Friday Feature: 1422 Corral Dr, Houston, TX 77090

Welcome home to 1422 Corral Dr, a gorgeous 2-story Ponderosa Forest 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home. The first floor comprises the common living spaces and includes a bar, brick fireplace, family room and sun room. Your updated eat-in kitchen features lovely granite counters and tile back splash.  Entertain in your formal living and dining rooms.

All bedrooms up, with a large master bedroom and equally spacious private bathroom.

We will have an open house on Saturday, September 16th from 1 PM – 3 PM.  For information, contact Amanda at 832-851-6700.

For more info, visit our website today.

Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2.5
Sq. Feet: 2,628
Price: $179,000

Coldwell Banker United, Realtors – Greenway Plaza
MOVEMETOTX – Katie Day Team
2 Greenway Plaza #150 Houston, TX 77046
Phone: 832.317.6006
Email: katie@movemetotx.com
Web: http://www.katiedayteam.com | http://www.movemetotx.com

Questions to Ask When Choosing a REALTOR®

The National Association of REALTORS® publishes a guidebook with a TON of great information to help buyers understand what to expect during the real estate purchasing experience.  We’re posting some of our favorite articles here.

Interested in learning more? E-mail us for your own copy today! katie@movemetotx.com.

Choosing an agent can be a daunting task.  There are over 35,000 Real Estate Agents in the Greater Houston area.  Not only do you need to find an agent that understands what you are looking for, you also need to find someone who is available, helpful, and responsive.

Here are some questions, published by NAR, as suggestions to ask agents before entering into a representation agreement with them.

How long have you been in residential real estate? Is it your full-time job?
Like most professions, experience is no guarantee of skill. But much of real estate is learned on the job.

Katie Day: My Real Estate career started in 2008, when I first got a job in residential property management.  After moving throughout Florida and eventually finding myself in Texas, I obtained my Real Estate License in 2015.  Real Estate is my full-time job and I am dedicated to learning as much as I can so that I may better serve my clients.

Do you have any designations or certifications?
Real estate professionals have to take additional specialized training in order to obtain these distinctions. Designations and certifications help define the special skills that an agent can apply to your particular real estate needs. One designation buyers should look for is the ABR®, or Accredited Buyer’s Representative.

Katie Day: I currently have my TAHS (Texas Affordable Housing Specialist) and the RENE (Real Estate Negotiation Expert) certifications.  I am continually working to obtain more certifications.  Continuing education classes offered by local associations and my brokerage help to sharpen my skills as a REALTOR®!  Recently, I obtained my GRI (Graduate, Realtor Institute) designation, which is a three-part course focusing on different facets of Real Estate (law, marketing, and brokerage responsibility).  I am looking to obtain more designations and learn more about the industry while balancing my current client obligations and, of course, some fun!

What’s your business philosophy?
While there’s no right answer to this question, the response will help you assess what’s important to the agent and determine how closely the agent’s goals and business emphasis mesh with your own.

Katie Day: I want to educate you so that you can feel comfortable making an informed and sound decision in what’s likely to be the biggest purchase of your life.  Buying a home is not only an investment in your future, but also a place for you to spend time with loved ones. I will be responsive and dedicated to you as a client.

How many buyers did you and your real estate brokerage represent last year?
This will tell you how much experience they have and how up-to-date they are on the local market.

Katie Day: In 2015, I helped 58 families secure a new home.  Two of those were residential sales (home or condo), and the remainder were rentals (apartment and single family homes).

What’s the average variation between your initial offers and final sales price?
This is one indication of a REALTOR®’s pricing and negotiating skills.

Katie Day: I can provide you with a full list of my listings and buyer-represented sales.  My Average Sold Price / List Price ratio is 98.98%.

Will you represent me exclusively, or might you choose to represent the seller as well?
While it’s usually legal to represent both parties in a transaction, your REALTOR® should be able to explain his or her philosophy on client obligations and agency relationships.

Katie Day: I generally will represent a buyer (or seller) exclusively.  In the past, there have been situations in which a buyer and/or seller want me to represent both parties in the transaction.  If we choose to work together, I’ll explain the pros/cons of each situation to you.

Can you recommend service providers who can help me obtain a mortgage, make home repairs, and so on?
Practitioners should be able to recommend more than one provider and let you know if they have any special relationship with any of the providers.

Katie Day: I have a list of service providers that I’ve worked with in the past and would recommend to clients, friends, and family.  I will always provide a list with multiple vendors for you to choose from.

How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction?
The best answer here is a question. A real estate agent who pays close attention to the way you prefer to communicate and responds accordingly will make for the smoothest transaction.

