Purchasing a home is one of the most rewarding events in your life, and for many people, it’s also their largest financial decision. That’s why having a dedicated Buyer Representative is so important in your home search. We understand that buying a home can be a stressful process, so our goal is to make your purchase as smooth and enjoyable as possible. We believe in educating each home buyer, walking you through each step of the process, addressing your concerns and questions and finding the best area and property that fits your needs!
Prior to submitting an offer on the home you choose, we provide a Market Analysis so we can negotiate the best terms and price for you. With the right education and our hands on, proactive approach, our clients encounter far fewer obstacles making your purchase more enjoyable.
If you are Relocating to Houston or the Greater Bay Area, feel free to ask for an area tour to learn about the Areas, School Districts, Property Taxes, Insurance and Attractions. Put our 35 plus years of area knowledge to work for your benefit!
Obtaining a Pre-Approval Letter from a reputable, local Lender should be the first step in searching for a home. A local Mortgage Broker will evaluate your credit scores and income to determine the Price Range and Interest Rates for which you might qualify. The Pre-Approval Letter is often required by Homeowners in order to view a home and is always a requirement for submitting any offers.
The Home Buying Process
Now that you’re Pre-Approved and you’re finally under contract, you can expect to navigate the following steps in purchasing your Dream Home!
Days 1 – 10: Perform Inspections including
Structural/Mechanical, Termite, Pool, etc… Days 11 – 20: Title CommitmentDays 21 – 25: Finalize InsuranceDays 28 – 30: Verify Completion of Repairs
Closing & Moving Day!
- Closing Disclosure from Lender
“One Stop Shop”
Through decades of experience, The Owens Team has developed relationships with Local Industry Leaders in the Lending, Insurance, Home Warranty and Title Industries. Our Preferred Contact List and One Stop Shopping provides for a smooth, stress-free home buying experience.
Buying Luxury/ Waterfront Property
When searching for Luxury or Waterfront Properties, the first step is to evaluate what Lifestyle and Needs are most important to you and your family. Identify what activities you enjoy most, whether it be Golfing, Fishing, Sailing, Recreational Boating, Acreage for Horses and Livestock, or just a Beautiful View.
Luxury Homes also often require special Insurance and Loan packages. We have great relationships with reputable Lenders and Insurance carriers that can streamline the process, give you more options and save you money. We fully understand and can easily help you navigate through issues like Flood Zones, Windstorm Insurance, Surplus Lines Insurance options, Jumbo and Super Jumbo Loans. 35 years of area knowledge also play a very important role in Deed Restrictions, which may prevent you from using the property the way you intend. Restrictions can prohibit storage of RV’s or Boats, limit the length of your Boat Docks, prevent Horses and so much more.
Again, working with a local Certified Luxury Real Estate Agent with decades or experience with various requirements and regulations is extremely important. Whether you want to live by a Golf Course, experience the privacy of Acreage, or dock your boat at your back door, The Owens Team can help you find your piece of paradise! Purchasing your own piece of paradise should be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. We would like to be part of that. Ensure you have the most qualified and experienced agent by calling, or emailing The Keith Owens Team today.
Client Testimonials - View Testimonials from our Previous Clients!
“Keith Owens was very knowledgeable about the area and the market. I would and have recommended him to my friends and family.” – Will Misegades – Houston
“We found Keith Owens knowledgeable, considerate, available for discussion and feedback, extremely competent, and very supportive during our very short close process. Without hesitation, we will recommend him to our friends and family, and should the opportunity arise, will contact him again.” - Steve and Arlene Weinberg – League City
1) Do I need an Agent to Represent Me?
First, you never want the same agent representing both sides. A Listing Agents goal is to ensure that they are protected at every turn, terms are maximized to their advantage and they are getting the highest price for their house/property possible. None of those things benefit a Buyer. A Buyer needs direction of pricing for the neighborhood, suggestions on terms of the offer, what Inspectors are best, making sure you get repairs negotiated, what Lenders are best and the list goes on! A Listing Agent can't help a Buyer with any of those questions without violating their responsibility to the Seller or negating the Sellers leverage at one point or another throughout the process.
