Home Buyer Tips

What are Home Buying Contingencies?

Your Guide to Home Buying Contingencies in Real EstatePurchasing a home is a unique consumer experience. It's not the same as purchasing just about any other product since you're not able to "return it" like you would with, say, a smartphone. Because of the legal and financial process involved with transferring property, contingencies are imperative for both buyers and sellers alike.

Contingencies are contractual obligations the seller and buyer must fulfil prior to the close of escrow. Essentially, contingencies are a way "out" should one or more of them not be met by either party. They also serve as a form of consumer protection in the...

What You Need to Know About Conventional Mortgages

What You Need to Know About Conventional MortgagesGetting a conventional mortgage may sound simple enough, but there are more than a few twists in turns that home buyers should be aware of. Conventional loans aren't backed by the federal government, meaning if a buyer defaults on the loan, it's the lender's responsibility to pick up the slack. Because of this, lenders have a few more stipulations than they would for secured loans. Learn about the most recent changes for loans, what buyers need before applying for a loan, and what lenders are looking for in potential candidates.

Recent Changes...

Home Sellers: Responding to Low Ball Offers

How to Price Your Home to SellIn real estate, we often find ourselves debating what constitutes a Low Ball offer. We don't consider any offer 10% below the asking price a low ball - however, some disagree. Assuming a home is priced reasonably close to market value, and assuming comparable homes nearby aren't "flying off the shelves" in 10 days or less in a hyper seller's market, we consider anything above 10% off the asking price to be a "starting point."

No... it's not an "ideal" offer - but it's certainly not an offer that should be dismissed.

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What You Need to Know About Making a Down Payment on a Home

Options for Coming Up With a Down PaymentA down payment on a home is money given to a mortgage or other lending company by someone wanting to purchase a Buda home. The purpose of a down payment is to reduce the amount borrowed by the home buyer from the lending company and to potentially decrease monthly mortgage payments. Down payments are always expressed as a percentage of what needs to be borrowed to buy a home.

For informational purposes...

Closing Cost Guide for New Home Buyers

Everything You Need to Know About Closing CostsIf you're thinking about buying a home, one of the things that you should be aware of are the closing costs. If you haven't properly budgeted for the closing costs, or if you're not clear on what the closing costs are, you could have trouble buying a house. Knowing about closing costs, how much you can expect to pay and when they're due can help you decide if you can afford to buy a home soon.

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A Guide to Different Real Estate Investment Types

A Guide to Different Real Estate Investment TypesAs a novice investor, choosing what type of real estate to invest in can be daunting, as there are pros and cons of each option. Single- and multi-family homes, vacation rentals, fixer uppers—where does one begin? The key to success in real estate investing is working with experienced professionals who familiarize buyers with local markets, guide them to solid purchases and even assist in determining the best way to utilize and market properties.

Depending on the type of residential real estate one invests in, there may...

How to Apply for a USDA Home Loan

What to Know About Getting a USDA Home LoanUSDA loans are special loans offered by the government for people who want to move out of the city and into the more rural towns and communities across the US. They're notorious for providing extreme financial incentives for families who may be struggling. Ultimately, the government wants to revitalize communities by tempting people to live in the great wide open. For those who don't mind living outside the city limits, it may be time to find out what it takes to secure one of these loans.

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What Do Home Inspectors Do and How Are They Regulated?

Getting a Home InspectionEven brand new homes should undergo a home inspection. After all, a home is the one of the largest financial (and emotional) investments a person will make. Therefore, home inspections are necessary, and it's wise to have a professional home inspector do the job.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed...

5 Essential Packing Tips For Moving To a New Home

5 Essential Packing Tips For Moving To a New HomeMoving is a big job that takes a lot of effort, and it can easily seem overwhelming to homeowners who aren't ready for it. But just how does someone get all of their possessions ready to move to a new home without getting stressed out? Having a plan of attack can be extremely helpful to have in mind when getting ready to move, so here are five essential steps all homeowners should use when packing up for the big move.

Start Packing Before the Home is Sold

While it might seem a little premature to start packing before the home is sold, it really isn't. Packing away excess things is...

How do Interest Rates Affect the Price of a Home?

Interest rates are a fundamental consideration when buying a home - particularly when a buyer is financing through a traditional mortgage lender (as opposed to the seller carrying the note).

In short, interest rates will, ultimately, affect the price of the home as they are an added cost for obtaining a mortgage. Therefore, understanding several aspects of economics – as tied to interest rates – can save a buyer thousands of dollars (if not more).

To better understand how interest rates may apply to your specific situation, speak with your lender and/or financial advisor.

Interest Rate Basics

Quite simply, interest rates are a specific amount a lender charges...

How to Read Your Home Warranty

How Home Warranties WorkHome warranties come in all shapes and sizes, and home buyers need to understand theirs prior to closing if they want to be successful owners. From the HVAC system to the wiring, warranties keep new home buyers from having to pay for costly repairs out of pocket. Unlike home insurance, a warranty will cover parts of the property from wear and tear.

