A beautiful custom home in exclusive Plano community of Stoney Hollow!Large covered porches are ideal for outdoor entertaining, or just relaxing & enjoying your slice of Plano!Upgrades and elegance throughout.Backs to 30+ acres of open space, no backyard neighbors!
We all know the media is full of opinions about investing in real estate - is this the time to buy? We beleive the answer is YES! Now is the time to buy a home, become a home owner! It is a great time and being a homeowner is one of life's joys and a wonderful accomplishment!
Here are reasons you want to be a homeowner NOW:
1. Equity. When you pay rent, you never see that money again. It is lining the landlord's pocket. Yes, buying a home may come with some hefty initial costs (downpayment, closing costs, inspections), but you will make that money back over time, in the equity your home will build over time. Historically, homes appreciate by about 4 to 6 percent a year. Some areas of the country (some right here in our Texas real estate market) are still experiencing normal appreciation rates. Homeownership is about building long-term wealth.
2. Relationships: Renters tend to see their neighbors come and go quickly. Homeowners, however, have yards, walking trails, or community pools and clubhouses where they can get to know each other. And neighborhood schools and activities that bring people together to help build relationships. Neighbors stay put much longer (at least three to five years if they hope to recoup their closing costs). This means more time to develop relationships. Research has shown that people with healthy relationships have more happiness and less stress.
3. Predictability: Well, as long as you have a fixed-rate term on your mortgage it's predictable. Most people buying homes today know that a fixed-rate is the way to go. This means your payment amount is fixed for the life of the term. If your mortgage payment is $500 today, then it will still be $500 a month in 10 years. This allows for people to budget and make solid financial plans.
4. Ownership: Okay, this is a given. Homeownership means you "own" your home. Ownership has some great perks - you can renovate, update, paint, and decorate to your heart's desire. You can plant trees, install a pool, expand the patio, or do holiday decorating that would rival the Kranks. The bottom line is this is your home and you can personalize it to your taste. Most renters are stuck with the same beige walls and beige carpet that has been standard apartment decor for 20 years. Now is your chance to let your home speak!
5. Great Deals: It's a great time to buy. Interest rates are at historic lows. This means big savings for today's buyers. Home prices have also taken a dip since the recession, which means homes are more affordable than ever. Also, the supply of homes for sale is strong. If you have steady income and cash for a downpayment, contact us and let's talk about what homes in our area can be a fit for you and your family!
Homeownership can be a real joy. The time is right for you to become a homeowner!
Now you have your loan decisions made; you have researched your home options and now you have found a home and are ready for the next step in the buying process.
Is This Your New Home Sweet Home?
Once you've found the perfect home, you'll want to try to assess how well the property has been maintained over time, carefully review all property disclosure documents and do a more thorough examination of the property for any hidden surprises. Hiring a home inspector who has extensive credentials is generally considered a wise move.
A home inspection should include a thorough review of:
•Structural elements: construction of walls, ceilings, floors, roof, foundations
•Roof/Attic: framing, ventilation, type of roof construction, flashing, and gutters
•Plumbing: identify pipe materials for potable, drain, waste and vent pipes as well as condition of toilets, showers, sinks, faucets, and traps
•Systems and components: water heaters, furnaces, air conditioning, duct work, chimney, fireplace and sprinklers
•Electrical: main panel, circuit breakers, types of wiring, grounding, exhaust fans, receptacles, ceiling fans and light fixtures
•Appliances: dishwasher, range/oven, built-in microwaves, garbage disposal and smoke detectors
•Garage: slab, wall, ceiling, vents, entry, firewall, garage door, openers, lights receptacles, exterior, windows and roof
You'll also want to know what isn't included in the home inspection. Some areas frequently not included in the inspection, or included only at a cursory level are:
•Radon, methane, radiation, formaldehyde
•Mold, mildew, fungi
Many home buyers have found talking to prospective neighbors quite enlightening. Not only can you learn more about the neighborhood and get a feel for who may be your future neighbors, but sometimes these interactions can provide valuable information including why the house is on the market, prior issues with the house (flooding/leaks, repeated pest infestations, illegal drug use/production) as well as general information about the neighborhood such as whether there are problems with vandalism and theft, high homeownership turnover, high level of rental properties, or local issues that may impact your interest (plans for a new road or shopping center, etc.).
Another frequently overlooked source of information may be your insurance company. For instance, if you are looking in an area that is prone to earthquakes or flooding, they should be able to tell you if the specific area has a higher than average level of claims which may impact your insurance premium and whether special insurance riders would be required for coverage. They may also be able to tell you if your premiums would be impacted by a higher incidence of claims due to theft and vandalism.
Factors to Consider When Preparing an Offer
Once you have decided you're interested in a specific home, the last step is figuring out how much to offer for it. There will be many factors to consider: your budget, how quickly you want/need to move, how quickly homes are selling, what similar homes in the area have been selling for, how long the house has been on the market, what repairs may be required and perhaps most importantly, how much you want this particular house.
