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Home Buying Guide
The Home Buying Process in North Texas
Have your credit pre-qualified by our preferred lender at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | David Winans and Associates. Receiving a mortgage credit pre-qualification means you have received a loan commitment before you have found a Dallas / Fort Worth home, based on a review of your credit and finances. A credit pre-qualification shows sellers that you are a well-qualified buyer and helps you establish a clear price range of Texas homes and real estate.
The pre-qualification process
The process of applying for a home credit pre-qualification is the same as a typical mortgage loan application, except that it doesn’t include information on the Dallas Texas real estate you will purchase. Your mortgage officer collects information on your credit, income, assets, and debts, and sends this financial information through an underwriting system. If the underwriting process determines that you qualify for a loan, you will receive a loan commitment for up to a certain amount, which is contingent on the property meeting certain criteria.
Now it is time to have your Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate sales associate show you real estate in Dallas / Fort Worth Texas! Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | David Winans and Associates has four offices in North Texas including Dallas, Southlake-Colleyville, Arlington and Mansfield.
Benefits of having your credit pre-qualified
There are many good reasons for getting a free credit pre-qualification before you buy a home in Dallas / Fort Worth Texas:
- It makes your DFW home search more efficient by allowing you to focus only on the homes you know you can afford.
- It lets DFW sellers know that you can back up your offer, so they don’t have to worry about whether you can get a mortgage loan or not.
- It lets you know early in the process if you will have difficulty getting a mortgage in Texas, so you have a chance to address problems before finding a local DFW home.
- It gets most of the mortgage loan process out of the way up front, so you can complete your real estate transaction quickly after you find a home in Dallas/ Fort Worth. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | David Winans and Associates serves the entire North Texas area including Frisco TX real estate, Plano TX real estate, Flower Mound TX real estate, Arlington TX real estate, Mansfield TX real estate, Coppell TX real estate, and McKinney TX real estate.
Now that you’ve had your mortgage credit pre-qualified by our mortgage company and know how much you can afford, it’s time to go house hunting for that certain piece of real estate in Texas.
You may look at one Dallas home or two dozen before you find the one that’s right for you. Just keep an open mind, and focus on the things that are really important to you, and you’re sure to find a place where you’ll feel at home in Texas.
Choosing a neighborhood
House-hunters should keep in mind the familiar adage about the three most important features of a home: location, location, location. That’s because finding the right home in Dallas real estate for you and your family has as much to do with the neighborhood as with the home itself. In fact, you’ll probably notice during your real estate search in Dallas Texas, that a home in one area costs much more than a similar home in another. Factors like safety, school quality, and proximity to shopping and entertainment all contribute to demand for homes in a given neighborhood.
Beyond price, what you look for in a neighborhood probably has a lot to do with your personal situation. How far are you willing to commute to work on Dallas freeways? How close do you want to be to family and friends? Do you have young children who would enjoy a nearby playground? Picturing your day-to-daylife in a certain neighborhood is a good way to predict whether you will feel comfortable there. Remember that our four offices service the entire North Texas area including Southlake TX real estate, Colleyville TX real estate, Keller TX real estate, Copper Canyon TX real estate and the entire Northeast Tarrant county area.
Considering different house styles
You may want to look beyond the traditional detached single-family homes. Condos, highrises, town houses, and duplexes can be more affordable options, especially if you’re looking in a densely populated area. These types of housing may not offer as much yard space or privacy as single-family homes, but those may not be as important to you as the chance to own a home in the neighborhood of your choice. Your sales associate with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | David Winans and Associates can help you with all your needs in finding real estate in Dallas / Fort Worth Texas.
Building a new home
If you’ve looked and looked for your dream home without success, or if you want to be the very first owner of a brand new home, consider building. You’ll have more opportunity to customize the home’s features and design, more up-to-date appliances and building materials, and usually a builder’s warranty to cover problems that come up in the first year. A sales associate with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | David Winans and Associates can locate all new homes in Texas. Our four offices service all areas of North Texas including Cedar Hill TX real estate, Midlothian TX real estate, Grand Prairie TX real estate, Duncanville, TX real estate.
