6 Things to know as a first-time home buyer in Texas.
Texas is known for its bluebonnets, city lights, and cattle drives, to name a few things. The Lone Star State has traditionally been a popular destination for people looking to settle down.
Texas, the country’s second-largest state, has both big-city conveniences and small-town charms. The flourishing Texas real estate market attracts people from all walks of life who want to maximize their home-buying potential while benefiting from the state’s favorable tax conditions, which include no state income tax!
Purchasing a home in Texas can be a wonderful experience, especially for first-time homebuyers. Before you start looking at listings or going to open houses, there are a few things first-time homebuyers in Texas should keep in mind.
Here are some tips and resources for first-time homebuyers in Texas:
1. Texas real estate market is competitive, you may need to differentiate yourself from other potential homeowners. Here are a few ideas for standing out in a crowd:
Pre-approval: Before you start looking for a house, visit with a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. This achieves two objectives: It enables you to determine how much home you can afford, as well as demonstrate to sellers that you’re a serious buyer. A pre-approval letter is almost crucial to getting your perfect house if there are several other offers on the table.
Consider the following scenarios when deciding whether or not to waive contingencies: When buyers have the ability to bargain, they frequently include stipulations in their offer, such as a property inspection, remodeling, or the inclusion of appliances or other current facilities. To make your offer more enticing to sellers in a competitive market, you may want to remove any contingencies.
Reduce the time you have to choose: The number of days a buyer has to back out of a contract and still receive a refund of their earnest money is known as an option period. You might consider reducing the number of days in your option period to make your offer more appealing.
Make an offer letter that is unique to you: With a handwritten offer letter that communicates why you adore their property, you can connect with the homeowners on an emotional level.
2. Look for a Good Real Estate Agent
For first-time homeowners in Texas, hiring an experienced real estate agent is very important. Plus, because they operate on commission, it won’t cost you anything. Find someone who is well-versed in the area and has a long list of referrals. Then, with a list of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves,” make it plain to them what you’re looking for in a property. A professional real estate agent can assist you in finding a home that fulfills your criteria, negotiating a fair offer price, and closing on a home with minimal hassles.
3. If it doesn’t make sense, don’t put down 20%.
Some people believe that you must put down 20% of the purchase price on a property, but first-time homebuyers can put down as little as 3% with a standard mortgage, although they may need to acquire private mortgage insurance. A lesser down payment, unless you have significant resources, can be a prudent option because it allows you to keep a financial cushion to handle any unexpected bills.
If you don’t have a lot of money but have a good retirement account, you can withdraw up to $10,000 from it without paying a penalty, and couples can use up to $20,000 together.
4. Be ready to pay your property taxes.
The lack of state income taxes is one of the numerous advantages of living in Texas. If you want to become a homeowner, though, you must be prepared to pay property taxes. Texas has a high annual property tax rate of 2% to 3% of the home’s purchase price. According to Zillow, an average home in Texas is valued at $454,896, with annual property taxes ranging from $9,000 to $13,600.
5. Research the Loans and Homebuyer Assistance Programs that are available.
Although the majority of homes in Texas are not cheap, some financing and homebuyer aid programs that can help to own more feasible.
6. Attending a Homebuyer Education Course is a good idea (You might need one to be eligible for assistance)
A first-time homebuyer class is an excellent idea because it provides a crash education on the home-buying process and is frequently necessary for assistance program eligibility. Here are some of the classes that are available in Texas:
BCL of Texas
Texas Homebuyer U
In addition to taking a homebuyer education course, you may find it beneficial to hire a housing consultant to assist you with the process.
JZ Home Buyers, your local real estate agent, is here to help you. If you want to sell your home fast, and hassle-free, CALL us today at 817-382-3579 or visit www.jzhomebuyers.com