Home Buying

Buying as a Couple? Tips for Couples Purchasing a Home

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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.

The Difference Between Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval

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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.

Five Basic Home Inspection Mistakes to Avoid

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Having a home inspection done is an essential part of the home buying process. It provides you with information on the home’s condition, so you can factor in the cost of needed repairs before settling on a price.

When it’s time to have an inspection done, avoid making the following mistakes:

  • Focusing too much on cost: Hiring the cheapest inspection company could cost you more money down the road when you suddenly encounter problems that you weren’t aware of. Hire a reliable inspector instead.
  • Not being there: Going in-person gives you the chance to ask questions about the home’s condition and find out more about it.
  • Skipping new construction inspections: New construction should always be inspected in case the contractors made mistakes that could lead to future trouble.
  • Expecting precise estimates: Your inspector can tell you about how long certain systems will be good for, such as the central air unit, but it’s only a rough estimate.
  • Ignoring the inspector’s advice: Follow up on the inspector’s recommendations before closing on the home.

Need professional help finding your next homeVisit United Real Estate to find an agent, and stop by our Facebook page for more buying tips.

Five Tips That Will Help You Secure a Mortgage

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Unless you’re in the rare position of being able to pay cash for a new home, you’re going to need a home loan to cover the cost. Obtaining a mortgage is more difficult now than it was before the 2008 recession hit, so it’s important to boost your chances of securing one.

Use the following tips to help you get the home loan you need:

  • Get rid of debt. Pay off credit cards, if possible, to reduce your debt-to-income ratio. Aim to keep this ratio lower than 36 percent.
  • Don’t apply for credit cards. Applying for new credit will lower your credit score, which can hurt your chances of getting a mortgage.
  • Fix your credit score. Make sure there are no errors on your credit report, and immediately correct any errors that you might find.
  • Offer a higher down payment. Make an offer of 20 percent or more, if you can afford to. This is a big help if your credit score isn’t high.
  • Take your time. Give yourself at least six months to financially prepare to apply for a mortgage.

Need more professional advice on obtaining a mortgage? Speak to a United Real Estate agent, and check out our Facebook page.

No Yard Maintenance – and Other Reasons to Invest in a Condo

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If you like the thought of owning a home but don’t like the thought of doing yard work, a condo could be the perfect solution. Condo ownership is becoming more popular thanks to it’s ease of ownership.

Need a few reasons to invest in a condo instead of a house?

  • Low-maintenance: You don’t have to deal with mowing the lawn or raking leaves when you buy a condo, since you only own the interior of it and part of the the building’s common area. You just have to keep the inside in good shape.
  • Convenience: Buying a condo in an urban area will put you close to plenty of restaurants and stores. That means you can save money on gas, as well as wear and tear on your car.
  • Amenities: Some condos come with impressive amenities, such as fitness centers, business centers and resort-style pools that you wouldn’t have with a house.

Ready to start looking for a condo to call your ownVisit United Real Estate to see what properties are available, and stop by our Facebook page to learn more about us.

Dallas on the Rebound: Housing Market on the Rise

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The housing market in many cities throughout the US suffered during the market down turn, many markets are making strong comeback. Dallas is ranked among 2013’s fastest-growing American cities, making it a great place to buy or sell a home.

Dallas came in at number six on Realtor.com’s list of “Turnaround Towns,” thanks to a growing demand for homes. Builders have been kept busy constructing new homes for those who are looking to move to this booming city. The city’s population has been on the rise, and the city has experienced strong job growth. The housing market has shown major improvement in terms of stability. Homes in Dallas have an average listing price of a very affordable $210,000. For those who need to sell their home, now is a good time to do so. Currently, the demand for homes has surpassed the available number of homes for sale, meaning that you may earn a higher price for yours.

Planning on buying a home in Dallas? Check out United Real Estate’s available properties. Selling? VisitUnited Real Estate to find a local agent. Stop by our Facebook page for more tips on buying and selling a home.