First Time Home Buyers

Condo Buying: Investing in a Condo Over a House

  • Lincoln Park

    Lincoln Park

    View post

When you’re determined to purchase your own home, it doesn’t have to be a single-family house. Condos make great investments and offer several advantages over other types of residences.

These are just some of the benefits you’ll enjoy when buying a condo:

  • Access to amenities. You don’t have to pay for separate memberships to a local pool or golf course. Living in a condo means that you’ll be able to use the amenities your condo community offers, such as clubhouses, pools and fitness center.
  • Low maintenance. When you live in a condo, you only have to maintain your living space. You’re not responsible for maintaining the building, grounds or common areas.
  • Financial incentives. Owning a condo gives you a chance to build equity, and you’ll also be able to use tax deductions on property taxes and mortgage interest payments.
  • A sense of community. Living in a building that has a lot of other units occupied by owners, rather than renters, means that you’ll have a good sense of community. Some of these also offer planned community events.

Need additional information on buying a condoContact United Real Estate, and follow our Facebook page.

Get Up To Date Home Listings With URE iPad App

  • app II

    app II

    View post

Buying a home is generally a time-consuming process for most people. Fortunately, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort by making use of convenient home listing apps for homebuyers. 

United Real Estate offers an app designed for use with iPads. As long as you have iOS 4.0 or higher, you can download this app and use it to start searching for homes. This app makes it quick and easy for you to look through available properties and narrow down your options. It provides you with a number of benefits, including:

  • Up-to-date and highly accurate information on available real estate properties
  • Map that shows all homes for sale in the location you choose
  • Advanced search features that let you search by square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, price range and lot size
  • Ability to search homes based on price reduction and newest listings
  • Views on property details
  • Close to 40 points of interest shown in your chosen location
  • Ability to save your searches
  • Convenient one-click access to United Real Estate representatives

Need more help finding your new home? Contact United Real Estate, and visit our Facebook page.

Buying as a Couple? Tips for Couples Purchasing a Home

  • couple

    couple

    View post

Buying a home together as a couple is an exciting time, but don’t let it become a source of tension between you. Owning a home is a huge commitment that both of you need to be ready for.

Use the following tips for couples purchasing a home before you start looking at available properties:

  • Discuss your preferences. It’s crucial to sit down and talk about what each of you wants in a home. Discuss things like location, type of home and what local amenities you prefer being close to. When you don’t talk about these beforehand, you could find out that your preferences are drastically different.
  • Check your credit reports. You both need to check your credit reports before applying for a mortgage. Take care of any errors, and talk to a lender about which debts you should try to pay off before submitting your application. Keep in mind that lenders weigh the lower credit score more heavily.
  • Get a mortgage pre-qualification. This provides you with a rough estimate of the amount you can qualify for on a mortgage. Factor this into your budget.

Ready to begin looking for a home? Call United Real Estate and follow our Facebook page.

Insuring Your First Home? Three Important Things to Consider

  • shutterstock_130321616

    shutterstock_130321616

    View post

When calculating the cost of your first home, don’t forget to factor in home insurance. This insurance, which is required in order to purchase a home, provides financial coverage in case your home is damaged.

When insuring your first home, keep these tips in mind:

  • Get full coverage. Don’t attempt to save money now by skimping on coverage. Your insurance should be enough to cover the cost of having to rebuild your home. Ideally, you should get extended replacement coverage and an inflation guarantee.
  • Get liability insurance. This insurance pays for legal and medical costs that you might be faced with if someone is injured on your property. It also covers you in case someone in your family causes damage to your neighbor’s property.
  • Cover your valuables. These won’t be included on your homeowners insurance policy, so you’ll be out of luck if they’re damaged or stolen. Purchase additional coverage to make sure that you’ll have enough money to replace jewelry, antiques and other valuables in your home.

Need professional help finding and buying your first homeVisit United Real Estate to find a local agent, and follow us on Facebook.

How to Plan for Your 2014 Real Estate Goals

  • homes

    homes

    View post

Is buying a house on your list of real estate goals this year? If so, you’re probably aware that it takes a lot of planning to find the right home and be able to purchase it.

Keep the following Houston real estate tips in mind when searching for a home this year:

  • Clean up your credit: Having a solid credit history is essential in order to be approved for a mortgage. Fix up your credit by paying off credit card debt or at least keeping low balances on your cards and always making payments on time.
  • Be realistic: Don’t look for homes that you can’t afford. Your search should only include properties that are within your price range. Otherwise, you could get in over your head financially.
  • Think long-term: Only buy a house if you plan on living in it for a few years or more. Selling a home sooner means that you could actually lose money.
  • Hire a realtor: Find a realtor who can help you find the best homes to look at and walk you through the buying process.

Other questions? Feel free to contact us and one of our agents can give you advice for the future.