When a Buyer contacts me to view/purchase a home that we have listed, I always have a Buyers Agent from my Team assist them. That way, they can get the full benefit of having a separate agent work for their benefit at every step of the purchase process. My Team Members and myself are all Accredited Buyers Representatives so we've been specifically trained on how to best represent Buyers and the processes associated with the purchase of a home. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have purchased a home and had a miserable experience. It does NOT have to be that way. A good agent can educate you every step of the process and make sure you avoid the pitfalls that get in the way of a great Buying Experience!
2) Do I need to get Pre-Approved before looking at homes?
Yes, we always advise getting Pre-Approved through a local, reputable Lender. A local Mortgage Broker will evaluate your credit scores and income to determine the Price Range and Interest Rates for which you might qualify. The Pre-Approval Letter is often required by Homeowners in order to view a home and is always a requirement for submitting any offers.
3) How much money will I need for a Down Payment?
Your Down Payment often depends upon the type of loan you are applying for. For example, an FHA loan requires a minimum of 3.5% down, VA offers loans with 0% down and Conventional Loans offer programs ranging from 5% to 25% down payment and greater. Your Down Payment can also be affected by your Credit Score and Debt to Income Ratio, which a qualified Lender will be able to evaluate.
4) Do I need to get a Home Inspection?
Yes, we always suggest a Home Inspection. Even New Construction homes can have defects. An Inspector will ensure your home is built to code and that everything works correctly prior to move¬ in. A traditional Structural/Mechanical Inspection will evaluate the Foundation, Walls, Roof, Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC, and Appliances. We also suggest inspecting Pools, Irrigation System, and checking for Termites and other wood destroying insects.
5) What is a MUD Tax?
Specifically, a MUD stands for a Municipal Utility District and is set up to provide and maintain water and wastewater services and drainage facilities within it's area. It's typically paid for through your property tax, but is usually also the entity you pay for your water and wastewater services. While they are usually standard with most newer neighborhoods, they are also found in some older neighborhoods, though the tax is usually less in the older subdivisions. A MUD tax may add between $0.25 to $1 of tax per $100 of the assessed value of your home. If an average tax rate in the Greater Bay Area may range from 2.5% to 2.8% so a MUD Tax would increase that from 2.75% to 3.8% in some cases!
So how does this affect you when you're buying a home? I look at it in terms of effecting your purchasing power since your mortgage, interest, insurance and taxes (including MUD taxes) count towards your monthly debt to income ratio; which is the calculation of how much home you can afford!
Let's use a $300,000 home in League City as an example. A typical tax rate may be 2.7% of your appraised value, meaning your normal taxes would be $8,100 per year, or $675 per month. If your MUD Tax is $0.94, which is standard in several newer subdivisions in the League City area, that would increase your yearly taxes by $2,800 per year, or $235 per month. $235 is the difference in mortgage between a $300,000 house and a $340,000 house! So you could afford $40,000 more house without a MUD Tax. Granted, this is simplifying it somewhat because there are other smaller variables, but the overall numbers are very close for this example.
Another question that arises is will the MUD Tax ever end? People ask this since the tax comes in the form of a Bond that is to be paid off. Well, Clear Lake City Water Authority, a MUD for many homes in Clear Lake, has been around since the 1970's and I don't see them disappearing any time soon! So if your agent ever says "well, the MUD Tax will probably go away in the next couple of years after the Bond is paid off", you may want to find another Realtor.
6) How long is the average Closing Process?
The average time it takes to purchase a property is 30 to 45 days. If a property is being purchased with cash, the closing can take as few as 10 days. However, unique situations with Buyers and Sellers can also require longer closing times such as 60 days. This is certainly an aspect of the contract that is important to both parties and can be negotiated.
7) Do I need to sell my home before buying a new home?
My Home Tracker
Most people will need to sell their home as part of purchasing a new home because a Lender will not loan money when someone has an existing home loan. This process is called a “Contingency”, where the purchase of the new home is “Contingent” upon the Sale and Funds from the home you’re selling. This is a simultaneous transaction allowing you to seamlessly transition from one property to another. In the event that you qualify for 2 mortgages or you have a large amount of equity in your existing home, a Contingency is not necessary.
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- Take a look at some of our featured listings. Call for a complete list of all the properties that match your specific needs.Community Information
- Maps, recent home sales, demographics, school reports, crime statistics, houses of worship and much more!Buyer Resources
- Informative articles about buying real estate.