The whole homebuying experience can feel overwhelming – especially if this is your very first purchase! These are the top five questions we hear from first-timers in Houston.
1. “Which loan program is best?”
The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan program was actually made for first-time buyers. You may have heard a 20% down payment is required to buy a home – not true!
Here are some of the big benefits with the FHA program
- Only 3.5% down payment required
- Credit scores as low as 580 may qualify
- Condos and multi-unit properties are eligible
It’s a good idea to get pre-approved for your loan before you start looking for a house. That way, when you find the right one, you’re not scrambling with paperwork.
[block quote, WP design element] What do you qualify for, and how much can you afford? The Wood Group of Fairway Mortgage was named Houston’s mortgage lender of the year! Get started with their easy online questionnaire.
2. “When is the best time to buy?”
This doesn’t have one single answer. But, the housing market tends to have its seasons.
During the summer months, the market’s hot. Lots of buyers are looking to move into new homes. Kids are out of school, and work is in rhythm. The summer months may be more competitive with other buyers, but there’s generally more properties to choose from, too.
On the other hand, the winter months tend to slow down. Home owners that didn’t sell in the summer may be more flexible with pricing. The downside is that your selection may narrow a bit. An experienced agent with the Lippincott Team can help you see what’s available in your area.
3. “How much lower can I offer below asking price?”
The simple answer: making an offer 10% below asking price is seen as aggressive. It’s not rude, but it’s a significant drop for the seller.
But with seller concessions, your closing speed (and lots of other factors), sellers may be willing to budge a little more. If there’s multiple offers for the same house, the seller may be less prone to budge.
4. “Is buying more cost-efficient than renting?”
In general, yes! Texas is a great place to become a homeowner.
When you pay rent, your landlord has to make a little profit. When you rent, you’re never getting that money back. When you buy, you have the opportunity to sell later. Your monthly payments when owning a house can easily match or fall below the cost of renting.
Check out this step-by-step guide to find out if buying a house is worth it for you.
5. “What are the ingredients in a good property?”
When you’re buying a home for your family, the property needs to be structurally sound. That means the foundation, roof, and “bones” of the house are in good shape, and are set to last. A professional third-party inspector makes a checklist to ensure your new home is good to go.
When new offices and centers for entertainment are built around your house, your property value goes up. Texas is a very fast-growing state – good news for new homebuyers.
3. Schools, crime, similar comps
The quality of schools will affect how much you’ll be able to sell your home for later. Crime statistics are also another thing families look out for before buying. Take a look at how homes similar to the ones you’re interested in have increased in value over time. That may give you an idea of what to expect after a few years.
4. Your own preferences!
Are you close enough to the places most important to you? Does the floorplan accommodate your living situation? Stats and data are important to pay attention to, but remember that you’re living in your investment!
Move over, “Orange is the New Black” … red is officially the new green for The Lippincott Team! This month, we announced our biggest change yet: we’ve officially moved from Better Homes and Gardens Gary Greene to our new broker, Keller Williams Platinum! We are so grateful for the time we spent with Better Homes and Gardens Gary Greene and will continue holding the great people there in the highest regard, but we are so excited for our future with Keller Williams Platinum! We look forward to taking all of our amazing families, friends, and clients on this new journey with us.
Keller Williams Platinum in Northwest Houston serves as the real estate broker for more than 242 real estate agents in the greater Houston area, and is focused on agent development and growth through extensive training and classes. Our team has evaluated the benefits that this transition will bring to The Lippincott Team extensively, and we are thrilled to begin taking advantage of the team building system within the Keller Williams model!
As always, we will continue to serve the Cypress community and surrounding areas with the love, support and care that you’ve come to expect from our team. This community is our community, and we’re excited to pour our new resources into the neighborhoods we live in. Thank you so much for your continued well wishes and support! If you’re interested in listing with The Lippincott Team – Keller Williams Platinum this spring, don’t hesitate to call us at 713-494-1818. We look forward to working with you!
You’ve probably seen some expertly produced clips being shared on our social media pages recently. Maybe you’re wondering exactly who The American Dream is, what they’re about and how The Lippincott Team got involved with The American Dream. Read on… we’re answering those questions and more in this blog!
The American Dream TV is a nationally aired television show currently streaming on Amazon, Roku, Apple TV, and YouTube. There are over 30 million users on those platforms on a daily basis, and The American Dream TV show itself nets between 8-10 million views per month on those platforms!
Out of 40,000+ licensed REALTORs in the greater Houston area, The American Dream chose The Lippincott Team to fill one of ten available slots, specifically representing the Cypress area. We were eager to take advantage of this opportunity and graciously became a Power Player representing the greater Houston area for The American Dream. This opportunity not only provides our agency exposure, but more importantly, it provides exposure for our listings too!
The partnership between American Dream TV and The Lippincott Team provides our agency a couple of really unique opportunities that no other agency in Cypress can provide. Through American Dream, we have the ability to showcase the amazing people, communities, and events in Houston on a national scale, like our most recent clip filmed at The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. For our clients, this partnership provides gained exposure and faster sales and closings for our listings. Can you imagine seeing YOUR home listed on a television show that airs nationally? When you list your home with The Lippincott Team, that can be your reality!
We are eager to grow our networking model through this new partnership and look forward to great things to come in 2019 with The American Dream. If you’d like more information about listing with us, call our office at 713-494-1818 today!
The New Year is here! When it comes to creating the perfect living space, the design elements you choose can make or break your home’s entire aesthetic. So… what trends will dominate home decorating in 2019? The Lippincott Team predicts what you should keep on your radar in the New Year.
In 2018, we saw an uptick in casual, farmhouse-chic trends that pay homage to Chip and Joanna Gaines and their remodeling style on HGTV’s hit show, “Fixer Upper”. This year, we’re predicting that trend continues with a more sophisticated twist. Elegant comfort can be achieved with warm wall colors and antique wooden furniture with a tarnished look.
Along with the physical coziness that this home décor style achieves, people are also seeking emotional comfort in their home too! Our surroundings tend to feel more welcoming and “at home” when we’re among warm neutrals and comfy favorites, like furniture with big, soft, rounded arms. Cozy beds with upholstered headboards and footboards will be covered in comfortable textiles, making bedtime your new favorite time of day!
We’re also predicting antiques continue to make a comeback and grow increasingly popular in 2019. Handcrafted authenticity and pieces with history behind them will be more common this year. Your home will have personality and tell a story by adding a few unique pieces from your favorite local secondhand or antique shop.
2019 is going to have some fantastic home design trends! Will any of these make their way into your home this year? Let the Lippincott Team know what you’re planning to update and stay engaged with us on social media! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by following the links below. We look forward to connecting with you this year!