Five Tips For Finding the Perfect Home

  • notebook

    notebook

    View post

Looking for your very first house can be exciting yet overwhelming. There are a lot of factors to consider before beginning your search.

The following tips on buying your first houseshould make the experience less stressful:

  • Location is everything: Look for a home that’s in a good neighborhood with decent property values. You might also want to be near good schools, your workplace and local amenities.
  • Know what you want: Write down the features you must have in a home on one list, then make other lists with features you don’t necessarily need and those you don’t want at all.
  • Gather information: Search online for information on recent home sales in your area, and look at the listing price for homes that are currently on the market. You’ll get a better idea of how much you’ll be paying that way.
  • Get a mortgage preapproval: Have a lender determine roughly how much you can afford to borrow for a mortgage.
  • Take notes: Keep track of the homes you see, and note the features each one has for the sake of comparison.

Need more advice on buying your first house? Visit United Real Estate, and stop by our Facebook page.

How Important is Location in Your Home Search?

  • house locator

    house locator

    View post

When it comes to buying your first house, you’ve probably heard that location is everything. Although there are several other factors to consider when searching for a home, it’s true that location is one of the most important.

Picking out the ideal neighborhood for your first home depends on your personal preferences, such as whether you want to live near a good school for your kids’ sake or whether you want to be close to work. In general, the best neighborhoods contain the following:

  • Property values that are on the rise or already high
  • A low crime rate
  • A good school district
  • Properties that are well-cared for
  • Easy access to employers, shops, parks, hospitals and other facilities
  • Higher number of owner-occupants as opposed to renters
  • Good traffic infrastructure

Just keep in mind that you might face greater competition for a home that’s located in a highly desirable neighborhood, so it’s important to know what kind of offer you should make. Enlist the help of a qualified realtor to make sure you don’t miss out on the home of your dreams.

Ready to start the home buying processContact United Real Estate, and visit our Facebook page for buying tips.

Five Real Estate Terms You Should Know

  • dictionary

    dictionary

    View post

Whether you’re buying or selling, you’ll need to become familiar with common real estate terms.This helps you better understand what’s going on during the buying or selling process.

Here are five terms you should know when dealing with real estate:

  • Closing costs: This refers to all of the costs that the buyer and seller pay upon closing, which include mortgage processing fees, title insurance, transfer taxes and brokerage commission.
  • CMA: This refers to a comparative market analysis, which contains information on the prices of similar homes for sale in the area. A CMA helps you decide how much to sell your home for.
  • Fixture: This refers to components of a home that are permanent, such as light fixtures, landscaping and window coverings. These must be dealt with carefully during negotiations in order to avoid disputes.
  • Listing: This refers to the agreement a seller and real estate broker have for marketing and selling the home. It’s sometimes used in reference to the home that’s being sold.
  • Title insurance: This insurance policy provides protection from ownership claims that are questionable.

Need professional help buying or selling a home? Contact a local agent at United Real Estate, and visit us on Facebook.

Budgeting Tips for New Homeowners

  • mortgage calculator

    mortgage calculator

    View post

The costs associated with buying a new home add up quickly. That’s why it’s crucial for you to make sure you have a budget in place. Otherwise, your new home could end up draining your finances.

Use the following tips on budgeting for new homeowners to ensure that you spend your money wisely:

  • Set aside money for repairs: Make sure you can afford to take care of minor maintenance issues before they become larger ones. You also never know when major problems will come up, such as a burst pipe.
  • Hire professionals: Look for qualified and reputable contractors to do repairs on your home instead of attempting to do them yourself, which could end up costing you more money.
  • Limit spending on decorating and remodeling: Take your time filling your home with new furniture and having things replaced or fixed up, so you won’t overspend right after buying your new home.
  • Hire an accountant for taxes: This helps ensure that you’ll include all of the homeowner deductions you’re entitled to, which helps maximize your refund.

Ready to begin looking for a new homeContact United Real Estate to speak to a local agent, and visit us on Facebook.

The Difference Between Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval

  • prequal

    prequal

    View post

When it comes to financing your new home, you’ll need to be approved for a home loan. Before that can happen, though, you need to know roughly how big of a loan you’ll most likely need. This is where the terms “pre-qualified” and “pre-approved” come into play.

Getting pre-qualified happens first and means that you’ll find out how much of a mortgage you might be approved for. This step doesn’t involve as much scrutiny as pre-approval, so you won’t be going through a credit check or be asked to provide tons of information on your financial situation. You’ll also learn about the different types of mortgages, so you can find the one that would be best for you.

Being pre-approved is more in-depth than getting pre-qualified. Your lender will go over your credit report and look closely at your finances. You’ll also need to fill out a mortgage application and provide the paperwork that the lender requests. You’ll get a specific loan amount, which you can use to negotiate the price of a home.

Getting started with the home buying process? Visit United Real Estate to find a local agent, and stop by our Facebook page.