Houston Mortgage First-Time Homebuyer – FAQ Part 2

Part 2: Choosing the Right Home

Mortgage HoustonOnce you have decided you are ready to buy a Houston area home, the next step is to decide on the right Houston home to suit your lifestyle and budget. The answers to these First-Time Houston Homebuyer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) will help you determine what type of Houston home is right for you.

How do I select the right Houston, Texas community?

Selecting the right community is one of the keys to finding joy in your new Houston home. Some things to consider when selecting the right Houston community include:

  • Quality of the neighborhood’s school system
  • Access to shopping, restaurants, public transportation and other amenities
  • Types of services available and your proximity to them, such as libraries and grocery stores
  • Proximity to entertainment and cultural attractions

After finding a Houston neighborhood that interests you, take the time to talk to some of the people who live there. Not only will they be able to tell you more about the Houston community, but it will also give you a jumpstart on getting to know your neighbors and determining if the community is right for you.

 

How can get information about local Houston schools?

While your Houston real estate agent may be knowledgeable about the schools in your area, you can obtain the most accurate information by contacting the Houston city or county school board or by contacting the Houston school directly.

 

How can I learn more about the community’s resources?

Your Houston real estate agent should be able to provide you with information about the community, including providing you with a welcome kit, Houston maps and other information. You can learn more about the community’s resources by contacting the local chamber of commerce and asking for promotional literature or by visiting the community’s local library. Not only will the Houston library contain information about local events and resources, but the librarian should be able to answer many of your questions as well. 


How can I find out for how much the homes in certain neighborhoods are being sold?

Your Houston real estate agent should be able to provide you with information about comparable listings in the area where you are considering making a purchase. 


Where can I find information about Houston property taxes?

Houston property tax information, including the total amount charged for the previous year, is typically included in the listing information. If not, you can either ask the seller for a tax receipt or you can contact the local assessor’s office for more information. Keep in mind Houston tax rates change each year, so any figures you receive will be approximate. At the same time, don’t forget Houston property taxes are deductible, so you will get some of this money back when you file your taxes.


Can I save money by purchasing an older home in Houston?

Whether or not you can save money by purchasing an older Houston home instead of a newer home will depend on many factors. Typically, an older home will require more maintenance and repairs than a new home. Therefore, by the time you pay for any necessary upgrades and renovations, you may not save any money by purchasing an older home. Furthermore, newer Houston homes are generally easier to maintain and offer more energy-efficient features. On the other hand, older homes may be located in more established Houston neighborhoods, they may offer lower property tax rates and they may have more character than a newer home. 


What factors should I consider when viewing a Houston home?

When walking through a Houston home on the market, there are several basics you should look for and 

consider. Some of these questions include:

  • Does the home offer enough room for you now and for your future plans?
  • Does the home have enough bedrooms and bathrooms to suit your needs?
  • Is the yard large enough to meet your needs?
  • Do you like the way the floor play is laid out?
  • Is there enough room for your furniture?
  • Does the home have ample storage space?
  • Is the house structurally sound?
  • Is anything in need of repair?
  • Do all of the mechanical systems and appliances function properly?
  • Will the home serve as a good year-round residence in all weather conditions?

It is also a good idea to have the Houston real estate agent point out the pros and cons of the home as you walk through it. This way, you can view it from a professional standpoint as well.

 

What questions should I ask when viewing Houston homes?

The majority of the questions you ask when viewing a Houston home should focus on potential problems and maintenance concerns. For example, you should ask what items will require ongoing maintenance and if anything is currently in need of repair. You should also ask questions about the neighborhood in order to get a better idea of the quality of life you can expect. It is a good idea to prepare a list of questions beforehand and to write down the answers. This way, you can be consistent with the questions you ask at each house and you will have a record of the answers that you can review when deciding on which home you want to purchase. 


How can I keep track of all of the Houston homes I view?

The best way to keep track of the Houston homes you view is to take photographs, paying particular attention to the outside, the major rooms, the yard and any extra features. You should also take pictures of those features you like as well as those you do not like.


How many Houston homes should I expect to view before I choose one?

You are free to visit as many Houston homes as you like before you choose the one that is right for you, but the average homebuyer views 15 homes before settling on one.

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