Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Building a House? Let an Agent Help!

Many homebuyers think they don't need to hire an agent when building a new home. After all, you're buying directly from the builder and they already have contractors, lenders and inspectors -- why should someone else be brought into the mix?

The truth is, buying any home without an agent can be a costly mistake. It can mean paying more than you should, missed opportunities for upgrades, contract errors that aren't in your favor or a delayed closing.

Thinking of buying a new construction home?

Here are three reasons to have an agent on your side before visiting the sales office:

1. Expert Negotiation: While their advertising would have you believe otherwise, builder's prices aren't always set in stone. Agents are skilled negotiators who can likely get the price dropped slightly or have a few upgrades thrown in.

2. Preferred Vendors: Your builder might have an affiliate mortgage lender or title company, but chances are they aren't going to offer the best deal. It's important to shop around, and what's better than a vendor your agent already knows and trusts?

3. Guidance and Support: The homebuying process can be complicated, with lots of twists, turns and steps along the way. When buying new construction, you also have design reviews, electrical work and other construction needs. An agent can guide you through all of these, making sure your purchase stays on track, on time and on budget from start to finish.

It's important to note that while you may be working with an agent or representative from the builder, they may not have your best interests at heart. Enlisting your own trusted agent can give you an advocate from the very first meeting to closing day.

Are you interested in buying a new construction home?

Please get in touch today for more info about builders in the area.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Get Ready for Houston Restaurant Weeks!

Houston Restaurant Weeks kicks off this week with a selection of restaurants offering specially-priced menus to benefit the Houston Food Bank, the largest food bank in the United States. This yearly fundraiser, which runs from August 1st-September 3rd, has raised more then $10 million dollars since the event started in 2003.

Houston Restaurant Weeks is also a great way to explore Houston. I've picked a few neighborhoods with recommendations of participating restaurants in the area so you can take your own culinary tour of the city. Be sure to make reservations soon!

Museum District
City Centre
The Woodlands
The Heights
Bon appetit!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

What to Know when Making an Offer on a Home For Sale By Owner

Homes that are for sale by owner -- when a seller decides not to hire a listing agent -- are more common than you might think. They account for about 8 percent of all home listings currently on the market. If you're on the house hunt, you're likely to come across one in your search.

What's different about buying one of these homes? What can you do to leverage the situation to get the most for your money? 

Here are four things to keep in mind.

1. Hire an agent. Since the seller doesn't have an agent, it's vital that you do -- if only to ensure the transaction is handled correctly and legally. An agent will be knowledgeable about market conditions and can help you craft your offer, prepare the contracts and find the right lender to work with.

2. Be ready to negotiate. These homes are rarely priced appropriately. Sellers typically overvalue their homes due to their emotional attachment to it. Having an agent on your side gives you access to comparable sales data to help you negotiate the right price.

3. Get a home inspection. The owner may not know that they are legally required to disclose known issues with the property, and that oversight could mean costly repairs down the road. A home inspection can shed light on potential problems before you go through with the sale.

4. Add contingencies to your contract. Contingencies give you an exit route should something go wrong during the transaction. If you can't get a loan, you're unhappy with the inspection results or the appraisal doesn't come in at the sale price, you have a way to back out and save your money.

Want to be prepared for your new home purchase? 

Get in touch today for help on making the best decision for your budget and goals!


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Luckey Climbers in Houston

Our family visits to the Children's Museum of Houston always include a climbing session at the Power Play! exhibit. Jean-Luc loves the challenge of mounting the 40 foot Power Tower, where he can get a bird's-eye view of me waving below. This playful installation, which is in the shape of a silver dollar plant, is the work of architect and artist Spencer Luckey, who has recently added two new Luckey Climber structures to the Houston area.   

Baybrook Mall revamped their kids play area and smartly added a Luckey Climber as the main attraction. Like all of Luckey's climbing sculptures, this part-jungle gym, part-work of art appeals to kids of all ages with its whimsical, petal-shaped platforms that beg to be explored. In addition to the climbing structure, the new play plaza offers interactive musical features along with plenty of shade and seating for parents. You can find the other new Luckey Climber at the new family plaza at River Pointe Church in Richmond. 

If you are looking for a new summer outing or two before school starts, I highly recommend taking the little ones to ascend to new heights at one of Houston's Luckey Climbers! 

Happy Climbing,