10 Steps to Buying a Home

The home buying process can seem like a long race with a lot of hurdles. Like any race it is important to train before the event and get in the best shape possible to go the distance.

This article is part one of multipart series that will enable the first time home buyer or experienced home owner to strategize the race to be in the best condition when they start the race and finish strong. Each topic will be covered in detail in later posts, but like any race you have to strategize your race in stages.

Here is how to start your home purchase

1 – Buy vs. Rent You need to decide whether home ownership is for you. It is not for everyones lifestyle nor does it make financial sense for everyone. There is a variety of online information to help you understand if it financially makes sense for you from places like the Houston Association or Realtors, The Texas Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, mortgage companies and other sources. Keep in mind it is a race with both financial and lifestyle elements.

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2 – Build Your Credit Score– Contrary to popular belief, there are a lot of mortgage options in todays market from first time buyers to investment properties. The key to getting the best rate and terms is having a good credit score. There is a lot of information from mortgage companies and credit bureaus to help you. It is not as hard as you think and can happen very quickly.

3 – Start Saving Down payments vary based on the mortgage program, your credit score and your overall financial picture. Veterans programs currently require no down payment while other programs may require 3.5% to 20% or more of the value of the home.

4 – Research a Location or Two Understand where you want to live and why whether it is a neighborhood, a subdivision or a city. Understand what the lifestyle is like, the quality of schools, the tax levels, transportation and all the other lifestyle elements that effect how you will feel about your new address.

5 – Find a Local Realtor Find a Realtor you are comfortable with and can trust. The Realtors job is to represent their clients best interests in the real estate transaction. A Realtor is subject to a strong code of ethics, higher education requirements and is licensed to provide real estate services. A local Realtor with a strong knowledge of the marketplace is essential to avoiding many potential issues in the transaction.

6 – Learn the Process – The home buying process can be confusing and different states may have different rules. Your Realtor will explain and guide you through this process.

7 – Develop a Realistic Wish List Decide what you want and need in your future home. How many bedrooms, how many baths, desired school district, yard size and other amenities. Divide the list into three categories-1.) Must Have-those things you will not compromise on, 2.) Good to Have-those things you would like to have, but are not deal breakers and 3.) Not Important those things you have thought about and have found not to matter in the end. Keep it realistic for your market and price range to avoid disappointment later.

8 – Find a Mortgage Company and Get Pre-Qualified – Most mortgage companies will prequalify applicants for mortgages free of charge. This is a quick interview or on-line application that involves minimal documentation, a credit report and a series of questions. A Pre-qualification letter will tell you what level of mortgage you theoretically should qualify for. Many home sellers today require a minimum of a pre-qualification as part of the initial offer. This amount with your down payment becomes your maximum home buying budget. You Realtor can suggest several loan companies if you ask.

9 – Get a Pre-Approved Loan Pre-approval is a much stronger position for all involved than pre-qualified. Pre-approval means that the mortgage company has verified all the information in your credit history, salaries, employment, savings, etc. and will approve a mortgage up to specific limit provided your financial situation has not significantly changed at closing. This is a very strong position for a home buyer to be in when buying a home.

10 – Decide on a Time Frame The average home search takes from three to six months from the first conversation with a Realtor until purchase closing. You will need to talk to your Realtor to understand what to expect in your market place.

Get in the starting blocks, the race is about to begin

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Tips for Purchase Home & Land in Montgomery County Texas

Home Values & Subdivision Trends Conroe TX

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Market Results for July 2015

Your residence is one of your most critical long term investments. Not only is it a key financial position, but it provides shelter and sense of place summed up in the word – home. It is a place?children grow up, memories are made, friends are entertained and so much more. It is important to you in so many ways more than its sheer value, but in the end most people want to know what their home worth in today’s real estate market.

Each month, we will provide you a snapshot of the Lake Conroe Real Estate Market based on information derived from the Houston Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service or HAR MLS for those who like acronyms.

Conroe/Lake Conroe Trends

July 2015 was a hot month in the Lake Conroe Real Estate Market. There were 277 homes sold during the month which slightly exceeded Junes result. July was the second highest month on record behind August 2014. The largest segment of homes sold were in the $100,000-$400,000 range at 59% of the total sold. The $400,000 to $600,000 range was an additional 22% of the total sold.

There was an additional 451 homes that were under contract which was down 8.2% from June. Overall, there were 1359 homes listed for sale and awaiting buyers as of the first of August. That was almost 20% below the historic peak number of listings in 2008.

Subdivision Results

We monitor five subdivision for comparative performance. During July, Grand Harbor had the best sales to listing ratio at 44% while properties in April Sound sold faster. Grand Harbor had the highest average listing price at $689, 421 and the highest average selling price at $546,472 on nine properties.

MONTHLY SUBDIVISION SUMMARY
Jul-15 Number of Homes on 7/31/15 Average Days on Market
Subdivision Active Pending Sold % Listings Pending or Sold Active Pending Sold
April Sound 67 26 25 43% 66 49 46
Bentwater 146 23 10 18% 126 95 64
Grand Harbor 31 15 9 44% 87 19 64
Point Aquarius 23 7 6 36% 91 53 76
Walden 131 52 37 40% 99 44 52
AVERAGE PRICING
Subdivision Active Pending Sold
April Sound $???? ? ? 355,946 $???? ? ? 257,101 $???? ? ? 200,532
Bentwater $???? ? ? 619,228 $???? ? ? 534,440 $???? ? ? 498,606
Grand Harbor $???? ? ? 689,421 $???? ? ? 319,998 $???? ? ? 546,572
Point Aquarius $???? ? ? 273,113 $???? ? ? 174,987 $???? ? ? 273,113
Walden $??????? 325,348 $??????? 206,146 $???????? 198,257

View Lake Conroe Subdivisions

If you would like to understand the value of your home in today’s market or looking for a home in the Lake Conroe area, please contact us at John@HooverLakeConroe.com or Michelle@HooverLakeConroe.com

Posted By: John & Michelle Hoover at Lake Conroe Real Estate