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!
Happy New Year! As we welcome 2019, most of us begin to think about goals we’d like to achieve in the new year. While we can’t help you cut back on fast food or make it to the gym more often, we can most definitely help you make your next move!
If you’re in the market to buy this year, The Lippincott Team proudly boasts some of the hottest properties on the market in the most desired subdivisions and neighborhoods in Northwest Houston! You can browse through our current listings here. Our team of friendly, experienced agents are ready to show you the property of your dreams and we’re looking forward to helping you find your dream home in 2019.
If you’re looking to sell your home in the new year, there’s no time like the present! January is an excellent time to list your property because people looking for a new home now tend to fall into the ‘serious buyer’ category. Typically, we tend to find that more homes are sold with less viewings during this time. While spring is traditionally a very popular time to list your home, the market is more congested. Let the Lippincott Team list your property now and we’ll market your home to stand out from the crowd!
We wish you good health, prosperity, and best wishes sticking with those New Year resolutions! If moving tops that list for you in 2019, The Lippincott Team would be delighted to help you. Store our number in your phone and give us a call when you’re ready! 713-494-8818
Are you looking into buying your first home? Congratulations! If you’re ready to put down some roots in Cypress, The Lippincott Team is here to help you every step of the way. But before we get started, there’s a few questions you should ask yourself to make sure you’re ready to take the leap into home ownership..
1. Do you have a stable income?
You wouldn’t be able to make a monthly mortgage payment without one, and you probably wouldn’t be approved for one either. If you haven’t established much of a work history, it may not be the right time for you to buy a home. While you work on beefing up your resume, don’t forget to build up your financial snapshot too! This way, you’ll be fully prepared to apply for a mortgage and buy a home when the time is right for you.
2. Credit matters!
Is your score good enough? It’s a major part of your financial picture. Get familiar with your credit score and read more about how it affects your home buying options in our previous blog post.
3. Have you been saving?
Did you know some mortgages require the buyer to save up to 20% of the price of a home? While some down payments are less, a considerable amount needs to be saved before you can purchase a home. Don’t forget – a down payment isn’t the only thing you need to be saving for during the home buying process. Inspections, appraisals, titles, and closing fees can all be costly for a first-time buyer.
If you answered “yes!” to all three questions, it may be time to buy your first home. Buying for the first time can be overwhelming and confusing, but The Lippincott Team stands prepared for today’s market and every buyer’s unique situation. We look forward to working with you! Get started today by calling our office at 713-494-1818.
Have you ever lived in a neighborhood where you never really knew the people living on the other side of the fence? With busy family lives and demanding occupations, it’s all too common! After a move, meeting your new neighbors may not be high on your priority list, but it will help to quickly give your new neighborhood a sense of home. Plus, knowing your neighborhood and the people around you provides a sense of a safer community. And who knows? You could make some long-lasting friendships in the process!
Finding the time to introduce yourself to the neighbors is usually left to chance, but there are things you can do to take matters into your own hands. A fun option is a housewarming party! Planning a party can seem like a lot of work after moving, but it’s a perfect way for you and your family to meet the neighbors and make new friends. Just keep it simple; nobody’s expecting an elaborate get-together after you’ve finished unpacking.
Getting involved in your new community is another great way to meet new neighbors. Cypress has the best master-planned communities around, and there’s always tons of local events to attend! Also, getting involved at your child’s school will help bring a sense of community to your new neighborhood for both you and your kids. Another easy way to connect is social media. Several of our local neighborhoods have groups to join that are updated regularly with events, school topics, and other local happenings.
Feeling at home in your new neighborhood takes some time and effort. Once you’re settled, getting involved in your new community can greatly benefit you and your family. If you’re interested in learning more about the amazing master-planned communities Cypress has to offer, The Lippincott Team has all the latest details. Call our office at 713-494-1818 today!