Don’t Let Closing Costs Take You By Surprise!


When you start your home search it is like the start of a race and you don’t cross the finish line until you have “closed.” Seems easy right, you show up, sign some papers and they hand you the keys to your new home. You need to keep in mind that in addition to the down payment, moving cost, inspections and other items that come up before the closing you need to have a bit of money set aside for any cost that might come up at closing.

CLOSING FEES
This includes all the “paperwork fees” required to close the loan—like title services, title insurance, credit reports, and processing fees.

APPRAISAL
Your mortgage lender will probably ask you to pay for an appraisal to make sure that the house is worth what you paid for it.

PROPERTY TAXES
You will be required to pay taxes each year on your home. Many lenders roll into your monthly mortgage payment or you can pay separately.

PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE (PMI)
Required if your initial down payment is less than 20% of the home’s price, you will be required to carry private mortgage insurance (PMI) to protect the lender.

INSURANCE
You will also be required to have a homeowner’s insurance policy to cover your house (and personal belongings).

ESCROW
Escrow accounts also known as “prepaids” will usually include pro-rated amount to cover payments for property taxes, assessments, homeowners insurance and, if applicable, mortgage insurance.

HOA DUES
Buying a townhome, condo or highrise will mean becoming a member of a homeowners association (HOA). HOA’s require you to pay their monthly (or yearly) dues for services they provide. Fees can be as low as $10.00 a month to $1,000 or higher depending on where you live.

REPAIRS
Most homeowners end up making at least a few repairs to their new home (even if it’s brand new). Budget a few hundred dollars to cover any move-in emergencies that pop up.

UTILITY DEPOSITS
Finally, don’t forget that you’ll need to transfer utilities—or start services with a new company, which may require a deposit.

For advice or assistance ask a Gary Greene agent.

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Houston: January Single-Family Home Sales Increase 9% over 2017

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Anyone concerned about the volatility of the stock market should consider investing in residential real estate in Houston, Texas!  The first month of the year started out with a 9% increase in sales and a 7% increase in dollar volume sold. The average sales price was down 2% from last year however median price is up 4%.

All metrics for residential real estate indicate a healthy start for 2018 as can be seen in the graph below.  Most economists with a pulse on Houston real estate believe that 2018 will be one of the best residential real estate years we’ve ever seen.

Here’s a glance at the trends for the month and year:

*Pending sales are homes that are under contract and have not closed and indicate current buyer demand.

Houston Home Sales by Price Cohort for 2018 

What price ranges have the largest increase in January home sales in Houston in comparison to last year? The following price cohorts experienced the largest increase compared to 2017:

Based on the entire spectrum of Houston price cohorts in the table above, homes priced $499,999 and below are in a sellers’ market.  Homes priced $500,000 and above are in a buyers’ market. You can see the difference in time on the market under “Months’ of Inventory”.  Months’ of Inventory is a figure indicating [at the current rate of sale and with no new homes coming on the market] – how long it would take a home to sell in a specific price range.  Generally, 6 months is a balanced market [neither buyer  nor seller has the market advantage], a sellers’ market is below 6 months and a buyers’ market is above 6 months.

The Houston overall market is so large; it rarely reflects the same trends as a submarket area located within its boundaries.  Some areas are exceeding Houston’s overall growth in sales while others are lagging behind.  For a breakdown of activity by area with a map, CLICK HERE.

To see the hottest selling geographical areas for the month in Houston, CLICK HERE.

To search for homes by price range and map, go to www.GaryGreene.com.

Data provided by the Houston Association of Realtors® Information Services™, and The Real Estate Center for Texas A&M and written by Toni Nelson, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene

 

 

 

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Thinking About Listing Your Home?


Are you ready to downsize or upsize to a new home. Or maybe you finally want to address some of those home projects you’ve been putting off. After this is not just any home, it is your home.

If you want to make a move now is the perfect time to get your home ready to put on the market. With the help of a Gary Greene agent to make sure that your current home or a brand new home is exactly the way you want it. Below are some easy no nonsense ways to stay ahead of the game so your house is ready when you want to make a move.

DE-CLUTTER AND CLEAN

De-cluttering is one of the most cost-effective ways to create more space in your home. And a clutter free home shows very nicely to potential buyers. Also consider setting up regular cleaning to keep your home in “show shape”.

STAY AHEAD OF HOME MAINTENANCE

Home maintenance may not seem as exciting as decorating but it is critical in protecting the investment you have made in your home. Create a checklist and every month check things out to avoid unexpected emergencies and cost.

PAINT

An inexpensive and easy way to spruce up a room or the entire house is to repaint. If you are unsure about colors, pick out a few cans of sample paint and paint the wall and see which color you like best. You can also paint a room yourself or hire someone to do it for you. There are lots of self-help resources online for those looking to DIY.

If you need any advice you can always count on a Gary Greene agent to help you! Give us a call. We are here for you.

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Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene Announces Rebuild Day in Independence Heights Partnering with Rebuilding Together Houston

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Houston YTD Single-Family Home Sales Increase 3% over 2016

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It’s unimaginable how a city devastated by Hurricane Harvey less than 5 months ago would  finish 2017 with sales exceeding the entire 2016 real estate market! Indeed, that’s exactly what happened.  Houston single-family home sales lost minimal sales velocity in the last quarter of the year and the 4% increase in sales experienced in December helped drive the YTD market to 3% over 2016.  There are no signs of slowing as pending sales rose 24% in December indicating January will remain healthy at least for closed sales.  All metrics for residential real estate indicate a healthy market as can be seen in the graph below.  Most economists with a pulse on Houston believe that the real estate market in 2018 will be the best we’ve ever seen.

*Pending sales are homes that are under contract and have not closed and indicate current buyer demand.

Houston Home Sales by Price Cohort for 2017

What price ranges have the largest increase in sales in Houston in comparison to last year? The following price cohorts experienced the largest increase compared to 2016:
Based on the entire spectrum of Houston price cohorts in the table above, homes priced $499,999 and below are in a sellers’ market.  Homes priced $500,000 and above are in a buyers’ market. You can see the difference in time on the market under “Months of Inventory”.  Months of Inventory is a figure indicating [at the current rate of sale and with no new homes coming on the market] – how long it would take a home to sell in a specific price range.  Generally, 6 months is a balanced market [neither buyer or seller has the market advantage], a sellers’ market is below 6 months and a buyers’ market is above 6 months.

The Houston overall market is so large; it rarely reflects the same trends as a submarket area located within its boundaries.  Some areas are exceeding Houston’s overall growth in sales while others are lagging behind.  For a breakdown of activity by area with a map, CLICK HERE.

To see the hottest selling geographical areas for the month in Houston, CLICK HERE.

To search for homes by price range and map, CLICK HERE.

Data provided by the Houston Association of Realtors® Information Services™, and The Real Estate Center for Texas A&M and written by Toni Nelson, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene

 

 

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