Make an Offer
So, you’ve found Dallas real estate you want to buy. Congratulations! Now you need to decide how much you’re willing to pay to make it yours. In today’s Texas real estate market multiple offers on the same home are commonplace, so you may only get one chance to make an offer that the seller will consider. That’s why it’s important to think carefully about your strategy.
Your Texas Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate agent should be able to give you a list of similar homes nearby that have sold recently, and for how much. Although you can’t directly compare the home you want with the homes on the list without ever having been in them, you can use the list of comparable sales to get a general idea of the neighborhood’s price range.
In addition to sale prices for other homes, there are several ways you can determine a good amount to offer:
- The condition of the home. Is the home in move-in condition, in need of paint and other cosmetic improvements, or is it a fixer-upper?
- The market. If you are in a buyer’s market—where there are more homes for sale than there are people to buy them—prices are probably stable or falling. If you are in a seller’s market—where there are more buyers looking for homes than there are homes for sale—prices are probably moving upward.
- Your threshold. If you’ve gotten a credit pre-qualification, you know how much you can borrow for your home purchase. Of course, you may not be comfortable paying as much as you’ve been pre-qualified to borrow, so think carefully about your financial situation before making an offer on a home in Dallas, Texas.
Our four offices service all of North Texas including Rockwall TX real estate, Garland TX real estate, Wylie TX real estate, Allen TX real estate.
When you are making what is likely the largest investment of your life, you should know as much as possible about what you are purchasing. That’s why it’s a good idea to have all DFW homes inspected before you make your purchase in Texas. Most Texas real estate contracts contain provisions for a home inspection to be performed within a certain time frame.
Finding a home inspector
It’s very important that you choose a qualified Texas real estate home inspector who has plenty of experience with residential homes. You may also want to ask your real estate agent for a list of reputable companies that do inspection on homes in Texas.
What the inspection should cover
At a minimum, the Texas real estate inspector should examine the following:
- Exterior structural components, including the foundation, roof, siding, and chimney.
- Interior structural components, including the basement or crawlspace, attic, flooring, and ceilings.
- Major systems, including heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical.
You should make every effort to be at the home during the inspection so that you will have an opportunity to ask questions and see first-hand what the inspector looks at. You should receive a detailed inspection report with descriptions, and possibly photographs, of any problems with the Texas home.
You’ve found your piece of Texas real estate, agreed on a price with the seller, had the home inspected, and now you’re ready for the closing, where you will officially take ownership of the property. Welcome to the end of the home buying process—and the beginning of your homeownership journey.
When to schedule your closing
The closing date will depend on when the DFW home seller is ready to move out, when you are ready to move in, and when all of the mortgage details have been finalized. You may want to request a closing date near the end of the month in order to minimize the amount of interest you have to prepay on your mortgage.
Who should be there
Closing practices vary based on location, but attendees may include the following:
- Buyers and sellers
- Real estate agents for the buyer and seller (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | David Winans and Associates)
- Closing agent
- Title company representative
- Mortgage company representative
What happens at closing
Despite all the new technologies that are streamlining the mortgage process, the closing phase remains very
paper-intensive. You will have to review and sign a hefty stack of documents, some of them in duplicate and triplicate. You will also have to pay for any closing costs, including:
- Lender fees, such as an appraisal fee, credit reporting fee, origination points, and discount points
- Third-party fees for services not provided by your lender, which may include a settlement fee, title insurance, and attorney’s fees
- Prepaid items that must be paid to your lender in advance, such as prepaid interest, hazard insurance, and deposits to set up a home escrow account
So you’re ready to start life in your new Dallas / Fort Worth home — congratulations! Now all you have to do is get yourself, your family, and your belongings there intact. You can save time and energy by hiring a moving company, or save money by doing it yourself — it all depends on how much stuff you have, how far you’re moving, and how much you can afford to spend.
Hiring a moving company
The key to choosing the right mover is trust. To find a company you can have confidence in, look for one that:
- Has been in the Moving business many years
- Has a clean record with the Better Business Bureau®
- Can provide a number of references to satisfied customers in Texas
- Meets the standards of your state’s professional association for moving companies, if there is one
Making yourself at home in your new surroundings in Texas is about more than unpacking. Try to explore the neighborhood and get acquainted with new neighbors right away. Ask about stores, playgrounds, and places of worship, so you don’t have to put your life on hold while you familiarize yourself with the area in Texas.