Katie Day: This, as NAR states, will depend on you.  I’m fine talking on the phone, via text, or e-mail (or all three!)  I find it easier, if there are multiple people/decision makers, to have a group text/e-mail and occasional phone call/in-person meetings.  But, depending on your schedule and availability, I’ll make myself available to you.  I tell my clients, “if I’m awake, I’ll respond.”

Could you please give me the contact information of your three most recent clients?
Ask their former customers if they would use the agent again in the future.

QUESTIONS TO ASK: When Choosing a Lender

The National Association of REALTORS® publishes a guidebook with a TON of great information to help buyers understand what to expect during the real estate purchasing experience. We’re posting some of our favorite articles here.

Interested in learning more? E-mail us for your own copy today! katie@movemetotx.com

Loan terms, rates, and products can vary significantly from one company to the next. When shopping around, these are a few things you should ask about.

General questions:
What are the most popular mortgages you offer? Why are they so popular?
Are your rates, terms, fees, and closing costs negotiable?
Do you offer discounts for inspections, home ownership classes, or automatic payment set-up?
Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so, how much will it cost, and how long will it be required?
What escrow requirements do you have?
What kind of bill-pay options do you offer?

Loan-specific questions:
What would be included in my mortgage payment (homeowners insurance, property taxes, etc.)?
Which type of mortgage plan would you recommend for my situation?
Who will service this loan—your bank or another company?
How long will the rate on this loan be in a lock-in period? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if the market rate drops during this period?
How long will the loan approval process take?
How long will it take to close the loan?
Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying this loan?
How much will I be paying total over the life of this loan?

Need help finding a mortgage professional?  Let us know and we can send you a few professionals we’ve worked with in the past!
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors – Greenway Plaza
MOVEMETOTX – Katie Day Team
2 Greenway Plaza #150 Houston, TX 77046
Phone: 832.317.6006
Email: katie@movemetotx.com
Web: http://www.katiedayteam.com | http://www.movemetotx.com

HOW TO: Prepare for House-Hunting

The National Association of REALTORS® publishes a guidebook with a TON of great information to help buyers understand what to expect during the real estate purchasing experience.  We’re posting some of our favorite articles here.

Interested in learning more? E-mail us for your own copy today! katie@movemetotx.com

Know that there’s no “right” time to buy.
If you find the perfect home now, don’t risk losing it because you’re trying to guess where the housing market and interest rates are going. Those factors usually don’t change fast enough to make a difference in an individual home’s price.

Don’t ask for too many opinions.
It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of the people who will actually be living in the home.

Accept that no house is ever perfect.
If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go. Also, accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will most likely pass.

Don’t try to be a killer negotiator.
Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or refusing to budge may cost you the home you love.

Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum.
Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself that you forget about important issues such as noise level, access to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.

Plan ahead.
Don’t wait until you’ve found a home to get approved for a mortgage, investigate insurance, or consider a moving schedule. Being prepared will make your bid more attractive to sellers.

Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation.
A home is still considered a great investment, but its most important role is as a comfortable, safe place to live.

Coldwell Banker United, Realtors – Greenway Plaza
MOVEMETOTX – Katie Day Team
2 Greenway Plaza #150 Houston, TX 77046
Phone: 832.317.6006
Email: katie@movemetotx.com
Web: http://www.katiedayteam.com | http://www.movemetotx.com

7 Reasons to Own A Home

The National Association of REALTORS® publishes a guidebook with a TON of great information to help buyers understand what to expect during the real estate purchasing experience.  We’re posting some of our favorite articles from the guidebook here.  Stay tuned for more articles to help educate you on the home buying process.

Interested in learning more? E-mail us for your own copy today! katie@movemetotx.com.

  1. Tax benefits.
    The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home.
  2. Appreciation
    Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing-home sale prices have increased on average 5.2 percent each year from 1972 through 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. The recent housing crisis has caused some to question the long-term value of real estate, but even in the most recent 10 years, which included quite a few very bad years for housing, values are still up 7.0 percent on a cumulative basis. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 10 to15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.
  3. Equity.
    Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.
  4. Savings.
    Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.
  5. Predictability.
    Unlike rent, your fixed-rate mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will likely increase.
  6. Freedom.
    The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.
  7. Stability.
    Remaining in one neighborhood for several years allows you and your family time to build long-lasting relationships within the community. It also offers children the benefit of educational and social continuity.

Coldwell Banker United, Realtors – Greenway Plaza
MOVEMETOTX – Katie Day Team
2 Greenway Plaza #150 Houston, TX 77046
Phone: 832.317.6006
Email: katie@movemetotx.com
Web: http://www.katiedayteam.com | http://www.movemetotx.com