Warranties are excellent for homeowners who want to give themselves peace of mind, but warranties can be difficult to understand which can cause confusion when something actually happens. Keep these facts in mind...

Inside Austin Real Estate: 5 Common Home Styles

Home Architectural Styles in Austin, TXAs one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, it's no surprise that the Austin real estate market is enjoying another booming year. The spring has showed continual signs of promise, and the summer is sure to be a record-setting year for home sales and home prices. As buyers set their sights on this community, which boasts a thriving economy anchored by the high-tech industry, it's important to learn more about the types of homes that are available in the city.

These are five of the common home styles that are found in neighborhoods throughout Austin...

How to Prepare When Buying a Vacation Home

How to Finance a Vacation HomeA vacation home can be a practical purchase for a home buyer who spends a lot of time vacationing in one favorite area. Some vacation home owners even rent out their cabin or vacation home while they're not there, in order to pay for the second mortgage. However, buying a vacation home and buying a primary home are very different, and the financing for a second mortgage loan is different as well. This is what home buyers need to know.

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Six Ways Buying a Condo Can Change the Way You Live

Five Perks of the Condominium LifestyleWhile some may call condominiums 'overpriced apartments' or not consider them to be as 'good' as a single-family dwelling, there are actually quite a few perks of condo living. In fact, there are a number of solid reasons to buy a condo, ranging from the quality of community life and amenities to their convenient location and potential as investments. Here are five condominium pros to think about before eliminating these types of homes as a potential option.

For informational purposes only. Always...

5 Mistakes Buyers Make When Purchasing a Fixer-Upper

Fixer Upper Home Buying MistakesFixer-upper homes may need special attention that move-in ready homes don't, but for some buyers, that's what makes them perfect. However, all buyers interested in a fixer-upper home should be aware of common mistakes other buyers have made. Here are five easy mistakes to make when buying a fixer-upper home and how to avoid them.

1. Paying Too Much

A large part of the appeal of fixer-upper homes is that they cost far less than move-in ready homes. However, that discount is necessary because fixer-upper homes require so much work to bring them up to date and make them livable. So why would a buyer pay the same amount of money for a fixer-upper as they would a move-in ready home when they...

Millennial Homeownership in Austin – Overcoming a Strong Market

Landscaping Mistakes Some Homeowners MakeEverywhere you turn, somebody is talking about the Millennials, and it seems like most people doing the talking have a slightly sarcastic or condescending tone. They aren't really the group they're made out to be – times change, and generations adapt to the circumstances they are born into. Now, as they are climbing the ladder and planning for their future, they are facing additional challenges that can be difficult to overcome in certain parts of the country, such as achieving homeownership.

In Austin, many Millennials are having a hard time becoming homeowners due to the strength of the market. This is quite significant, as Millennials make up about 36 percent of the population in Austin, according to the ...

Waiving Home Inspection With Multiple Offers

Should You Waive the Inspection Contingency in a Seller's Market/Hot Market Hazard: You Want to Waive the Inspection?

There's one "Hot Market Hazard" which makes my stomach churn, and that's when the buyer comes downs with a case of "house fever" so severe that they're willing to waive the home inspection contingency completely to "win" a multiple offer situation.

Many markets are definitely "hot" right now. We have a record low home inventory for sale, and an incredibly low number of new listings coming online to satisfy buyer demand. And, the numbers indicate we'll be in a seller's market for quite some time to come.

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Buying New Construction? Tips to Get Started

What You Need to Know About Buying New ConstructionBuying a new construction home can be an incredible thrill, but it can also be a time consuming, intimidating process. Many people who decide to buy a new construction home know little about the home-buying process and are unsure of where to begin. These tips can help buyers decide

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction....

5 Great Neighborhoods for First-Time Home Buyers in Austin

Great Austin Neighborhoods for First Time Home Buyers

For many first-time home buyers, Austin is the perfect place to settle down. There's plenty of jobs, and the burgeoning tech industry is ensuring that there's more on the way. The cultural vibe is addicting, and people love to get together and hang out in the city's downtown areas. So, for those considering the move to homeownership, why not purchase real estate and make this your home for a while?

It is important for first-time buyers to know ahead of time that they will likely be faced with challenges in the Austin market. It's a competitive market right now, and it can sometimes be difficult to get an offer accepted when you're up against previous homeowners who may have accrued wealth from their previous real estate investment. In addition, demand for housing...

How to Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent When Buying or Selling a HomeWhether buying a new home or selling the current one, all prospective buyers should work with an experienced real estate agent. Having an agent is the best way for a buyer or seller to help themselves get the best deal regarding their home as well as make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible. However, it can be difficult for buyers and sellers to know what to look for in an agent, especially if they’ve never bought or sold a home before, so here are some of the different things to know when considering hiring a real estate agent....

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