Whether you’ve just started to explore homes in College Station Texas or have been looking for a while with no luck, there are a few things to know when buying a home in College Station or anywhere in Texas that will help you through the process. As a local real estate professional with more than two decades of experience helping search through the homes for sale College Station Texas offers, I’ve put together this list of “Ten Things to Know When Buying a Home” to help you stay on track and focused throughout the home buying process. Let’s take a look!
1. Get your financing in order. Given tighter lending practices and a competitive buyers’ market, it is important to have all your ducks in a row so you’re ready to buy when you see the right home. The seller wants to know that if they do accept your offer, that barring any catastrophic issues, the deal is going to go through. You can put their minds at ease by providing a Pre-Qualification Letter from your mortgage lender showing that you are indeed qualified for the amount you are offering. Furthermore, you may find out that there are steps you need to take to clear up credit issues or to make yourself more attractive as a buyer. It is always recommended that you talk to a finance professional or mortgage lender first!
2. Understand your time frame. If you’re a “short-term” buyer, meaning you’re purchasing a property as an investment, you may buy with a different set of characteristics than a “long-term” buyer that is planning on staying in a particular home for decades. For example, a short-term buyer may be interested in investment or flipping potential of homes in College Station Texas, while a long-term buyer may be interested in good school systems or a larger lot size that can accommodate expansion. Be sure to discuss your time frame with your Realtor.
3. Understand the market conditions. Always ask your Realtor to provide you with comparable properties that have sold recently in the same area as the home you are interested in – ideally homes that have sold within the last three to six months. This can help you plan your offer and negotiating strategy, as well as what you believe the fair-market value of the home is.
4. Work within your means. There is nothing worse than including homes for sale in College Station Texas that are outside of your means in your search and falling in love with a property that is simply out of the realm of possibility. Be honest with yourself. Take a look at what you can afford each month and what you’re approved for prior to starting your search.
5. If you’re waiting for lower prices, think again. There has never been a better time to purchase a home or investment property in Aggieland. In fact, many market watchers believe that interest rates will start to inch up more rapidly soon, as they are already showing signs of increase. Don’t wait. You may price yourself out of the market.
6. Simple cosmetic changes are a part of making a home your own. Don’t sweat the small stuff. For example, paint color, flooring, appliances, and window treatments can all be changed for a more modern or personalized feel. Similarly, if you visit a home that feels small or cluttered, try to imagine it without the knickknacks and oversized furniture. Always keep an open mind.
7. Prepare your questions in advance. Always be prepared with your questions when you view a home or have a list of questions ready for your Realtor. Once you are serious about a home, you can obtain a Seller’s Disclosure in which sellers are required to disclose the information they know about the property, such as defects, how old systems are, if the basement has flooded, etc.
8. If you’re thinking about buying a new home, don’t rule out a home that’s been lived in. Consider a home that’s been lived in, as the sellers can give you a bit of history about the property and have probably already worked out any kinks that came up in the first years of the home’s life.
9. Know subdivision restrictions and rules. When buying a home, be sure to know the rules. Financing can be more complicated for condominiums. Dogs may need to be a certain size. You may have additional HOA fees each month. Ask your Realtor for a copy of the rules that the condo building is governed by.
10. Always partner with a Realtor. Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions of your lifetime. Be sure to partner with a qualified and experienced Realtor that specializes in the community and type of property that you’re interested in.
These are just a few of the tips and things you should know if you’re thinking about buying homes for sale in College Station Texas. Connect with me, Myke Leatham, today to learn more and to begin your search. I look forward to hearing from you soon!