So you have your loan decisions made and now it is time to think about the details of your next home.
Where Do You Want to Live?
Once you have decided how much you can afford, then you must consider which areas to target for your property search that will both meet your budget constraints and are conducive to your lifestyle. Where do you wish to live: in the city with all of its hustle and bustle, in family-oriented suburbs, in the quiet countryside or perhaps in the mountains? Do you want to be close enough to walk, bike or ride the bus to your favorite destinations, or is a longer drive an acceptable cost to living further away from services? Are high quality school districts important to you either because you have children or for resale purposes? What degree of safety does an area need to possess? How close do you need to be to groceries, shopping, medical services and other amenities?
What Style of Housing Meets Your Needs?
Houses still have the greatest appeal and are a good option for individuals who want a place for the kids and/or animals to be able to run and play, for those who love to garden and create their own landscaping masterpiece, and for people who want a little elbow room between themselves and their neighbors. Houses come in all shapes and sizes: rambler, two-story, split level, modern, traditional, Victorian, Colonial, one room cabins, large mansions or estates. Newer homes located in housing developments will generally have a Homeowners' Association with wide-ranging dues/fees to cover community property expenses, bylaws and covenants, and enforcement practices; whereas, older homes or homes in more rural areas may or may not have any such associations.
Condominiums are frequently a good choice for individuals who prefer to live in an urban setting, people who travel extensively, and those who don't want the responsibility of maintaining a yard. Condominiums come in all sizes, ranging from apartment size to spaces that can exceed the size of an average house. Condominiums will most certainly have an association established to levy fees for building and grounds maintenance. When considering any condominium it is critical to review not only the by-laws and covenants prior to purchase, but also relevant financial documents to ensure that enough funds are in reserve to address future expenses and to prevent buying into an organization's mismanagement or poor planning.
Vacation properties and homes are often sought out in the mountains or near water access. While mountain locations provide easy access to outdoor activities such as skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing in winter and hiking, biking in summer, homes near water provide for a wealth of summer activities involving swimming, boating, waterskiing and beachcombing. These properties can range from a parcel of unimproved land or a plot with a small cabin and just enough amenities to meet basic needs, to a large, fully modernized home suitable for year-round living.
There are many issues to evaluate when considering a home purchase including what you can afford, what kind of loan best suits you, the property itself and once you find your dream house, how much you are willing to pay for it.
How Much Can You Afford?
Before starting your search for a home, you must decide how much you can afford. Generally speaking, it is recommended that the down payment be a minimum of 5-20% of the purchase price. In addition, there are two other standard thresholds to consider in terms of how much of your monthly income should be spent on housing.
•Your total housing costs (mortgage, interest, property taxes, insurance) should not exceed 28% of your income.
•The combination of your housing costs and all other monthly debt (car loans, student loans, etc.) should not exceed 36% of your income.
What Type of Loan Structure Works Best For You?
There are many different types of loans available. However, one of the basic decisions you'll have to make is whether you prefer the predictability of a conventional loan, knowing that your payment will be the same amount each month over the life of the loan, or whether you are comfortable with foregoing the fixed monthly payment for an adjustable loan where the initial interest rate is lower and the monthly payment amount will fluctuate periodically throughout the life of the loan. Both conventional and adjustable loans provide a variety of terms to select from to best meet your needs. A mortgage broker will be able to provide a wealth of information on the various options available as well as determine whether you qualify for any government-backed loan programs.
We have experience with respected lenders throughout the area, let us help you with this stage of the home buying process.
For the fifth consecutive year, RE/MAX has been named a Top Military Spouse Friendly Employer by Military Spouse magazine in recognition of the real estate franchise company’s commitment to military families.
This year’s Top Twenty was selected from a pool of more than 5,000 large companies and RE/MAX was the highest ranking real estate company in the survey.
“We’ve always supported members of the military and their families,” said Gail Liniger, RE/MAX co-founder and its vice-chairman. “It’s part of our effort to give back to the communities where we do business. Our offices hire military spouses because they make dedicated, organized employees who work hard to get the job done right.”
Each of the companies were assessed on a variety of factors, including:
• The number of military spouse employees.
• Efforts and results to recruit military spouses
• A firm’s willingness to find new jobs for military spouses that are relocating on orders from the military.
Operation RE/MAX has been helping military spouses and former military personnel find jobs in real estate for the past five years. Created in cooperation with the Department of Defense, the program matches members of the military community with volunteer RE/MAX brokers, who have made a commitment to coach, train and mentor military personnel.
RE/MAX is joined on the Top Twenty list by other high-profile organizations such as USAA, T-Mobile, Kelly Services and Sears Roebuck & Co.
As a result of the success of Operation RE/MAX, the company was honored with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award in 2007. Operation RE/MAX has enlisted the support of more than 700 individual RE/MAX offices. The Top Twenty list is featured in Military Spouse magazine’s October 2011 issue.