is a great place to buy. Mortgage rates are low because of 2020 and the pandemic and as are interest rates. If you are looking for ways to start buying and need help, we are here to guide you.
Ensure Your Finances Are Set
Your credit score plays a huge role in what loans and interest rates you qualify for. Your credit score tends to show how reliable you are based on your history. Taking the time to improve your credit before buying a home is a smart move. Although this may take a little bit of time, it will pay off in the end. Step two is to save enough money for a down payment on a home. Many lenders require a down payment because it mitigates the loss they face if a buyer completely fails on their mortgage payments. There are many additional benefits to making a larger down payment, such as more mortgage options. Finally, you must get pre-approved for a mortgage. When you apply, your lender will give you a pre-approval letter and you can show this to your real estate agent to help with buying.
Find A Trustworthy Real Estate Agent
There are plenty of real estate offices and professionals who are here to help you. Do your research and make sure you are working with someone you trust and feel comfortable working with. It is best to interview or consult with a few agents and then narrow it down to one. As a buyer, you can work with an agent for free. In most cases, the seller will pay the buyer's real estate agent's commission. The commission is typically 3% of the entire purchase price. A real estate agent should help you understand how to buy a house and the process. They should also be in charge of negotiations and advise you on how much to offer for each property.
Begin The House Hunting Process
As long as you have a budget set, you are ready to begin hunting for houses. Single-family homes in Houston are around $350,000. This is something to keep in mind going in. The housing market in Houston has continued its momentum in 2020 and therefore has some excellent potential. When looking, you should consider things that matter to you like a swimming pool, backyard, open floor plan, and a number of bedrooms. With Houston getting hot during the summer, an AC unit or swimming pool may be higher on your list compared to other locations. Have your agent show you properties and then rank them from most to least favorite. It is great to write down the pros and cons of each property so you can have a fresh memory of them in your head when deciding. Once you get a feel for what you like best after looking, let your agent know.
Making An Offer
Once you found a house that you love, it's time to make an offer. It is critical that you are quick about it and you submit an offer letter in writing. Your agent will most likely write the offer letter on your behalf, but you can write it yourself if you choose. Many offers also include an earnest money deposit, which is typically 1-2% of the purchase price. From this point on, the seller can respond in a few ways. Either accepting the offer, declining the offer or countering the offer. Negotiations may take some time past the buying process, so that is something to be aware of. Don't be afraid to walk away if the offer doesn't fit your best wishes or doesn't seem worth it.
Get A Home Inspection
Living in Houston, where it's hot, may mean that there are some things you should look into before buying. You should get an inspection before buying, even though it isn't necessary. During an inspection, an inspector will look through the home to identify any problems that are there (or not there).